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Make Ahead Lunch Wraps

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Can you freeze wraps? You bet!! Freezer-friendly lunch wraps are nutritious, hearty, and completely adaptable to whatever your family might like in them!

fruit and tortilla wraps on plates

Right now during this time of quarantine, I know many of you are right where I’m at–trying to keep up with work, homeschooling your kids, feeding your family three meals/day, and trying not to gain the ‘Rona 15.

Meals have to be simple and something your kids won’t groan about. A bonus is if it’s cheap and healthy, too.

Make Ahead Lunch Wraps to the rescue, my friends.

strawberries, grapes, vegetarian burrito wrap on a plate

These Lunch Wraps were a staple in my Freezer Club many years ago and make for a healthy and quick lunch or dinner when you’re hanging by a thread.

Video Tutorial: Make Ahead Lunch Wraps

I mean really, it couldn’t be simpler to make these. Watch this short tutorial to see how to make these freezable wraps…

Why Freeze Lunch Wraps?

Yes, this question deserves an entire section. Because you NEED to know how serious I am about you trying this recipe. It might just save your sanity this week.

  1. They’re cheap.
  2. Uses up leftover rice and beans of any kind.
  3. Fast to prepare. Easy to grab and go.
  4. Healthy and will keep you satiated. Just because they lack meat doesn’t mean they won’t fill you up!
  5. Freezable! (Our favorite way to save time!)

See why my Freezer Club friends and I have made Lunch Wraps for years? Now it’s time to join the “club”.

What Are in Make Ahead Lunch Wraps?

ingredients for make ahead lunch wraps on a cutting board

All you need are 6 simple ingredients:

  • Whole wheat tortillas – Flour tortillas are preferred because they hold up best. Note: corn tortillas will not work well.
  • Brown rice – Substitute ideas: white rice or quinoa.
  • Black beans – Kidney or pinto beans work well, too.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese – Or substitute your preferred shredded cheese. Here’s how to shred your own cheese.
  • Salsa – Use your favorite brand and preferred heat level.
  • Corn – Canned, frozen, or fresh will work.

Feel free to toss in anything else that floats your boat: baby spinach, sautéed bell peppers and onions, green chilis, taco meat, grilled chicken, etc.

Can You Freeze Wraps?

Absolutely! Just follow our simple freezer meal instructions…

vegetarian lunch wraps on a wooden cutting board with small bowls of corn, salsa, and rice

To Freeze Wraps for Later:

Assemble lunch wraps as recipe states. After tortillas are wrapped in foil and before baking (Step #2), place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

To Prepare Wraps From Frozen:

To heat from frozen, add about 10-15 minutes on to baking time (so total baking time is about 25-35 minutes). Or remove foil, wrap in a moist paper towel, and microwave in 30-60 second increments until heated through.

What to Serve with Lunch Wraps

Here are a few ideas to serve alongside this super simple recipe…

freezer-friendly lunch wraps on a wooden cutting board

Creamy Avocado Dip

creamy avocado dip

Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

What to Do with Leftover Tortillas

If you have leftover tortillas, did you know you can freeze them? Here is the best way to freeze tortillas for later.

tortillas in a freezer bag

Make Ahead Lunch Wraps Recipe

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freezer-friendly lunch wraps on a wooden cutting board

Make Ahead Lunch Wraps

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 lunch wraps 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Lunch wraps are nutritious, hearty, and completely adaptable to whatever your family might like in them! Make a batch and freeze them for a delicious lunch!


Ingredients

  • 6 (8-inch) whole wheat or multigrain tortillas (corn tortillas are not recommended)
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup black or kidney beans, cooked or canned (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup corn, frozen or canned (drained)
  • 1/2 cup salsa (your favorite kind)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (how to shred your own cheese)

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Lay out the tortillas on a cutting board or clean surface. Evenly distribute the rice, beans, corn, salsa, and cheese among each one. Roll up like a burrito, tucking in the bottom and top and rolling tightly. Wrap each burrito in foil. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  3. Bake directly on an oven rack for about 15-20 minutes, until hot all the way through.

Freeze For Later: Follow Steps 1 and 2. Then, place the uncooked wraps in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

Prepare From Frozen: To heat from frozen, you have two options:

Option 1 (Oven): Cook according to Step 3, adding about 10-15 minutes on to baking time. So, the total baking time will be about 25-35 minutes.

Option 2 (Microwave): Remove the foil, wrap in a moist paper towel, and microwave in 30-60 second increments until heated through.

Healthy Slow Cooker Turkey Chili (with Sweet Potato and Black Beans!)

By Rachel Tiemeyer

This lean turkey chili is not only hearty and absolutely delicious, but it’s also chock full of fiber, protein, and nutrients. It’s also gluten-free & dairy-free! This crockpot chili is delicious fresh but is also a great make ahead meal.

‘Tis the season for a good, healthy slow cooker recipe!

In the midst of heavy holiday meals and baked goods, this Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans is…hmmm…refreshing.

Can chili be refreshing? Well, not like refreshing in as a cold drink on a hot day. But, it definitely qualifies as a welcomed break from the overindulgent foods of late. It was a winner and will be a regular in our winter menu planning for sure. The jalapeño lends just the right amount of heat without being overpowering. It’s perfect for a comforting weeknight dinner and then leftovers for lunch the next day.

What Makes this Turkey Chili Healthy?


This lean turkey chili is not only hearty and absolutely delicious, but it’s also chock full of fiber, protein, and nutrients.

Here are some of the powerhouse ingredients in this delicious, yet, oh-so-healthy chili:

Is it Gluten-Free & Dairy Free?

You bet! This is a great recipe for anyone trying to minimize gluten and diary in their diet. Just skip the sour cream topping at the end and you have yourself a super healthy bowl of chili!

How Long do I Cook Turkey Chili in the Slow Cooker?

To make sure those sweet potatoes get cooked, this chili will need to cook on low for at least 6-8 hours. The shorter the time it cooks, the more firm the sweet potatoes will be. The longer, the softer.

You can also cook it on high for 5-6 but I prefer to cook it on low.

Turkey chili in the slow cooker

After testing hundreds of recipes for our cookbook, From Freezer to Cooker, we have narrowed down the perfect cooking times for almost all types of slow cooker meals. Be sure to download our cheat sheet below!

Can I Freeze Turkey Chili?

You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for an easy, healthy freezer meal. It holds up incredibly well in the freezer! It’s one of my favorite soups to make at the beginning of the week and freeze for lunches.

There are two ways to make this a freezer meal:

  1. Fully cook and cool the soup and freeze it in small containers. Use one of our safe thawing methods when you want to eat it!
  2. Prepare it so it will be ready to dump in the slow cooker later. Here’s how:

Follow step 1, but set the sweet potato aside to cool instead of transferring it to the slow cooker. Follow step 2 and let the meat mixture cool. Transfer the sweet potatoes and meat mixture to a gallon-size freezer bag or container and add the broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 ⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Seal, toss gently to combine, and freeze.

To prepare from frozen, thawing and transfer the chili to the slow cooker. Follow steps 4 and 5.

Pro Tip: I love using Super Cubes (like in the photo above) for freezing soups.

How to Make Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Alright, now that you are equipped with all of the turkey chili knowledge you will ever need, time to get cooking! Just follow the recipe below and let us know if you have any questions! Be sure to check out our round-up of 25+ Slow Cooker Recipes that feed a crowd!

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Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Sweet Potato and Black Beans

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 46 1x
  • Category: Chili
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This lean chili is not only hearty and absolutely delicious, but it’s also chock full of fiber, protein, and nutrients. The jalapeño lends just the right amount of heat without being overpowering. It’s perfect for a comforting weeknight dinner and then leftovers for lunch the next day.


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil, divided
  • 3 cups peeled and diced sweet potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes)
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (15 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, liquid and all
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 ounce) cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Topping for serving: hot sauce, diced avocado, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheddar, diced onions, salsa, thinly sliced green onion, etc.

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. In a large pan over medium to medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and sauté diced sweet potatoes for about 5 minutes, until just softened. Season lightly with salt and pepper while sautéing. Add sweet potato mixture to slow cooker insert.
  2. Turn up heat to medium-high. In same pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sauté the onions, jalapeño pepper, garlic and ground turkey, stirring and breaking up the meat. Cook until meat is cooked through (no longer pink) and onions softened, about 4-5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper while sautéing. Drain off any grease. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  3. Add meat mixture and remaining ingredients (chili powder through black beans) to the slow cooker insert, stirring until well combined.
  4. Slow cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  5. Taste and adjust salt and pepper amounts. Add hot sauce to increase heat at the end, if desired. Serve topped with your favorite chili toppings (diced avocado, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, shredded cheddar, diced onions, etc.).

Freezer For Later: Complete recipe through Step 2. Add the cooked and cooled meat and vegetables to a gallon-sized freezer bag or container. Then, add the remaining ingredients (chili powder through black beans) to the same bag. Seal, toss gently to mix, and freeze.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator. Cook according to instructions beginning with Step 4.


Notes

Instant Pot Instructions: Follow steps 1-2 in the recipe, sautéing the sweet potatoes, onion, jalapeño, garlic, and ground turkey directly in the Instant Pot (using the Sauté function). Press Cancel. Then, stir in the remaining ingredients (chili powder through black beans). Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes with a quick release of the pressure when done.

Healthy slow cooker turkey chili being scooped out of a white bowl

Potato Corn Chowder ( Autumn Chowder)

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Thanks to the cheddar cheese and bacon, this veggie-loaded potato chowder tastes so rich. This soup is easy to assemble and the leftovers can be easily frozen. A one pot comfort food that you’ll be making all winter long!

Potato Corn Chowder in a dark bowl

Done. I will be making this Potato Chowder every fall from here on out.

My friend Jeannette has been singing the praises of this soup for quite some time, but I didn’t believe her until I tried it for myself. This chowder is full of vegetables, yet has a creamy, richness thanks to a bit of crispy bacon, milk, and freshly shredded cheddar. My husband and two of the three kids gave it a thumbs up. At least the picky eater enjoyed the potatoes in it. 🙂

How to Make Potato Corn Chowder

Fry up some bacon!

I mean, if any recipes starts with bacon, I’m in. We recommend using uncured bacon but no matter the type, dice it up and throw it in a large pot to fry up.

Bacon frying in a large metal pot

After bacon is done and crispy, set it aside, drain off most of the grease. Now toss in some diced onion and garlic. Your kitchen will be smelling pretty phenomenal at this point.

Sauteed onions in a pot

After those cook for a bit, you’ll add in some chicken broth, your cooked bacon, diced carrots, and potatoes. That will simmer for about 20 minutes or until veggies are tender.

OK, so your veggies have cooked. Time to add in some more goodness.

Milk, corn, and cheese for example! This cheese is actually tossed with a little flour before tossing it in.

Make sure to stir the cheese in very slowly or else it will clump up and not melt in smoothly.

Shredded cheddar cheese being stirring into a pot

Stir it all up and either eat it now or you can pop it in the fridge to have later!

Do I have to peel the potatoes for this soup?

Nope! Because we’re using Yukon potatoes in this recipe, there is no need to peel them. Their peel is so thin and tender, you won’t even notice they are there. What a huge time saver!

Diced yukon potatoes

Can I freeze chowder?

Absolutely! Having a stash of frozen soup is one of our favorite types of freezer meals.

If you want to turn this Potato Corn Chowder into a freezer meal, simply let it cool and freeze it either in small containers or a large one.

Small portions allow for individual meals down the road. Much like our freezer meal recipes for 1-2 people, this one works great to pop out for lunches or to pass on to anyone who may need a meal. We recommend using Souper Cubes for small portion freezer meals.

Stack of freezer meals.

If you freeze in a large airtight container, you have a whole meal ready to pop out and make when you need one on a busy night. We recommend a freezer storage bag and freezing it flat to save freezer space.

Then, when you’re ready to eat it, thaw completely in the fridge and warm over low heat on the stove or in the microwave.

What to Serve with Potato Corn Chowder

  • I love to have oyster crackers with potato based soups like this one.
  • Salads! Our Autumn Chopped Salad would be amazing with this one!

We hope this delicious Potato Corn Chowder (aka Autumn Chowder) warms you through and provides some comfort this week!

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Potato Corn Chowder

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Comfort in a bowl. A great dinner idea for the entire family. Freezer friendly too!


Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb bacon, chopped (I use uncured)
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups diced Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 cups carrots, sliced
  • 2 cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • optional: parsley, chopped

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. In a large stock pot, cook bacon over medium-high heat, until crispy (but not over cooked), about 4-5 minutes. Remove bacon and put on a plate that’s covered with paper towels (to absorb grease). If you want, wipe out some of the grease from the pot.
  2. Add  the onions and garlic to the same pot and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. 
  3. Stir in the chicken broth, cooked bacon, potatoes, carrots, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Put a lid on and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  4. Stir in milk and corn and heat until simmering. Meanwhile, toss shredded cheese with flour in a bowl.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat. Slowly stir in the cheese to the soup, stirring constantly in a figure 8 pattern until cheese is melted.
  6. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, as desired. (Note: If your soup is too thick, you can add more milk or stock to thin it out and then warm through. Be sure to adjust seasoning accordingly.)
  7. Serve warm. Top with a little chopped parsley for a color and taste pop.

Freeze for Later: Follow Steps 1-6. After the soup cools, place in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container (or in individual servings). Try to remove as much air as possible and seal it well before placing in the freezer.

Prepare From Frozen: To reheat, thaw 24-48 hours in the fridge (preferred method) or by using the defrost setting on the microwave. Then, warm chowder over low or medium-low heat on the stove, gently stirring occasionally.

Potato Corn Chowder in bowls

Southwest Chicken Tenders

By Rachel Tiemeyer

This southwest chicken recipe is sure to please all the eaters in your house. It’s easy, healthy, freezer-friendly, and full of flavor but not spicy. You can bake it or–even better–grill it!

Southwest Chicken tenders on a white plate and on the grill

These Southwest Chicken Tenders take main stage in our Southwest Chicken and Bacon Wraps and Southwest Chicken Burrito Bowls recipes. However, we’ve also learned that they are delicious on a salad or a chicken sandwich. There are so many ways to use them.

How to Make Southwest Chicken Tenders

Just check out how easily this southwest chicken recipe comes together…

Do I have to use chicken tenders for this Southwest Chicken recipe?

Heavens, no! We know our readers love versatility. The marinade will work for almost any cut of chicken. You can use it on:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Drumsticks
  • Thighs
  • And, of course, tenders.
southwest chicken marinade in a freezer bag with chicken breasts

What Ingredients are in the marinade?

As a mom of three younger kids, what I love about this marinade is that it’s so very flavorful but not too spicy. The resulting meal is a home run with all ages. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Avocado or olive oil – Use a fairly neutral oil keeps things moist without an overpowering flavor.
  • Apple cider vinegar – Cider vinegar adds a delicious twist on the acid component but white vinegar will work.
  • Fresh chopped cilantro (or parsley) – Adds a pop of green and fresh flavor. Use dried parsley (half the amount) as a sub.
  • Chili powder – Smoky, subtle heat from ground chilis. Flavor can vary between brands.
  • Garlic powder – This pantry staple adds big (and convenient) garlic flavor that rounds out the whole marinade.
  • Ground cumin – Love this smoky yet not spicy addition.
  • Dried oregano – Crush in your hand before adding to release the oils in this dried herb.
  • Salt – A must in any chicken marinade.
  • Ground black pepper – Gives a little bite. Add more if you’d like.
Ingredients in a southwest chicken recipe

Can I Freeze Southwest Chicken Tenders?

YES YES YES!

This recipe is one of my go-to freezer meals. It’s so easy to scale up and make multiple batches at once.

HOW TO FREEZE:

Combine all ingredients except the chicken tenders in a large freezer bag, seal, and shake. Add chicken tenders, seal tightly, and shake again. Label and freeze.

HOW TO THAW AND PREPARE:

Place the frozen chicken in the fridge and let thaw for about 24 hours. If you need your chicken defrosted sooner, use one of these safe thawing methods.

Southwest Chicken recipe in a freezer bag
 

How Should I Cook Southwest Chicken Tenders?

The two best ways to prepare southwest chicken tenders are:

Grill it!

Grill chicken tenders over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes per side. Chicken is done when there is no longer any pink inside or it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. (source)

Bake it!

Bake at 425°F for about 15 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking time. Chicken is done when there is no longer any pink inside or it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. (source)

Southwestern Chicken on a grill

How Should I Serve Southwest Chicken Tenders?

Here are some ways to use your chicken tenders:

  1. Serve them in Southwest Chicken and Bacon Wraps. This is my personal favorite, and I make it all the time for groups.

2. Use it for Southwest Chicken Burrito Bowls. We love this option, because everyone can personalize their own bowl.

3. Turn it into a chicken sandwich like the Gourmet Grilled Chicken Sandwich.

Create the ultimate chicken sandwiches for any weeknight by prepping and freezing all the components ahead of time. This well-seasoned, versatile grilled chicken also works to top pasta or salads.

4. Dice the chicken and use on top of a salad, perhaps with our Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette.

However you serve it, be sure to double and freeze a batch for later. Your crew is going to love this southwest chicken recipe!

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Southwest Chicken Tenders

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 23 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These southwest chicken tenders are sure to please all the eaters in your house. They are full of flavor but not spicy. 


Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1/3 cup apple cider or white vinegar (Gluten-Free: Make sure your vinegar is gluten-free.)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Combine all ingredients except the chicken tenders in a large zip top bag and shake. Add chicken tenders and shake again. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  2. Place bag in a dish and set in the refrigerator. Let chicken marinate for 2 and up to 24 hours, occasionally turning the bag to evenly distribute the marinade.
  3. Cook the chicken using one of the following two methods. Chicken is done when you cut into it and there is no more pink or it registers 165°F internally. Do not overcook. 
    1. OPTION ONE: GRILLING – Grill chicken tenders over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes per side. 
    2. OPTION TWO: BAKING – Bake at 425°F for about 15 minutes, flipping half way through. 

Freeze For Later: Follow Step 1. Seal and freeze.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw using one of these safe thawing methods. Cook the chicken according to Step 3.

Southwest chicken tenders after being grilled

Make Ahead Banana Breakfast Cake

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Banana Breakfast Cake is my dream breakfast. My whole family likes it, it’s full of nutritious yet simple ingredients, and it works perfectly to double the batch to make a breakfast freezer meal. 

Make Ahead Banana Breakfast Cake

I’ve been making this breakfast cake for YEARS. It’s one of my go-to make ahead breakfast recipe ideas that my whole family will devour.

Think moist, sweet banana bread but in a cake form. I love to warm it up a bit and serve with a little bit of butter.

The best part: It is filled with banana and sneaky sweet potato! YES, you can get your crew to eat sweet potato for breakfast!

What’s in Banana Breakfast Cake?

As I mentioned before, this breakfast cake is made with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Bananas – The riper the better. Pro-tip: You can freeze ripe bananas for recipes like this! Here’s how to freeze bananas.
  • Cooked sweet potato – You can also substitute canned pumpkin or cooked butternut squash for sweet potato.
  • White Whole Wheat Flour – Please note that this is not just whole wheat flour. It needs to be WHITE WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR variety. If you don’t have that, you can use half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour as a substitute.
  • Coconut oil – Make sure it’s melted or substitute avocado oil.
  • Plain Greek yogurt – You can use full fat sour cream instead, if you want.
  • Mini Chocolate Chips – I’ve used dark chocolate chips before and loved it!
  • Standard baking ingredients: Eggs, vanilla, sugar (I used coconut sugar), baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Slice of banana breakfast cake on a plate

One thing worth noting on this recipe is that you will need a blender. This makes the batter SUPER smooth and hides all the sneaky produce.

How do I Freeze Banana Breakfast Cake?

We are huge fans of make ahead freezer meals. Not only have we written two freezer meal cookbooks, but we have a huge collection of freezer meals that are delicious, healthy, and easy! Banana Breakfast Cake is a recipe that freezes beautifully.

If you are already busting out all of the ingredients and utensils to make this breakfast cake, you might as well make two batches and freeze one for later. Here’s how:

TO FREEZE BREAKFAST CAKE: Bake breakfast cake just until done. Cool completely. Either cover the baking dish tightly in a few layers of foil or plastic wrap or carefully lift the cake out of the baking dish and wrap in several layers of foil or plastic wrap, pressing as much air out as you can.

TO PREPARE BREAKFAST CAKE FROM FROZEN: Thaw on the counter. Warm a slice in the microwave for 15-20 seconds and top with a pat of butter, if desired.

Banana breakfast cake in an 8x8 dish

What Should I Serve with Banana Breakfast Cake?

Our smoothies would be a perfect pairing with breakfast cake. Choose from one of the following flavors!

Another idea would be Oven-Baked Bacon. It comes out perfectly every time using our baking method.

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Banana Breakfast Cake

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: one 8x8 pan 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A deliciously moist banana cake that makes a healthy snack or breakfast. You will be surprised how fast your family will empty the dish on this one!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (sub: 1 cup wheat flour + 1 cup all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I often use unrefined coconut sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cooked and mashed (about 1 cup) (sub: pumpkin puree or butternut squash puree)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (sub: avocado oil or melted butter)
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (sub: sour cream)
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips (I used carob chips, since they are low in sugar and dairy-free)

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Spray an 8×8 inch baking dish (or a 9×13 baking dish, but note the shorter cooking time) with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a blender, combine the bananas, sweet potato, eggs, vanilla, coconut oil, and yogurt. Blend until smooth. (If needed, add just a splash of milk to help the blender get moving.)
  4. Using a spatula to clean out the blender, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir gently with a spoon just until combined (do not over mix). Batter will be thick. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread evenly using a spatula.
  6. Bake for about 35-40 minutes (for a 9×12, bake 25-28 minutes). It’s done when a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool completely.

Freeze For Later: Bake breakfast cake just until done. Cool completely. Either cover the baking dish tightly in a few layers of foil or plastic wrap or carefully lift the cake out of the baking dish and wrap in several layers of foil or plastic wrap, pressing as much air out as you can.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw on the counter. Warm a slice in the microwave for 15-20 seconds and top with a pat of butter, if desired.

Young boy holding banana breakfast cake

Want more make ahead freezer meal breakfasts? Hop over to our freezer meal index and browse around!

10 Easy Recipes for the Beginner Cook

By Polly Conner

These 10 beginner recipes are a perfect place to start for any new cook!

10 easy recipes for beginner cooks

We all had to start somewhere.

When young gals tell me they have no idea how to cook, my advice to them is, “Take one recipe at a time.”

Aside from a few basics I learned from my parents, that is how I learned. And now I have two cookbooks!!

Free Cooking Cheat Sheets

If you’re looking for a few resources to have on hand to help you in the kitchen, make sure you check out these free resources:

10 Recipes for the Beginning Cook

This roundup is for the peeps out there who just need some starter recipes. These are a collection of simple recipes that will make you look and feel like a skilled chef or baker.

If you’re seasoned in the kitchen (no pun intended), pass this post on to the person in your life that has declared they can’t cook. Pass it on to the college student or the newlywed who has all new kitchen gadgets but no idea how to use them. Hopefully, it will empower some self-declared non-cooks out there!

1) Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Simple and delicious. Simply layer a few ingredients together and bake. This will quickly become a go-to recipe in your home. Like the slow cooker? Then, try our Chicken Parmesan Sliders instead.

Chicken parmesan casserole in white bowls

Newbie Tip: Buy a fully-cooked rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, pull off the meat, and you’ve got an even quicker and easier meal. Hey, and don’t forget to save the chicken bones to make some broth to freeze for later. Wow, you’re really cooking now!

2) Oven Roasted Broccoli

Once you’ve had broccoli this way, you will never go back. I wish I would have known about this trick 10 years ago. I would have eaten many more veggies back in the day.

Oven roasted broccoli

3) Powerball Cookies

These healthier, no-bake cookies are super easy to put together. I love to freeze them and pull a few out at a time to have as an afternoon snack. No baking necessary!

Hand grabbing a powerball cookie

4) Ham and Cheese Sliders

This has become my “people are coming over” dish of choice. Simple ingredients, easy to assemble and make ahead of time, and impressive in taste.

Hand pulling out a ham and cheese slider from a white dish

5) Homemade Granola

SO many people have asked me for this recipe over the years. Most are amazed at how simple and easy it is to make, too. Store for weeks in the fridge for a quick and healthy breakfast or snack.

Homemade granola in a jar

6) Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

Who doesn’t love a simple BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich with moist shredded meat? After a day in the slow cooker, this shredded pork is a total crowd pleaser. Not only is it an easy dump and go meal for the Crockpot but it also makes a great make-ahead freezer meal!

Slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches

7) Southwest Grilled Chicken Tenders

We LOVE this recipe. I didn’t realize how easy it was to make either! Impressive results for very little work and cooking skills. Once you’ve made the chicken tenders, you can toss them into Southwest Chicken Bacon Wraps or Southwest Chicken Burritos Bowls.

Southwest chicken tenders on a white plate

8) Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

This pantry staple Vegetarian Tortilla Soup recipe is a meatless “one pot wonder” that I’ve been making and freezing for years for my family. Filled with beans, tomatoes, chilis, corn, and more, it only gets better the longer it sits in the fridge.

Vegetarian tortilla soup

9) Easy Breakfast Casserole Muffins

A great recipe to kick off the day! Assemble a few ingredients and simply bake. You can customize it to what ingredients you like. These refrigerate well, so make them ahead of time and enjoy all week long. You may also like our Oven Omelet.

Easy Breakfast Casserole muffins

10) Slow Cooker Chicken and Cheese Taquitos

Slow cooker chicken and cheese taquitos is a delicious meal that the whole family will love! Be sure to make a double batch for the freezer. Then, you can pull out however many you want and throw them directly in the oven for a quick weeknight dinner.

slow cooker taquitos

Bonus: Baked Oatmeal with Fruit

Oh, my blessed baked oatmeal. Everyone should have this recipe in their back pocket. It’s hearty and packed with good ingredients to start your day. Try our other variations too:

healthy baked oatmeal recipe

Make sure to pin these recipes to your food boards!

Want more easy recipe ideas? Check out our 30+ Kid Friendly Freezer Meals!

Asian Slaw

By Rachel Tiemeyer

This light, flavorful Asian slaw is a delicious, healthy side dish that is perfect for the spring and summer months. Serve it with some grilled chicken, corn on the cob, and watermelon and you have yourself a perfect meal.

Asian Slaw

A Short Video of How Asian Slaw Comes Together:

Asian Slaw makes a perfect light side for a summer dinner or a “no mayo” salad for an outdoor BBQ. It’s made with fresh veggies and gives that satisfying crunch while still providing tons of flavor. Here is a short video of how it comes together!

Asian Slaw in a white bowl

You know that delicious slaw salad made from Oriental Ramen Noodles? Well, unfortunately, that recipe is usually full of processed ingredients and MSG.

The good news is, my friend Carla took a stab at making a homemade version of that dressing. I then tweaked the recipe resulting in a delicious Asian Slaw recipe that is healthy and still awesome-tasting according to our husbands and friends.

What’s in Asian Slaw?

The ingredients in Asian Slaw are quite simple and require very little prep. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cabbage slaw mix
  • Chopped green onion
  • Almond slivers or slices
  • Dried cranberries
  • Sunflower seeds
  • 1 crisp pear or apple
  • Optional: grilled chicken

You could also toss in some edamame, peanuts, or snow peas. Play with it! Have fun!

The dressing has a handful of ingredients that you likely have in your pantry.

Ingredients for Asian Slaw

What to Serve with Asian Slaw?

While this recipe can be used any time of the year, I seem to gravitate towards it in the summer time. Here are some ideas that it would pair well with:

Print

Asian Slaw

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings for main dish; 6-8 servings as a side dish 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This light, flavorful Asian slaw is a delicious, healthy side dish that is perfect for the spring and summer months. Serve it with some grilled chicken, corn on the cob, and watermelon and you have yourself a perfect meal.


Ingredients

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup avocado or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 4 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Slaw Ingredients:

  • 16 oz bag of cabbage slaw mix
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers or slices
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 crisp pear or apple, diced in small chunks
  • Optional: 1 1/2 lbs grilled chicken, diced

Instructions

  1. Combine the dressing ingredients in a sealed jar and shake until combined. Chill in the fridge while making the rest of the salad.
  2. Toast the almonds at 350°F for about 5-10 minutes until lightly browned. Watch closely so they don’t burn.
  3. Approximately 30 minutes before serving, combine the slaw ingredients and then toss with part of the dressing. Taste and then add more dressing, as needed.
  4. Optional: To add grilled chicken, make a second batch of the dressing. Marinate chicken breasts in that mixture for 1-2 hours and discard the marinade. Grill chicken over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, turning once, until internal temperature reaches 165°F. Let rest for 5 minutes and then slice on against the grain and top the Asian Slaw.
Asian Slaw in a white bowl on a cutting board

Salmon and Sweet Potato Cakes

By Rachel Tiemeyer

These salmon and sweet potato cakes are packed with nutrition and flavor! Enjoy them as a sandwich or a la carte. Freezing instructions included!

salmon cakes on a plate with lettuce and tartar sauce

I love cooking shows. And, there’s one Food Network star who will always have a special place in my heart. Can you guess who?

Rach, of course! I watched 30 Minute Meals pretty consistently for over 10 years. Honestly, a large majority of what I know in the kitchen, from tips to ingredients to technique, I learned directly from her.

I saw Rachael Ray make a similar version of these Salmon and Sweet Potato Cakes on her show and knew I had to try them. Over the years, I’ve made these few times and tweaked the recipe to make it a little more user-friendly.

Why I Love These Salmon Cakes

I love them because they are super nutritious, my kids will actually eat them(!), and they freeze nicely so I can make a big batch for later. Don’t worry, there’s no fishy-ness in these cakes. All the different flavors and textures make them absolutely great, in my opinion.

How to Make Salmon and Sweet Potato Cakes

Check out how easily this recipe comes together!

What Ingredients are in Salmon and Sweet Potato Cakes?

This delicious recipe uses two of the best super foods on the planet!

Wild Salmon Filets – The big gun ingredient is the Omega 3-rich wild salmon which the American diet is sorely lacking in. The salmon provides heart-healthy fat and lots of protein.

Note: Be sure to buy WILD salmon, NOT farm-raised salmon. That’s because many studies have shown there are 10 times as many PCBs in farmed fish. Dr. Sanjay Gupta in an article here says,

Basically, that’s a reflection of how much pesticides, antibiotics, other contaminants are used in raising these farmed fish. There’s higher pesticide levels in the farmed fish….They actually raise these farmed fish (with large numbers in pens) … You actually have to give them antibiotics. And a lot of the PCBs and toxins are all part of the farming process that are used to try and keep these fish free of disease….sometimes even inject fish like salmon with red dye or pink dye to make them look more pink, more like their wild counterparts.

– Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Wild Salmon is readily available and affordable in most grocery stores now, but the tastiest Wild salmon I’ve had is from ButcherBox. It’s where I get all of my meat, because they offer affordable, healthy (and delicious!) meat from small farmers that is delivered to my doorstep on my schedule. (Cancel any time.)

Sweet Potato Puree – One of the top super foods in the world, packed with plenty of minerals, fiber, vitamins, and phytonutrients that help both your body and mind.  The sweet potato helps as a binder (instead of mayo!) and lends a slightly sweet taste.

You can find sweet potato puree in a can or you can easily make your own. Simply poke some holes in a few sweet potatoes using a knife. Place them in the microwave and cook in 2 minute increments. Turn the potatoes between increments and cook until soft and tender all the way through. Use a knife to check. Mine usually take about 5 minutes.

Other Ingredients:

  • Seafood seasoning – Recommended: Old Bay Seasoning.
  • Whole wheat crackers – Panko breadcrumbs would work instead.
  • Egg – Helps to bind the mixture.
  • Fresh thyme leaves and fresh parsley – These fresh herbs add depth of flavor.
  • Scallions or green onions – Adds a little pungent flavor
  • Hot sauce – Optional, but lends a touch of heat.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – Another heart-healthy oil that you’ll use to grease the pan.

How to Serve Salmon Cakes

First of all, I’d highly recommend making our Avocado Aioli sauce to top these cakes. The creaminess and beautiful color of the sauce contrasts well with the warm, crispy salmon patties. You can also use an all-natural Tartar Sauce for serving, if you want.

My kids liked them on mini buns with a slice of cheese on top, like a burger. I ate these Salmon and Sweet Potato Cakes a la carte with some of the Avocado Aioli sauce on top. Delicious!

With these salmon cakes as the center piece of your meal, all you need are a few simple, healthy sides. Here are a few ideas:

How to Freeze Salmon Cakes

It’s easy to freeze salmon cakes. They turn out tasting just like you made them fresh, if you freeze them this way:

Freeze For Later: Put the salmon cakes together, but do not cook them. Freeze in a freezer bag or container in a single layer. If stacking patties, divide single layers with parchment paper.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw completely in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. Then cook according to the directions.

More Salmon Recipes:

Here are few more salmon recipes from our collection you might enjoy…

Salmon and Sweet Potato Cakes Recipe

Print

Salmon and Sweet Potato Cakes

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 24 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 mins
  • Total Time: 26 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Skillet
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Description

These salmon and sweet potato cakes are packed with nutrition and flavor! Enjoy them as a sandwich or a la carte. With a small amount of effort, you’ll make a meal your family is sure to love.


Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato, cooked and mashed* (about 1 cup)
  • 3 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
  • 1 quart (4 cups) chicken broth (sub: water)
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat crackers, crushed into crumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 scallions or green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Bring the broth to a boil in a large skillet or pot over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. 
  2. Season salmon fillets lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Carefully lower them down into the liquid, making sure they are submerged. (Note: If the broth doesn’t cover the top of the filets, add just enough water to make sure they are covered.) Poach until the salmon is opaque, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the salmon to a mixing bowl and flake the fish with a fork. Add in the mashed sweet potatoes, seafood seasoning, half of the cracker crumbs, the egg, thyme, hot sauce, scallions, and parsley. Using your hands or a fork, combine until the mixture is firm enough to mold into cakes. (If it’s too wet, add a few more cracker crumbs.)
  4. Add the remaining cracker crumbs to a plate. Form the salmon mixture into four (4-inch) patties or eight (2-inch) patties and coat in the cracker crumbs on both sides. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  5. Discard the liquid from the skillet and wipe it clean. In that same skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmery.
  6. Cook the fish cakes until light golden, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
  7. Serving suggestion: Serve with tartar sauce for dipping or serve on buns with cheese on top, like a burger.

Freeze For Later: Follow Steps 1-4. Freeze in a freezer bag or container in a single layer. If stacking patties, divide single layers with parchment paper.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw completely. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Follow Steps 5-7.


Notes

*To cook and mash the sweet potato: Wash and dry it. Poke several holes around it using a knife, so steam can release while it cooks. Microwave it for 2 minutes. Flip it over and microwave another 2-3 minutes, until soft all the way through. Test doneness by inserting a knife into the middle. It should give easily.

Egg-in-a-Hole: A Classic Breakfast Idea

By Polly Conner
Eggs in a hole on a plate

Why I love Eggs-in-a-Hole

There are quite a few reasons this mama loves a good ‘ol egg-in-a-hole for breakfast.

  • It’s quick and easy to make. It’s one of my go-to weekday breakfasts.
  • It’s cheap. All you need are a few pantry ingredients: eggs, butter and bread.
  • It’s got protein. I find it hard to get healthy protein in the morning and I know that a crash will come mid-morning if I only eat carbs for breakfast.
  • If you use whole wheat bread, it is an entire breakfast of real food ingredients. No additives or mystery ingredients.
  • Lastly, my whole family likes it! It’s a recipe that any age can be happy about.
Eggs in a hole sliced on a plate

Making an egg-in-a-hole is very simple. Just fry an egg inside of a piece of bread.

However, since I have made eggs-in-a-hole seemingly hundreds of times, I’ve learned a few tricks that have perfected the process. The detailed instructions below are to help you see exactly what I do when I make them but I wanted to make sure you knew it doesn’t have to be complicated AND you don’t have to do it exactly like me.

Onward!

How to Make a Great Egg-in-a-Hole (+ some pro tips!)

Using a round cutter of some type, remove a circle from the inside of a piece of bread. (Tip: if you don’t have a cutter, you can use the top of a drinking glass or mason jar!)

Bread with a hole cut out of the center

Set your “roundies” (as we like to call them) aside.

Now this tip is very important for the next step: use softened butter. We always have some out on our counter and it comes in handy!

Softened butter

Spread the softened butter on ONE side of your bread. Just one. Trust me. You’ll understand later.

bread with holes cut out of the center

Depending on the size of your skillet or pan, warm 1-2 tablespoons of butter on medium-high heat. It should be to the point that it will sizzle when you put something on it. Mine usually takes about 5 minutes on medium to get to this point. If it starts smoking, remove it from the heat and let it cool down a touch.

You want to have enough butter to coat the majority of the pan’s surface. Once it starts melting, tip your pan around so the butter spreads all over it.

butter melting on a pan

Now, place your bread, butter side up on the pan.

Eggs in a hole cooking

Crack an egg into each of the holes.

It is at this point that you have options.

Eggs in a hole cooking

I know as an adult, I’m supposed to like runny yolks but I just don’t and neither do my kids. So when I make them for us, after I crack the egg, I break the yolk of the egg open and let it spill out. 

If I’m making them for my husband, I let the yolk remain intact because he likes it a little oozy.

Eggs in a hole cooking

Sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper.

After a few minutes, flip and cook the other side to your desired level of doneness.

Eggs in a hole cooking

Don’t forget to cook up your roundies as well! If you have extra butter in the pan, use them to soak it up. I usually have to add more to the pan and even to the roundies. Let them toast on the pan and then give them a flip after a few minutes.

Eggs in a hole cooking

Customize your roundies to what you typically like on toast.

Eggs in a hole cooking

I like strawberry jam or apple butter. My daughter likes honey. Some may like cinnamon sugar. Or you can just be boring and eat them plain. They are still delicious. It’s up to you!

I like to add avocado slices to my eggs-in-a-hole too sometimes!

That’s it! Told you it was super simple. Now just serve it with some perfectly cooked bacon and you’ll be dominating breakfast time!

Eggs in a hole on a plate
Print

Egg-in-a-Hole: A Classic Breakfast Idea

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Skillet
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A cheap, simple and easy breakfast idea that the whole family will enjoy. Try these and they’re sure to become your new family favorite.


Ingredients

  • Softened butter
  • Eggs
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Using a biscuit cutter, remove a circle out of the middle of a piece of bread and set it aside.
  2. Generously butter one side of the bread.
  3. Warm 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. (The more the better!)
  4. Place bread on skillet, butter side up.
  5. Crack an egg into the middle of the circle.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let it cook a few minutes on each side.

Notes

Don’t forget to toast the round circles you cut out!

Add some sliced avocado over your egg-in-a-hole for some extra nutrition.

Eggs in a hole on a plate

More Easy Breakfast Ideas You’ll Love

Swing by our recipe index for more easy breakfast ideas!

Freezer Friendly Chicken Spaghetti

By Polly Conner

Chicken spaghetti is an easy, cheesy, make-it-again-soon-please, casserole that your whole family will love. We teach you how to make it fresh AND how to prep it to be a freezer meal. A great meal for groups of people too!

Freezer friendly chicken spaghetti

Chicken Casserole: A Family Favorite Dinner

When I made this chicken spaghetti recipe for the first time last week, my husband ate it for about 5 meals in a row and proceeded to ask me to make it again the next week.

My kids eagerly scarfed it down as well. Tonight’s batch ended up on about every area of exposed skin on my 18 month old, but I take that as a sign he liked it. Needless to say, this recipe is a keeper!

While this chicken casserole recipe is baked in a 9×13 dish, I oftentimes split it into two, 8×8 dishes and freeze one for later. More on that soon though!

Chicken spaghetti with a side salad

Short Video Tutorial for Making Chicken Spaghetti

How to Make Chicken Spaghetti

Here is what you’ll need:

Ingredients for chicken spaghetti

Ingredients ready? Let’s do this.

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, until al dente (slightly undercooked). Undercooking it keeps it from getting mushy while baking. This is especially important to do if you are going to make this a freezer meal.

While that pasta is cooking is a great time to sautee those chopped veggies. Multitasking is your friend for this recipe.

In a large mixing bowl, gently stir together the cooked pasta, cream of mushroom soup, chicken broth, chicken, veggies and seasoning.

Now please take note of this: Add in only 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. I always get moving too fast and add it ALL in at this point. You need some to sprinkle over the top so restrain yourself!

Chicken spaghetti being prepared in a mixing bowl

Here it is all mixed up. Yum. Or yuck. Not sure.

Either split it up between two 8×8 dishes or put it all in one 9×13 dish. Top with remaining cheese. Assuming you listened to my warning above about not mixing in all of the cheese, that is.

Chicken spaghetti prepped for the freezer

How to Freeze Chicken Spaghetti

Freeze for Later: Here’s the fun part: If you have split it into two 8×8 dishes, you’ve just made two dinners! To freeze one of the 8×8 Chicken Spaghetti portions, simply wrap it tightly or place a lid (if you have one) on your baking dish. (Here are the freezing containers we use and recommend for recipes like this.) You can freeze it for 4+ months! Even longer if you’ve packaged it well.

Prepare From Frozen: Place frozen casserole into the fridge and let thaw for 24+ hours. Follow step 5!

Chicken spaghetti on a white plate with green salad

What to Serve with Chicken Spaghetti

Here are some recipe ideas that would go well with your Chicken Spaghetti:

Done and done.

Print

Chicken Spaghetti

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Freezer Meal
  • Method: Casserole
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This freezer-friendly Chicken Spaghetti Casserole will keep your family coming back for more deliciousness. 


Ingredients

  • 1 pound whole wheat pasta
  • Two (10 and 3/4-ounce) cans organic cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 23 chicken breasts, fully cooked and chopped or shredded (roughly 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1 small or medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt, such as Lawry’s Seasoned Salt or use this DIY recipe
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar, divided

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish or two 8×8 dishes with cooking spray.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, until al dente (slightly undercooked). When the pasta is done, drain it in a colander over the sink.
  3. While pasta is cooking, saute the bell peppers & onions in a bit of olive oil until they begin to soften (about 4-5 minutes).
  4. In a large mixing bowl, gently stir together the cooked pasta with the cream of mushroom soup, chicken broth, chicken, sauteed veggies, seasoned salt, cayenne, and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Sprinkle it all with salt and pepper, to your preference.
  5. Place the mixture in the dish (or dishes) and top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  6. Bake until bubbly around the edges, about 40-45 minutes. (If the cheese on top starts to get too dark, cover with foil.)

Freeze For Later: Follow steps 1-5 (do not bake). Cover the casserole dishes with a few layers of plastic wrap and foil. Squeeze out any excess air and freeze.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw. (Here are three safe ways to thaw freezer meals.) Follow step 6. If it’s still slightly frozen in the middle, you’ll just have to cook it longer than the recipe calls for or defrost a bit in the microwave before baking. Cover it with foil if the top gets too brown in the oven.


Notes

We get our meat from ButcherBox*. The chicken is organic, curated from small, trusted farms, and absolutely delicious. We highly recommend this service to source all your healthy meat, from grass-fed beef to uncured bacon, and have used it for years ourselves. *Disclaimer: We are an affiliate of ButcherBox.

Freezer friendly chicken spaghetti in a white baking dish

Baked Italian Meatballs

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Look no further for a delicious baked meatball recipe. Our Baked Italian Meatballs are a 30 minute meal staple in our house! The ingredients are simple but they are still packed with flavor. They make a great freezer meal because you can easily double the batch to freeze meatballs for later!

Baked meatballs on a white plate with marinara sauce

Easiest Baked Meatballs… EVER

Everybody loves a good meatball, right? Well, at least everyone in my crew does. And, as my mom friends out there know, it’s no small feat to prepare a meal that everyone eats and enjoys. These delicious, moist, Baked Italian Meatballs may get eaten before they ever make it atop whole wheat spaghetti with homemade marinara sauce or a Meatball Sandwich.

The ingredients in our baked meatballs are simple:

You likely have all of the ingredients for these easy baked meatballs in your pantry!

Baked italian meatball

Perhaps the best part: Skip the stove top mess and bake these away in the oven for only 20 minutes. They come out perfect every time. And, like so many of our recipes, you can make these meatballs ahead of time and freeze them for a quick, healthy meal later. Check out the freezer meal instructions in the recipe.

Here is a short video of how Baked Italian Meatballs come together

How to Freeze Baked Meatballs

One of the best parts about this meatball recipe is that it is freezer friendly. Meatballs work beautifully to assemble and then freeze before baking for a meal down the road. I’d suggest rolling them up and placing them on a parchment lined baking sheet to freeze.

How to freeze baked italian meatballs

After they are frozen enough to hold together, place them in an airtight container or freezer storage bag.

The beauty of freezing meatballs is that you can now pop out as many as you need for future meals. No need to bake them all at once. These can be a great freezer meal for 1-2 people.

Ways to Use Baked Meatballs

Baked meatballs are incredibly versatile. Here are some ideas on ways to use them!

  • Serve them over whole wheat spaghetti with marinara sauce
  • Bake them and then assemble them as Meatball Sandwiches
  • Eat them plain! They can be a great appetizer.
  • Lighten up but don’t miss out on flavor by serving them over zoodles.
Baked italian meatball on a fork

What to serve with Baked Italian Meatballs

Here are some ideas that baked meatballs would go well with:

Print

Baked Italian Meatballs {Freezer Meal}

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings (about 24 11/2 inch meatballs) 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Everybody loves a good meatball! These delicious, moist ones may get eaten before they ever make it atop spaghetti or a sub sandwich. You’ll want to make this baked version of meatballs again and again.


Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs lean ground beef (This is where we get our favorite grass-fed ground beef.*)
  • 1 cup whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

*affiliate link


Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Using clean hands, gently combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
  3. Use a medium dough scooper or a spoon to scoop and then roll about 1 1/2 inch meatballs. Line up meatballs on the sheet pan, leaving room between each.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes or until no longer pink inside (160 degrees internal temperature).
  5. Optional: Serve with marinara sauce over pasta or on a sub sandwich.

Freeze For Later:

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Then, complete Steps 2 and 3. At this point, flash freeze uncooked meatballs by placing on the sheet pan (or in a baking dish) in the freezer for about an hour or so. Once frozen, dump meatballs in a gallon-sized freezer bag, seal, and place in freezer.

Prepare From Frozen:

Thaw meatballs using one of these safe thawing methods. Cook according to instructions, beginning with Step 4.

Want to Stock Your Freezer with 6 Meals in 1 Hour?

Try our SUPER POPULAR 1 Hour Freezer Prep sessions. We give you everything you need to throw together 6 delicious, family-sized freezer meals in just 1 hour! Anyone can do it with our simple instructions, organized shopping list, and pre-filled out freezer labels.

Cancer-Fighting Soup

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Cancer-Fighting Soup (aka Immune-Boosting Soup) is chock full of vegetables, lentils, and black beans that science has shown helps fight inflammation in the body. Whether you’re wanting to help someone with a diagnosis or just eat as healthy as possible yourself, this comforting soup fits the bill.

Large pot of vegetable soup with three bowls of vegetable soup. Spoons and napkins and fresh herbs on the side.

This post was originally shared February 2015. It has since been updated and reposted.

Darcie’s Cancer Story

Cancer. No one expects to hear that diagnosis from their doctor, even though one in three Americans will get cancer at some point. You especially don’t expect it when you’re a 38-year-old seemingly healthy mom of four children.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 9.59.20 AM

My long-time and dear friend Darcie received that diagnosis in Fall 2014, after finding a lump in her breast. It was a shock to all of her friends, family and church family to say the least.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 9.58.22 AM

Her friends and family quickly gathered like a small army around her and her family. You see Darcie is widely known as one of the most generous, thoughtful, bleeding-heart people around our area. Many lives have been touched by her and her family in some way. Everyone loves Darcie.

A small group of her closest friends gathered a few days after her diagnosis to pray and plan for her. I was awed as I saw each friend in our group using her own particular gifting to serve and encourage her. It’s humbling to watch Christ’s church at work as the hands and feet of Jesus during a time of crisis like this.

One friend brought Darcie a “Battle Bag” full of encouraging Bible verses to read any time of day or night. Others were already working on coordinating house cleaning, meals for the family, rides for the kids, starting a fundraiser site. One friend in the medical field sat through the initial consult appointment with her and her husband to be another listening ear. My decorator friend announced she would embark on a quick bedroom make-over, so Darcie can feel at peace in her space while undergoing treatment. The list goes on.

(Below: Living it up 80’s style with Darcie (on right), me (center) and our friend (Kelley). Can you handle all that blue eye shadow and crimping?)

Darcie and friends

And what do you think was my first inclination when I heard the news about my friend? To cook!

My mission in the days to follow her diagnosis: How can I make my friend the most nutritious, delicious, cancer-fighting soup possible? How can I equip her with the foods and nutrition information she’ll need to give her body the best fighting chance?

My role–surprise-surprise–was quickly dubbed by my team of friends as “Darcie’s nutrition helper”…which let me just say I feel completely inadequate for! Because of my under qualified status, I’ve been desperately researching and talking to friends who actually are nutrition experts. I’ve been learning all about the BEST foods for fighting breast cancer and inflammation in the body.

The Best Foods for Fighting Breast Cancer

Large pan of chopped vegetables on a wooden cutting board.

Through my research and her doctor’s guidance, she decided to focus on a plant-rich diet full of a variety of vegetables, lentils, beans, fruit, nuts, eggs, and Omega 3-rich fish to provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats to aid healing and boost immunity.

We learned that foods like mushrooms, broccoli and cauliflower, lentils, black beans, and spinach are some of the best for fighting breast cancer. And, that’s exactly the kinds of foods I included in this big batch of Cancer-Fighting Soup for my friend.

Close up shot of vegetable soup in a ladel

IMPORTANT! Please keep in mind that I am not a dietician or licensed medical practitioner, so please ask your doctor if the ingredients included in this soup are ok for you if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer and/or are receiving treatment. I’ve heard that some foods like grapefruit and even garlic can interfere with certain medications.

How to Prepare Cancer-Fighting Soup

I’ve made three huge pots of Cancer-Fighting Soup now for Darcie and for our family. Let me tell you, it’s absolutely PACKED with flavor thanks to all the seasoning and veggies just as much as it’s PACKED with nutrition. Here’s a 1 minute video showing how easily it comes together…

The key to the complex flavor is to saute the aromatics (onions, celery, carrots, and garlic) to kick-start their flavor and then to season every step of the way.

Large pot of vegetable soup with three bowls of vegetable soup. Spoons and napkins and fresh herbs on the side.

Another tip is to chop all of the vegetables about the same size so they cook evenly and are bite-sized. It’s actually a pet peeve of mine when vegetable soup contains pieces that are too big to enjoy in one bite. It’s worth taking the time to chop them perfectly. 🙂 My recipe will guide you to the perfect soup, so don’t worry!

How to Make Ahead and Freeze Cancer-Fighting Soup

This soup is perfect for making ahead and taking to a friend. If you want, just change the name to “Immune-Boosting Soup” if your friend has a cold. 🙂 It has now been tested from fresh, reheated from the fridge as leftovers, and reheated after being frozen. It delicious and works great in all these situations!

Vegetable soup in a freezer container with label on top

If you want to deliver it to a friend as a fresh meal or freezer meal, you can deliver it in one of these freezer containers, including a freezer container with lid (see above image) or mason jars (see below image). I love using mason jars, since the soup can be divided into single servings. Just be sure to leave at least 1 inch of headspace at the top if freezing.

Vegetable soup in mason jars.

My hope is that you can make this recipe for yourself and/or take it to anyone else who is battling cancer or an illness. This Cancer-Fighting Soup fights inflammation in the body and provides warmth and comfort when healing.

Bowl of vegetable soup in a white bowl with a spoon

You may even want to add a word of encouragement to the container you deliver it in, too. I quickly scribbled out a few favorite encouraging Bible verses in sharpie on the freezer containers of the soup for Darcie.

Or you may want to include a set of our printable Truth for Trials verse cards.

Truths for Trials image for store

To make your meal a little more fancy-schmancy than mine with these Printable Freezer Meal labels to go on top.

Printable freezer meal labels

I hope this recipe is a blessing to you or someone else. Please leave a comment for me, and I’d love to pray for you or a loved one who is battling cancer.

P.S. Thanks to Darcie for letting me share some of her story. She said to me, “Share on, sister. Hoping it makes a difference, inspiring someone to change one small thing about their lifestyle.”

P.P.S. In case you’re wondering, here is the story of Darcie’s Head-Shaving Party and more about how she’s doing. It’s so encouraging!

darciestrawberry

P.P.P.S. At the time of updating this post on 11/8/20, Darcie is now over 5 years cancer-free (“no evidence of disease”) and doing great!

Print
Bowl of vegetable soup in a white bowl with a spoon

Cancer Fighting Soup

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1216 servings (about 2 cups per serving) 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This hearty soup brings a healthy and tasty dose of vegetables to the table to boost the immune system. Make ahead and freeze for later using our freezing instructions.


Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 23 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 cups carrots, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (use less if you don’t like heat)
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 12 cups (or three 32-ounce cartons) of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes (look for BPA-free cans)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup lentils (any kind will work; rinse first)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup cauliflower, chopped finely
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped finely
  • 23 cups spinach, chopped
  • 12 cups frozen green peas

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Saute the onions, carrots, and celery for about 4-5 minutes, until tender. Add in the garlic and stir for 1 more minute. Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (to your preferred heat level), and Italian seasoning.
  3. Stir in the chicken or vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, lentils, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer (slight bubbling), stirring occasionally. Season again lightly with salt and pepper. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the zucchini, mushrooms, cauliflower, and broccoli and simmer another 5-10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the spinach and frozen peas and turn off the heat (or turn to low), so they don’t overcook. Remove bay leaves. Taste and adjust seasonings. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  6. If you like, serve with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese and/or whole grain crackers or crusty bread.

Freeze For Later: Follow steps 1-5. Let the soup cool completely. Suggestion: divide soup into some shallow pans to put in the refrigerator to cool it more quickly. Divide soup into gallon-sized freezer bags or containers, squeeze out excess air, seal, and freeze.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw using one of these safe thawing methods. Then reheat gently over low heat on the stove or in a crock pot. Another option is to put the frozen soup block over low to medium-low heat on the stove top or in a crock pot. Add about 1-2 cups of water or broth over the top. Gently warm over low to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Follow step 6 for serving.


Notes

It’s a good idea to chop your veggies all about the same size, so they cook evenly and they are bite-sized.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1.5-2 cups
Large pot of vegetable soup with three bowls of vegetable soup. Spoons and napkins and fresh herbs on the side.

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Sliders {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

One of our easiest freezer meals: Chicken Parmesan Sliders. Just put a few ingredients into the crockpot and you’ll have one of your favorite meals for a busy night. Great meal idea for large groups too!

Slow cooker chicken parmesan sliders on a cutting board

“I need more recipes like this in my life,” I told my husband, as he and the kids scarfed down slider after slider. When I don’t have to touch raw meat (can I get an amen?), I can just dump a few ingredients in a slow cooker, and a healthy and kid-friendly meal magically appears at dinner time…I’M IN!

Why are Chicken Parmesan Sliders SO Easy?

Look no further for a slow cooker, chicken dump-and-go meal idea. The simplicity of getting dinner done will have you doing victory laps around your house. There isn’t any prep before placing the very few ingredients in the slow cooker either.

Here’s all you really need from the store:

  • chicken breasts, fresh or frozen
  • a jar of your favorite marinara (or make your own)
  • some mini whole wheat buns or rolls (or make your own)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella or Provolone cheese slices

Just dump in your chicken, marinara sauce and a few choice seasonings and press a button. Gotta love that!

Ingredients for slow cooker chicken parmesan sliders

How Long do I Cook Chicken Parmesan Sliders in the Slow Cooker?

After you dump all of your ingredients into the slow cooker, how long do you have to wait until dinner? You might be surprised at the answer. In fact, we wrote an entire post about how long to cook chicken in the slow cooker because so many people are doing it wrong! After loads of recipe testing, we have found that chicken breast is done after 3-4 hours in the slow cooker. This will vary on the type of slow cooker but it’s done quicker than you think!

Chicken parmesan sliders in slow cooker

Can I Make Chicken Parmesan Sliders in the Instant Pot?

Let’s say you aren’t home around the time these Chicken Parmesan Sliders need to go into the slow cooker. You can have Chicken Parmesan Sliders done in minutes using your Instant Pot! In fact, we have done the work and converted the recipe for you. Hop over to our Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan Sliders recipe here.

Slow cooker parmesan sliders on a white plate

How do I make Chicken Parmesan Sliders a Freezer Meal?

As with so many of our recipes, Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Sliders freeze well. (Find all our Freezer Meal recipes here.) You have some options on how to make this a freezer meal too.

Option One: Prepare and freeze it before cooking

To Freeze:

Place raw chicken and marinara (and any optional seasonings) into a freezer-safe container or zip top bag and freeze. You can also wrap up the cheese slices and rolls tightly and freeze. Keep all ingredients in a grocery sack in the freezer, so the meal components are together.

To Prepare:

When ready to cook, thaw everything in the fridge for 24-48 hours. Place chicken & marinara into the slow cooker and follow steps 2-3.

Option Two: Freeze after cooking

To Freeze:

Fully cook and cool the chicken. Place in a freezer-safe container or zip top bag. You can also wrap up the cheese slices and rolls tightly and freeze. Keep all ingredients in a grocery sack in the freezer, so the meal components are together.


To Prepare:

When ready to cook, thaw everything in the fridge for 24-48 hours. If chicken is still partially frozen, use the defrost setting on the microwave. Warm chicken mixture over medium-low on the stove stirring occasionally, in a slow cooker on low setting, or in the microwave. Serve according to the instructions in Step 3 above.

Slow cooker parmesan sliders on a wooden cutting board

Video Tutorial for Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Sliders

Print

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Sliders

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Just put a few ingredients (like chicken and marinara ) in to the crockpot and you’ll have one of your favorite meals for a busy night!


Ingredients

  • 34 chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 1 jar (24 ounce) or 3 cups all-natural marinara sauce (or make your own)
  • Optional: 2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, crushed in hand
  • 12 mini whole wheat buns or 6 large whole wheat buns (or make your own)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 slices of Provolone or Mozzarella cheese, cut into fourths

Instructions

  1. Lightly season all sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken breasts, sauce, garlic, and seasoning to the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on LOW for 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Chicken is done when it shreds easily and is white all the way through (or registers 165°F internally). Shred with two forks.
  3. To build a sandwich place some hot shredded chicken on a bun, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, top with two little pieces of Provolone or Mozzarella cheese, and pop the top of the bun in place.* Enjoy!

*If you’d like, place the sliders (open faced) on a sheet pan and broil for a 1 minute to melt the cheese.


Notes

Freeze For Later: Fully cook and cool the chicken. Place in a freezer-safe container or zip top bag. You can also wrap up the cheese slices and rolls tightly and freeze. Keep all ingredients in a grocery sack in the freezer, so the meal components are together.

Prepare From Frozen: When ready to cook, thaw everything in the fridge for 24-48 hours. If chicken is still partially frozen, use the defrost setting on the microwave. Warm chicken mixture over medium-low on the stove stirring occasionally, in a slow cooker on low setting, or in the microwave. Serve according to the instructions in Step 3 above.

A hand holding a Slow cooker parmesan slider

What to Serve with Chicken Parmesan Sliders

Here are some recipe ideas that would go well with this dish:

Want More Easy Slow Cooker Recipes?

Check out our cookbook, From Freezer to Cooker! Every recipe is easy, drool-worthy, and made with recognizable, whole food ingredients, and what makes the book even more family friendly is its unique two-in-one style. Each recipe provides instructions on how to cook the same meal for both the slow cooker and the Instant Pot!

This is essentially giving home cooks double the recipes. From Freezer to Cooker is the first book of its kind to combine the ease and effectiveness of freezer cooking and hands-free appliances with healthy and delicious recipes.

From Freezer to Cooker Cookbook

Slow Cooker Chicken and Cheese Taquitos {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Slow cooker chicken and cheese taquitos is a delicious meal that the whole family will love! Be sure to make a double batch for the freezer. Then, you can pull out however many you want and throw them directly in the oven for a quick weeknight dinner.

Slow cooker chicken and cheese taquitos

Affiliate links may be included.

There is a short list of meals in my house that pleases all five of us. It seems like everyone has their own aversions and favorites, which can be exhausting sometimes. Can any moms out there relate??

Now, there is an added bonus when you can find a recipe that is easy, made in the slow cooker, AND freezer friendly. This is why I love Slow Cooker Chicken and Cheese Taquitos! Or, you can make them in the Instant Pot using our Instant Pot Chicken and Cheese Taquitos recipe.

Slow cooker chicken and cheese taquitos

Watch How This Meal Comes Together

How to Make Slow Cooker Chicken and Cheese Taquitos

You are going to LOVE how simple this is. Start by seasoning your chicken with some taco seasoning. Toss it in the slow cooker and add some broth. Water works fine too.

Now here’s the key: Do not overcook your chicken! We wrote a whole post about how long to cook chicken in the slow cooker if you want a bit more information but for now, just follow the recipe, got it? Yeah, you got this! 🙂

Slow cooker chicken and cheese taquitos

Once that chicken has cooked, grab two forks and give it a good shred.

Shredded chicken on a cutting board


After this, rolling up the taquitos and baking them just takes minutes. I also love that I can make these in advance and pop them in the oven right before dinner (fresh or frozen).

Slow cooker chicken and cheese taquitos

How to Freeze Slow Cooker Chicken and Cheese Taquitos

As I mentioned above, another beauty of this recipe is that Chicken and Cheese Taquitos are freezer-friendly. Because of this, I almost always double the recipe. Simply follow the cooking instructions right up until baking and then freeze them in a single layer in a freezer bag.

Chicken and cheese taquitos in a freezer bag

Then, you can pull out however many you need on a busy week night and bake them directly from frozen using our freezer meal instructions below.

Side Dish Idea

Looking for something to serve this with? Try our Avocado Lime Salsa!

Avocado Lime Salsa

What to Do with Leftover Tortillas

If you have leftover tortillas, did you know you can freeze them? Here is the best way to freeze tortillas for later.

tortillas in a freezer bag

Slow Cooker Chicken and Cheese Printable Recipe

Print

Slow Cooker Chicken and Cheese Taquitos

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours and 20 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

This is a delicious meal that the whole family will love! Be sure to make a double batch for the freezer. Then, you can pull out however many you want and throw them directly in the oven for a quick weeknight dinner.


Ingredients


Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Place the chicken breasts in your slow cooker. Rub both sides of the chicken with all of the taco seasoning. Add water or broth.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW for about 2.5 – 3.5 hours, until it shreds easily. (Note: Chicken should be 165°F internally when done.) Shred the chicken with two forks and stir, so the seasoning is evenly distributed.
  3. Add cream cheese and salsa to the shredded chicken and stir until cream cheese is melted.
  4. Arrange tortillas on a flat surface. Top each tortilla with an equal amount of chicken mixture, leaving a little room at the edges so the filling doesn’t spill out. Top chicken mixture with 2-3 tablespoons of shredded cheese. Roll up tortillas tightly. (Freezing instructions begin here.) 
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  6. Place the taquitos on a baking sheet, seam side down. Spray the tops with cooking spray and bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese melts and they are golden brown on top. (Note: If you have leftover cheese, you can sprinkle it over the top of the taquitos before they bake.)
  7. Serving suggestion: Top with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, salsa, Guacamole, or our Avocado Lime Salsa.

Freeze It For Later: Complete the recipe through Step 4. Then, place rolled up tortillas side-by-side in a single later in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Seal tightly and freeze.

Prepare From Frozen: When ready to bake, you have two options:

Method 1 (Thawed): Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or in the microwave using the defrost setting. Bake as directed, beginning with Step 5.

Method 2 (From Frozen): Follow Steps 5-7, but cover the frozen taquitos with foil after spraying them with cooking spray. Then, bake for about 25 minutes or until warmed through. Remove the foil and bake another 5-10 minutes, until golden brown.


Notes

For Instant Pot instructions, try our Instant Pot Chicken and Cheese Taquitos.

Slow cooker chicken and cheese taquitos

Be sure to try our Instant Pot Chicken and Cheese Taquitos for a faster cooking method.


Want to Stock Your Freezer with 6 Meals in 1 Hour?

Try our SUPER POPULAR 1 Hour Freezer Prep sessions. We give you everything you need to throw together 6 delicious, family-sized freezer meals in just 1 hour! Anyone can do it with our simple instructions, organized shopping list, and pre-filled out freezer labels.

Top 10 Must-Try Pumpkin Recipes on Thriving Home

By Rachel Tiemeyer

With 8 years worth of content, it can be easy to forget about some amazing pumpkin recipes that we have shared over the years. Since fall is in full swing, we thought it would be great to resurface some of these gems and get them back in the spotlight.

Collage image of top 10 pumpkin recipes

Here are our Top 10 Pumpkin Recipes that you should try ASAP!

Crock Pot Pumpkin-Spiced Latte

This Homemade Crock Pot pumpkin latte is EASY to make and is my go-to drink when entertaining in the fall or winter. Made with REAL ingredients from your pantry. Everyone loves it and amazed that it is made in a slow cooker.

Crock Pot Pumpkin Spiced Latte being poured into a white mug

Here’s a peek at how it comes together:


Pumpkin Muffins with Crumble Topping

Over the years, I’ve become sort of a muffin snob. After testing dozens of muffin recipes, I can confidently say that this is one of my, as well as Thriving Home readers’, all-time favorites. The muffins’ soft, moist texture is perfectly complemented by the crunchy, sweet crumble topping. Plus, with all the autumn-inspired spices, these surprisingly nutritious muffins pack a delightful “pumpkin pie” punch. Tip: Here are 2 Ways to Store or Freeze Muffins to make them last longer.

Stack of Pumpkin Muffins with a Crumble Topping on a white plate

Pumpkin Dump Cake

Pumpkin Dump Cake is an easy to make, crowd-pleaser recipe goes a long away (serves 9-12 people). It is a delicious twist on classic pumpkin pie that almost any age will like. It’s also a great make-ahead recipe. Perfect for holiday parties!

Pumpkin Dump Cake on a plate

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes. An easy, nutritious, freezer-friendly breakfast idea that the whole family will devour. Double the batch and freeze cooked pancakes for future busy mornings! We also have Zucchini Pancakes and Sweet Potato Pancakes if you’re looking for variations.

whole wheat pumpkin pancakes stacked on a plate

Blueberry Pumpkin Baked French Toast

Blueberry Pumpkin Baked French Toast is a recipe your family will devour! With the added nutrition from the pumpkin, you can whip up a meal that is healthy and satisfying. If you plan to make this into a freezer meal, simply follow all the instructions up until right before you bake it, and then wrap tightly and freeze.

Blueberry pumpkin baked french toast in a yellow baking dish.

Pumpkin Banana Bread

Breakfast, snack, or dessert…this bread, mini bread, muffin, or mini-muffin recipe fits the bill. This bread is moist, nutritious yet has enough good-for-you fat (from coconut oil) and sweetness to taste delicious!

Pumpkin Banana Muffins and bread

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Waffles

These freezer friendly Pumpkin Chocolate Waffles are made with whole wheat flour and lots of sneaky nutrition. These healthy waffles are an easy breakfast idea that your family will love. Make lots and freeze some for later.

whole wheat pumpkin waffle on a white plate

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

These healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are moist, sweet, and delicious…and easily freezable.  We make them every other week and pull them out of the freezer for snacks or breakfast.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal is an easy and healthy breakfast or snack. It is a great family recipe and ideal for large groups. This recipe also works great to assemble ahead of time and freeze. We love these freezer containers for recipes like these!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal in a glass baking dish

Chocolate Pumpkin Banana Muffins

These Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Muffins are packed full of nutrition and flavor. Feel good about feeding your family these for a quick breakfast!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Crock Pot Pumpkin Spice Latte

By Polly Conner

This homemade Crock Pot Pumpkin Spice Latte is EASY to make and is my go-to drink when entertaining in the fall or winter. It’s made with REAL ingredients from your pantry and everyone loves it and is amazed that it’s made in a slow cooker.

Slow cooker pumpkin spice latte

Crock Pot Pumpkin Spice Latte has become a fall staple in my home. I serve it regularly any time we host a group of people and have even taken it to fall parties and Halloween events. My mother-in-law now serves it at every Thanksgiving! It comes together quickly and smells SO delicious.

What is in the Crock Pot Pumpkin Spice Latte?

Overhead shot of ingredients for crock pot pumpkin spice latte

Unlike the Starbucks version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte, our slow cooker version includes all REAL ingredients. No artificial flavoring, no color dyes, no unrecognizable ingredients. Plus, it tastes just as rich and luxurious as their version. Even better in my opinion. To make your batch, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • whole milk
  • strongly brewed coffee
  • pumpkin puree
  • real vanilla extract
  • sugar
  • ground cinnamon
  • cinnamon sticks

Sounds delicious already, doesn’t it?! Serve this with our Snickerdoodle Cookies and you’ll be in heaven!

Crock Pot Pumpkin Spice Latte in a white mug

More reasons to love Crock Pot Pumpkin Spice Latte:

  • It can make your house smell SOOO good. Its scent is a warm-vanilla-cinnamon-pumpkiny aroma. It was better than any fall candle that I have bought!
  • It serves 15+ people. It’s a great recipe for large groups.
  • It was super easy to make and used REAL ingredients. No syrups.
  • I made it 2 hours before the group got there so I wasn’t scrambling to put it together as people arrived.
  • The taste was marvelous. It was warm and sweet with a hint of pumpkin flavor. It really does rival a coffee shop’s pumpkin latte.
  • Who doesn’t love to warm up with a special cozy drink with a bunch of friends?!
Overhead image of crock pot pumpkin spice latte

Watch How to Make our Crock Pot Pumpkin Spice Latte

FAQs about Crock Pot Pumpkin Spice Latte

Do you really use 1/4 cup of vanilla? Yep. Trust us. This recipe has been tested and retested for years. Don’t skimp on the vanilla. And please be sure to use REAL (or pure) vanilla not imitation vanilla extract.

Can I substitute non-dairy milk? Sure, you’re welcome to, but it won’t be nearly as creamy.

Can I make this ahead of time and slow cook it later? We suggest making it fresh and serving within a few hours of it being done.

Does it work to keep leftovers in the refrigerator and rewarm them? You are certainly welcome to try, but our readers have said the pumpkin gets kind of weird the next day.

Print

Crock Pot Pumpkin Spiced Latte

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 mins
  • Yield: 1015 1x
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Homemade crock pot pumpkin latte. This recipe is EASY to make and is my go-to drink when entertaining in the fall or winter. Try this delicious version of a coffee shop favorite!


Ingredients

  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 6 cups of strongly brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup real (or pure) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 cinnamon sticks

Instructions

  1. In your crock pot, combine the milk and coffee.
  2. Whip together the pumpkin, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon. Pour mixture into the crockpot.
  3. Stir everything together and then toss in 3-4 cinnamon sticks.
  4. Cover the crockpot, and cook on high for 2 hours.

Notes

-If you don’t have a large group, you could easily halve the recipe.
-I’ve been told that heating up the leftovers doesn’t work so well.

pouring slow cooker pumpkin spice latte

A few other fall-inspired recipes and articles you might like:

Want more pumpkin recipes?

With YEARS worth of content and recipes on Thriving Home, it can be easy to forget about some amazing pumpkin recipes that we have shared over the years. Here are our Top 10 Pumpkin Recipes that you simply must try!

collage image of top 10 pumpkin recipes

How to Grill A Pork Tenderloin: Using the 7-6-5 Method {Freezer Meal}

By Polly Conner

When you grill a pork tenderloin instead of bake it, you still get the flavor and moistness but the bonus is the extra char-crispiness that coats the outside of the tenderloin. Using the 7-6-5 method to grill pork tenderloin is a no-fail method that you’ll come back to over and over again.

Grilled pork tenderloin on a plate with salad

Before Rachel and I even started Thriving Home, I have been roasting this amazing pork tenderloin recipe in the oven. I’ve tried out a few others but always come back to this seasoned rub. I love it. My family loves it and it makes a great make-ahead freezer meal.

I didn’t think it could get much better, that was until we grilled the pork tenderloin instead of oven roasting it. OH MY GOODNESS. I don’t know what an open flame does to this hunk of meat but good things happen. When you grill a pork tenderloin instead of bake it, you still get the flavor and moistness but the bonus is the extra char-crispiness that coats the outside of the tenderloin.

Grilled pork tenderloin, sliced

We won’t go back to oven roasting. We just won’t. Especially after I learned about the 7-6-5 method of grilling pork tenderloin. What is this 7-6-5 method you speak of, Polly? Let me tell you. It is genius.

Video Tutorial: How to Grill Pork Tenderloin

Watch this quick video to see how it’s done…

Step-by-Step Instructions: How to Grill Pork Tenderloin Using the 7-6-5 Method

It’s so simple! Anyone can cook pork tenderloin this way following these step-by-step directions. We do suggest having a meat thermometer handy to make sure you don’t overcook your meat.

Grilled pork tenderloin on a plate with salad
  1. Simply preheat the grill to 450°F degrees.
  2. Place your seasoned tenderloin on the grill and let it sizzle with the lid shut for 7 minutes.
  3. Flip.
  4. Shut the lid and then let it grill for 6 more minutes.
  5. Now turn the heat off, and leave the lid closed for 4-5 minutes. Safety Note: According to the USDA, the pork tenderloin needs to reach 145 degrees internally to be safe to eat. So we recommend using a meat thermometer inserted at the thickest part at this point to check that it’s 145 or just slightly under, as it will carry-over cook while resting.
  6. Remove tenderloin from heat and let rest for 7-8 minutes before slicing.
Grilled pork tenderloin being sliced

Side Dishes to Go with Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Jane’s Grilled Peaches

grilled peaches on a grill

The Best Way to Grill Corn on the Cob

A great little trick that will help you grill flawless corn on the cob. In fact, we will grill corn no other way after using this method. While you could easily boil corn on the cob, grilling corn brings out a different, richer flavor and adds that yummy char to the outside of the corn.

Texas Caviar Dip

This Texas Caviar Dip is the BEST appetizer. The simple, homemade dressing that you add gives it the perfect sweet, tangy flavor that will have your crowd coming back for more!

Done.

Eat.

Salivate.

Enjoy.

And share this post with others who might benefit from a little 7-6-5 in their lives.

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Grilled Pork Tenderloin (7-6-5 Method)

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A GREAT tip on how to grill pork tenderloin. You’ll never go back to baking it after you try the 7-6-5 method. This seasoning method produces a super flavorful tenderloin, too.


Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pounds pork tenderloin (Here’s where we get meat that we trust)

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Preheat the grill to 450°F degrees.
  2. Combine the garlic powder, dried oregano, ground cumin, ground coriander, dried thyme, and salt in a small bowl. Then, rub the seasoning in on all sides of the pork tenderloin.
  3. Place your seasoned tenderloin on the grill and let it sizzle with the lid shut for 7 minutes.
  4. Flip and shut the lid. Then, let it cook for 5-6 more minutes.
  5. Now turn the heat off, and leave the lid closed for 4-5 minutes. Tip: According to the USDA, the pork tenderloin needs to reach 145 degrees internally to be safe to eat. So we recommend using a meat thermometer inserted at the thickest part at this point to check that it’s 140-145°F, as it will carry-over cook while resting.
  6. Remove tenderloin from heat and let rest for 7-8 minutes before slicing.

Freeze For Later: Follow step 2. Seal the seasoned pork in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Squeeze out any excess air, seal, and freeze.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw completely (use one of these safe thawing methods). Grill according to recipe directions.


Notes

We get our meat from ButcherBox*. The pork is heritage-raised with no hormones or antibiotics and is absolutely delicious! We highly recommend this service to source DELICIOUS and HEALTHY meat–like grass-fed beef, organic chicken, wild salmon, and uncured bacon–and have used it for years ourselves. *Disclaimer: We are an affiliate of ButcherBox.

Chocolate Sweet Potato Banana Bread {Freezer-Friendly}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Ah, sweet breads. Forgiver of all added-in leftovers and hidden fruits and veggies. Your family is going to love this pretty darn healthy Chocolate Sweet Potato Banana Bread!

chocolate banana bread slices on white plate

I had leftover pureed sweet potato and several overripe bananas in the freezer to use up recently.  (Yes, you should definitely freeze leftovers like that to save money.) Anyway, this delicious banana bread was the result! It’s similar to my Banana Pumpkin Muffins but with some added cocoa and a sweet potato twist. 

chocolate banana bread slices on white plate

In the recipe, I suggested several substitutions to make this bread even healthier (if you want):

  • For 100% whole wheat bread, use the white whole wheat variety in place of both flours.
  • Want a dairy-free loaf? Substitute canned coconut milk for the yogurt and use coconut oil instead of butter.
  • To make this recipe a bit lower on the glycemic index, use coconut sugar in place of the other sugars. Also don’t add the chocolate chips. 🙂

I also love using cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder, which is even healthier!) in recipes like this because: a) it adds chocolate-y decadence without the added fat and sugar of chocolate chips, b) it’s actually full of antioxidants, and c) it masks the flavor of any hidden veggies. 

chocolate sweet potato banana bread

As I write this post, I’m enjoying a piece of this warm-from-the-oven bread with some butter and hoping I’m going to be able to stop with just one. Chocolate Sweet Potato Banana Bread is absolutely decadent and healthy.  My favorite kind of snack!

If you love muffins and sweet breads, be sure to try these other favorites from our site:

How to Store Overripe Bananas for Later

P.S. If you have more overripe bananas than you can use in this recipe, did you know you can freeze them? Here is the best way to freeze bananas for later.

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chocolate banana bread slices on white plate

Chocolate Sweet Potato Banana Bread

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 bread loaf or 12 muffins 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Feel good about what you’re feeding your family. This bread is chock full of hidden veggies, antioxidants, and loads of other good-for-you ingredients.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup smashed overripe bananas (about one banana)
  • 1/2 cup smashed or pureed cooked sweet potato (sub: pumpkin puree)
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt (sub: coconut milk from the can)
  • 5 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or butter)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (sub: coconut sugar)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (sub: coconut sugar)
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (sub: white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (sub: white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (sub: cacao powder)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Optional: 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan or standard-sized muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer, add the banana, sweet potato, yogurt, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla and beat at medium speed until combined. Add sugars; beat again until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the all-purpose and wheat flours, flaxseed, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. (Tip: Lightly spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife to measure correctly.) Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir by hand just until blended.
  4. Optional: Gently stir in the mini chocolate chips. Do not over mix.
  5. Pour batter into the greased loaf pan or muffin tin and place on the center rack of the oven. For bread: Bake for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. For muffins: Bake for 15-18 minutes until a wooden pick comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes or so and then turn the bread or muffins out onto the rack. You may have to run a knife around the edges to help the bread or muffins come out more easily.

Freeze For Later: Follow entire recipe, letting the bread or muffins cool completely. Wrap the bread in a few layers of plastic wrap and/or foil and freeze. Or, place the muffins in a freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, seal, and freeze. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw the bread loaf or desired number of muffins on the counter or using the defrost setting on the microwave briefly.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Waffles {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Here’s an easy breakfast idea that your family will love: freezer friendly Pumpkin Chocolate Waffles. They are a great way to sneak some nutrition into your breakfast. Make lots and freeze some for later!

whole wheat pumpkin waffle on a white plate

These are hands down my kids’ favorite waffles, aside from the very similar Double Chocolate Zucchini Waffles.  We not only eat them for breakfast but often as snacks by themselves.

Syrup pouring over a pumpkin chocolate waffle

One of the things I love about this Pumpkin Chocolate Waffle recipe, as well, is that they are 100% whole wheat but you absolutely cannot tell. They are also a sneaky way to get more vegetables in your kids.

Baby eating a pumpkin waffle

I will make the bold claim right now that you should double the batch and freeze some of them in a freezer bag for later. In fact, if you trust me, I included Freezer Meal instructions in the recipe (because you know how much I love freezer meal cooking).

Pumpkin chocolate waffle
Syrup pouring over a pumpkin chocolate waffle

Lastly, make it a game for your little ones to fill the waffles with fruit. I’d like to say this was my two year old’s idea…but it was actually my husband’s waffle.

Now go enjoy yourself some Pumpkin Chocolate Waffles!

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Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Waffles

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 19 minutes
  • Yield: 15 4-inch waffles or 6 large waffles 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Waffle iron
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These pumpkin chocolate waffles are made with whole wheat flour and lots of sneaky nutrition. They’re soon to become your next family favorite. Freeze a batch to pull out for a weekday breakfast.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (butter will work)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pureed canned pumpkin
  • Optional: 1 cup dark chocolate chips (for especially decadent waffles!)

Instructions

  1. Mix dry ingredients (first six ingredients, through cocoa powder) in large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar, melted coconut oil, eggs, milk, vanilla, pureed pumpkin.
  3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined (do not over mix). (Optional: Stir in chocolate chips.)
  4. Cook according to waffle iron instructions. Mine takes about 3 1/2 minutes for each batch.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions: To Freeze: Place cooked and cooled waffles into a freezer bag with sheets of waxed paper separating the layers. To Prepare: When ready to eat, stick frozen waffles in the toaster on the defrost setting, and you’ve got a fast, healthy breakfast.

Pumpkin waffle on a plate with strawberries and blueberries

Want More Pumpkin Recipes?

With YEARS worth of content and recipes on Thriving Home, it can be easy to forget about some amazing pumpkin recipes that we have shared over the years. Here are our Top 10 Pumpkin Recipes that you simply must try!

10-Minute Spinach Cheddar Frittata: Easy Weeknight Meal

By Rachel Tiemeyer

This quick, cheap, and protein-rich meal works for breakfast or dinner anytime.

Sometimes it’s 5 p.m., and you have few groceries in the fridge and no plan for dinner.

That was me one night last week. Thankfully, I had eggs, cheese, milk, and some fresh spinach to work with. And this super easy, cheap 10 Minute Spinach Cheddar Frittata was born. All the equipment you need is a large oven-safe pan (I used a 12-inch) and a bowl to stir the egg mixture.

This quick, cheap, and protein-rich meal works for breakfast or dinner anytime.

What is a frittata and how is it different than an omelet, you ask? A frittata is started over the stove for a few minutes and then this one is finished under the broiler in the oven for a few minutes. It requires no stirring or flipping, which can be a mess when making an omelet.

This quick, cheap, and protein-rich meal works for breakfast or dinner anytime.

In other words, it’s hard to screw up this recipe. Now that’s my kind of weeknight meal! Add in some fruit and whole grain toast, and you’ve got a well-rounded dinner or breakfast. Read more

Hello Peaches! Make This Pecan Peach Crisp Now.

By Polly Conner

.5Pecan peach crisp dessert. Heaven help me, this fruit bake was delicious. Super easy to make too!

Heaven help me, this was good.

I’m already a sucker for any fruity dessert so add a crispy-pecan crust to the top of fresh-seasonal peaches and I about fall over thinking about it.

I stumbled on this recipe over at Cooking Classy, made a few tweaks along the way, and now have a peach crisp recipe I will use for the rest of my life. Pecan peach crisp dessert. Heaven help me, this fruit bake was delicious. Super easy to make too!

(I don’t have big feelings at all, do I?)

Lets get cooking, shall we?

What puts this recipe over the top is using in-season peaches. In fact, I used less sugar because I seriously had just picked these ripe peaches off of our peach tree. Chop up about 4-5 peaches and give them a stir in some sugar, flour, and lemon juice. Spread them out in a 9×13 baking dish.

Look at them showing off and being all pretty in there.

Pecan peach crisp dessert. Heaven help me, this fruit bake was delicious. Super easy to make too!

The crumble topping is really simple.

Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, a few seasonings, butter, and pecans. Spread them out over the peaches evenly and then pop it all in the oven.

Wait patiently as pure greatness is being created in your oven.

Voila…

Pecan peach crisp dessert. Heaven help me, this fruit bake was delicious. Super easy to make too!

Give it time to cool a bit before eating.
Pecan peach crisp dessert. Heaven help me, this fruit bake was delicious. Super easy to make too!

Scoop some in a bowl and top with either ice cream or whipped cream. (Thank you Alex, for being my ice cream scooping hand model.)

Pecan peach crisp dessert. Heaven help me, this fruit bake was delicious. Super easy to make too!

This dish makes quite a lot so it’s a great one to use for a group.

Pecan peach crisp dessert. Heaven help me, this fruit bake was delicious. Super easy to make too!

Side note: Some people like to remove the skin from peaches for dishes like this but I don’t mind them being in there. They also add a tad more nutrition (because that is totally what you’re concerned about when making a peach crisp, right?)

Pecan peach crisp dessert. Heaven help me, this fruit bake was delicious. Super easy to make too!

Pecan peach crisp dessert. Heaven help me, this fruit bake was delicious. Super easy to make too!

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Pecan Peach Crisp

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This pecan peach crisp dessert is delicious. The key to incredible flavor is to use peaches at their peak of freshness.


Ingredients

  • Peach Filling
  • 45 peaches, cored and diced into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup sugar (up this to 1/4 cup if your peaches aren’t ripe)
  • 1.5 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • Topping
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 10 tablespoons butter, cold and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Toss peaches with lemon juice, sugar, and flour until well coated.
  2. For the topping, combine flour, oats, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and brown sugar.
  3. Using either a pastry cutter or your hands, cut in the butter until everything is crumbly.
  4. Stir in pecans.
  5. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.
  6. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies: BEST EVER Soft Batch Version

By Rachel Tiemeyer

A perfect Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip cookie does exist!

Whole wheat cookies on a baking sheet and plate

Yes, it is true. A real food, whole wheat version of a soft, chewy chocolate chip cookie does exist! I’ve searched high and low and baked many failures over the years. But, this one. Oh, this one. It works.

Whole wheat cookies on a plate

In fact, just to prove my point: My farm boy husband, whose mom is a fabulous baker, straight up told me, “These taste just like mom’s.” I didn’t tell him that they don’t have shortening or white flour in them. That’s just our secret, k?