The beauty of casseroles is that the sky’s the limit. You CAN make them up as you go! Whether you are trying to clean out the refrigerator or recreate your grandmother’s budget leftover dinner at the end of the week this is a category of recipes that has no end.

With fall approaching we are entering the CASSEROLE phase of the year. This Amish Country Casserole I adapted from LOU LOU GIRLS is ALL about the comfort!! It can easily be made ahead of time and tastes wonderful whether you bake it and serve it now or freeze it and bake it later!

1 (12 oz.) bag medium bow tie noodles or pasta shape of your choice
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground sweet Italian sausage
1 can CAMPBELL’S condensed tomato soup
1 can CAMPBELL’s cream of ANYTHING soup (your choice, though I like either mushroom or celery)
1 cup WHOLE milk
FRESH ground sea salt & black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 
1/2 cup sweet Vidalia onion, diced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese or cheese flavor of choice (I often use Jack)

  • Preheat oven to 350°. 
  • Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions and drain well.
  • In a large skillet melt butter, add onions and cook a couple minutes before adding beef, cooking crumbly.
  • Drain off grease.
  • In a large bowl stir together tomato soup, cream of anything soup, milk, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and minced garlic.
  • Fold in pasta and ground beef mixture.
  • Spread mixture into prepared baking dish.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes.
  • Then top with grated cheese and serve with a salad.


1 pound QUALITY ground beef
15.5 ounce can seasoned black beans, rinsed and drained WELL
1 small bunch green onion, sliced – reserve a few for garnish
2 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce, rough chopped + 1 tablespoon sauce for the meatballs – the remainder will be used in sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 LARGE egg
FRESH Ground sea salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon KINDERS taco seasoning
3/4 cup ground tortilla chips

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • In a food processor add black beans, most of the green onions, chipotle peppers, 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, water, taco seasoning, FRESH ground sea salt and pepper. Pulse and process until mixture is completely combined and beans are mostly creamy.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine ground beef, bean mixture, egg and 1/2 cup tortilla chip crumbs. Mix by hand or with a large fork. If the mixture is too wet add a bit more tortilla crumbs.
  • Roll into golf ball sized meatballs.
  • Arrange meatballs on a large baking sheet prepared with a light coating of avocado oil.
  • Bake the meatballs in oven on center rack for 20 minutes. While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce.

2 cans Green Giant Mexican corn
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 1/2 cups homemade chicken bone broth
1 teaspoon KINDERS taco seasoning
1 teaspoon + Sauce Adobo Sauce
3/4 cup Mexican sour cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped green onions
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped Cilantro
1 cup white rice, prepared per package directions

  • Add avocado oil to a preheated pan on medium heat.
  • Add corn kernels, minced garlic, and green onions, sauteing 3 minutes.  
  • Stir in the chicken broth, taco seasoning, salt and pepper. 
  • Add Adobo Sauce.  You can add more if you want it spicier.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes, then turn down heat to low simmer to keep warm.


  • When the meatballs are done, remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes. 
  • Whisk sour cream into the corn sauce.
  • Stir in the cilantro and add the meatballs to the sauce.
  • Serve over the rice, garnish with cilantro and enjoy!!


My Grandma made the BEST beef and noodles, a favorite of mine for Sunday dinners. It is the PERFECT comfort food, especially with the double carbs 😀  This recipe is the closest I’ve come to making it without it taking ALL day like hers did.


2 pounds stew meat, cut into bite sized pieces
FRESH ground sea salt & black pepper

1 can Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup + 2 cups water or beef bone broth
1 packet McCormick brown gravy mix
1 envelope LIPTON beefy onion soup mix
1 sweet Vidalia onion, halved & sliced
8 ounces sliced mushrooms

  • Whisk together the soup, water or bone broth, gravy mix and onion soup mix.
  • GENEROUSLY salt and pepper beef pieces with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Stir in beef pieces and onion slices, tossing to coat.
  • Spread into a 13 x 9 baking dish and cover. I like to use my enameled cast iron.
  • Bake at 300° for 3 hours with absolutely NO peeking! It will be worth it because the meat will be super tender and delicious!
  • Just before serving prepare egg noodles per package directions. Drain and fold into sauce.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes.

NOTE: For a bit of a change you can change the soup flavor with the same results. I particularly like cream of celery or cream of potato.


1 cup ZING ZANG Bloody Mary mix
2 tablespoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons pepperoncini juice
1 teaspoon celery salt
2 pounds beef tips

  • Whisk together the 3/4 cup of the Bloody Mary mix, 1 tablespoon of the Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon of the pepperoncini juice and celery salt.
  • Add beef, turning to coat.
  • Marinade beef tips 4-5 hours in refrigerator, turning occasionally.

ground sea salt and black pepper

3 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 SMALL Vidalia onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 cups matchstick carrots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tablespoons QUALITY tomato paste
1 cup homemade beef bone broth
4-6 pepperoncinis

  • Add oil to enameled cast iron saute pan over medium high heat.
  • Drain beef tips of marinade. Discard marinade.
  • Add flour to a large ziploc bag.
  • Generously season flour with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add drained beef to ziploc bag, shaking to coat pieces well with seasoned flour.
  • Shake off excess flour and add beef pieces to hot oil, searing all sides.
  • Remove beef from pan.
  • Add butter to melt.
  • Add celery, onions and carrots, sauteing until soft.
  • Add broth to pan, stirring to loosen any bits from the bottom.
  • Whisk in tomato paste, remaining Bloody Mary mix, remaining Worcestershire sauce and remaining pepperoncini juice.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add garlic and pepperoncinis to pan.
  • Return meat to pan, turning to coat.
  • Simmer 35-40 minutes.
  • Serve over noodles or mashed potatoes.

NOTE: Any heavy pan will work, but I prefer an enameled cast iron for its even cooking.


NACHOS CASSEROLE adapted from LOU LOU girls

2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1 10-ounce can enchilada sauce (you can change this up be using a salsa verde sauce)
1 1/2 cups of your favorite salsa
1 1/2 cups homemade chicken bone broth*
1 teaspoon KINDERS taco seasoning
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the melted butter and flour.
  • Cook, whisking continually, until it begins to bubble; let it bubble for 1 minute.
  • Add the enchilada sauce, salsa, chicken broth, taco seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Raise the heat slightly and bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer while you prepare the meat.

1 pound QUALITY ground beef
1/2 pound shredded chicken
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon KINDERS taco seasoning
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 can BUSH’s seasoned black beans, drained WELL
15-ounce bag Doritos nacho cheese flavored chips

1 1/2 cups shredded jack cheese (pepper jack if you want a bit of a bite)
1 1/2 cups shredded medium Cheddar cheese

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
Crumble beef into skillet along with the onions and garlic, cooking 5-8 minutes until crumbly and cooked through.
Add chicken pieces.
Drain off grease.
Stir in the beans, taco seasoning, salt and pepper.
Add the simmering sauce and shut off the heat.
Mix together the cheeses in a medium bowl.
Stir in 1/3 of the cheese. Save the remaining cheese for assembly.


  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Gently break up the chips by crushing the bag slightly with your hands. Make sure not to over crush the chips; you’re looking for pieces, not crumbs.
  • Pour one third of the broken chips into the prepared baking dish.
    Top with a quarter of the beef mixture and 2/3 cup of the cheese.
  • Repeat, adding another layer of chips, beef mix and cheese.
  • Finish by adding the remaining chips to the top of the casserole.
  • Top with the remaining cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Remove foil and continue to bake15-20 minutes more until bubbly.
  • Add toppings just before serving.

TOPPINGS (optional)
1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
1 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup guacamole
1/4 cup sliced black olives
3 green onions, sliced
Crumbled Cotija cheese
Shredded cheddar
Hot Sauce, optional

NOTE: I use homemade bone broth. In the summertime my bone broth also contains lots of FRESH tomatoes that only enhance the flavor for the better.




1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons butter
1 small Vidalia onion, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced – most recipes call for green, but they don’t agree with me 😀
4-6 large mushrooms, minced
2 tablespoons QUALITY ketchup
1 1/2  tablespoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch 
1  cup homemade beef broth
8  ounces Swiss or Provolone cheese, chopped
1 package Kings Hawaiian slider buns

  • Add the ground beef to a large cast iron skillet browning until completely browned, slightly crusty and crumbled.
  • Using a slotted spoon remove the beef, but leave the fat.
  • Add the butter and the onions, sautéing several minutes until softened.
  • Add the pepper, sautéing a few minutes more until softened.
  • Add the mushrooms, sautéing until cooked through and starting to caramelize..
  • Add the beef back into the pan.
  • Whisk the beef broth and cornstarch together.
  • Add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, beef broth cornstarch mixture into the pan, blending well.
  • Cook 3-5 minutes until the liquid is mostly absorbed.
Turn off the heat, stir in the cheese.
  • Served on buns.


Who doesn’t love a bowl full of the ultimate comfort food? You guessed it, deep dish layered taco pie.
 Especially if you add some homemade salsa, some Mexican sour cream and maybe some cilantro…

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (or a COMBO of ground pork and beef)
2 tablespoons KINDERS taco seasoning
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes & green chiles, drained well
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup biscuit mix
1 cup WHOLE milk
3 LARGE eggs
Sour cream, for garnish
Chopped green onions, for garnish
Salsa, for garnish

  • Preheat the oven to 400º.
  • Spray a 9″ deep baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  • Add ground beef, browning until the beef is no longer pink and crumbled small.
  • Drain off any fat.
  • Add in the taco seasoning and Rotel, mixing well and heating through.
  • Spread the beef mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the biscuit mix, milk and eggs.
  • Pour evenly over the beef and cheese.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the middle of the pie is set and the top is golden brown.
  • Serve immediately garnishing as desired.


4 cups shredded hash browns, cooked crisp
1/4 cup salsa
1 LARGE egg
1/2 package KNORR vegetable soup mix
1 tablespoons KINDERS taco seasoning
2 cups shredded taco blend cheddar cheese, divided
2 pounds ground beef
1 tablespoon chopped FRESH cilantro
Sour cream and Salsa, for serving

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk together the egg, soup mix and seasoning in a small bowl.
  • Crumble beef into a large bowl.
  • Pour egg mixture over meat.
  • Add salsa and 1 cup of the cheese and gently mix all together blending well, but not overworking the meat.
  • Shape into loaf.
  • Bake 1 1/4 hour.
  • Sprinkle remaining cheese over top and bake 5 minutes more until cheese is melted.
  • Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro.
  • Serve with additional salsa and sour cream.



1 pound Stew Beef, cut into bite sized pieces
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
¼ cup WONDRA flour for dredging
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 leeks, thinly sliced
1 SMALL fennel bulb, medium diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup parsnips, diced
1 cup turnips, diced
1 cup celery root, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 bunch FRESH thyme

  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Preheat butter and 1 tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Toss beef in seasoned flour.
  • Sear beef on all sides for 2 minutes per side, or until browned.
  • Remove beef from Dutch oven and set aside.
  • Add remaining oil, fennel, leeks and garlic to Dutch oven and sauté until slightly translucent, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Deglaze with white wine, simmering until reduced by half.
  • Add remaining ingredients and bring to a SLOW simmer.
  • Cover and place in oven for 2 hours or until beef is fork tender.
  • Once stew is finished cooking remove thyme sprigs and discard.


This is a savory, aromatic, and yet sweet as well as tangy sour slowly cooked (for hours and hours) brisket based on traditional Ashkenazi Jewish recipes. It’s always a crowd pleaser!

Brisket is one of the tougher cuts of meat that many Jewish recipes have tamed into a tasty cut by slow cooking a well marbled cut of meat with a decent fat cap. DO NOT TRIM OFF THE FAT. The fat is necessary to help break down the toughness as it roasts turning it into a piece of meat that easily flakes apart into tender pieces that just melts in your mouth. This cut also tastes even better a day or two after it’s prepared. I searched through many recipes to come up with one of my own that appeased all my picky eaters.

This is traditionally the cut of meat that is pickled and made into Pastrami or Corned Beef brought to the U.S. by immigrants and is a traditional staple for many Jewish families for special holidays and special occasions.

5-7 pound brisket, DO NOT trim fat – especially if it’s grass fed

1/4 cup avocado oil, divided
2 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 pound celery, peeled and sliced thin
one 14 ounce can tomatoes – whole, diced, or crushed OR two 8 ounce cans of crushed pineapple – see notes
5-6 peeled whole garlic cloves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Apple Cider vinegar
2 cups beef bone broth
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 300.
  • Rinse the brisket and pat dry.
  • Rub both sides of the meat with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Heat a large skillet over a medium heat.
  • Drizzle 2 tablespoons of avocado oil into the pan.
  • Brown the brisket 5 minutes on each side. Depending on the size of your brisket you it may need to be browned in parts or stages to get the whole thing browned.
  • While the brisket is browning, add the tomatoes, garlic, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and 1 ½ cups broth into a blender or food processor. If using the crushed pineapple you can just whisk it all together.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of salt and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. Pulse till garlic is chopped small and all ingredients are well combined.
  • Remove the browned brisket from the skillet.
  • Drizzle 2 tablespoons more avocado oil in the pan and add the sliced onions, sautéing them over medium high for a few minutes until they begin to soften and shrink in size.
  • Add the carrot and celery slices, sauteing 5-6 minutes until the onions are soft and browning and the vegetables are fragrant.
  • Transfer the vegetables out of the skillet and onto a plate, set aside.
  • Add 1/2 cup beef stock into the skillet and let it heat up.
  • Use a spatula to gently scrape up any brown bits and pan juices that are clinging to the skillet. Turn off heat.
  • Pour half of the tomato mixture into a large roasting pan, ceramic if you have one that large.
  • Place brisket on top of sauce, fat cap facing up.
  • Pour the sauteed vegetables across the top of the brisket, along with the broth and brown bits.
  • Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the top of the vegetables and brisket.
  • Cover the roasting pan tightly with a strong layer of parchment paper followed by a layer of foil. The parchment forms a protective layer between the meat and sauce (which is acidic) and the foil. If you have a ceramic roaster with a glass lid you can skip the parchment and foil step.
  • Place brisket in the oven and roast COMPLETELY undisturbed for 5 to 7 hours. It will take about 1 hour per pound of meat (leaner cuts, especially grass fed may take longer—test for desired doneness). Brisket is ready when it flakes tenderly when pierced with a fork. You can let it cook even longer for a soft, shredded texture if that’s what you prefer. When fully cooked, the brisket will have shrunk considerably in size.
Remove brisket from the pan and let it rest on the cutting board fat-side up for 20-30 minutes.
  • Pour the sauce and vegetables from the roasting pan into a smaller saucepan.
  • Skim fat from the surface of the cooking sauce, then SLOWLY simmer the sauce until hot DO NOT BOIL.
Cut fat cap off the brisket, then cut the brisket in thin slices against the grain.
  • Serve topped with the warmed sauce and veggies.

This is delicious immediately, but I highly recommend making this recipe a couple days in advance because the brisket just gets so much more flavorful as it sits.


  • When brisket comes out of the oven, open the foil to vent and let the brisket slowly return to room temperature.
  • Switch the brisket and sauce to a ceramic or glass dish (metal from the roasting pan can react with the acid in the sauce, which can cause an off taste if left to sit).
  • Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
  • Let the brisket chill overnight, or up to two days. You can also freeze the brisket if you prefer.
  • 1-2 hours before serving, remove the brisket from the refrigerator and preheat your oven to 350°.
  • The fat in the sauce will have risen to the top, turned white, and solidified. Use a spoon to scoop the fat bits out of the sauce and discard.
  • Take the brisket out of the dish and brush any excess sauce back into the dish.
  • Place brisket on a cutting board, fat-side up.
  • Cut the fat cap off the brisket and then cut the brisket into thin slices against the grain.
  • Return the sliced meat to the dish and spoon sauce over it, making sure to spoon a little sauce between each slice.
  • Cover the dish with a layer of parchment paper, then with foil or better yet a glass lid, and place it in the oven.
  • Let the brisket roast for 45-60 minutes until heated through.


  • It can also be reheated in a slow cooker on high heat for 1 hour.
  • Tomatoes are more savory, pineapple is sweeter, but they both contribute to the sweet & sour name.


1 bunch green onions or 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vodka pasta sauce, homemade or jarred – your choice
3 cups homemade beef stock
12 ounces penne pasta
1/4 cup chopped marinated sun-dried tomato pieces
1/2-3/4 cup quartered marinated mozzarella balls
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • Coat 12 inch non-stick skillet with non-stick cooking spray. I like to use my heavy enameled cast iron crock pot skillet.
  • Heat over medium-high heat.
  • Add beef, sweet Italian sausage, most of the green onions (save some for garnish), FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper to taste, cooking 8-10 minutes and breaking up the meat into small crumbles until meat is cooked through.
  • Add garlic and stir 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Drain the meat and discard the grease.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the sauce and water to skillet. Bring to boil.
  • Add pasta and red pepper flakes.
  • Cover 10-12 minutes and cook JUST until tender.
  • Stir in meat and remaining sauce, cooking a couple minutes to heat through.
  • Gently fold in Mozzarella ball pieces.
  • Top with scallions and serve immediately.


This is the ultimate cheeseburger experience FULL of your favorite flavors from a standard cheeseburger with a TEX-MEX flair, WITHOUT the carbs from the bun AND is gluten free!!


1 pound ground round
1 bunch green onions, sliced and separated
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Pampered Chef taco seasoning

1/2 pound bacon, diced, cooked and crumbled
4 LARGE eggs
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 LARGE can green chiles, drained WELL OR 1 can original ROTEL, drained WELL
1/3-1/2 cup der Weinerschitzel chili OPTIONAL
1 1/2 cups SHARP grated cheddar cheese
Mexican sour cream

  • Spray 9×9 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Add beef and onion whites to a large skillet over medium-high heat, browning 5-7 minutes until crumbly and cooked through.
  • Sprinkle with taco seasoning.
  • Add garlic, stirring a minute more until fragrant.
  • Drain off excess grease.
  • Fold in bacon pieces, rotel tomatoes or green chiles and chili if using. Set aside to cool.
  • Whisk together the eggs, heavy cream and FRESH ground salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add half the cheese.
  • Fold cooled meat mixture into the egg mixture, blending well.
  • Spread into prepared baking dish.
  • Top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes or until top is golden.
  • Garnish as desired with green onion tops and ENJOY!
  • Add a dollop of salsa or sour cream for an added OOMPH!


  • ANY creamy non-bean chili can be substituted.
  • This recipes double or even triples easily for a crowd.