Tex-Mex Bagel Breakfast Casserole

We are big fans of breakfast for dinner around here. Are you? It’s always my go-to on nights where I’m busy or unprepared. I always have bacon in my freezer and Kodiak pancake mix in my pantry which makes a quick meal. We also have scrambled eggs and toast often. We also LOVE a good breakfast casserole. There’s one that I make with crescent rolls that is probably one of my kids’ top 3 favorite meals of mine. I need to share that one someday too! When I was looking over the Lee’s Marketplace ad this week, I noticed lots of breakfast items on sale. I remembered that I had written “bagel breakfast casserole” on my recipe idea list a while back so my wheels started spinning. There were lots of directions I could go with it but, of course, I decided on a Tex-Mex version. I made it up as I went and I could not be happier with how my Tex-Mex Bagel Breakfast Casserole turned out!

This casserole is easy to make and bold on flavor which y’all know is my thing! Here’s almost the whole cast of characters except for the milk and cheddar that I used. I decided I need those as I started creating! Ha!

Everything you need minus the milk and cheddar.

I used turkey sausage because it’s delicious, low fat, and tastes just as good as pork in my opinion. I also like the fact that I don’t need to drain grease!

After browning the sausage, pepper, and onions you add in a can of Mild Rotel that has been drained. A classic Tex-Mex ingredient!

I used 4 bagels and it was the perfect amount.
Then add your sausage mixture.
Next pour the egg and cheese mixture on. Ready to bake!

I love the addition of the cumin and chili powder to the eggs. It definitely adds more Tex-Mex flavor to it! Also, you can use any combo of cheddar, Monterrey Jack or pepper jack cheese as long as it totals 2 cups.

If you’re a cilantro hater, leave it off but we are huge fans! I love the brightness that it adds.

This is definitely going on our regular dinner rotation! It would also be amazing for a weekend breakfast or brunch. You just can’t go wrong with bagels, sausage, eggs, cheese, and all the bold Tex-Mex flavors! You really need to get this on your menu ASAP and if you’re a Lee’s Marketplace shopper, most of the ingredients are on sale!

Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace. Items on sale the week of March 3-9: bagels, eggs (a few varieties), turkey sausage, Rotel, cheese (several varieties), cumin (Badia brand), cilantro

Tex-Mex Bagel Breakfast Casserole

  • Servings: Serves 6-8
  • Print

Ingredients

16 oz turkey sausage (or pork)
1 bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 can Mild Rotel tomatoes, drained
8 eggs
½ cup milk
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup pepper jack cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese
4 bagels, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Cooking Spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add sausage, peppers, and onions to a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and crumble the sausage until browned and vegetables are tender.
Drain grease if needed. Add Rotel tomatoes to pan and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with milk, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Add shredded cheese and stir to combine.

Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray. Add bagel pieces. Add sausage mixture evenly over the top. Pour egg mixture on evenly.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until browned. Allow to sit for 5 minutes then garnish with cilantro before serving.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Tacos with Mango Lime Slaw

This is the time of year here in Utah where I’m over the cold and need some warm sunshine in my life. I dream of being on a beach somewhere tropical. Since that’s not happening anytime soon, I have to get creative in order to get out of my winter funk. That’s where my Jamaican Jerk Chicken Tacos with Mango Lime Slaw come to the rescue. The warm, spicy flavors take me back to our time in Jamaica 10 years ago! I made it yesterday on ABC4’s Good Things Utah and it was a hit! Watch me make it here!

Ben and I went on a cruise 10 years ago and we had authentic Jerk Chicken when we stopped in Haiti then again when we were in Jamaica. I fell in love with the sweet and spicy flavors! In Haiti we had the real deal-grilled Jerk Chicken on a huge outdoor grill (wish I had pics). Then in Jamaica we just went to a Hard Rock Cafe and they had the BEST Jerk Chicken sandwich served with a guava based sauce. We loved the sauce so much that they gave us a bottle! Ever since that trip, we have been making Jerk Chicken on the grill using store-bought spice blends.

I was taking pics of food back in 2010 before it was even cool to do it! Ha!
With our awesome, crazy, funny tour guide, Alfonso, in Ochos Rios, Jamaica.

I am always trying to come up with new taco recipes because they’re my favorite food and can be so versatile. I have had these Jerk Chicken ones in mind for a long time and am so so happy with how it turned out. You just add some chicken breasts to your slow cooker along with onions, garlic, jalapenos, and lots of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Sounds like a weird combo but trust me it’s amazing! When it’s done you just shred it and serve on tortillas with the Mango Lime Slaw. You can also grill the chicken instead!

Just throw it all in and let it cook. So easy and feeds a crowd! Omit the broth but leave everything else if you’d rather grill the chicken.

Now let’s talk about the slaw. Oh my goodness! My Mango Lime Slaw is so simple yet so crazy delicious! Mango, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and mayo are blended up then tossed with slaw mix. It is bright, tangy and pairs so well with the sweet and spicy chicken. It makes for the perfect bite!

Fun fact: the lighting in the TV studio is terrible for food pics! This is the best I could do. I guess I need to make it again to get some better pics-oh darn!

You know what else is great about these tacos? Kids love them! My own kids devoured them. My 12 year old is soooo picky and went back for thirds! At the Good Things Utah station, there were a bunch of kids in the audience that got to have some and they all loved them too. You’d think that the unique combo of flavors would be too much for kids but that’s not the case. It has just enough spice not to overwhelm and the sweetness is just so yummy!

You need to get these on your menu ASAP! Feeling the winter blues? Take a trip to the islands in your own kitchen! You’ll love these Jamaican Jerk Chicken Tacos with Mango Lime Slaw. They are one of my favorite recipe creations yet!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Tacos with Mango Lime Slaw

Ingredients

For the chicken:
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2-3 jalapeños-stems removed, sliced in half, seeds removed
1 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 TB soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the slaw:
14 oz bag traditional slaw
1 1/2 cups mango, fresh or frozen (thawed)
2 limes, juiced
Cilantro, 1/3 bunch
1/2 red onion, rough chopped
1/2 jalapeño, stem and seeds removed
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup mayonnaise

Additional ingredients:
Flour tortillas
Avocado slices
Queso fresco

Directions

Place chicken in slow cooker then add onions and jalapeño. Mix all remaining ingredients in a bowl then pour over chicken. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Shred chicken in the slow cooker with the broth (or remove, shred, and place back into broth).

To make slaw, place mango, lime juice, cilantro, onion, jalapeño and salt in a food processor or blender. Blend until mostly smooth. Add mayo and blend. Place slaw into medium/ large bowl and add 1 cup of mango mixture then toss to combine. Save remaining sauce for garnish.

Place chicken in tortillas and top with slaw. Garnish with avocado, queso fresco and extra dressing (if desired).

Notes:
1. You can also grill the chicken. Place chicken breasts in a zip top bag and add all chicken ingredients minus the broth. Marinate for 3 or more hours then grill. Slice to serve on tacos.
2. Leave seeds in jalapeños for extra spice. Not spicy enough? Add some cayenne pepper.

Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I have another quick, easy, and healthy dinner for y’all! This is really more of an idea than a recipe because it is so versatile and there are so many delicious filling ideas. I actually used to HATE sweet potatoes until about 7 years ago when I created the hash linked here. I love them now and am always looking for ways to add them to our dinners.

Y’all know that I always have Mexican food on my mind and tacos are my favorite food ever. How did it take me so long to start making Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes?!? They are so good and so simple! For the ones pictured here, I used ground beef cooked with bell pepper and my favorite Frontera taco sauce. Then I topped them with shredded cheddar, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, and green onions. There are so many more options too! For the actual “recipe,” I listed what was used for the picture but check the notes for more yummy ideas. I love this family dinner because everyone can customize their sweet potato to their liking!

My favorite taco sauce!

Did you know that just one sweet potato contains 400% of your daily Vitamin A? They are such a great source of fiber, beta-carotene, antioxidants and potassium too. Skip the tortilla for this meal and fill a sweet potato with all the taco goodness that you love!

Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace. Items on sale the week of February 25-March 2: Ground beef (2 days only-Friday and Saturday), taco seasoning (several brands), bell pepper, sour cream, shredded cheese

Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

4 sweet potatoes
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pouch Frontera Taco Skillet Sauce
1 bell pepper, chopped
Pico de gallo
Shredded cheddar
Sour cream
Green onions, sliced
Guacamole

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with foil and prick (clean) sweet potatoes with a fork. Bake until tender, about 45-60 minutes depending on size.

In a large skillet, brown ground beef with bell pepper. Drain if needed. Add taco sauce and cook until warmed through.

Open up sweet potatoes and fill with taco meat, cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream and green onions.

Notes:
1. Ground turkey can be used instead.
2. Other topping ideas: black beans, salsa, sliced avocado, black olives, corn, jalapenos, lettuce, fresh tomatoes

Lemon Thyme Chicken & Potatoes

There’s just something about adding fresh herbs and lemon to chicken. It completely elevates the dish and transforms it into something that tastes special. Am I right? Well, guess what? My Lemon Thyme Chicken & Potatoes might taste fancy but it’s so simple to make!

Last weekend was cold and cloudy when I made this. It was the perfect dish to brighten my day! Served it with a side of asparagus and it felt like spring.

Simple, bright, flavorful ingredients.

I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this because that’s what is on sale at Lee’s this week but you could definitely switch those out with bone-in skin-on breasts or even chicken thighs. You can still get a great sear on skinless though! Just make sure your heat is almost all the way high and leave them alone for 4-5 minutes per side. You can also pound the breasts thin so that cooking time is faster. I was in a hurry so I left mine as is. Turned out great, though, thanks to an internal meat thermometer!

Look at that sear!

Do you use Better than Bouillon? If not, get some! I hardly ever use canned broth anymore because the flavor doesn’t come close to what this can do. I keep the chicken and beef flavors in the fridge at all times. I love the richness and depth of flavor that it adds!

I love that this came together in 30 minutes and my kids devoured it. I also love that it works wonderfully for a “dine-in” Valentine’s dinner. I always cook a “fancy” dinner for my family on Valentine’s Day and this would be so perfect!

Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace. Items on sale the week of February 4-10: chicken breasts, butter, and Dijon

One more close up! This is fun to make!

Lemon Thyme Chicken & Potatoes

Ingredients

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 lb potatoes, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons, halved
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon chicken base
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Cook potatoes in salted boiling water until tender, drain, set aside.
Add the juice of 2 lemons, chicken base, thyme, garlic, Dijon and water in a small bowl then whisk to combine and set aside. (Do not discard lemon halves)
Sprinkle chicken liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet on high heat. Add chicken and sear for 4-5 minutes until brown and seared. Flip and brown other side.
Lower heat to medium-high then add liquid and reserved lemon halves to the skillet, cover, and continue cooking until internal temperature of chicken is 165°. Flip chicken over halfway through cooking to keep covered in sauce and moist.
Remove lid then add 2 tablespoons of butter and allow to melt into the sauce. Remove chicken and place on platter. Add potatoes to the pan and toss. Pour over chicken, sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
Notes:
1. Bone-in, skin on chicken breasts or chicken thighs would also work great in this dish.
2. Use a meat thermometer to ensure perfectly cooked chicken.
3. Red potatoes or Yukon Golds are recommended.

Italian Mac N Cheese

I am pulling a recipe out of the vault of my family’s favorite recipes this week! I wrote this down watching a Food Network show 10+ years ago and have been making it ever since. Yes I wrote it down and didn’t print it! I think it was a Rachael Ray recipe but I’m not sure so thank you to whoever shared it first! I have tweaked it slightly over the years but didn’t change much because it’s pretty perfect. You just can’t go wrong with a homemade Italian cheese sauce, Italian sausage, buttery garlic mushrooms, and the tomatoes that brighten it all up!

Italian Mac N Cheese is a 30 minute meal that tastes like you worked for hours. If you want the process to move quickly, my biggest piece of advice is to prep everything ahead of time. Measure out the broth and cream, chop the mushrooms, mince the garlic, etc. While you’re prepping, start boiling your water too. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the less stressed you’ll be when you’re cooking. This dish is really fun to make!

Always salt your pasta water generously! Adds so much flavor!

I prefer to use crimini or baby bella mushrooms in this over button mushrooms because they have more flavor. Side note, my kids HATE mushrooms but still love this dish. They are easy to pick out!

Have you ever made a roux? Knowing how to make one is such a useful cooking skill because you’ll be able to make the most delicious homemade sauces and gravy. You do have to make one in the dish but it is so easy! It’s basically flour and fat cooked together to thicken a sauce. In this case, the fat is the butter and olive oil that the mushrooms are cooked in. Just sprinkle the flour on, cook for a minute or two, then add the liquid.

This is one of those dishes that will impress dinner guests because they’ll think you’ve been cooking all day. I have made it countless times over the years for company and everyone loves it. Because it’s a 30 minute meal, it is also great for busy week nights. It makes a lot too and makes great leftovers (if you don’t devour it all)! This is a win-win kind of meal!

Fresh out of the oven. Hard to tell but that’s a huge 12-inch skillet!

Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace. Items on sale at Lee’s the week of Jan 21-27: penne, Italian sausage, olive oil, butter, flour, chicken broth, Italian cheese blend, Parmesan, diced tomatoes

Italian Mac N Cheese

Ingredients

1 lb. penne pasta
1 lb. mild Italian sausage (bulk not links)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz package crimini or button mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend, divided
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Cook pasta according to package directions. Preheat broiler.

Heat a large non-stick skillet (broiler safe) to medium-high heat. Cook and crumble sausage until brown then drain and set aside. Add olive oil and butter to the pan then add garlic and mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes or until mushrooms are brown and soft.

Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir to make a roux. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken stock and heavy cream. Bring to a low boil then stir in ¾ of the cheese blend. When the cheese melts, add tomatoes, salt, and pepper then stir. Bring to a boil then add pasta and sausage. Stir until everything is well combined.

Turn off heat and sprinkle remaining cheese blend and parmesan over the top. Place skillet in oven under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Note: If you do not have a broiler safe skillet, just transfer the pasta mixture to a baking dish. Sprinkle on cheeses and place under broiler.

Korean Beef & Veggie Bowls

Happy New Year! This is my first post of 2020 and I’m so excited to share it with y’all. I have so many delicious recipes and foodie projects planned this year and I feel it in my bones that this year is going to be amazing!

A few weeks ago I asked my awesome followers on Instagram what kind of recipes that they were looking for now that the holidays are over. 99% of the responses were “quick, easy, and healthy.” Surprise, surprise. Ha! I am definitely known for my cheesy, indulgent, Tex-Mex recipes but I also have quite a few healthy ones. I love to balance comfort food with healthy! My philosophy on healthy recipes is that they must still have big, bold flavors. Taste should never be sacrificed for a healthy meal because it doesn’t have to!

The first recipe that came to mind was this one. My Korean Beef & Veggie Bowls are so flavorful and so delicious that you’ll be putting it on your regular dinner rotation. Now, don’t @ me because of the sugar! Ha! “Healthy” is a relative term because everyone is on a different eating plan these days. Sugar to some is a huge “no no” but for me, if it’s full of veggies and has healthy, lean protein, then I’m sold! You could definitely experiment with sugar alternatives and use even leaner meats like ground turkey or chicken.

“Easy” was another big request and this one definitely checks that box. I had my veggies chopped and dinner served in 30 minutes! My kids loved it! You could also double the recipe and use it for meal prep for the week. I love how versatile this is!

This is a sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace. Items on sale the week of January 14-20: ground beef, bell pepper, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice

Korean Beef & Veggie Bowls

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil (or other light oil)
2 cups zucchini, sliced
1 cup carrot, sliced into matchsticks
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 bunch green onions, sliced and divided
1 lb lean ground beef
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 ½ tablespoons sesame oil
2-3 tablespoons Gochujang sauce
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups cooked white or brown rice
Sriracha sauce (optional)

Directions

Heat a large non-stick skillet to medium-high. Add olive oil then add zucchini, carrot, bell pepper, and about ¾ of the green onions. Sauté until vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.

Push vegetables to the side of the pan and add ground beef. Cook and crumble then stir into the vegetables. Drain grease if needed (use lean meat so you don’t have to).

To the pan, add brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, Gochujang, ginger, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, reduce heat to medium, and let cook for 5-10 more minutes.

Serve on top of rice and garnish with remaining green onions and sriracha sauce.

Note: Gochujang can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores. Don’t leave it out! It’s worth the buy and adds amazing flavor.