Million Dollar Spaghetti

Ingredients

  • ▢ 8 tablespoons butter, sliced
  • ▢ 2 pounds ground beef, lean
  • ▢ ½ cup cottage cheese (or Ricotta)
  • ▢ 8 ounces cream cheese
  • ▢ 3 cups Mozzarella, grated
  • ▢ 1 cup onions, diced
  • ▢ ¼ cup sour cream
  • ▢ 1 pound spaghetti, broken into thirds
  • ▢ 3 cloves garlic
  • ▢ 48 ounces marinara sauce
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ▢ ½ teaspoon cayenne

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°
  • Cook spaghetti in salted, boiling water – don’t overcook!
  • Drain. Add 12 ounces (½ a jar) of marinara sauce to the spaghetti and set aside.
  • Add onion and ground beef to pan.
  • Saute until beef is cooked and onion is almost translucent.
  • Add garlic, smoked paprika, and 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning; cook for a minute or two more.
  • Drain excess fat from pan.
  • Add half the sauce to the meat mixture and stir well. Set aside.
  • Heat the cream cheese in the microwave until soft.
  • Mix ½ cup of the Mozzarella, sour cream, cottage cheese, and cream cheese with 1 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning.
  • Blend until smooth and well mixed.
  • Place 8 squares of butter in the bottom of the 13×9-inch pan.
  • Cover with half the spaghetti.
  • Spoon the cheese mixture over the spaghetti and gently smooth into a layer.
  • Sprinkle with 1-½ cups of Mozzarella.
  • Cover with the remaining spaghetti.
  • Add the meat sauce in a smooth layer.
  • Add the remaining sauce over the meat.
  • Cover with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
  • Check and if the cheese is getting too brown cover with aluminum foil and bake 10-15 more minutes – or until the center registers 165° on an insta-read thermometer.
  • Remove from the oven and let stand 5-10 minutes.

Notes

Expert Tip: I like to break the spaghetti up into thirds before cooking. The smaller sized noodles make it easier to cut and serve.

  • This is a good dish for sneaking in vegetables if you have veggie-haters at your house. Chop them and add in with the meat and sauce mixture.
  • Let the million dollar spaghetti casserole sit for about 5-10 minutes after you remove it from the oven. This gives it a chance to solidify a little and it won’t fall apart (much) when you cut into it to serve.
  • Use a lean ground beef. I like the 90/10 mix.
  • This is amazing for potlucks! It doesn’t have to be steaming hot to be good AND it’s easy to take with you. Plus it makes a ton. I’ve never brought any leftovers home – the dish is always clean.

Fiesta Tortilla Roll Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 – 8 ounce package light cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup fresh salsa (I used Sabra)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon sriachi sauce
  • ¼ cup each chopped green, red, and yellow sweet pepper
  • ½ cup chopped black olives
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 tortillas – use any flavor you wish!

Instructions

  1. Beat cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, and seasonings together in a small bowl until smooth. Stir olives, peppers, and Cheddar cheese into the cream cheese mixture.
  2. Spread about ½ cup of cream cheese mixture onto each tortilla. Roll each tortilla like a jelly roll; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight. Cut into 1-inch slices.

Skillet Turkey Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 pounds 93% lean ground turkey (I use Shady Brook Farms)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup whole milk Ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 4 hamburger buns (lightly toasted and buttered, if desired)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  2. Place the ground turkey in a medium-size bowl. Add the salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, ricotta cheese, bread crumbs, and mustard. Using your hands, mix until well blended. Divide the meat mixture into 4 equal portions. Lightly toss one portion from hand to hand to form a ball, then lightly flatten the ball with your fingertips into a 3/4-inch-thick patty with a slight depression in the center (this prevents the burgers from puffing up when cooked). Repeat with the remaining portions.
  3. Heat a large, heavy, ovenproof skillet over medium heat until very hot, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the oil to the pan and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the burgers and cook over medium heat, without moving the burgers, until the bottom side of each is dark golden brown and crusted, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the burgers over; continue to cook until the bottom side is light brown but not yet crusted, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the pan to the oven and continue cooking for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the burgers are completely cooked (an instant-read thermometer inserted from the side of the burger into the center should register 160°F). Remove the burgers from the pan and serve immediately.
  1. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The uncooked burgers can be frozen for up to three months. (Freeze the burgers on a baking sheet or plate so their shape sets, then transfer them to a sealable plastic bag for easy storage.) Defrost the burgers overnight in the refrigerator prior to serving and then cook as directed.