Monday, March 14, 2011

Main Dish Recipes

Main Dish Recipes
(Duty "Tried and Trues!")

                                           (Pictured: Chicken Pastina, courtesy Food Network)
Baked Ziti

• 1 lb. spicy Italian sausage
• 1 pkg. ziti noodles
• 1 jar 3-cheese pasta sauce
• 3 C. mozzarella cheese
• ½ C. parmesan cheese
• ½ bar of cream cheese
• 1 tsp. garlic salt, basil, pepper

Brown sausage with spices. Drain meat and simmer with pasta sauce, cream cheese and parmesan. Cooke pasta, al dente. Drain and mix the meat sauce with the pasta. Pour into a greased casserole dish and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Broil for a minute or two to give it that Carino’s look on top.

BBQ Chicken Packets 

• Boneless chicken breasts
• BBQ sauce
• Frozen corn
• Chopped bell pepper
• Shredded cheese

Preheat to 450 degrees. Center chicken a sheet of aluminum foil. Spoon BBQ sauce over chicken. Top with veggies and cheese. Double over foil, leaving airspace. Make as many or as little packets as you want. Bake 30-45 minutes on cookie sheet.

Braised Roast 

• Deer roast/beef shoulder (2-4 lbs.)
• Spices (salt, pepper, garlic salt and pepper, smidgen of cayenne)
• Oil
• Water
• Rice

Heat pot with oil. Season roast on both sides liberally with spices. Once pan is hot, add roast at high heat to quickly brown the outside (both sides). When nicely browned, add enough water to come up halfway up the sides of the roast. Put lid on pot, lower heat and simmer until meat is tender. Continue adding water. Could be ready in 45 minutes or continue to simmer several hours for better flavor and tenderness. Serve with rice.


• 2 – 10.5 oz. cans beef consomme
• 1 ½ C. low-sodium soy sauce
• Juice of 2 lemons
• 5 garlic cloves, chopped
• 1 T. liquid smoke (optional)
• 1 – 5-7 lb. beef brisket (trimmed)

Marinate brisket in the beef consomme, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic and liquid smoke. Place brisket in roastin pan, fat side up. Cover with foil and place in fridge to marinate for 24-48 hours. Pop brisket in 300 degree oven (covered in foil) and cook for 40 min. per pound). Or place in crockpot on low for 8 hours.

Check to see if it is fork-tender. If not, return to oven for increments of 20 minutes until it is. Slice brisket until it is falling apart. Scoop up sliced brisket and return to the juices in the pan (or crockpot) and keep warm in there.


• 1 box medium shell pasta
• 1 package of bacon, cooked and cut
• 1 C. chicken, grilled and cubed
• 1 stick butter
• 1 C. heavy cream
• 1 bell pepper, sliced
• 1 C. parmesan cheese, shredded
• 2 tsp. garlic salt, pepper,
• 1 tsp. cayenne

Boil pasta, al dente and drain. Add all ingredients except for Parmesan and mix well. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top before serving.

Chicken & Rice Casserole 

• 1 Stick butter, melted
• 1 can Cream of Chicken soup
• 1 can water
• 2 C. rice, uncooked
• Salt, pepper , garlic powder/salt, lots of sage, poultry spice to taste
• 1 lb. of cooked chicken, cut up

Add butter to bottom of baking dish. Add rice, chicken, soup, water and spices. Bake at 350 degrees. Cover with foil for 30 minutes and uncover the last 30 minutes. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top (optional).

Chicken Fried Steak 

• 3 C. flour
• Salt, pepper, cayenne
• 1 C. buttermilk
• 1 large egg
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 6 cube steaks, pounded 1/4 inch thick
• 4-5 C. vegetable oil

Toss flour, 1 T. salt, 1 tsp. pepper and cayenne together. In another dish beat buttermilk, egg, powder and soda together. Season steaks with salt and pepper and dredge through flour, buttermilk and again through flour. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Fry about 5 minutes on each side and transfer to towel-lined plate.

For the gravy, add thyme, 2 cloves of garlic (minced) and 3 T. of flour. Whisk in 1/2 C. of chicken broth and scrape up browned bits. Wisk in 2 C. of whole milk, salt, pepper and cayenne until thickened.

Chicken Pastina

• 1 box pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
• 2 T. olive oil
• 2 C. cubed chicken breast
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes with juice
• 1 C. shredded mozzarella
• 1/4 C. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 C. bread crumbs
• 1/4 C. grated Parmesan
• 1 T. butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Chicken Pesto Pizza:

• 1 dough ball (you can make or buy these pre-made, Sam’s is less than $1 per ball)
• ¼ C. pesto sauce (mine came from a jar)
• 1 tsp. minced garlic
• 2 T. butter
• ½ C. grilled chicken breast, cut up
• 1 C. Monterrey Jack shredded cheese
• 2 T. Parmesan cheese
Tomatoes (optional)

Press out dough. Melt butter and spoon out with garlic and pesto sauce on all but 1 inch around the edge. Place chicken evenly around. Sprinkle cheese evenly with Parmesan on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Chicken Pot Pie

• 3 medium carrots, peeled
• 4 T. stick butter
• ½ C. frozen peas
• 2 C. cooked chicken, chopped
• ¼ C. flour
• 2 C. chicken broth
• 1 package instant mashed potatoes
• 1 can cream of chicken
• 1 C. heavy cream
• 1 tsp. thyme, sage, kosher salt, pepper
• 1 can biscuits
• Shredded cheese

Dice carrots. Melt butter in large pot. Add carrots and peas and cook for a couple of minutes. Add chicken and combine. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and combine. Cook for a couple minutes.
Pour chicken broth, cream of chicken, instant mashed potatoes, cream and spices. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Pour chicken mixture into greased casserole dish. Pull out biscuits and cut in half with a sharp knife lengthwise (so as making 2 biscuits from each one).
Place biscuit halves on top of mixture and cut remaining ones into fourths and squeeze in, wherever you can. Bake for 20 minutes, until brown and bubbly. Cook 10 minutes before serving. Serve with shredded cheese on top.

Chicken Spaghetti

• 2 C. cooked chicken, cut up
• 1 lb. thin spaghetti, broken in 2 in. pieces
• ¼ C. minced green pepper
• 2 cans cream of chicken soup
• 2 ½ C. grated cheddar cheese
• 1 tsp. seasoned salt, pepper, sage, garlic powder (and cayenne to taste)
• ¼ block of Velveeta

Bring broth to a boil and add spaghetti. Cook spaghetti and drain when done. Add chicken, cream of chicken, Velveeta and spices. Stir until well blended. Pour into a greased casserole dish, spread grated cheese over the top and bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Chicken Stirfry 

• 1 C. chicken broth
• 1/4 C. cold water
• 6 T. soy sauce
• 2 T. oil
• 2 T. onion, finely chopped
• 4 C. stirfry veggies
• 2 T. cornstarch
• 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp. ginger
• 1 green pepper
• 1 lb. boneless chicken, cut in strips
• Crushed red pepper flakes to taste

Heat oil in skillet. Cook chicken, onion, bell pepper, and veggies. Mix broth, water, soy sauce, cornstarch, garlic and ginger. Remove chicken from skillet. Add mix, stirring constantly until thick. Add chicken and veggies to sauce and cook 5 minutes. Serve with rice.

Crockpot Chicken and Potatoes 

• 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
• 1/2 C. Italian salad dressing
• 1 tsp. Italian seasoning (or mix basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, and garlic powder to equal same)
• 1/2 C. grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
• 4 to 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges or thick slices

Place chicken in bottom of Crock Pot. Sprinkle with half of the Italian dressing, spices, and the grated cheese. Put the potatoes on top or around the chicken. Sprinkle with the rest of the dressing, spices, and cheese. Cook on low for about 6-8 hours, or until the chicken is done and potatoes are tender.

Crockpot Meatloaf 

• 2 lb. hamburger meat
• 1 C. Italian breadcrumbs
• 2 eggs
• 1 tsp. oregano, thyme, Worcestershire
• 1 pkg. Pioneer brown gravy mix

Put hamburger and bread crumbs in mixing bowl. Add eggs, oregano, thyme and Worcestershire and half the package of gravy. Moosh together and pat into a round, ball shape. Put into crockpot. Take other half of gravy mix and put into small bowl with 1 C. water, ½ tsp. oregano, thyme and 1 T. Worcestershire. Mix up well and pour over loaf. Cover, set to high and cook 3-4 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Easy Italian Chicken 

• 3 or 4 Chicken Breasts
• 1 Stick Butter
• 1 Pkg. Italian Dressing Mix
• ¼ C. Lime Juice

Season chicken with salt & pepper. Pour dressing mix, lime juice, and butter over chicken. Bake for 1 hour (covered) at 350°. Remove cover and bake another 15 minutes.

Enchilada Casserole 

• 1 lb. ground beef
• 2 T. onion, chopped
• 2 cans cream of chicken
• 1 can enchilada sauce
• 1 sml. can green chilies
• tortillas/tortilla chips
• grated cheese
Spices to taste (taco/fajita seasoning, salt, pepper)

Brown beef. Add onion, soups, sauce, and chilies. Mix well. Layer meat, torn tortillas/chips, cheese until all ingredients are used up. End with cheese on top. Bake for 30 min. at 350 degrees.

Garlic Lime Chicken 

• 1 tsp. salt, pepper, garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, paprika
• 1/2 tsp. teaspoon onion powder, thyme
• 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
• 2 T. butter, olive oil
• 1/2 C. chicken broth
• 4 T. lime juice

In a bowl, mix together first 7 ingredients. Sprinkle mixture on both sides of chicken breasts.
In a skillet heat butter and olive oil together over medium high heat. Saute chicken until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Turn down the heat, remove the chicken (keeping warm) and add the lime juice and chicken broth to the pan, whisking up the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. Keep cooking until sauce has reduced slightly. Add chicken back to the pan to thoroughly coat and serve.


• 1 lb. ground beef or sausage, cooked
• 1/4 block of Velveeta
• 1 (16 oz.) package of noodles
• 1 can Rotel
• 1 handful frozen corn
• Salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne to taste

Boil noodles until tender (approx. 15 minutes). Drain. Add in the rest of the ingredients and serve.

Green Chile Chicken Casserole 

• 1 lb. cooked chicken, cut up
• 1 T. minced onion (use more if you like onions)
• 1 can green chilies
• 2 cans cream of chicken soup
• Corn tortillas
• Shredded cheddar cheese
• Salt, pepper and spices to taste

Saute onions in a T. of butter, add soups, salt, pepper, spices and chilies. Add chicken. In a greased baking dish, tear tortillas and layer along bottom of pan. Layer in order: tortillas, soup mixture, cheese and repeat. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese melts.


• 1 T. olive oil
• Salt, fresh ground pepper
• 10 oz. lasagna noodles (no boil)
• 1 lb. mozzarella cheese
• 1 ½ lbs. hamburger
• 1 lb. hot breakfast sausage
• 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 2 – 14.5 oz. cans whole tomatoes
• 2 – 6 oz. cans tomato paste
• 10-12 basil leaves
• ¼ C. chopped parsley
• 1 ½ C. Ricotta cheese
• 1 ½ C. cottage cheese
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 1 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute hamburger, sausage and garlic until brown. Drain fat. Add tomatoes and juice, paste, ½ tsp. salt, and pepper. Stir together and simmer over low for 45 minutes. Cut basil and parsley. Add half of each to the meat mixture.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, the cottage cheese, and ½ C. of the Parmesan cheese and the other half of the herbs. Stir together well.

Lay out noodles across the bottom of a deep pan. They should slightly overlap. Spoon half of the cheese mixture on top of noodles. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese on top of that. Spoon half of the meat mixture on top of the mozzarella. Now repeat the process. Sprinkle the remaining ½ C. Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake for 35-45 minutes until it is hot and bubbly. Allow to stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Meatball Subs 

• 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef/sausage
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 large egg
• 1/4 C. bread crumbs
• 1 T. Worcestershire
• 1 1/2 tsp. salt
• 3/4 tsp. cayenne
• 2 T. garlic, minced
• 1/4 C. vegetable oil
• 1/4 C. flour
• 1 C. water
• 3 T. parsley
• 1 large French loaf
• Provolone or mozzarella cheese
• Creole seasoning

Combine meat, onion, garlic, egg, crumbs, Worcestershire, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. cayenne. Mix well. Form meatballs. Combine flour and Creole seasoning on a shallow plate. Roll meatballs in mixture and add to large skillet with oil over medium heat. Brown evenly and remove from pan. Stir in seasoned flour in skillet, making roux. Add remaining salt and cayenne, water and bring to a boil. Return meatballs to skillet. Reduce heat, simmer. Serve on French loaf, topped with cheese.

One Pan Sage Chicken and Sausage 

• 1 large onion
• 1/2 C. olive oil
• 2 tsp. dijon mustard
• 1 T. dried sage
• Pepper
• 1 T. Worcestershire
• 1 lemon
• 1 lb. chicken drumsticks
• 1 lb. smoked sausage
• 2 T. fresh sage leaves, chopped

Peel and cut the onion into eighths, and put into a freezer bag with the oil, mustard, dried sage, a good amount of pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Cut lemon in half, squeeze juice into bag, and then cut the halves into eighths and add them. Squidge everything around to mix (the mustard needs help to combine) and then add the chicken pieces. Leave to marinade in the refrigerator overnight, or for up to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Allow the chicken to come to room temperature in its marinade. Arrange the chicken pieces in a roasting pan skin side up with the marinade, including all the bits and pieces, and tuck the sausages around them. Sprinkle the fresh sage leaves over the chicken and sausages and then put the pan into the oven to cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the sausages over half way through to color them evenly. 

Pizza Casserole 

• 1 1./2 C. flour
• 2 tsp. sugar
• 1 tsp. salt
• 2 envelopes yeast
• 3/4 C. very warm water
• 1/.4 C. olive oil
Meat filling:
• 1/2 lb. ground beef, cooked
• 1/2 lb. Italian sausage, cooked
• 1 1/2 C. pizza sauce
• 15-20 pepperoni slices
• 1 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
• 1/4 C. Parmesan, shredded
• 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

Mix batter together in greased baking dish. Combine meat filling. Evenly distribute pepperonis over meat. Sprinkle cheeses and herbs on top. Bake by placing in cold oven. Set to 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Pot Roast

• 2-3 T. olive oil
• Kosher salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme
• 3-5 lb. chuck roast
• 6-8 carrots
• 2 ½ C. beef stock
• 1 onion
• 3 Potatoes, quartered and partially peeled

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Heat oil in large pot ove rmedium high heat. Generously salt roast on both sides. Cut onions in half and peel. Place onions in oil and brown, remove to a plate. Wash the carrots and cut them into 2 inch slices. Throw carrots into the pot and toss them until brown.
Remove and get oil hot again. Place meat in pot and sear it, about a minute per side. Remove to plate. With burner on deglace pot by adding 1 C. stock, whisking constantly. When most of the bits are loosened, place meat back in pot. Followed by carrots, onions and potatoes. Add beef stock and spices. Cover pot and roast for 3-5 hours. Cook until fork tender.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

• 1 bottle good BBQ sauce
• ¼ C. Worcestershire
• Salt, chili powder, oregano, cumin to taste
• 5-7 lb. Pork Butt/Shoulder
• Splash of lime juice
• Sandwich buns

Dump into crockpot and let cook until tender (6-8 hours). Pull off fat and shred. Eat on buns with Stubb’s BBQ sauce. You shouldn’t eat BBQ without Stubbs.

Ritz Chicken

• 4 lbs. chicken tenderloins
• 3 eggs
• 3 C. crushed Ritz crackers
• 2 tsp. garlic salt, black pepper
• ½ C. butter, cut into slivers
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix eggs in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine crumbs and spices. Dip chicken in eggs and then dredge in crumbs. Place chicken in a greased baking dish. Place butter slivers on top of the chicken in the dish. Bake in oven for 40 minutes until golden brown.

Rosemary Pork Loin 

• 4 garlic cloves, pressed
• ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
• 4 tsp. chopped rosemary
• ½ tsp. finely grated lemon peel
• 1 ½ tsp. coarse sea salt
• 1 boneless pork loin roast (approx. 3-4 lbs.)
• 1 C. chicken stock, warmed
• Fresh rosemary sprigs

Preheat to 400. Mix garlic, mustard, rosemary, lemon peel, salt and pepper together. Rub mixture over entire roast. Place pork, fat side down, onto a 13x9x2 roasting pan. Roast for 30 min., then turn fat side up and roast until thermometer inserted in center reaches 155 degrees, about 30 more minutes (depending on size). Let cool 10 min.

Deglaze pan with chicken stock over low heat. Drizzle pan juices over pork and garnish with rosemary.

Spicy Pasta

• 1 box Penne or Large Shell Pasta
• 1 stick butter
• 1 C. heavy cream
• 1 package of smoked sausage
• 2 C. grilled chicken, cubed
• 1 bell pepper, sliced
• 1 T. chili powder
• 1 tsp. salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil, cayenne
Boil pasta and cook al dente. Cook sausage, bell pepper and chicken with butter in a skillet until done. Add meat to drained pasta, as well as the rest of the ingredients. Stir together well and serve hot.


• 1 dough ball (you can buy these pre-made. Sam’s is the cheapest)
• ½ C. cooked sausage or hamburger
• pepperonis
• shredded mozzarella cheese
• ham (optional)
• Pizza Sauce (see page 53)

Press out dough in a rectangle shape (may need to use flour and a rolling pin). Spread pizza sauce onto dough, leaving a 1 inch space around the sides. Spread cooked (spicy) sausage, pepperonis and shredded monterrey jack cheese inside of the 1 inch margin (don't stuff too full or it will open up during baking). Pinch together sides and turn over so that pinched side is facing down.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.

Variation: {Ham Stromboli}
Omit sausage or hamburger, as well as pizza sauce. Use leftover ham from a baked ham, tearing pieces to place onto the dough and adding a brush of melted butter at the bottom. Continue with different types of shredded cheese. Bake as above. When you pull it out of the oven, brush with melted butter that has been mixed with garlic and parsley. Mmm....perfect for a fun lunch or appetizer.

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  1. Brittney8:15 AM

    I've been waiting for your Chicken Spaghetti recipe.. it's so yummy! I can't wait to try it:)

  2. Wow Kendra these all look amazing! I can't wait to try some of them! Are these recipes ones you did for freezer meals as well?

  3. Yes, Claire! Most of these are freezer-friendly. The only ones we steered clear of for the freezer are the ones with rice and even then you can still make, for instance, the chicken stir-fry topping and just make the rice the day you serve it. Also, cooked potatoes don't tend to freeze well, so we tried to stay away from those too.

  4. Can't wait to see the Italian Pie recipe!!

  5. Anonymous3:18 PM

    Do you serve the carbonara warm or refrigerated?

  6. I serve the carbonara warm. I don't see why it wouldn't be great served cold though. Allen tends to like leftovers like that straight from the fridge, so that could definitely work too!


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