Baked Bubbly and Cheesy Cauliflower Parmesan.

This cauliflower parmesan is the perfect cheesy treat. Why yes, I’ll call anything with a cheese a treat. Cheese is my treat of choice. Always! To say I love this meal (side? snack?) would be an understatement. It is so darn good. See, Eddie LOVES chicken parmesan. I make it for him every few weeks […]

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This cauliflower parmesan is the perfect cheesy treat.

baked cauliflower parmesan

Why yes, I’ll call anything with a cheese a treat. Cheese is my treat of choice. Always!

sliced cauliflower

To say I love this meal (side? snack?) would be an understatement. It is so darn good.

See, Eddie LOVES chicken parmesan. I make it for him every few weeks (sometimes in meatball form!). And I’m not sure when the idea of cauliflower covered in sauce and cheese became more appealing to me than chicken covered in sauce and cheese, but it did. There I said it! 

cauliflower steaks with olive oil

It’s true. This is more desirable to me than crispy chicken, which is just crazy! I never thought the day would come.

Now I don’t exactly consider this a meal alone, though it could be one – maybe with a side of pasta or vegetables or beans or something? Something with a little more substance. 

OR you could make this as a side dish. Or heck, a nice little lunch with a greens salad. Sounds perfect with a glass of chilled pinot grigio!

cauliflower parmesan about to be baked

Okay so the cauliflower parm!

It’s no secret that roasted cauliflower is one of the first vegetables I really got into. I’ve said for years that when it’s roasted, it almost takes on a popcorn-like flavor. It’s kind of nutty, if you will. In a really good way.

fresh mozzarella, sauce on cauliflower

I still can’t bear to call cauliflower steaks. But I mean, these do look steak-like, if I do say so myself! The key is to slice the head of cauliflower into thick pieces so it can hold a ton of sauce and cheese.

Since we cut the slices thick, I like to roast them first. This allows them to get a little browned and charred, maybe with a few crispy edges. 

Then we go back in and top with marinara. Then top with fresh mozzarella!

baked cauliflower parmesan

Roast a bit more until that cheese is golden and bubbly. It’s a dream! Top with the garlic butter breadcrumbs for a little texture. And fresh basil too. 

baked cauliflower parmesan

This is definitely a knife and fork kind of dish. The cauliflower will be tender enough to cut with a fork, but it may be a little messy with the sauce. Throw in some garlic bread too? 

baked cauliflower parmesan

It’s warm and comforting and totally delish.

baked cauliflower parmesan

I’m all about the easy weeknight comfort meals right now and this hits the spot!

baked cauliflower parmesan

Cauliflower Parmesan

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Cauliflower Parmesan

This baked cauliflower parmesan is seasoned and covered in saucy marinara, topped with bubbly cheese and garlic butter breadcrumbs.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower, sliced into 1-inch thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, for topping
  • fresh basil, for topping

garlic butter breadcrumbs

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1/3 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Slice the cauliflower from the top down, into 1-inch thick slices. Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet. Drizzle or brush with the olive oil so it covers the slices. Sprinkle with the italian seasoning and a pinch of salt and pepper all over. Roast the cauliflower for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, spoon the marinara over the cauliflower. Place a slice of the fresh mozzarella on top. Bake for 15 more minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and melted.
  • Remove the cauliflower and top with the breadcrumbs, fresh basil and a sprinkle of parmesan.

garlic butter breadcrumbs

  • Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the garlic, cook for a few seconds, then stir in the bread crumbs. Cook, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes until golden.

baked cauliflower parmesan

Looks like a nice cheesy pillow

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Grilled Marinated Peppers with Burrata and Breadcrumbs.

These grilled peppers are life changing! I realize that’s dramatic. But it’s me! What else do you expect? Plus, they’re really life-changing. Oddly enough, I have another pepper recipe coming for you too. One today, then another in a week or two (hint hint, they are stuffed!)  All the summer pepper feels! If you adore […]

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These grilled peppers are life changing!

grilled peppers with burrata and sourdough breadcrumbs

I realize that’s dramatic. But it’s me! What else do you expect?

Plus, they’re really life-changing.

halved bell peppers ready for the grill

Oddly enough, I have another pepper recipe coming for you too.

One today, then another in a week or two (hint hint, they are stuffed!) 

All the summer pepper feels!

peppers right off the grill

If you adore all things tart and briney like I do, you will just flip over these peppers! They are grilled first, then covered in a delicious vinaigrette. 

And then! We stuff them with burrata cheese and obviously all is right in the world.

grilled marinated peppers with burrata on top

Oh but then! Lots of thens, I know.

We add toasted sourdough crumbs or croutons (whatever you’d like to call them) for crunch.

Tons of fresh herbs. 

More drizzles of vinaigrette. 

So.much.flavor. 

I can’t even stand it! 

cheesy burrata

The grilled marinated peppers are almost better than roasted red peppers. We have so many jars in our pantry because they are one of our favorite food – we use them in pasta, on pizza, to make sauce – everything. 

These are just as good! Probably better. The smokiness from the grill adds so much flavor that you’ll want to put these on everything too. 

grilled peppers with burrata and sourdough breadcrumbs

There are a few different ways you can serve this. If you’re making it at home for a summery snack or dinner, make it like this. Keep the peppers whole, throw some burrata and breadcrumbs inside and enjoy with a knife and fork.

If you want to make this for a party or a pool snack, like a gathering with friends where it could be more of an appetizer, slice the peppers. Throw the sliced peppers on a plate with the vinaigrette and cover with a ball of burrata. Serve it with slices of sourdough instead of the crumbs.

The dish is super versatile.

up close burrata with herbs and croutons

Also, summery snack is my favorite thing. When I hear “summery snack” I think of a 5PM snack, when you’re enjoying happy hour with a chilled glass of white wine on the patio that accidentally turns into dinner. Those are the best kind! 

This is the best kind.

grilled peppers with burrata and sourdough breadcrumbs

Grilled Peppers with Burrata and Breadcrumbs

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Grilled Marinated Peppers with Burrata and Breadcrumbs

These grilled peppers are life changing! Marinated with a delish vinaigrette, covered with burrata and topped with sourdough crumbs.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 4 bell peppers
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil spray or for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • cup olive oil
  • 3 slices sourdough bread, torn into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs, like thyme, basil, rosemary, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 8 ounces ball burrata cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. I like it to be around 500 degrees.
  • Slice the peppers down the center, cutting them in half from top to bottom. Remove some of the ribs and seeds. Spray or brush the peppers with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Make the vinaigrette. In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper, crushed pepper flakes until combined. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.
  • Make the sourdough crumbs. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Add in the torn sourdough pieces with a pinch of salt and pepper along with the garlic powder. Cook, tossing often, until crunchy and golden, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Place the peppers on the grill, cut side down. Grill for 5 to 6 minutes (or until golden and slightly charred), then flip and grill for another 5. Remove the peppers and place them on a dish. Drizzle them with a bit of the vinaigrette. Tear apart a ball of burrata and distribute it over the peppers. Drizzle on more vinaigrette. Top with the sourdough crumbs and fresh herbs.
  • Serve!

grilled peppers with burrata and sourdough breadcrumbs

Burrata is for lovers!

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Grilled Watermelon Halloumi Skewers with Minted Basil Oil.

My new favorite meal is watermelon halloumi skewers! If you think watermelon and feta is a good combo, just WAIT until your try watermelon and halloumi! Oh my goodness – it’s wonderful. And yes, I could totally eat this as a meal. Now Eddie? He might look at me like I have ten heads. It’s […]

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My new favorite meal is watermelon halloumi skewers!

grilled watermelon halloumi skewers with mint basil oil

If you think watermelon and feta is a good combo, just WAIT until your try watermelon and halloumi!

Oh my goodness – it’s wonderful. And yes, I could totally eat this as a meal. Now Eddie? He might look at me like I have ten heads.

watermelon halloumi skewers ready for the grill

It’s been a very watermelony week around here. On instagram, I shared one of my favorite watermelon salads – a savory wedge salad. It has blue cheese and orange zest and tomatoes and it’s deeeelish. 

It’s just so darn out hot right now that it’s like my body NEEDS all the watermelon to keep my hydrated. The kids love, it’s refreshing and delicious and you pretty much can’t go wrong.

Especially when you skewer it with CHEESE.

fresh basil leaves

Last summer I made these grilled vegetable and halloumi skewers regularly. They were a staple! I figured let’s try it with fruit and it turned out fantastic. 

Now, I’ve grilled watermelon before. With cheese too. Years ago I also made these grilled watermelon caprese salads. The combo of savory, smoky grilled watermelon with the caprese vibe is incredible.

grilled watermelon halloumi skewers right off the grill

And these skewers sort of remind me of that. We grill the halloumi and watermelon together – I like to do one piece of halloumi for every three or even four pieces of watermelon. The halloumi is so rich that you don’t need much. A little goes a long way.

And all that you need to flavor these skewers? A little olive oil, salt and pepper.

That’s it. 

grilled watermelon halloumi skewers with mint basil oil

But! We also make a mint basil oil. Last year I also made this basil oil all the time – it’s delicious on pasta, on vegetables, drizzled on salads – everything. 

So I decided to throw a few mint leaves into the bunch. Again, they are an ingredient that makes everything taste super fresh.

The oil is a little high maintenance, but worth it. Store it in the fridge and serve it with summer lunches and dinner! 

drizzling mint basil oil on grilled watermelon halloumi skewers

Sure, this whole plate is a little mix of things that I’ve made before, in a whole new way. These are really fun to make on the weekend or a nice change to make for a dinner side dish. Especially if you have something else to throw on the grill. 

They can feed a group too – if you have a few people over for dinner, I usually make one skewer per person. You can also slide everything off the skewer into a salad bowl!

Super versatile and fun too. Let it be fancy summer.

grilled watermelon halloumi skewers with mint basil oil

Watermelon Halloumi Skewers

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Watermelon Halloumi Skewers

These grilled watermelon halloumi skewers are loaded with savory, slightly sweet flavor and drizzle with a fresh mint and basil oil. Delish!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 cups 1-inch cubed watermelon
  • 1 8-ounce block halloumi cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil for drizzling or spraying
  • a few fresh mint and basil leaves for skewering

minted basil oil

  • 1 cup tightly packed sweet basil leaves
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the grill to medium-high. I like to keep mine around 400 degrees F.
  • Skewer the watermelon and halloumi. I like to do about 3 pieces of watermelon to every 1 piece of halloumi. The halloumi is rich enough that you don’t need a lot! Spritz or brush the watermelon skewers with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the skewers on the grill (you can use a grill pan if you wish! But directly on the grates is fine too) and grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side, rotating the skewers, Once they cheese and melon is golden and caramely, it’s good to go!
  • Remove and drizzle the skewers with the mint basil oil. Garnish with a few chopped leaves.

minted basil oil

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil to blanch the basil and mint. Prepare a bowl of ice water next to it. Once boiling, add the basil to the pot and cook for 10 seconds. Remove it and immediately place it in the ice bath. Leave it in there for a few minutes to make sure it is cold, then remove it and squeeze excess liquid from the leaves. Chop the basil into pieces.
  • Place the basil in a high powered blender or food processor. Add the olive oil and salt and puree until the oil is smooth and green. It may be frothy, so let the oil sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, strain it through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove the basil bits. Ues a spoon to push any oil through the sieve.
  • At this point you can use the oil right away or store it in the fridge for a week!

grilled watermelon halloumi skewers with mint basil oil

I mean, I also live for pink food.

The post Grilled Watermelon Halloumi Skewers with Minted Basil Oil. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Flaming Hot Cheetos Grilled Corn!

Wait! Please don’t leave. I promise there’s a really good reason to make flaming hot cheetos grilled corn. I swear. There is a legitimate reason for covering your corn in these spicy, crunchy crumbs and then eating it. I promise. It might even become one of your favorite summer treats! Let’s be real: it’s definitely […]

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Wait! Please don’t leave. I promise there’s a really good reason to make flaming hot cheetos grilled corn.

flaming hot cheetos grilled corn

I swear. There is a legitimate reason for covering your corn in these spicy, crunchy crumbs and then eating it. I promise.

It might even become one of your favorite summer treats!

Let’s be real: it’s definitely a treat. And if we’re cooking at home all summer, things gotta be good. 

corn on the cob

Now, I didn’t make this recipe up. You may remember two years ago when I was doing a book signing for The Pretty Dish in Boston, we had flaming hot cheetos street corn one night.

It was SO good.

crushed flaming hot cheetos

And guys, here’s the biggest thing. I am not a cheetos fan, and I’m certainly not a flaming hot cheetos fan. As a kid, I liked cheese puff things more than crunchy cheetos. And I’m such a baby when it comes to heat and spice! If things are too spicy, I feel like they just burn out my taste buds and then I can’t, well, TASTE anything. 

You know?

But I had to make it at home. I don’t know exactly how that restaurant made their corn, but the way I’ve made it is incredible. Like holy flavor from heaven. 

grilled corn on the cob

So anyway. Here I am. Covering my grilled corn on the cob in flaming hot cheetos. 2020 has brought me to my knees. And brought me to this.

Let me tell you how insanely good it is. I mean, it is GOOD. 

rolling corn on the cob in cotija mayo

First up, let’s talk about the components:

It’s sweet from the corn.

Creamy and cheesy from the cotija lime mayo.

Spicy and crunchy from the cheetos coating.

Seriously, EVERYTHING you want in one bite? This is it.

I’ve made this recipe a few times over the years, but I was “embarrassed” to share the full “recipe” since it uses the cheetos. 2020 has tossed all embarrassment out the window. You may have seen me post it on instagram stories last summer, but this year I decided that it HAD to have its own space here. It’s just so incredibly good, regardless of how trashed up the concept may be.

flaming hot cheetos grilled corn

Here’s how it goes down:

Grill your corn. Or heck, even roast it. Doesn’t matter to me. I love the charred, smoky bite that you get from a grilled ear of corn. But whatever works! Just cook it.

Then, slather it with a mixture of mayo, crumbled cotija cheese and lime zest. This is good enough to eat with a spoon. Super flavorful! Spread it all over the ear of corn because it acts as “glue” (ew?) for the cheetos.

I know, I know. I still can’t get over the cheetos either. 

Then, roll it in the cheetos crumbs. Add a sprinkle of cotija, a spritz of lime.

And you’ve arrived. TRY IT!

flaming hot cheetos grilled corn

Flaming Hot Cheetos Grilled Corn

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Flaming Hot Cheetos Grilled Corn

This hot cheetos grilled corn is amazing. Charred, smoky grilled corn slathered in cotija cheese mayo and rolled through crushed flaming hot cheetos. Yum!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 ears of corn
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 6 ears of corn
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup crumbled cotija cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 lime, zest freshly grated (you can use the juice to spritz after)
  • 2 cups flaming hot cheetos

Instructions

  • Preheat your grill to the highest setting. Shuck the corn (I left the husk at the bottom for photos, but honestly, it’s messy to eat this way!). I don’t use olive oil or anything here - I find that it browns nicely on the grill and there is enough flavor with everything else!
  • Place the corn on the grill grates and cook until charred and golden, rotating every few minutes. My corn takes 10 to 15 minutes total, maybe a bit less for smaller ears.
  • While the corn is grilling, stir together the mayo, cotija cheese and lime zest.
  • Place the cheetos in the bowl of your food processor and pulse until small crumbs remain (or place them in a sealed bag and crush them!). Place the crumbs on a plate that is large enough to roll the ears of corn in.
  • Remove the corn from the grill and spread the cotija mayo (about 2 tablespoons each) all over the ears of corn. Roll the corn through the crushed cheetos. Sprinkle with extra cotija cheese. Serve immediately with fresh lime for spritzing!

Hate how much I love it.

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Buttermilk Herb Smashed Potato Salad.

Oh my… you’ve got to make this smashed potato salad happen! By now I think we’re all equally obsessed with smashed potatoes. I make them several times a month, if not several times a WEEK. Yes. I said it.  They are just so crispy and crunchy and salty and wonderful. Almost like potato chips in […]

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Oh my… you’ve got to make this smashed potato salad happen!

buttermilk herb smashed potato salad

By now I think we’re all equally obsessed with smashed potatoes. I make them several times a month, if not several times a WEEK.

Yes. I said it. 

crispy smashed potatoes

They are just so crispy and crunchy and salty and wonderful. Almost like potato chips in a way!

While they are perfect on their own and I love them as a side (Eddie requests them CONSTANTLY), I also like to dip them in sauce or dressing.

And both of those options are great. But since I can’t control my desire to find different ways to make things, even my favorite things, I turned said smashed potatoes into a smashed potato salad.

Oh and I’m in love with it. YEP.

smashed potatoes in a bowl

You have to really love smashed potatoes to make them into a salad, because here’s the thing: it’s a little extra work. You know? There are a few steps – you have to boil the potatoes, smash them, roast them, and THEN you take them and cover them in a homemade dressing.

It’s slightly high maintenance for something that doesn’t appear high maintenance. I promise it’s worth it if you’re feeling something different that regular old smashed potatoes.

chopped dill and chives

The dressing is SO GOOD. I don’t think it’s a huge secret that I’ve never loved creamy potato salad. Some of you might have even found my blog from this roasted potato salad. It blows my mind how many of you still make that recipe all these years later.

While I have warmed up (slightly) to the idea of creamier potato (and pasta) salads, a very light coating of dressing is still my favorite. This is an almost-ranch dressing. I’ve made homemade ranch before and you can find it here.

herb buttermilk dressing

But I love how herb loaded and refreshing and light this dressing is. It barely coats the smashed potatoes and still allows their original flavor to shine. 

And since the potatoes are smashed, they take on even MORE flavor if that’s possible. Season from the ground up – starting with the smashed potatoes, and you will adore the end result. 

pouring dressed on smashed potatoes

Okay and yes I realize that this salad sort of looks like… nothing special.

Right? 

It doesn’t look wildly spectacular and even seems rather simple in flavor.

buttermilk herb smashed potato salad

But! I’m here to tell you that the texture of the crisp, smashed potatoes plus the herby, refreshing buttermilk yogurt dressing is UNREAL. 

It’s delicious served warm, when the potatoes come right out of the oven.

And it’s wonderful served at room temp once the potatoes have cooled.

It’s even good straight from the fridge. Because FLAVOR.

Make it for friends. Make it for dinner. Or make it just for you!

buttermilk herb smashed potato salad

Smashed Potato Salad

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Buttermilk Herb Smashed Potato Salad

This smashed potato salad is made with crispy, smashed baby gold potatoes and tossed with a buttermilk herb yogurt dressing.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2.5 pounds baby yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch of kosher salt and pepper

buttermilk herb dressing

  • ¼ cup plain greek yogurt
  • cup buttermilk
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • pinch of kosher salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill it with cold water. Bring the water to a boil. Simmer the potatoes until they are just barely fork tender. Strain the potatoes and let them cool slightly. (Note: you can do this ahead of time and store the potatoes in the fridge.)
  • Brush a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the potatoes on the sheet. Use your hand or the bottom of a glass to smash them once, trying to keep them in one piece. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes with the salt and pepper.
  • Place the sheet in the oven and roast the potatoes for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden and crispy. Make the dressing while the potatoes roast. Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool slightly. Place the potatoes in a bowl and cover with the dressing, tossing well. Add a few handfuls of extra fresh herbs. Taste and season additionally with salt and pepper if needed. You might need more - this will depend on how seasoned your potatoes are before roasting.
  • Serve immediately. You can serve this warm or cold - it is your preference. This is best eaten after it is made, but refrigerated leftovers do taste good and you can heat them up too!

buttermilk herb dressing

  • Whisk the dressing together in a bowl. You can do this an hour or so ahead of time - or even more, I just prefer the herbs to be super fresh. Store any leftovers of this in the fridge for 3 to 5 days!

buttermilk herb smashed potato salad

It is so perfect!

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Nacho Cheese Quinoa Taco Salad

Four words for the rest of the summer: nacho cheese taco salad. It can make an appearance at your dinner table, a cookout or even in a jar taken to the beach. It’s kid friendly! You can make it ahead of time and it gets better as it sits. Weird, right?! But delicious.  So!  I’m […]

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Four words for the rest of the summer: nacho cheese taco salad.

nacho cheese taco quinoa salad

It can make an appearance at your dinner table, a cookout or even in a jar taken to the beach. It’s kid friendly! You can make it ahead of time and it gets better as it sits.

Weird, right?! But delicious. 

segmented nacho cheese taco quinoa salad

So! 

I’m bringing you another retro-ish recipe today with a twist! And by retro, I mean 90s. And by 90s, I mean the early 2000s. 

Because believe it or not, we never had that taco dorito salad growing up! Nope. Never. Which is crazy since my mom definitely did a 90s taco night once a week.

taco beef, scallions, quinoa, tomatoes, cheese, beans, peppers, chips in a bowl

But no, it wasn’t until I was in college that I had the chopped taco salad for the first time. The salad that I’m referencing is basically a bunch of taco ingredients – tomatoes, lettuce, corn, seasoned ground beef and onions, then drenched with bottled catalina dressing and toss with tons of crushed doritos.

homemade catalina dressing

Yes, 2003 me is very shocked that I would even make a version of this because I grew up loathing doritos (I know! I know! But the orange powder and smell turned me off) and didn’t have any interest in catalina dressing.

But this dressing… OMG.

pouring catalina dressing onto taco salad

Yet here we are! I ended up liking that salad with modifications and then went an extra mile to really jazz it up myself and give it a twist.

Like homemade catalina dressing. It’s so good on this!

And quinoa. Adding some bulk to this salad gave it more texture but also made it more… meal like? Even though this is usually served as a side dish at summer cookouts, you can definitely throw a scoop on some lettuce and have it for lunch. 

nacho cheese taco quinoa salad

And of course, I threw in beans, avocado, pickled onions and topped it all off with a big scoop of plain greek yogurt.

Oh hi, I’m obsessed with nacho cheese taco salad. 

p.s. you can make it with lots of leftover ingredients too. Leftover taco night? Leftover quinoa from dinner? Go for it.

up close nacho cheese taco quinoa salad

It may seem like an odd salad if you never had that taco salad in the 90s. The gist is that you make a huge serving and it’s easy to make ahead of time and transport, so it’s perfect for serving at a party. This can be like that too! Just add the avocado at the end. 

Oh and let me tell you how my dorito hatred has laughed in my face: last year at summer camp Max had cool ranch doritos and fell in love with them. Ha! Now he requests them often. Wonderful. 

nacho cheese taco quinoa salad

When it comes to chips in this salad, I love to use these late july nacho chipotle chips which basically are a version of doritos. Like fancier trying-to-be-healthy doritos. So just ignore me saying I don’t like the doritos since I like these.

And of course, you can use regular doritos in the salad too! They make it fun and crunchy and a great dish to take to someone’s house. When we can go to someone’s house.

You know. 

nacho cheese taco quinoa salad

Obviously I love this because:

chopped salads are the best salads. YES.

Getting a bite of everything on one fork is the way to go. In fact, it’s one of the ways I learned to love salad.

nacho cheese taco quinoa salad

No need to learn how to love this salad. It’s lovable right from the start! We adore it.

nacho cheese taco quinoa salad

Nacho Cheese Taco Salad

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Chopped Nacho Cheese Taco Quinoa Salad

This nacho cheese taco salad is my favorite twist on the classic 90s dorito taco salad. Chopped ingredients and homemade catalina dressing!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 to 6
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 12 ounces butter lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 (14 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 to 2 cups crushed nacho cheese tortilla chips (honestly however much you’d like!)
  • pickled onions for topping
  • for topping: chopped avocado, plain greek yogurt or sour cream

catalina dressing

  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Note: the beef and quinoa can be made a day or two ahead of time! This is a great recipe to make with leftover taco meat or quinoa.
    This serves 4 to 6 as a side dish, or more if it's served with a bunch of other things.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the beef and break it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring often, until brown. As it’s browning, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and
  • pepper, the cumin, garlic and chili powder. Break it apart into small crumbles and cook until brown. Remove it with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel to drain excess grease.
  • In a large bowl, toss together the chopped lettuce, beef, quinoa, beans, tomatoes, cheese, onions and cilantro. Sprinkle with the crushed chips and toss. Drizzle on some of the dressing and toss well. Serve with avocado, pickled onions and greek yogurt if you’d like!
  • To make ahead of time, I like to layer this in a bowl. Layer the beef first, then the beans and cheese, then remaining ingredients, then lettuce. Cover and store in the fridge. Before serving, add the crushed chips and dressing, tossing well.

catalina dressing

  • Whisk together the vinegar, honey, ketchup, garlic, paprika and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stream in the olive oil while whisking until the dressing is emulsified. This stays great in the fridge for a few days!

nacho cheese taco quinoa salad

Serve this to me everyday!

The post Nacho Cheese Quinoa Taco Salad appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Our Favorite Saucy, Smoky Baked Beans.

Okay hi! It’s basically officially summer so let’s just start doing the whole baked beans thing.  Because it’s time! It’s really time. Even if you are making them for yourself. You’re worth the good beans, I’m telling you. If you’ve been here long enough you may remember when I didn’t even like these summer favorite […]

The post Our Favorite Saucy, Smoky Baked Beans. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Okay hi! It’s basically officially summer so let’s just start doing the whole baked beans thing. 

Saucy, Smoky Baked Beans

Because it’s time! It’s really time.

Even if you are making them for yourself. You’re worth the good beans, I’m telling you.

bacon, peppers and onions with dijon, brown sugar and BBQ sauce

If you’ve been here long enough you may remember when I didn’t even like these summer favorite beans.

Times have changed! 

Years ago I made these bourbon beans and they hooked me. Seriously, hooked me! They turned me into a baked bean lover and now I’m convinced that no outdoor cookout, barbecue or summer meal is complete without a side of baked beans. 

baked beans ready for the oven

Now.

While I do really love these slow cooker bourbon baked beans, this here is the recipe I’ve found myself making more often for the last few years. Probably since I’ve had kids and had a little less time on my hands.

baked beans ready for the oven

Also, I should warm you that it’s kind of semi-homemade. I mean, it’s definitely semi-homemade. Not kind of. 

But they are so easy!

While my slow cooker beans recipe uses dry beans (so, like, the entire recipe is from scratch), I actually used canned baked beans in this one and I LOVE them. Since making this, I’ve become quite the baked bean snob over here. I’ve tried many different brands and varieties but for this particular recipe, I always come back to the Bush’s Grillin’ Beans. Specially, we love the southern pit bbq or the bourbon bacon flavor. They are so good in this recipe!

That being said, you can use whatever can of baked beans you can find. Just throwing out my random recommendations in case you want them. 

Saucy, Smoky Baked Beans

I find that this recipe yields a thicker, more syrupy baked bean, in a really good way if that makes sense. Don’t let it scare you off! They are not overly sweet, but they are obviously still sweet. 

However, there is enough dijon, smoked paprika and chipotle in here that it’s no overwhelmingly sweet.

Yes. So much flavor.

I have adapted this over the years from Ree’s recipe. Her’s are absolutely amazing, they just make a ton of baked beans! And even when we have a party or I take the beans somewhere, I don’t need that many. Lots of people in my family have an aversion to baked beans – hey, even I had one up until the last decade! 

Saucy, Smoky Baked Beans

My mom still puts cut up hot dogs in her baked beans and I just… cannot. I mean, I love a good hot dog. We ate hot dogs this past weekend; felt like summer. I just don’t want them cut up in my baked beans! 

P.S. if any of you have been around long enough, do you remember when I discovered my obsession with baked beans and loved putting them on top of poached or fried eggs, on toast? That was SO GOOD. Def doing it again. 

Anyway.

This makes a “nice” sized amount, even if I just make them for our family. We eat, save a bit for leftovers and freeze the rest if I don’t give it away. It’s perfect!

Saucy, Smoky Baked Beans

Give me a plate of these with a smash burger and I’m good to go!

Saucy, Smoky Baked Beans

Baked Beans

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Favorite Baked Beans

Our absolute favorite baked beans recipe! They are syrupy and loaded with flavors of BBQ sauce, dijon, smoked paprika and chipotle. Delish!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 sliced bacon, diced
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 (22 ounce) cans baked beans (I love Bush’s Grillin’ Beans for this recipe)
  • 2 slices bacon, for topping (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Heat a large (oven safe, if you don’t want to transfer) skillet over medium-low heat and add the bacon. Cook until it’s brown and crisp and most of the fat is rendered.
  • Stit in the onion, pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until everything softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard and brown sugar until combined.
  • Stir in the baked beans directly from the can. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn off the heat. I suggest tasting the beans here and adding more salt, pepper or heat if desired. If you'd like, you can lay a few strips of bacon on top of the beans here too!
  • Place the skillet (or transfer to an oven-safe dish) in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until bubbly and syrup. Remove and let cool slightly before serving.
  • You can make these ahead of time - cook them in the skillet then let cook to room temperature and cover, placing in the fridge. Bake the next day (or whenever you’re ready!).
  • These also freeze well!

Notes

adapted from the pioneer woman

Saucy, Smoky Baked Beans

Oh so saucy.

The post Our Favorite Saucy, Smoky Baked Beans. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Crispy Chipotle Cheddar Smashed Potatoes.

How to make chipotle cheddar smashed potatoes and elevate your life! Just joking. Sort of. I mean, these might elevate your life right now in a delicious, spicy way? It’s worth a try.  I’m popping in today with this bonus cop-out recipe for you because it’s just TOO good. I wanted to share it with […]

The post Crispy Chipotle Cheddar Smashed Potatoes. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

How to make chipotle cheddar smashed potatoes and elevate your life!

These super crispy chipotle cheddar smashed potatoes are the best side dish. A little spicy and smothered in cheese, they are irresistible.

Just joking. Sort of. I mean, these might elevate your life right now in a delicious, spicy way?

It’s worth a try. 

smashed chipotle potatoes on a baking sheet

I’m popping in today with this bonus cop-out recipe for you because it’s just TOO good. I wanted to share it with you in case you need a quick side dish (or, let’s be honest… a snack?) with all the cooking you’re doing at home. P.S. who else is majorly over the dishes situation?

SO!

We make crispy smashed potatoes constantly in this house. They are easily Eddie’s favorite side dish. 

Judging from how much you guys make this recipe, I think you love them too!

smashed chipotle cheddar potatoes on baking sheet

They are easy, you can prep them ahead of time (I do at least every other week) and they just taste.so.good. And the best best best part is that they go with so many dishes.

Oh and that they are wildly versatile.

!!!!!!!!

All the exclamation points. Because who wouldn’t want to eat this?

chipotle cheddar smashed potatoes with sour cream and chives

I love a smashed potato recipe so much that I included it in my next cookbook, along with a sweet potato version. So excited for you to see!

We make the classic version constantly, but sometimes I like to switch it up. Obviously, since I have the I’m-always-bored brain the kitchen.

Depends on what the main meal is, you know? 

sour cream and bacon on chipotle cheddar smashed potatoes

These potatoes are showered with chipotle chili powder, roasted until crispy (the edges are everything) and then smothered in cheddar cheese.

After a quick bake for the cheese to melt, I top them with plain greek yogurt, a few bacon shards and chives. They are spicy but cheesy and crunchy. A little tangy and refreshing from the yogurt. Savory and crisp from the bacon. Seriously, they are just outstanding.

We are in BUSINESS.

These super crispy chipotle cheddar smashed potatoes are the best side dish. A little spicy and smothered in cheese, they are irresistible.

Chipotle Cheddar Smashed Potatoes

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Crispy Chipotle Cheddar Smashed Potatoes

These super crispy chipotle cheddar smashed potatoes are the best side dish. A little spicy and smothered in cheese, they are irresistible.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds baby yukon gold potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 sliced bacon, chopped
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • plain greek yogurt or sour cream, for topping
  • fresh chives or scallions, for topping

Instructions

  • Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill it with cold water. Bring the water to a boil. Simmer the potatoes until they are just barely fork tender. Strain the potatoes and let them cool slightly.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Brush a baking sheet with 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place the potatoes on the sheet. Use your hand or the bottom of a glass to smash them once, trying to keep them in one piece. It’s okay if they kind of break apart!
  • Drizzle or brush the remaining olive oil over the potatoes. I actually use an olive oil spritzer for this part! Sprinkle the potatoes with the chipotle chili powder, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  • Place the sheet in the oven and roast the potatoes for 20 minutes, until golden and crispy. While the potatoes are cooking, heat a skillet over medium-low heat and cook the bacon until crispy.
  • Remove the potatoes from the oven and sprinkle cheddar on the tops of each. Bake for 5 minutes more, until the cheese melts. Remove and top with yogurt/sour cream, bacon and chives. Serve immediately!

Chipotle cheddar smashed potatoes on a baking sheet. These super crispy chipotle cheddar smashed potatoes are the best side dish. A little spicy and smothered in cheese, they are irresistible.

Who wants to fight me for the cheese on the baking sheet?

The post Crispy Chipotle Cheddar Smashed Potatoes. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Carrot Top Pesto Potato Salad.

This pesto potato salad will put a spring in your step. Every pun intended!  Guys, this embarrassingly easy potato salad has to make an appearance in your kitchen soon. You can throw it together quickly and it tastes DELICIOUS. All because… we’re using carrot tops! Remember on Monday when I told you not to throw […]

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This pesto potato salad will put a spring in your step.

This pesto potato salad is made with carrot top pesto for the perfect spring side dish! Baby potatoes, pesto and greens make up this delish bowl.

Every pun intended! 

Guys, this embarrassingly easy potato salad has to make an appearance in your kitchen soon. You can throw it together quickly and it tastes DELICIOUS.

carrot tops

All because… we’re using carrot tops!

Remember on Monday when I told you not to throw away the carrot tops? Well, here we are. Now if you’re able to get your hands on some whole carrots in the next few days, you have two recipes to use the entire carrot up with no waste!

carrot top pesto

My mind is blown when I think back to a time when I didn’t necessarily love pesto. I’ve done a complete 180 and now I can’t live without it. 

Carrot tops can be a little a bitter, a little earthy and even a little sweet. I like to use them in pesto alongside another green leaf like basil or arugula, but if you only have spinach, that would work too. Use up what you have right now! 

carrot top pesto

What I love most about this salad? It’s incredible simple.

I mean, super simple. Truly, it’s just the potatoes tossed in the pesto!

I threw a few arugula microgreens in there for a little something extra. It’s not necessary, though if you have other loose greens you want to use up, add them. If you want, you can toss in goat cheese or feta. You could add soft or hard boiled eggs. Even bacon! 

carrot top pesto

But oddly enough, I just LOVE how easy this is. Boil the potatoes. Make the pesto. Toss everything together. 

Eat and be happy!

This pesto potato salad is made with carrot top pesto for the perfect spring side dish! Baby potatoes, pesto and greens make up this delish bowl.

This makes for a wonderful side dish. I would also totally eat it for dinner, maybe with aforementioned egg thrown on top. 

This pesto potato salad is made with carrot top pesto for the perfect spring side dish! Baby potatoes, pesto and greens make up this delish bowl.

Oh oh and another thing! You can basically prep the entire thing ahead of time. Boil the potatoes and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use. Make the pesto whenever you have time, either freeze it or store in the fridge.

That means that what was once a 30 minute recipe can come together in about 10 minutes or less!

It’s delicious served warm or cold – you do you.

Soft potato with zesty pesto in every bite… I’m in.

This pesto potato salad is made with carrot top pesto for the perfect spring side dish! Baby potatoes, pesto and greens make up this delish bowl.

Carrot Top Pesto Potato Salad

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Carrot Top Pesto Potato Salad

This pesto potato salad is made with carrot top pesto for the perfect spring side dish! Baby potatoes, pesto and greens make up this delish bowl.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 to 6 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds baby yukon gold potatoes, or any baby potatoes!
  • 1 cups carrot top greens, rinsed and patted dry
  • ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup olive oil

Instructions

  • Place the potatoes in a pot and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes for 15 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain the potatoes and toss with the pesto. Toss in a handful of microgreens or arugula greens. You can serve this warm or cold!
  • While the potatoes boil, place the carrot tops, basil leaves, cheese, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, salt, pepper and pepper flakes in the bowl of your food processor and pulse and blend until small pieces remain. Stream in the oil with the processor running until the mixture is combined and smooth. Taste the pesto and season with additional salt and pepper if you’d like.
  • Spoon the pesto over the potatoes, tossing well and using as much as you’d like. I start with about ¼ cup and go from there. You can store the extra pesto in a sealed container in the fridge for a week and you can freeze it for up to 3 months!

This pesto potato salad is made with carrot top pesto for the perfect spring side dish! Baby potatoes, pesto and greens make up this delish bowl.

Hmmm definitely want to eat this for breakast.

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Creamed Spinach Mac and Cheese.

No problem eating greens with this creamed spinach mac and cheese!  I am serious. A whole huge bunch of fresh spinach. Baked into the loveliest mac and cheese pot that you ever will see. It’s everything you want and more, plus it is full of vegetables. There is NO getting around this one.  Who needs […]

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No problem eating greens with this creamed spinach mac and cheese! 

This creamed spinach mac and cheese is a dreamy, cheesy mac and cheese dish with tons of fresh baby spinach! Super comforting and flavorful.

I am serious. A whole huge bunch of fresh spinach. Baked into the loveliest mac and cheese pot that you ever will see. It’s everything you want and more, plus it is full of vegetables. There is NO getting around this one. 

Who needs a bowl of mac and cheese with extra pow? ME! And you. Definitely you. 

This creamed spinach mac and cheese is a dreamy, cheesy mac and cheese dish with tons of fresh baby spinach! Super comforting and flavorful.

Secret time? I never had creamed spinach growing up. My mom and grandma never made anything like it – in fact, it wasn’t until my 20s that I had it. Obviously, I avoided it like the plague if I was offered it prior to that. My distaste for vegetables was off the charts and even creamed spinach, with what appeared to be a silky bechamel, was off limits for me.

The only thing that got me eating spinach was when it was drenched in hot bacon dressing.

And let’s be real – that dish is amazing. 

fresh baby spinach

But creamed spinach? No way! I feel like I totally missed out on plates of comfort food by avoiding it most of my life. 

No longer! I’m here for all the creamed spinach. I’m even putting it in your mac and cheese. 

I shared this on instagram a few weeks ago and many of you have been anticipating the recipe! It’s finally here, and you can find me making it on my instagram stories later today too!

creamed spinach

Okay so here’s the deal. You’re basically going to make creamed spinach (like, a bunch of it) and then throw in tons of cheese. And tons of pasta.

This creamed spinach mac and cheese is a dreamy, cheesy mac and cheese dish with tons of fresh baby spinach! Super comforting and flavorful.

Then sprinkle it with crispy crunchy fried onions. Or breadcrumbs!

Then bake it until super melty and cheese and hot. 

And you just WON’T BELIEVE how fabulous it is.

This creamed spinach mac and cheese is a dreamy, cheesy mac and cheese dish with tons of fresh baby spinach! Super comforting and flavorful.

This is such a great side dish or comforting meal, it has lots of green for Saint Patrick’s Day and it’s super satisfying and warming. Food is love all the time, but especially right now.

This creamed spinach mac and cheese is a dreamy, cheesy mac and cheese dish with tons of fresh baby spinach! Super comforting and flavorful.

The crunchy topping is my favorite part. I like to use those crispy onions you may still have hiding in your pantry from the holiday season (use ’em up! they’re going to expire soon!) but you can also use breadcrumbs, cracker crumbs, heck – even pretzel crumbs!

This creamed spinach mac and cheese is a dreamy, cheesy mac and cheese dish with tons of fresh baby spinach! Super comforting and flavorful.

Just look at that perfection! Cheesy, melty, soft but sturdy noodles, tons of green! I love it so much. There is no better time to eat our feelings.

This creamed spinach mac and cheese is a dreamy, cheesy mac and cheese dish with tons of fresh baby spinach! Super comforting and flavorful.

Creamed Spinach Mac and Cheese

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Creamed Spinach Mac and Cheese

This creamed spinach mac and cheese is a dreamy, cheesy mac and cheese dish with tons of fresh baby spinach! Super comforting and flavorful.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 pound short cut pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 12 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 2 cups milk
  • 12 ounces fontina
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 12 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
  • 6 ounces white cheddar, freshly grated
  • 2 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • ½ cup crispy onions or breadcrumbs, for topping

Instructions

  • Heat a large oven-safe pot over medium-low heat and add the butter. Stir in the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions have softened.
  • At this time, you can also cook the pasta in another pot. You can cook it before too - just make sure to give it a quick spritz of olive oil so it doesn't stick together.
  • Toss all the grated cheese together.
  • Stir the flour into the onions to create a roux. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until it becomes golden in color and starts to smell nutty. Slowly stream in the milk while stirring constantly. The mixture will begin to come together and thicken. Stir in the nutmeg.
  • Add in the spinach - it will seem overwhelming at first, but it will quickly cook down! Stir until it cooks down and softens.
  • Once the spinach cooks down, stir in almost all of the cheese (reserve a bit for topping) and the pasta. Toss it together over and over until it is combined.
  • Top with the remaining grated cheese. Top with crispy onions. Bake for 35 to 30 minutes, until golden and bubbly.

This creamed spinach mac and cheese is a dreamy, cheesy mac and cheese dish with tons of fresh baby spinach! Super comforting and flavorful.

I mean I’m pretty sure this is what they mean by eat your greens. 

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