Tortellini Pasta Salad

Alright. So I’m going to 2 different 4th of July parties this weekend, and I’m bringing this dish to both! It’s a good side dish for cookouts because you can make it ahead of time, it serves alot of people, and it can sit out at room temperature for awhile while everyone chats and grazes.

So I definitely recommend it for an easy go-to side dish for a potluck or a cookout. And it’s tasty too!

Here’s the recipe if you’re interested in trying it yourself.

I actually don’t follow this recipe exactly but use it more like a guideline instead. I usually just add all the ingredients per my tastes – so I tend to go overboard with the pepperocinis and the red onion bc I love them. And I personally skip the olives bc I’m not a fan. So you can make this your own…

I hope you enjoy it! I’m on my way to my 1st cookout now! I wish you all a fabulous 4th of July holiday!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg fresh tortellini pasta
  • 1/2 cup ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup Pepperochini peppers, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup salami or pepperoni, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup olives, green or black – optional
  • 1/2 cup dressing of your choice (for example Italian, Parmesan Peppercorn, Caesar or a Sweet Basil dressing). I personally use Italian dressing here.

Instructions:

1. Cook tortellini per package instructions. Rinse briefly with cold water to stop the internal cooking. Set aside.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Cover and refrigerate a few hours to let the flavors combine. Serve cold.
4. This pasta salad dries-out very easily. So keep extra dressing handy and you can stir it into the dish when necessary to quickly revive it.

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Southern Tomato Cucumber Salad

Lol, you know any salad automatically becomes a “southern” salad when you add a cup of sugar to it. And this southern tomato cucumber salad recipe certainly does contain almost that much sugar!

But it’s still one of my favorite summertime side dishes. I just made a batch for this weekend so decided to share the recipe while it’s fresh on my mind.

It’s very easy to make too. Check it out.

Ingredients
1 white onion, chopped
2-3 large tomatoes, chopped
3-4 large cucumbers, chopped
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon black pepper

Instructions
1) Put chopped onion, tomatoes, cucumbers into a large bowl or Tupperware.

2) Heat water, sugar, vinegar, black pepper until sugar is completely dissolved.

3) Pour this mixture onto the chopped vegetables. The mixture might not cover the entire batch of chopped vegetables – if not, make sure to toss the vegetables frequently in the next couple of hours to ensure the flavors get absorbed evenly. The first couple hours are most important for this.

4) Refrigerate overnight. Stir occasionally to ensure flavors are well-integrated.

5) Enjoy. 🙂

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Delicious Rotel Breakfast Casserole

Rotel Breakfast Casserole

It’s time for another fave comfort recipe! This time it’s a rotel breakfast casserole. Everyone in the fam loves it.

Rotel Breakfast Casserole / Image Source: Pepper V.
Rotel Breakfast Casserole / Image Source: Pepper V.

Ingredients:
1 lb breakfast sausage, browned and drained
3 eggs
1 1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup Bisquick mix
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 can Rotel, drained
Salt and pepper to taste

If you don’t want the Rotel flavor in your dish (or you don’t have Rotel available locally), just substitute the Rotel with 1/2 cup chopped onions instead.

Instructions:
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix eggs, milk, Bisquick, Rotel, and salt and pepper together until well blended.
Stir in sausage and cheese into the mixture.
Grease a casserole dish.
Pour mixture into casserole dish.
Bake uncovered 35-40minutes, or until center tests clean. (Do make sure to check the center because if it is still liquid there, then it is not ready to eat).
Cool 5 minutes.

Rotel / Image Source: Pepper V.

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Delicious and Cheesy Doritos Chicken Casserole

Doritos Chicken Casserole

This Doritos Chicken Casserole is definitely a favorite at home. There aren’t alot of meals here that we ALL enjoy (too many picky-eaters) but this is one of them. It’s also very different. You can’t really find this on any restaurant menu ever.

And yes, you read the title correctly. This casserole’s star ingredient is Doritos.

There’s also multiple delivery methods to serve this Doritos Chicken Casserole. My daughter and I will eat this meal over white rice. While my husband skips the rice and just eats this as a hot tip with chips. So you can try it both ways and see which you prefer.

Ingredients:

2 lbs chicken, shredded
1 can, cream of chicken soup
1 can, cream of mushroom soup
1 can, diced Rotel tomatoes – Original
1/2 can, diced Rotel tomatoes – Hot
1 medium onion, diced
3 cups, shredded cheese Monterey Jack or Cheddar
1 bag (16oz) Nacho Cheese flavor Doritos
Optional: white rice
Optional: Tortilla chips for scooping

Instructions:

  1. Sautee the onions until they are soft
  2. Combine soups, rotel, and onions in a bowl, stir well
  3. Spray a 13×9 pan with Pam and coat bottom layer with crushed Doritos
  4. Layer soup mixture, shredded chicken, shredded cheese in pan
  5. Layer crushed Doritos on top
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes

You can serve this Doritos Chicken Casserole over white rice, or serve as a hot dip with Tortilla chips for scooping.

Easy Tomato Garlic Bruschetta

Tomato Garlic Bruschetta

So once upon a time when we were allowed to have social gatherings, one of my favorites dishes to make is my Tomato Garlic Bruschetta appetizer. I always enjoyed making it for others because it always received great compliments and I live for the positive reinforcement.

It’s surprisingly very easy to make as well.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 French loaf
  • 4 cups (or 2 lbs) tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup white onion, finely minced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions for preparing the bread:

  • Preheat oven to 450ºF.
  • Cut the French loaf into thin slices.
  • Lightly brush olive oil on both sides of each slice.
  • Bake until the surface is lightly browned, about 5 minutes per side.

Instructions for preparing the tomato garlic bruschetta:

  • In a bowl, add the tomatoes, onions, basil, garlic, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Add the olive oil, stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve immediately or chill.

Instructions for serving the tomato garlic bruschetta:

  • Keep the bread and the bruschetta separate from each other prior to serving. This prevents the bread from getting soggy.
  • Immediately prior to serving, the bruschetta is to be added to the top of each bread slice.

I bring this tomato garlic bruschetta dish to dinners or to potluck-ish gatherings and everyone always compliments this appetizer. I love it too. I can eat it as a snack.

Delicious Spinach Tomato Tortellini

Spinach Tomato Tortellini

Anybody else tired of thanksgiving turkey yet? If you’re like me and craving something completely different, then try this spinach tomato tortellini recipe. It’s delicious, one of my favorite meals, and also quite easy to make.

Spinach Tomato Tortellini / Image Source: Pepper V.

You’ll need the following ingredients…

1 pkg (20 oz.) refrigerated three cheese tortellini
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp onion powder
1 1/4 cups milk (I use whole milk, but 2% should work too)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes (undrained)
7oz fresh spinach (I buy the 10oz package, and save the remainder for a salad later)
3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Red pepper flakes, for serving (optional)

And then follow these steps:

  1. Cook tortellini according to directions listed on package.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large and deep skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, flour and onion powder and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
  3. While whisking, slowly pour in milk and cream, then whisk until smooth.
  4. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture begins barely simmer and thicken, then add tomatoes, spinach, basil, oregano and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Reduce heat slightly and cook several minutes longer until sauce has thickened and cheese has melted. Remove from heat.
  6. Toss cooked and drained tortellini into sauce mixture.
  7. Serve warm sprinkled with additional parmesan cheese and optional red pepper flakes.

Chicken Rotel Spaghetti

Chicken Rotel Spaghetti is one of my favorite comfort meals. And it makes a ton so it’ll either serve a large crowd of people, or the leftovers will serve you well the next day too. I love it.

Chicken Rotel Spaghetti / Image Source: Pepper V.
Chicken Rotel Spaghetti / Image Source: Pepper V. To

Try it and let me know what you think! I’m open for suggestions on how to make it even tastier. 😁

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb Cooked Chicken
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 pound Velvetta Cheese, cubed
  • 1 can Rotel, do not drain
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 package Spaghetti (16 oz)
  • Butter or olive oil
  • Garlic powder, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Shred chicken and set aside.
  3. Cook spaghetti to the package instructions. I like cutting up the cooked spaghetti for easier mixing into the sauce later, but that’s up to you.
  4. Sautee the onions lightly, in either a small dab of butter or olive oil.
  5. Place the cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, velvetta cheese, sauteed onions, and rotel in a large pan or pot over LOW heat until the cheese is melted. Stir frequently.
  6. Optionally, add garlic powder to the sauce per your taste.
  7. Add the cooked spaghetti to the sauce. Then add the shredded chicken to the sauce. Combine well, and move everything to a baking dish.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Eat and be happy!

If you prefer to pin the recipe to your Pinterest, it’s here: https://pin.it/2h3hThs