Families With Grace

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Beef enchiladas with salsa recipe

Salsa is an easy way to add flavor to these beef enchiladas!

One cuisine my entire family agrees on is Mexican food. Even my most particular eaters in the house have lots of Mexican favorites. While the guys would be happy with tacos or nachos all the time, my daughter and I like to shake things up a bit more. I tried making beef enchiladas first with a meal kit, and now I’ve made the recipe my own.

These beef enchiladas are super easy to put together and have a delectable Mexican flavor your whole family will like. You can make them as spicy as you like. My kiddos and I aren’t big on spicy food at all, so I got mild with ours, but there are easy ways to increase the spice like by using medium or hot salsa.

You can also make other variations on this enchilada recipe as well. I use ground beef, because that’s what the majority of my family prefers. But you can also use chicken or ground pork. I actually made a couple of the batch I photographed with cheese and onion, because I’d been craving a cheese enchilada.

On the stovetop

This recipe starts on the stovetop. Put about 1 tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil into a large skillet. Add 2/3 cup of diced onion and sauté the onion over medium-high heat for 3 minutes.

Onion cooking in a skillet

Next add in 1/2 to 1 pound of your meat. You can use chicken or ground turkey. I use ground beef. I usually use about 1/2 pound, because my family isn’t big on eating meat. But you can do up to a pound to make enough enchiladas for four people. Crumble the meat into small pieces and cook it completely through.

Browned ground beef in a skillet with onion

Once the meat is cooked, then you need to season it. I use 1/4 cup (or one packet) of taco seasoning. Mix the seasoning in with the meat without adding water.

Cooked ground beef and onion with taco seasoning added on top

Stir in the taco seasoning and then add 1 cup of salsa to the meat mixture. I use mild salsa, but you can go for whatever heat level your family prefers. (If your family doesn’t like chunks of veggies in their salsa, use a food processor or blender to puree the salsa before adding it in.) Feel free to also add salt and pepper to taste.

Salsa added to the meat mixture

Let the meat mixture simmer on the stovetop for 2 to 3 minutes. Then remove the meat mixture from the heat.

Build your beef enchiladas

Now you’re ready to build your beef enchiladas. I usually get out a paper plate to build mine on. Dollop 1 to 2 tablespoons of the meat filling into taco-sized flour tortillas.

A beef enchilada on a paper plate ready to be rolled

(Honestly, if I were making these for just me, I’d add a sprinkle of cheese to the inside of each enchilada as well, but my crazy family doesn’t like melted cheese as much as I do. So I refrain. Sigh.)

Roll the tortilla and place it seam-side down into the 9×13-inch baking dish that’s been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Put them right next to each other to keep them from opening up.

(You’ll notice in the photo below that the enchiladas on the far right have cheese already. This is because I made a couple of cheese and onion enchiladas as well and wanted to “mark” them.)

Rolled beef enchiladas in the baking dish

Pour about 1 cup of salsa over the top of the enchiladas.

Enchiladas topped with salsa

Sprinkle the top of the enchiladas with shredded cheese. You’ll notice that mine increases in cheese amounts as you go to the right, because I can’t give up all melty cheese just because my family doesn’t like it as much as I do!

Prepared beef enchiladas covered in salsa and shredded cheese

Place the baking dish in the oven and turn the broil on low. Broil the beef enchiladas for 3 to 4 minutes until the cheese is melted, lightly browned and bubbly.

The beef enchiladas fresh from the oven with melted cheese

Serve immediately. We love to put sour cream on ours. Mexican rice from a box goes well with these beef enchiladas as do tortilla chips.

A beef enchilada on a plate topped with sour cream

Beef enchiladas with salsa

The use of jarred salsa makes this beef enchilada recipe an easy one to pull of for any weeknight. Even picky eaters like it!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil vegetable or olive
  • 2/3 cup onion diced
  • 1 pound ground beef chicken or ground pork also work
  • 1/4 cup taco seasoning
  • 2 cups salsa divided
  • 8-10 flour tortillas taco sized
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions
 

  • Put 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the onion, and sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Crumble and add the ground beef, cooking it with the onion until it is cooked through and no longer pink.
  • Add 1/4 cup (one packet) of taco seasoning. Mix it well.
  • Add 1 cup of salsa. Mix it well, and let it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove the meat mixture from the heat. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons to a flour tortilla.
  • Roll up the tortilla, and place it seam-side down in a 9×13-inch backing dish that's been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Repeat until all the meat is gone.
  • Pour 1 cup of salsa over the top of the rolled tortilla shells.
  • Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese over the top of the salsa.
  • Place the pan in the oven and broil on low for 3 to 4 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. Serve with sour cream, if desired.
Keyword enchilada, family cooking, family dinner, family friendly, kid friendly, salsa

Don’t miss these easy weeknight family dinner options as well!

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Greek yogurt egg salad recipe

A low calorie, high protein egg salad recipe

When it comes to “salads” for sandwiches, egg salad is one of my favorites. I love a good chicken salad, too. I’m more than glad to pass on tuna salad. But, a good egg salad sandwich can’t be beat.

However, like so many good foods, egg salad isn’t necessarily the healthiest food. Then I learned about using plain Greek yogurt as the base for the egg salad and knew I had to give it a try. Now I’m hooked on not only how healthy this Greek yogurt egg salad recipe is but also on how easy it is to make!

For those tracking points for WW, this egg salad recipe is only 1 point per serving (as of May 2023). Not too shabby!

How to boil eggs

One of the first things I had to learn in making good deviled eggs was to boil them correctly. I didn’t want them to be over-boiled and get that dark tint to the yolk. Having them be soft boiled also wouldn’t work. Like Goldilocks, I want boiled eggs that are just right. So, here’s what I’ve found that works best.

First, start with older eggs. I’m not saying expired eggs, but the fresher your eggs are, the more difficult they are to peel so they’re smooth. Next, fill a pot about 2/3 full with warm water and add a dash or two of salt. (The salt will help the shells come off a bit easier.)

Put the pot on your cold stovetop. Carefully place four eggs into the pot. Put a lid on the pot, and turn the stove on high heat. Leave them be. When the water begins boiling, turn off the heat. Leave the eggs on the warm stovetop for 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl and fill it with cool water. Add in ice cubes and let the eggs sit until they are completely cool.

Prep the eggs

Once your eggs are cooled, you’re ready to start prepping them. I usually tap them on the countertop to crack the shells and then peel them over a paper towel. When I’m finished, I rinse the egg to be sure I have gotten off all bits of shell, and then I place them onto a clean paper towel to dry.

Four boiled eggs on a cutting board with a knife

Next you can either chop the eggs into small pieces or put them in your bowl to mash. I’ve done it both ways. I like it better chopping them first just because then the egg pieces are a bit smaller in the egg salad, but either way works.

Chopped boiled eggs ready to be turned into egg salad

Make the egg salad

Place the boiled eggs — chopped or whole — into a mixing bowl. Add 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon yellow mustard, 1 teaspoon Ranch dressing and 1/2 teaspoon honey mustard. (If you don’t have honey mustard, add some extra yellow mustard.) Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste.

All of the egg salad ingredients together in a mixing bowl before being mixed

Using a fork or your potato masher, mash all the ingredients together.

A potato masher being used to mash all the egg salad ingredients together
The egg salad after being "mashed" together

Once everything is mashed to the size you like, use a spoon to stir a few times and make sure all the ingredients are well combined. Serve it immediately or store the egg salad in an airtight container in your refrigerator for five to seven days.

A spoonful of the completed egg salad
Greek yogurt egg salad Pinterest image 6

Greek Yogurt Egg Salad

This Greek yogurt egg salad recipe is tasty, low calorie and packed with protein. Plus it's only 1 point using the 2023 WW point system!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Lunch, Main Course, Salad, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Ranch salad dressing
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Fill a pot about 2/3 full with warm water and add a dash or two of salt. Put the pot on your cold stovetop. Carefully place 4 eggs into the pot. Put a lid on the pot, and turn the stove on high heat. Leave them be.
  • When the water begins boiling, turn off the heat. Leave the eggs on the warm stovetop for 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl and fill it with cool water. Add in ice cubes and let the eggs sit until they are completely cool.
  • Once the eggs are completely cool, you can either chop them into pieces or leave them whole. (I prefer chopping for smaller egg pieces.) Place them into a mixing bowl.
  • Add the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, yellow mustard, Ranch salad dressing and honey mustard. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
  • Use a potato masher and mash the ingredients together well. Once the egg salad is the desired consistency, use a spoon to stir a couple of times.
  • Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for five to seven days.
Keyword 1 point, deviled eggs, egg salad, eggs, lunch, lunch ideas, sandwich, sandwiches, ww, ww recipe

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Honey mustard chicken with bacon and cheese

A decadent chicken dinner idea

I love a good chicken dinner. A lot. As I’m making more and more chicken at home for my daughter and me (my husband and son don’t eat chicken), I’m branching out into different flavors. This honey mustard chicken with bacon and cheese is completely inspired by a favorite dish I’ve had a chain restaurant from down under.

The mix of honey mustard, cheese, chicken and bacon is so good. I decided to try making it myself. You could also make this into a quesadilla by cutting up the chicken pieces and piling them into a tortilla with honey mustard, bacon and cheese. I haven’t yet done that, but I am definitely going to try it! (You can easily bake quesadillas to get them nice and crispy without being greasy.)

I’m telling you, this is one chicken dinner idea you’re going to add into your line-up. It’s easy and tasty!

Preparing the chicken

When I made this honey mustard chicken with bacon and cheese to take photos, I had four small pieces of chicken. So, that’s what I went with. Next time when I haven’t totally messed up the chicken breasts I previously bought, I’d make it with larger pieces of chicken.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Then pat your chicken dry and season it with salt and pepper to taste. Spritz your skillet well with non-stick cooking spray and place the chicken into the pan. Cook it for 4 to 6 minutes per side, depending on the size and thickness of your chicken. I always temperature check mine in the middle to be sure it’s at least 165-degrees (F).

Chicken breasts cooking on the stove in a skillet for this easy chicken dinner idea

While the chicken is cooking, make your precooked bacon. I used three slices between these four small pieces of chicken. You can definitely use regularly cooked bacon as well. The precooked just saves time by making it in the microwave. We like bacon crispy around here, so I cooked it until it was crispy.

Three slices of cooked bacon for this easy chicken dinner idea

Baking the honey mustard chicken

When the chicken is cooked through, transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, non-stick aluminum foil or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Spread about 1 tablespoon of honey mustard on top of each medium chicken breast.

Cooked chicken on a baking sheet and spread with honey mustard

Next, take your cooked pieces of bacon and break them apart to fit in slices on top of each piece of honey mustard chicken.

Cooked honey mustard chicken topped with slices of bacon

Then, for two servings, divide 1/2 cup shredded cheese between the chicken breasts. I use Colby jack cheese, but cheddar would also be great for this. You might notice half the chicken has more cheese than the other. That’s because my daughter isn’t big on melted cheese, but I am!

Honey mustard chicken topped with bacon and shredded cheese ready to go into the oven

Put the prepared honey mustard chicken with bacon and cheese into your oven and turn the broiler on low. Broil the chicken for 2 to 5 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and browned. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

Honey mustard chicken with bacon and cheese hot from the oven

Remove the chicken and serve it with a yummy sides like oven-roasted vegetables and garlic cheddar biscuits.

Honey mustard chicken with bacon and cheese all ready to eat

Honey mustard chicken with bacon and cheese

This honey mustard chicken with bacon and cheese is an easy chicken dinner idea your whole family will love!
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 medium chicken breasts
  • 6 slice of precooked bacon
  • 4 tablespoons honey mustard
  • 1 cup shredded Colby jack cheese

Instructions
 

  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat on your stovetop.
  • Pat the chicken breasts dry and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Spray the skillet well with non-stick cooking spray, then add the chicken. Cook each side for 3 to 5 minutes until a thermometer inserted into the middle of the chicken read 165-degrees (F) and all pink is gone.
  • While the chicken is cooking, cook the bacon in the microwave until it is at your desired crispness.
  • Once the chicken is finished cooking, place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or non-stick aluminum foil or sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Top the chicken with 1 tablespoon each of honey mustard. Distribute the bacon slices and shredded cheese between the two chicken breasts.
  • Place the chicken in the oven and broil on low for 2 to 5 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden. (Keep a close eye on it to keep it from burning!) Serve immediately.
Keyword chicken, chicken dinner idea, chicken dinner ideas, family dinner, honey mustard chicken, weeknight dinner

Find other family friendly recipes like this one in the FREE “Favorite Recipes from Families with Grace” cookbook!

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Garlic cheddar biscuits

An easy recipe for garlic cheddar biscuits that taste better than the ones from that well-known crustacean restaurant!

My husband, kiddos and I are not big seafood eaters. My guys don’t eat any seafood; my daughter and I eat a small amount. But there is that well-known chain crustacean restaurant we sometimes go to mostly because we really want the garlic cheddar biscuits. But then I figured out how to make them easily at home — and found they were more moist to boot. So now we can enjoy them pretty much any time!

One of the things I most love about this garlic cheddar biscuit recipe is that it’s simple enough for weeknight dinners, and I usually have the ingredients on-hand. I’ve tried a few varieties of this recipe, and finally found one I liked pretty well. I made a few teaks and now I’m in love!

Making the biscuit dough

The thing that sets these garlic cheddar biscuits apart from all the others is using butter in small pieces so you get buttery bursts as you eat them. You can make these using vegetable oil instead of butter, but they don’t have that nice buttery pop that is so decadent.

For eight to nine biscuits (depending on the size you make them), cut 2 tablespoons of cold butter into pieces.

2 tablespoons of butter cut up into pieces

Next, put 1-1/4 cups of baking mix into a large mixing bowl. The name brand option is Bisquick. I have used the Kroger store version for this recipe as well and had it turn out perfectly fine. Add the butter into the bowl with the dry mix.

The butter chunks in the dry baking mix

Use two forks to mix the butter pieces into the dry mix. You want to keep the pieces of butter about the size of a pea or smaller so they are dispersed throughout the dough.

Using two forks, mix the butter into smaller pieces spread throughout the dough.

Next, add 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar (or cheddar jack) cheese, 1/2 cup of milk and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder into the mix.

The buttered mix with shredded cheese, milk and garlic powder in it

Stir the ingredients together until they are combined without any dry pockets of baking mix. It should form a dough that is soft and moist.

The garlic cheddar biscuit dough all mixed together

Baking the garlic cheddar biscuits

Dollop the dough on a baking sheet that is lightly greased or lined with parchment paper (my pick!). I usually get about nine biscuits from this recipe. I don’t roll or round the biscuits in any way. The nooks and crannies that form when the dough is dropped get a bit of extra crispiness. And that’s worth the more rustic look to me!

The garlic cheddar biscuits on a baking sheet that's lined with parchment paper

Bake the biscuits in the oven at 400-degrees for 11 to 13 minutes until the tops start to turn light brown. A couple of minutes before the biscuits are ready to come out of the oven, put 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder into a microwave safe bowl to melt. (Or you can add the garlic powder after the butter melts; either way works!)

Butter and garlic powder ready to be melted

Once the butter is melted, stir it so the garlic powder is all mixed in. Pull the garlic cheddar biscuits out of the oven.

The cooked garlic cheddar biscuits straight from the oven

Immediately brush the tops with the melted garlic butter. Get into all the nooks and crannies!

Brushing the garlic cheddar biscuits with garlic butter

Finally, lightly sprinkle the biscuits with salt. Serve them hot! Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

A finished garlic cheddar biscuit ready to be devoured
Garlic cheddar biscuits Pinterest image 3

Garlic cheddar biscuits

An easy, weeknight recipe for garlic cheddar biscuits that actually taste better than the ones at the chain crustacean restaurant!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Course Bread, Side Dish
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 1-1/4 cup baking mix (like Bisquick)
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or cheddar jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder divided

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 400-degrees (F) and line or lightly grease a baking sheet.
  • Cut 2 tablespoons of butter into pieces; set aside.
  • Put 1-1/4 cups of baking mix into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter pieces.
  • Use two forks to mix the butter into the baking mix, breaking the butter up in pea-sized or small pieces that are distributed throughout the mix.
  • Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese, 1/2 cup milk and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder. Stir well.
  • Dollop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet The dough should make 8 to 9 biscuits.
  • Bake at 400-degrees for 11 to 13 minutes, until the tops and tips are starting to lightly brown.
  • While the biscuits are baking, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder together.
  • Take the biscuits out of the oven, and brush them with the garlic butter.
  • Lightly sprinkle the biscuits with a bit of salt and serve.
Keyword biscuits, easy bread, garlic bread, garlic cheddar biscuits, Red Lobster biscuits

Find other family friendly recipes like this one in the FREE “Favorite Recipes from Families with Grace” cookbook!

Favorite Recipes from Families with Grace cookbook

Deviled eggs recipe

An easy and delicious recipe for deviled eggs

One of the simplest recipes I make is deviled eggs. In fact, it’s one of the only recipes I never measure ingredients for. I’m generally big on measuring ingredients! I first learned the recipe from my mom and then tweaked it slightly through the years. And now I just feel it in my soul.

OK, that’s probably a bit too dramatic. But, I am pretty good at telling when I have the amounts just right. So I set out and figured out the correct measurements for ingredients in order to put together this recipe. I’ve put it off for a while because I knew I’d have to do that.

However, with all that said, sometimes I make mistakes. And when I do, I continue to do a bit of tweaking to get the deviled eggs just right. I like my deviled eggs pretty basic without fancy extra ingredients. When I was making them for this post, my 13-year-old daughter wanted to make them instead. I guided her through the recipe, but when it was time to add the honey mustard, she added in double the amount I usually use.

If these eggs look like they have a looser filling than usual, that’s why. We ended up having to add some extra mayo, extra mustard and even some sour cream to get them right this time. But they weren’t ruined. And they were still gobbled down by my daughter, my father-in-law and myself!

How to boil eggs

One of the first things I had to learn in making good deviled eggs was to boil them correctly. I didn’t want them to be over-boiled and get that dark tint to the yolk. Having them be soft boiled also wouldn’t work. Like Goldilocks, I want boiled eggs that are just right. So, here’s what I’ve found that works best.

First, start with older eggs. I’m not saying expired eggs, but the fresher your eggs are, the more difficult they are to peel so they’re smooth. Next, fill a pot about 2/3 full with warm water and add a dash or two of salt. (The salt will help the shells come off a bit easier.)

Put the pot on your cold stovetop. Carefully place the number of eggs you want into the pot. I used seven eggs for this batch, but this works for any amount of eggs you’re using as long as you have a big enough pot and enough water!

Put a lid on the pot, and turn the stove on high heat. Leave them be. When the water begins boiling, turn off the heat. Leave the eggs on the warm stovetop for 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl and fill it with cool water. Add in ice cubes and let the eggs sit until they are completely cool.

Prep the eggs

Once your eggs are cooled, you’re ready to start prepping them. I usually tap them on the countertop to crack the shells and then peel them over a paper towel. When I’m finished, I rinse the egg to be sure I have gotten off all bits of shell, and then I place them onto a clean paper towel to dry.

Boiled and peeled eggs drying on a paper towel to be used in this deviled eggs recipe

Next, you want to cut the eggs in half lengthwise to make two large ovals. I use a sharp knife or even a butter knife for this.

A sliced boiled egg to use for deviled eggs
Look at that beautiful yolk!

Gently “pop” the yolk out into a large mixing bowl. I put it in the mixing bowl of my stand mixer. You can use any bowl you’d like that works with a mixer. I’ve found using a mixer makes the deviled egg filling creamier and smoother.

The egg yolks in a mixing bowl
The empty egg white ready to be filled for this deviled eggs recipe

Use a fork to mash the egg yolk up into smaller pieces.

Mashing the yolks with a fork
The mashed egg yolk ready for this deviled eggs recipe

Making the deviled eggs

Once the yolks are mashed pretty well, add in the mayonnaise, yellow mustard and honey mustard. This photo shows about twice as much honey mustard as you actually need to use.

The mashed egg yolks and other ingredients ready to be mixed for this deviled egg recipe

Using a stand or handheld mixer, mix the ingredients together until they are creamy and relatively smooth.

The finished yolk mixture for the deviled eggs

Next, you just need to fill the eggs. You can do this with a spoon or, if you want to be fancier, use a piping bag. Since I was making these for Easter dinner and for this post, I went with the piping bag. I use a tall drinking class to hold my piping bag while I fill it — whether for icing or for deviled egg filling!

The deviled egg filling in a piping bag in a tall drinking glass

I use the star tip and then pipe the filling into the eggs. This time around, the shape didn’t hold quite as well as usual since we ended up having to add extra ingredients to counteract the too much honey mustard my kiddo added. So, the filling was looser than it should be. But, they still tasted delicious!

The completed deviled eggs ready to be served or refrigerated

Serve the deviled eggs immediately, or store them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve them. You can easily make deviled eggs a day ahead of your event and save yourself time by working ahead!

Deviled eggs Pinterest image 5

Deviled eggs

This simple, straightforward deviled eggs recipe doesn't take lots of ingredients or expertise. But you end up with a crowd pleaser!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 7 eggs
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard
  • salt

Instructions
 

  • Start with boiling the eggs. Place warm water into a large pot, and put the pot onto a cold stove. Salt the water and then carefully add the eggs. Turn the heat on high and cover the pot.
  • When the water begins to boil, turn off the heat and leave the pot on the still-warm burner with the lid on for 10-12 minutes.
  • Remove the eggs from the hot water and rinse with cold water for a minute. Then add ice cubes and let the eggs sit until cooled.
  • Once the eggs are cooled, cut them apart lengthwise. Gently "pop" or scoop the yolks out into a large mixing bowl. Place the egg whites onto a plate.
  • Use a fork to mash the egg yolks a bit. Then add the mayonnaise, yellow mustard and honey mustard.
  • Mix a mixer on medium to medium/high for a couple of minutes until creamy and smoother.
  • Fill the egg whites with the yolk mixture by using a spoon or a piping bag with a star tip.
  • Serve the deviled eggs immediately, or refrigerate them.
Keyword carry-in, carry-in recipe, cold appetizer, deviled eggs, easy recipe, pitch-in, pitch-in recipe

Find other family friendly recipes like this one in the FREE “Favorite Recipes from Families with Grace” cookbook!

Favorite Recipes from Families with Grace cookbook

A sloppy joe recipe your family will love

This sloppy joe recipe is both easy and delicious!

Affiliate links are used in this post, if you make a qualifying purchase via my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products and services I use and love. It helps support my blog, so thank you for your support! Read my full disclosure here.

When it comes to recipes that are tried and true in my family, this sloppy joe recipe is one of them. This is one of the very first recipes I developed on my own many years ago. And for some reason I haven’t shared it, yet. This week is the time to do so!

My guys are particular eaters. But, both of them will eat this sloppy joe recipe. My son won’t eat even thin hamburger patties, but he will eat my sloppy joes. That makes me feel good!

When I first came up with this recipe, I did some experimenting. I was trying to get away from using canned sloppy joe sauce because it contained vinegar, which sent me into an interstitial cystitis flare. I’ve refined it and, even though I can now eat barbeque sauce without flaring, I still prefer this sloppy joe recipe to any other.

Commissary BBQ seasoning that is available on Amazon

In terms of economics, making homemade sloppy joes is also cheaper than buying a can of sloppy joe sauce, especially since you probably have the ingredients in your house. The one caveat to that is the barbeque seasoning I use. I highly recommend this Commissary BBQ Seasoning. It costs more than I usually pay for seasonings, but the stuff is soooooo good. Like sooooo good. However, you can use barbeque sauce instead. I have tried other BBQ seasonings for this recipe and not liked them, so go with sauce if you don’t want to order this rub. (It’s also so, so, so good on grilled burgers!)

In fact, I used the very last of my seasoning when I made the sloppy joes for this post. I’ve got to order some more for myself! (I also have no affiliation with Commissary BBQ Seasoning of any sort. It just makes my taste buds happy!)

The meat for sloppy joes

I use 1 pound of ground chuck (80/20) for making sloppy joes. This more than feeds my family of four. In fact, last time I had enough left for two sloppy joes as leftovers. However, we don’t pile on the meat in my family. My husband and son, in particular, use probably about 1/3 of the sloppy joe meat you’ll get at a restaurant. So, use your best judgement for how much meat to use.

(I will add that this recipe freezes really well. My mom often doubles her batch to put some in the freezer.)

In a large skillet, cook the 1 pound of ground beef over medium-high heat, chopping it into small pieces. (I chop mine really small, but you can do the size your family likes.) Once the pink is mostly out of the meat, drain off the excess grease. Add in 1/3 cup of diced onion and cook for about three more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to turn translucent.

The mostly cooked ground beef with the diced onion added in
The fully cooked ground beef with the cooked onion that is starting to get translucent

Time to get saucy

Next, pour 1 can (15 ounce) can of tomato sauce into the skillet right over the beef and onion. If you are making more than 1 pound, you may need to use more tomato sauce. The ratio of 15 ounces of sauce per 1 pound of ground beef works best.

Adding the tomato sauce for the sloppy joe sauce to the skillet with the ground beef and onions

Stir the sauce into the meat, leaving the temperature on medium-high. Now it’s time to add in the seasoning. I use 2 tablespoons of BBQ seasoning (preferably the Commissary BBQ Seasoning) and 3 to 4 tablespoons of brown sugar. If you like it sweeter, add more brown sugar; if you like it less sweet, add less. I tend to be in the sweet sauce camp!

If you are using BBQ sauce instead of BBQ seasoning, add in two tablespoons of sauce. If you have sweeter sauce, you may not need as much brown sugar. Or if you have spicier barbeque sauce, you may need more brown sugar. It really is to taste!

The sloppy joe recipe with the seasoning on top before being stirred in

Stir it all together to combine. Let it bubble for about 2 minutes and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer on the stove for 5 to 10 minutes and it’s ready to serve.

The finished sloppy joe recipe ready to go onto a bun and be eaten

Serving a crowd

You can make this sloppy joe recipe and keep it warm in a slow cooker to serve a crowd. In that instance, use 15 ounces of tomato sauce per 1-1/2 pound of ground beef. The slow cooker will get condensation on the lid and add liquid to the sloppy joes.

Because of the added condensation, you also need to add an extra tablespoon of the BBQ seasoning or sauce as well as the brown sugar for every 1 to 1-1/2 pounds of meat.

A finished sloppy joe on a bun, ready to eat
Sloppy joe recipe Pinterest image 3

Homemade sloppy joes

This easy sloppy joe recipe is homemade and so much better than canned sauce. It's a great weeknight family dinner and can serve a crowd!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 can tomato sauce 15 ounces
  • 1/3 cup onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ seasoning or BBQ sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

Instructions
 

  • Cook and crumble the ground beef over medium-high heat in a large skillet. When the meat is mostly cooked, drain the grease.
  • Return the meat to the stovetop and add in the diced onion. Cook for 3 to 5 more minutes to let the meat finish cooking and until the onions soften and become more translucent.
  • Add the tomato sauce to the skillet. Stir.
  • Add the BBQ seasoning or sauce and brown sugar. Stir together and continue cooking over medium-high heat until bubbly (about 3 minutes).
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve on buns and enjoy!
Keyword dinner ideas, easy dinner, family dinner, ground beef, ground beef recipe, picky eaters, sloppy joe, sloppy joes, weeknight dinner

Find more delicious family recipes like this one in the “Favorite Recipes from Families with Grace” cookbook. Download your FREE copy today!

Favorite Recipes from Families with Grace cookbook

Fudgy chocolate cake recipe

The best chocolate cake recipe you’ll ever make!

I love all things chocolate, but I’ve struggle with chocolate cake. So many times, I get bakery chocolate cake that is dry. Ugh. While I’ve tweaked a chocolate cake mix with great results, this fudgy chocolate cake recipe tops them all hands down. It’s a mic drop sort of cake.

My parents don’t even eat chocolate cake and they love this cake. Same for my husband. It’s just its own level of yum! It’s somehow airy yet moist. And it just plain works. So, when I made it most recently for my son’s birthday, I knew I had to share it on the blog.

Usually I only make this chocolate cake recipe for birthdays, because we don’t have cake too often at home. Unfortunately, my daughter opts for Oreo ice cream cake for her birthday in October. But my son asks for this chocolate cake for his January birthday, and I always make it for my own birthday in May. I can hardly wait the two more months until my birthday!

And, I also encourage you to try this recipe even if you haven’t made a cake from scratch before. This is literally the only cake I make from scratch. Usually I do just tweak a box cake mix with awesome results, but this one is worth making from scratch. I promise you can do it — and you don’t even need special cake flour or other uncommon ingredients. In fact, I’d guess you have everything you need to make this cake in your kitchen right now!

Making the fudgy chocolate cake recipe

Like any baking recipe, start by preheating the oven. Turn the oven to 350-degrees and then prepare your baking pan(s). I usually bake this cake in a 9×13-inch pan, but this time I used to 9-inch cake pans to make a layer cake for my son. He wanted the cake to look like the one in a video game he likes.

Grease the pans or spray them with non-stick cooking spray, and then dust them lightly with flour. I use non-stick cooking spray because it’s easiest — and at least a bit healthier!

Sprayed and lightly floured cake pans ready for this fudgy chocolate cake recipe

Next, stir together 2 cups of white sugar and 2 cups of all-purpose flour in a large mixing bowl. I use the bowl of my stand mixer, because this is the bowl you’ll be mixing the batter in later.

The flour and sugar mixed together in the bowl of my stand mixer for this fudgy chocolate cake recipe

Let the flour and sugar hang out while you get out a medium saucepan. Put 2 sticks of butter, 1 cup of water and 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder into the saucepan over medium heat.

The butter, cocoa powder and water in a medium saucepan of medium heat
Part way through cooking the butter, cocoa powder and water in a medium saucepan of medium heat

You want to bring it to a boil so that the liquid is bubbly and moving around. While I wait for it to boil, I move on to the next step of whisking 1/2 cup of milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 2 eggs together. I measure the milk into my 2-cup measuring cup and then add in the rest of the ingredients. It’s easier to pour that way and I don’t end up with a dirty measuring cup and a dirty bowl!

The milk, vanilla, baking soda and eggs mixed together in a 2-cup measuring cup for this fudgy chocolate cake recipe

When the butter, water and cocoa powder reaches a boil, then it’s ready to remove from the stove.

The boiling cocoa powder mixture

Pour the boiling mixture into the bowl with the flour and sugar mixture.

The boiling cocoa mixture poured over the flour and sugar mixture

Stir the flour mixture and cocoa powder mixture together by hand or using a mixer. I use my stand mixer to make life easier. If you are using a mixer, start out on low speed until the ingredients have combined a bit before moving to medium speed to mix completely. If you start out too fast, then the boiling cocoa powder mixture will splash out. When it’s all combined the mixture will be loose.

The flour mixture and cocoa powder mixture all combined for this fudgy chocolate cake recipe

Add in the egg mixture and keep stirring or mixing until it’s incorporated. I usually add this in slowly while the mixer is running.

Once the egg mixture is incorporated, the cake batter is ready. It is going to be a thinner consistency than you might expect for cake batter, but that’s exactly correct!

The chocolate cake batter ready to be poured into the prepared cake pan(s)

Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan(s), and place them in the oven.

The filled cake pans ready to go into the oven.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes for two 9-inch pans or 30 to 35 minutes for a 9×13-inch pan. You’ll know the cake is finished when it begins to shrink away from the sides.

The baked fudgy chocolate cake shrinking away from the sides of the pan.

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.

The finished cake out of the pan

Let it cool completely before topping it with icing. This time around, I used my favorite quick, easy and oh-so-delicious homemade buttercream icing. I tinted it for the color to match the cake in the video game and did the swirl design in white like the same video game cake.

The completed and decorated fudgy chocolate cake

Look at the airy, yet moist inside of this fudgy chocolate cake recipe!

The inside of the completed fudgy chocolate cake recipe is both airy and moist!
Chocolate cake recipe Pinterest image 3

Fudgy chocolate cake

This is the all-time best fudgy chocolate cake recipe. It's both airy and moist. And this chocolate cake is way better than a bakery one!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350-degrees (F). Prepare on 9×13 or two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with non-sticking cooking spray or coating with grease and then lightly sprinkling with flour.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and sugar, then set it aside.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, water and cocoa powder. Stir occasionally and cook until it comes to a boil.
  • While you're waiting for the cocoa powder mixture to boil, whisk together the milk, vanilla, baking soda and egg. Set aside.
  • Remove the boiling cocoa powder mixture from the stove and pour into the large mixing bowl with the flour and sugar. Stir together by hand or use a mixer to combine them thoroughly. (If you're using a mixer, be sure to start on low until the liquid has combined a bit before turning the mixer to medium.)
  • Once it is combined, pour in the egg mixture and mix until that is completely incorporated.
  • Pour the prepared batter (which will be relatively runny) into the prepared baking pan(s).
  • Bake in the oven for 35 to 30 minutes for 9-inch pans or 30 to 35 minutes for a 9×13-inch pan. You'll know the cake is finished when it starts to pull away from the edges of the pan.
  • Cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the pan. Cool completely before icing the cake.
Keyword Birthday cake, chocolate cake, fudgy chocolate cake, holiday baking, homemade cake, layer cake, scratch made

Find more delicious family recipes like this one in the “Favorite Recipes from Families with Grace” cookbook. Download your FREE copy today!

Favorite Recipes from Families with Grace cookbook
The Favorite Recipes from Families with Grace is a cookbook for modern families filled with easy-to-make, kid-friendly recipes you’ll love! #Cookbook #FavoriteRecipes #Freebie #DigitalDownload #WhatsForDinner #WeeknightDinner

The best baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping

You’ll never have a better baked mac and cheese than this one inspired by a restaurant in St. Louis!

Nearly two years ago, we took a family vacation to St. Louis. We had a great time exploring the city and making lots of family memories. We also tried some incredible food. The hamburger from Hi-Pointe Drive-In was fabulous. Cookies from Insomnia Cookies hit a sweet spot. Floats from Fitz’s Root Beer were in their own category of sweet treats.

But, hands down, the most memorable for me was Salt + Smoke BBQ. My daughter and I went there solo while the boys ate elsewhere. The barbeque was good. Stupidly good. However, the baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping stole my heart.

I literally said to my daughter as we were eating, “If I wasn’t already married to your dad, I’d marry this mac and cheese.” That may sound dramatic, but the mac and cheese really was that good. (I’m not even a big mac and cheese fan.)

Since we live a few hours away from St. Louis, I knew my odds of having that baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping again were slim. If we go back someday, I’ll definitely hit it up. But until then, I’ve found and tweaked a recipe that tastes incredibly similar.

This baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping has become a regular for Thanksgiving dinner at my house. I’ve served it to up beside sloppy joes. Most recently, I made it as a main dish and enjoyed every single bite of it. So much so that I seriously debated having its leftovers for breakfast the next day. You have got to try this simple recipe that only uses six ingredients (besides a bit of salt and pepper)!

Baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping ingredients: triple cheddar shredded cheese, heavy whipping cream, flour, pasta shells, butter and Ritz crackers

Stovetop prep for the baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping

Salt the water in a large pot and let it come to a boil, then add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 12 minutes. While the pasta cooks, preheat the oven to 300-degrees (F). The Salt + Smoke mac and cheese uses pasta shells, so that’s what I have used. You could use any pasta shape you prefer.

About four minutes before the pasta is finished getting, melt 2 tablespoons of butter into a medium saucepan over medium/high heat.

Butter for the baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping melting in a medium saucepan over medium/high heat

When the pasta is finished cooking, strain it and return it to the pot, removed from the heat. Once the butter has melted, stir in 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Here’s how it will look start to finish:

The flour and butter starting to be mixed for the baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping
Add the flour to the melted butter.
Part way through mixing the flour and butter for this baked mac and cheese with Ritz crackers recipe
Stir the flour and butter constantly for 1 to 2 minutes.
The flour and butter mixture completely mixed together after cooking for 2 minutes over medium/high heat
How the butter and flour mixture looks when it is finished cooking.

Once the flour and butter are well combined and cooked together, begin adding in the heavy cream about 1/4 cup at a time. Let it mix in each time completely before adding more. It will go from a texture of runny oatmeal to mashed potatoes to pudding to sauce.

Starting to stir in the heavy cream for the baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping
Adding the first 1/4 cup of heavy cream into the flour and butter mixture looks a bit like runny oatmeal.
Continuing to gradually stir the heavy cream in for this baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping
As you keep adding, the cream, it starts to be more of a mashed potato consistency.

Once the cream is completely stirred in and the mixture is more sauce-like, continue cooking it over medium/high heat, stirring frequently. When it just starts to move around a bit, remove it from the heat. Do not let it boil. It will look like this:

The cooked sauce removed from the heat for this baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping

Next, stir in 8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese. Salt + Smoke uses white cheddar, I think, but I use triple cheddar blend because it’s easier for me to find. Add a dash of salt and pepper.

Stirring the cheese into the sauce for this baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping
Pour the shredded cheese into the sauce.
Stir well until the cheese melts completely.

Getting it ready to bake

Once the cheese sauce is totally together, pour the sauce over the cooked and strained pasta.

The cooked pasta with the cheese sauce poured over the top of it for this baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping

Stir together the sauce and pasta so it is well mixed and all the pasta is covered.

The pasta stirred together and coated with the cheese sauce for this baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping

Transferred the coated pasta into a 9×13-inch baking dish, lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Use a spoon to spread it evenly throughout the dish.

The prepared mac and cheese being spread into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish

Crush the Ritz crackers for the topping and spread over the top of the prepared mac and cheese. I use about 8 to 10 Ritz crackers for this. I have store brand ingredients for everything except the crackers, because the buttery flavor of Ritz really does work best for this recipe. (Please note that I am in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Ritz crackers.)

The baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping ready to go into the oven

Bake it in the preheated 300-degree oven for about 12 minutes until heated through. I often serve this with additional crackers on the side for added crunch if people want. Be sure to refrigerate any leftovers.

I promise this will become your favorite baked mac and cheese recipe! Look at this cheesy, yummy goodness!

A finished dish of the baked mac and cheese with Ritz topping
The cracker crust gives just a hint of crunch and extra buttery-ness!
A forkful of the finished baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping
Doesn’t that just make your mouth water?!
Baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping Pinterest image 4

Baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping

This baked mac and cheese with Ritz cracker topping recipe is the best ever. With only 6 ingredients, it will quickly become a favorite!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound medium pasta shells
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8-10 Ritz crackers crushed
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Bring a lot pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 12 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 300-degrrees (F).
  • About four minutes before the pasta is finished cooking, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium/high heat.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the butter and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Drain the pasta and return it to its pot off the heat; set aside.
  • Slowly add the heavy cream to the butter and flour mixture. Stir in about 1/4 cup at a time, waiting until it's completely mixed in to add more.
  • Once the cream is all added, continue cooking over medium/high heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid starts to move. Do NOT let it come to a boil.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the 8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese until completely melted and smooth. Add a dash of salt and pepper. (If you use unsalted butter, you may need to add more salt.)
  • Pour the cheddar cheese sauce over the cooked and drained pasta. Mix well so the sauce covers all the pasta.
  • Spritz a 9×13-inch baking dish lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the pasta into the baking dish and spread it out evenly.
  • Crush the Ritz crackers by hand and sprinkle evenly over the top of the pasta.
  • Bake for 12 minutes until heated through. Serve immediately, and enjoy!
Keyword baked mac and cheese, carry-in, carry-in recipe, Christmas, family dinner, family friendly, family recipe, kid friendly, mac and cheese, macaroni and cheese, potluck, salt + smoke mac and cheese, Thanksgiving, weeknight dinner

Find more delicious family recipes like this one in the “Favorite Recipes from Families with Grace” cookbook. Download your FREE copy today!

Favorite Recipes from Families with Grace cookbook
The Favorite Recipes from Families with Grace is a cookbook for modern families filled with easy-to-make, kid-friendly recipes you’ll love! #Cookbook #FavoriteRecipes #Freebie #DigitalDownload #WhatsForDinner #WeeknightDinner

The best microwave baked potato recipe

Using the microwave and the oven for baked potatoes speeds up cooking time without compromising texture!

The best microwave baked potato recipe Pinterest image 2

I haven’t met a potato I didn’t like from cheesy party potatoes to mashed potatoes to potato soup to to french fries to potato chili, I love them all. When it comes to baked potatoes, I like them soft and tender. But baking them for hours isn’t really my jam. I don’t have time for that! Instead I take a trick from my mom using this microwave baked potato recipe. Because you start the potatoes in the microwave and finish them in the oven, they cook faster and you still get that nice oven-baked texture.

These microwave baked potatoes are incredibly easy. They’re perfect for weeknight or weekend dinners!

Microwave the baked potato

Turn your oven on to 450-degrees (F) to start preheating.

Before you put your baked potatoes in the microwave, you need to poke holes in the potatoes or else they will explode. I usually stab mine all over in random places with a fork. I don’t know that I need to make as many holes as I do, but I figure better safe than sorry. After all, I don’t want to clean up an exploded potato mess!

Raw potatoes on a plate being pierced with a fork

Put the potatoes on a microwave-safe plate, and then place them in the microwave. I cook them in the microwave at 100% power for about three minutes per potato. You can probably get away with two minutes per potato if they are smaller potatoes, but I usually do this with large ones and serve them as our main dish.

So, I cooked these three potatoes in the microwave for 12 minutes.

Prepare for the oven

A couple of minutes before the potatoes are finished in the microwave, I get set up to transfer them to the oven with a baking sheet, sheets of aluminum foil, vegetable oil with a tablespoon and coarse sea salt.

Set up to move the baked potatoes from the microwave to the oven with a baking sheet, aluminum foil sheets, vegetable oil with a tablespoon and coarse sea salt

When the microwave stops, take the potatoes out. The potatoes will be hot, so use oven mitts to pick them up one at a time to transfer them to the foil sheets.

Using an oven mitt to pick up a hot potato from the microwave

Once the potato is on a foil sheet, drizzle one tablespoon of vegetable oil over it.

A baked potato being drizzled with vegetable oil

Next, sprinkle the potato with the coarse sea salt, if desired.

A baked potato that has been drizzled with oil and sprinkled with coarse sea salt

Wrap the foil around the potatoes and place them onto a baking sheet. Cook them in the oven at 450-degrees (F) for 20 minutes.

Three potatoes wrapped in foil on a baking sheet and ready to go into the hot oven

Enjoy the potato

When the potatoes are finished cooking, take them out of the oven. Carefully open the foil to let them start to cool.

A hot potato fresh from the oven

Cut the potato open carefully and use a fork to mash the inside a bit, if you like it that way. (I sure do!)

A fully cooked baked potato with a soft center

Add your favorite toppings and you’re good to go! We usually have baked potatoes as our main dish, so I loaded this one up with butter, cheese, sour cream and bacon bits. On the night I took these photos, we had a total carb fest. I also served up this delicious homemade french bread! Another great pairing for these baked potatoes is my mom’s meatloaf with ketchup glaze.

A finished baked potato loaded with butter, cheese, sour cream and bacon bits

Microwave baked potato

This is the best microwave baked potato recipe because it starts in the microwave to cook faster but ends in the oven for a better texture.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 52 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 2 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 3 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3 large russet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt optional
  • baked potato toppings as desired like butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, etc.

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 450-degrees (F).
  • Scrub your potatoes until they're clean. Pierce each potato in numerous places with a fork to make holes.
  • Put the potatoes on a microwave-safe plate and cook in the microwave for 3 minutes per large potato. (For three large potatoes, cook for 12 minutes.)
  • Just before the potatoes finish in the microwave, get out sheets of aluminum foil to hold the potatoes along with a baking sheet, the vegetable oil and the salt, if desired.
  • Carefully transfer one potato at a time to a sheet of aluminum foil. (I use oven mitts for this because the potatoes are hot!)
  • Drizzle the potatoes with 1 tablespoon each of the vegetable oil. Sprinkle with the salt, if desired.
  • Wrap the potatoes in the foil, place them on a baking sheet and cook in your preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  • Carefully peel back the foil from the baked potatoes, cut them and serve them with your favorite baked potato toppings.
Keyword baked potato, family dinner, family friendly, microwave cooking, potato, weeknight dinner

Meatloaf recipe with ketchup glaze

My all-time favorite meatloaf recipe

There are so many different ways to make meatloaf. I’ve seen it with brown gravy over the top. Sometimes it’s dry. Other times it’s spicy. But, my all-time favorite meatloaf recipe topped with ketchup glaze comes from my mama. It’s one of my favorite dishes she makes.

Meatloaf recipe Pinterest image 3

I hadn’t made meatloaf myself until more recently. My husband and son won’t eat it. They don’t eat much meat. But after trying various meal kit delivery services, I learned making two different dinner options was sometimes worth it. I tried out some meatloaf recipes, and they were good enough. However, they weren’t my mom’s.

For just over a year, my parents have lived states away from me instead of five minutes away from me. So when they were here for a visit in the fall, I asked my mom to make meatloaf. She not only made it, but also froze some meatloaf patties that my daughter and I enjoyed later on for dinners. When my parents were back for my son’s recent birthday, I knew I had to write down her recipe, take photos and share it with you guys as well!

This meatloaf recipe is home-cooking at its finest. It’s not fancy, but it’s hearty and delicious. Serve it up with mashed potatoes or cheesy party potatoes and oven-roasted vegetables for a complete meal.

Figure out the meat

So the issue here is what kind of meat to use. You can use all ground beef (we use chuck at 80/20 fat) or a mix of ground beef and ground pork or sausage. It’s good all the ways! This particular time, we made it with the mix of ground beef and ground pork, because I had some leftover ground pork I wanted to use.

If you do use a mixture of meat, you want to use 3/4 ground beef and about 1/4 ground pork or sausage. We used 2.5 pounds of meat total for five adults (with leftovers), which broke down to 2 pounds of ground beef and 1/2 pound of ground pork.

The fresher your meat is, the better the meatloaf will be. If you have a butcher or butcher’s case at your grocery store, go with ground meat from there. You don’t need it to be all-organic and grass-fed (unless that’s your thing). You just want fresh. However, this time around, we used frozen meat I had, and it was still incredibly good.

Mix up your meatloaf

Switch your oven on to 350-degrees (F) to get it preheating, and then start mixing your meatloaf. Put all of the meat into a large mixing bowl. Add 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of sage (unless you use sausage, in which case omit this), salt, pepper, 1/2 cup diced onion, 3 tablespoons of ketchup and 3 tablespoons of honey barbeque sauce.

The meatloaf ingredients (minus the glaze ingredients) in a large mixing bowl ready to be combined

Cut up about three slices of bread into small pieces. You an use whatever bread you have. This time, I had leftover french bread from serving slow cooker potato soup for dinner a couple of nights prior, so I used that. But regular sandwich bread works. In a pinch, crumbled crackers can work as well.

Chopped bread crumbs ready to go into the meatloaf recipe

Add the bread pieces into the meat mixture and mix it all together well. You can use a spoon for this or your clean hands to do so. I think using your hands is easiest, but do what works for you.

The meatloaf ingredients all mixed together and ready to go into the pan

The next step in this meatloaf recipe is putting the meat into a 9×13 baking dish. My mom’s tip is to make a bit of a “well” around the meat in between the meat and the pan. The grease will collect there and be easier to drain off.

The meatloaf in the pan, with a small amount of space between the meat and pan, that's ready to go into the oven

After your meatloaf is in the pan, top it with the 6 ounces of tomato paste. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place the meatloaf in your preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Finish the meatloaf

About five minutes before the 45-minute mark, mix up your glaze. The ketchup glaze in this meatloaf recipe is probably my favorite thing about it! Mix together 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of ketchup and 2 tablespoons of honey barbeque sauce.

Pull the meatloaf out of the oven. The tomato paste will have baked into the top a bit and grease will have gathered around the sides.

The meatloaf after having baked covered for 45 minutes with the grease around the edges

If you want, an optional step for this meatloaf recipe is to drain off some of the grease. That’s what we chose to do. Here is what it looked like after we drained the grease.

The meatloaf after draining some of the grease out of it

Next, it’s time to spread the ketchup glaze over the meatloaf. Spread the mixed up glaze right on top of the tomato paste.

The meatloaf recipe topped with the ketchup glaze and ready to finish baking in the oven

Put the meatloaf back into the oven, uncovered, for 15 more minutes. Let it set for about five minutes and then slice and put onto a plate for serving. (You want to move it to a plate to serve from because baking the second time will create more grease that you don’t want the meat sitting in.)

Serve up with some cheesy party potatoes, oven-roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes and enjoy!

A slice of delicious meatloaf with ketchup glaze alongside some mashed potatoes
Meatloaf recipe Pinterest image 2

Meatloaf recipe with ketchup glaze

This meatloaf recipe with ketchup glaze is my mom's long-time recipe that makes the best meatloaf hands down. You've got to try it!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 0.5 pounds ground pork
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 3 slices bread chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon sage
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 5 tablespoons ketchup divided
  • 5 tablespoons honey barbeque sauce divided
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350-degrees (F).
  • Put the ground beef and ground pork into a large mixing bowl. Add in the tomato sauce, bread, sage, egg and onion.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of ketchup and 3 tablespoons of barbeque sauce, and mix the ingredients well.
  • Put the meat mixture into a 9×13 baking dish. Flatten it out to the same thickness throughout and leave a small space between the sides of the dish and the meat.
  • Spread the tomato paste over the top of the meat. Then cover with aluminum foil and baked for 45 minutes.
  • About 5 minutes before the meatloaf is finished with the first round of baking, mix together 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons ketchup and 2 tablespoons barbeque sauce to form the ketchup glaze.
  • Remove the meatloaf from the oven. If desired, drain some of the grease from the meatloaf. Then spread the glaze over the top of the tomato sauce.
  • Put the meatloaf back into the oven, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it set for five minutes before slicing and transferring to another plate to serve.
Keyword family dinner, family recipe, ketchup glaze, kid friendly, meatloaf, traditional recipe