Tag Archives: dinner

rigatoni pie on white plate

Food Network’s Rigatoni Pie is the OG TikTok Honeycomb Pasta (and Now We Want Both!)

You might’ve seen the honeycomb pasta hack that has gone viral on TikTok, in which Anna Rothfuss AKA @bananalovesyoutoo stuffs string cheese in rigatoni pasta, layering on sauce, ground meat and grated cheese for good measure. We daresay this popular quick meal evokes a Food Network Canada eye-catching favourite: our very own 20-minute, 10-ingredient Rigatoni Pie. While slightly more elevated in flavour (no string cheese here), this vegetarian version is equally melty and gooey and just as straight-forward to make for a quick weeknight meal — all with simple pantry ingredients you likely already have on hand.

rigatoni pie on white plate

Looking to save additional time? Instead of making your own tomato sauce, swap in four cups of store-bought marinara. For meat-lovers, you can mix things up too by adding cooked ground meat to the sauce (just note: you’ll need less of the sauce). This delicious budget-friendly comfort food will be a fan favourite at home, and the good news is the yield is high, so there will be plenty to go around.

Watch the how-to video here:


Rigatoni Pie Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Rest Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
9 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes in juice
1 15-oz can whole peeled tomatoes in juice
1 cup loosely-packed fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb(s) rigatoni
1 lb(s) part-skim mozzarella, grated
⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Heat 4 Tbsp of the olive oil with the garlic in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Once it begins to sizzle, cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is soft and just beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes, then add the tomatoes and 1 ½ cups water. Increase the heat to high and bring the tomato sauce to a boil, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper. Let the sauce cool for 10 minutes then puree in a blender until smooth.

Related: This Feta Tomato Pasta Trending on TikTok is as Easy as 1-2-3

2. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with 1 Tbsp olive oil and bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until it is slightly less than al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil.

3. Stand the rigatoni on their ends in the prepared pan until it is completely filled (you might not use all the pasta). Place the pan on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch drips. Pour the sauce over the noodles, spreading it with the back of a spoon (You might not use all the sauce.) Sprinkle the pasta with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Related: I Tried Meghan Markle’s “Filthy, Sexy” Zucchini Pasta Sauce — Here’s How It Stacked Up

4. Cover the pan with foil, doming it slightly to avoid touching the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue cooking until the top is golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes more. Let the pasta cool for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the sides of the pan, cut into wedges and serve.

5 Simple Olive Oil Pasta Sauces That Will Transform Your Dinner

While a high-quality bottle of olive oil can carry a hefty price tag, investing in a beautiful and pure variety will allow you to make quick and simple pastas that are not only delicious, but require minimal ingredients. Because a true olive oil demands less heat and cook time, it’s the ideal solution to whip up an impressive dinner. No matter where in the Mediterranean it was produced, choose an extra-virgin olive oil that carries fruity notes and has a peppery finish. Then, use it in one of these five satisfying sauces.

Five Olive-Oil Based Pasta Sauce Recipes:

 

1. Caramelized Mushroom Sauce

Cook ribbon cut pasta, such as tagliatelle, in a large pot of well-salted boiling water. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chopped, mixed mushrooms to the dry pan and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms have released their moisture and are golden-brown. Reduce heat to medium. Generously drizzle mushrooms with extra-virgin olive oil. Stir in a thinly sliced garlic clove and continue cooking until garlic is soft. Add pasta, then freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley. Toss until pasta is well coated.

wild mushroom fettucini pasta in white bowl on marble table

Get the recipe for Wild Mushroom Fettuccini with Spruce Tip Pesto

2. Fresh Breadcrumb Pasta

Cook long-cut pasta, such as bucatini, in a large pot of well-salted, boiling water. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high. Add fresh breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, until lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate. Generously drizzle extra-virgin olive oil into same pan and set over medium heat. Add three thinly sliced shallots and cook, stirring often, until soft. Stir in roughly chopped green olives and fresh thyme leaves until warmed through. Add pasta and breadcrumbs. Toss until well coated.

3. Classic Parmesan Sauce

Cook short-cut pasta, such as penne, in a large pot of well-salted boiling water. Reserve a splash of cooking water. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add a generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, then two minced garlic cloves. Cook, stirring often, until garlic is soft. Add pasta, along with a large handful of grated Parmesan cheese and reserved cooking water, tossing until mixture is creamy. Season generously with freshly cracked black pepper.

spaghetti pasta in skillet dressed in tomato sauce, with cauliflower, Parmesan cheese, tomatoes, olives and torn basil.

Get the recipe for Vegetarian Cauliflower Puttanesca

4. Capers and Basil Pasta

Cook decorative-cut pasta, such as orecchiette, in a large pot of well-salted boiling water. Heat a large frying pan over medium-low. Add a generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, then two finely chopped anchovies. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant. Stir in a handful of chopped, drained capers and continue cooking until slightly crisp. Add pasta, then freshly chopped basil. Toss until pasta is well coated.

Pasta salad in clear bowl with fusilli, cucumber, parsley and tomatoes.

Get the recipe for 15-Minute Gluten-Free Tabbouleh Pasta Salad

5. Sundried Tomato Pesto

Cook short-cut pasta, such as rigatoni, in a large pot of well-salted boiling water. Add oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained, with toasted slivered almonds, one garlic clove and a handful of grated Parmesan to a food processor until finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour extra-virgin olive oil until mixture is smooth. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Toss with pasta.

Looking for more delicious recipes? See here for our best-ever pasta recipes for easy dinners.

Published February 12, 2016, Updated April 2, 2021

Sunny Anderson’s Chicken and Sausage is a One-Pot Wonder

As Sunny Anderson has proven on The Kitchen, truly crave-worthy comfort food doesn’t need more than one dish to make when it involves juicy chicken breasts combined with sliced andouille sausage and seasonings that will make you want to lick your plate clean. Trust us, you’ll want to introduce this hearty, satisfying dish into your regular meal rotation.

Related: 20 Recipes From Around the World That’ll Help Fill Your Travelling Void

Sunny Anderson’s Big Easy Chicken and Andouille File Gumbo

Total: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

3 Tbsp cooking oil
2 chicken breasts, gently pounded thin
2 lbs andouille sausage, sliced into 1-inch rounds
1 stick salted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Cajun seasoning, preferably Mama Mia’s For Whatever Seasoning
2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 jalapenos, finely chopped (seeds optional)
4 cloves garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Enough chicken stock base for the 8-cup stock equivalent
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp file powder, plus more for serving
Serving suggestions: cooked white rice and hot sauce, optional

Related: Charcuterie Boards Are Trending: 10 Unique Ideas for Busy Weeknights

Directions

1. Add the oil, chicken and sausage rounds to a stockpot on medium-high heat. Sear the chicken to get color and sausage to get color and render fat, but not to cook fully. As the parts finish searing, use a slotted spoon to remove them and place on a plate, leaving the fat in the pot, about 10 minutes total.

2. Add the butter, flour and Cajun seasoning to the pot. Cook on medium heat, constantly stirring, until the roux becomes a rich, dark caramel color, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Add the bell peppers, onions, celery, jalapenos and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, to coat, until everything gets tender, 5 to 8 minutes, then add the stock base and 8 cups water and stir to mix the base into the pot. Add the bay leaves and cover the pot to simmer until the gumbo is thickened, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

4. Add the reserved chicken and sausage, then stir in the file powder. Simmer, uncovered, for another 30 minutes.

5. Shred the chicken in the pot. Serve over rice with a shake of hot sauce and file powder.

Related: Canned Chicken Recipes That’ll Make You Forget Dinner Started in the Pantry

Watch the how-to video here

Watch The Kitchen and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Ree Drummond’s Best-Ever Super Spicy Mac and Cheese

When it comes to quick and easy meals, you can rely on a comfort food classic like mac and cheese to satisfy all your cravings. And who better to provide inspiration for a scrumptious feast? The one and only Ree Drummond, naturally. With macaroni, jalapenos, hot sauce and a variety of cheeses, this spicy one-pot wonder from The Pioneer Woman is everything you need on a busy weeknight.

Related: Ree Drummond’s Buffalo Chicken Totchos Are the Food Mash-Up You Didn’t Know You Needed

Super Spicy Mac and Cheese

Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

1 lb macaroni
2 Tbsp salted butter
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cups whole milk, plus more if needed
8 oz queso blanco-style processed cheese, cubed
1 cup grated Monterey Jack
1 cup grated pepper jack
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
Hot sauce, as desired

Related: Ree Drummond’s 30-Minute Vegetarian Pasta Makes Peppers the Star

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the crushed red pepper, jalapeno, garlic and onion and cook, stirring, until the veggies have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the milk and heat until starting to bubble around the edges. Add the processed cheese and stir until melted. Add the Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheeses, pepper, kosher salt, seasoned salt and hot sauce to taste. Stir until the cheese is melted. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add a splash of milk if the sauce seems too thick. Fold in the cooked macaroni and serve.

3. Reheating instructions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the mac and cheese in a baking dish, cover with foil and heat until warmed through, about 25 minutes.

Related: This Bold 5-Ingredient Sheet Pan Steak Supper From The Pioneer Woman Will Brighten Your Table

Watch the how-to video here:

Watch The Pioneer Woman and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Quickie beans, grains and greens bowl

The Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Menu With 5 Ingredients Per Meal

Have you ever looked at a gorgeous recipe photo and thought: “I’m definitely making that!” only to become way less enthused when the instructions call for 20 ingredients or more? We’ve been there. So, we’re giving you the opposite: a day’s worth of 5-ingredient meals. From breakfast to lunch to easy dinner recipes, they’re all easy to make — and the lunch dish is particularly quick (because We Know You Have 10 Minutes!). One rule: oil, salt and pepper don’t count toward the five ingredients. Okay, that’s it. It’s time to get cooking!

Breakfast: Maple Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 12-15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 1

Maple quinoa bowl


Ingredients:

¼ cup quinoa
¾ cup non-dairy milk
¼ – ⅓ cup toasted walnuts or almonds, roughly chopped
¼ cup blueberries (or your favourite fruit of choice)
Splash of maple syrup, to taste

Directions:

1. Place the quinoa and non-dairy milk in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for 12-15 minutes until fluffy and all the milk is absorbed.

2. Pour the quinoa into a bowl, top with walnuts or almonds, blueberries and a hearty drizzle of maple syrup. Feel free to add more non-dairy milk.

Note: You can replace the quinoa with brown rice or oats. If you already have these grains pre-cooked, simply toss them in the saucepan with just a bit of non-dairy milk to heat up.

Lunch: Quickie Grains, Greens & Beans Bowl

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

Ingredients:

½ cup cooked brown rice or cauliflower rice
½ cup chickpeas
1 cup baby kale, mesclun greens or baby spinach
½ green apple or avocado, sliced
2 Tbsp creamy tahini
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

1. If you’re using brown rice and it’s not cooked yet, do so according to package instructions. For a grain-free option,  use cauliflower rice.

2. Place the rice or cauliflower on the bottom of a wide bowl or reusable to-go container if you’re taking this lunch with you.

Related: Healthy 5-Ingredient Lunch Ideas You Can Make Quickly

3. Pile the chickpeas together in one area of the bowl. Place the greens in another area of the bowl. Then add the apple or avocado on top.

4. Drizzle tahini, olive oil, salt and pepper, then mix. If you’re taking this lunch to-go, you can dress it beforehand or place the dressing components in a container on the side.

Watch the how-to video here:


Dinner: Sheet Pan Miso Salmon

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 2


Ingredients:

1 bunch broccoli, chopped in florets
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt and pepper
2 ½ oz pieces of salmon
2 Tbsp white miso
3 tsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp sesame oil

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Place the broccoli florets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

3. Push some florets to the side and place the salmon in the middle of the baking sheet, so the flesh is facing up. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place in the oven to roast for 15 minutes.

4. While the broccoli and salmon are baking, prepare the miso marinade by whisking miso, maple syrup and sesame oil.

5. Take the salmon out of the oven when it’s done (you know it’s done when a fork gently flakes it apart) and immediately brush or spoon the miso marinade over top.

Like Tamara and Sarah’s 5-ingredient meals? Try their spicy sauteed cauliflower and chickpeas or their blackened trout with green beans.

Published January 8, 2020, Updated March 11, 2021

Beauty shot of Molly Yeh's Kung Pao Chicken, as seen on Girl Meets Farm, Season 6.

Skip Takeout With Molly Yeh’s Saucy and Spicy Kung Pao Chicken

Whether it’s scrumptious chicken shawarma tacos or a hearty zucchini pizza, Molly Yeh is an expert when it comes to comfort food classics. This is why it’s no surprise that we’re obsessed with the Girl Meets Farm star’s saucy, spicy twist on this Chinese takeout staple.

Boneless chicken thighs are cut into cubes, seasoned and mixed together with garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, bell peppers, green beans, dried red chile peppers and Sichuan peppercorn powder for a hot and delicious one-dish meal you’ll want to eat on repeat.

Related: Molly Yeh’s Zucchini Pizza With Fresh Pesto Will Be Your New Go-To Pie

Beauty shot of Molly Yeh's Kung Pao Chicken, as seen on Girl Meets Farm, Season 6.

Molly Yeh’s Kung Pao Chicken

Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

2 tsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 cloves garlic
One 2-inch piece ginger
2 Tbsp neutral oil
2 to 3 dried red chile peppers
1/2 lb green beans or Chinese long beans, sliced on a diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1/2 bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced on a diagonal
1/2 tsp Sichuan peppercorn powder or crushed black peppercorns and coriander seeds
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, plus more for garnish
Cooked white rice, for serving

Beauty shot of Molly Yeh's Kung Pao Chicken, as seen on Girl Meets Farm, Season 6.

Related: 25 Tasty Chinese Takeout Dishes You Can Master at Home

Directions

1. Whisk together the cornstarch, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 tablespoon rice vinegar in a medium bowl. Add the chicken, then toss to coat and let marinate at room temperature, 20 minutes.

2. Combine the hoisin, sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, remaining 2 tablespoons rice vinegar and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Grate the garlic and ginger into the sauce. Stir and set aside.

3. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then add the chicken. Stir-fry until browned on the outside, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chiles, green beans, red pepper, scallions whites, Sichuan peppercorn powder and peanuts. Stir-fry until fragrant and the veggies are crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sauce and simmer until thickened slightly and the chicken is completely cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Garnish with the scallion greens and additional peanuts. Serve with the rice.

Related: 15 Recipes From Around the World That’ll Help Fill Your Travelling Void

Watch Girl Meets Farm and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Watch the how-to video here.


Molly Yeh’s Zucchini Pizza With Fresh Pesto Will Be Your New Go-To Pie

Our all-time favourite Girl Meets Farm recipes often include Molly Yeh’s healthier comfort food classics – think bagel salads and chicken shawarma – and this mouth-watering zucchini-forward pizza is no exception. Whether you’re looking for a hearty lunch or family-friendly dinner main, this pie is a slice of pizza heaven.

Make use of all that luscious basil and mint growing in your indoor herb garden by combining it with toasted pine nuts, garlic, crushed red pepper, zucchini and cheese for a meal you’ll want to eat on repeat. Find more tips and recipes with our ultimate herb guide.

Related: Molly Yeh’s One-Pot Wonder Taco Hot Dish

Molly Yeh’s Zucchini Pizza With Basil Mint Pesto

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

Pizza Dough:
500 grams (3 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp active dry yeast

Pizza Toppings:
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil, plus more for serving
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, plus more for serving
1 lemon, halved
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, plus more for serving
1/2 cup olive oil
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, torn
1 small or 1/2 large (6 ounces) zucchini, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices

Related: Molly Yeh’s Flaky Dill Bread: The Perfect Use for Leftover Herbs

Molly Yeh's Zucchini Pizza with Fresh Basil Mint Pesto

Directions

1. For the pizza dough: Mix together the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl, then stir in 350 grams (1 1/2 cups) water until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and put it down for an 18- to 24-hour nap at room temperature until it’s doubled in sized and bubbling.

2. For the pizza toppings: Preheat the grill with a pizza stone over medium-high heat. (If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a baking sheet.)

3. Combine the pine nuts, garlic, basil, mint, crushed red pepper, juice of half a lemon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, a few turns of black pepper and the Parmesan in a food processor and pulse to a coarse crumb. With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired.

4. Divide the pizza dough in half. On a floured pizza peel or baking sheet, flatten out one half of the dough into a 10- to 11-inch round. Spread with a thin layer of the pesto and top with half of the mozzarella. Bring it out to the grill. Grill the zucchini and remaining lemon half on the grates until charred, a few minutes. Add half the zucchini to the pizza and slide it onto the pizza stone. Close the grill and cook until the bottom is browned and cheese is melty, 6 to 9 minutes. Drizzle with more pesto, squeeze with juice from the charred lemon and add more Parmesan, crushed red pepper and basil and serve.

5. Repeat with the other half of the pizza dough and ingredients.

Related: The Best Homemade Pizza Recipes (Including Dough From Scratch)

Watch Girl Meets Farm and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Watch the how-to video here:


 

Carolina Smothered Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce, as Seen on Delicious Miss Brown, Season 3.

This Kardea Brown Creamy Carolina Smothered Chicken Recipe is a Must-Try

As Kardea Brown has proven time and again on Delicious Miss Brown, truly crave-worthy comfort food involves a familiar favourite (chicken, chicken and more chicken) combined with a thick, mouth-watering sauce that will make you want to lick your plate clean. Trust us, you’ll want to introduce this hearty dish into your regular meal rotation.

Related: Kardea Brown’s Beef and Okra Stew is the Warming Dinner You Didn’t Know You Were Craving

Kardea Brown’s Carolina Smothered Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

Chicken:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp House Seasoning, recipe follows
4 bone-in chicken thighs
1 cup canola oil

Sauce:
1 medium onion, diced
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken stock or broth
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 tsp ground mustard
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

House Seasoning:
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup sweet paprika
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper

Related: Kardea Brown’s Pan Fried Collard Greens Are the Garlicky, Bacon-y Vegetable Side Dish of Your Dreams

Host Kardea Brown, Carolina Smothered Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce, Roasted Broccoli Salad with Bacon Dressing, as Seen on Delicious Miss Brown, Season 3.

Directions

1. For the chicken: Whisk together the flour and House Seasoning in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat.

2. Add the oil to a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the flour mixture, shaking to remove any excess, and add to the hot oil. Fry until the chicken is golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside.

3. For the sauce: Add the diced onions to the hot oil in the skillet and cook until the onions are slightly softened and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter, garlic, thyme and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Whisk in the stock, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in the cream, Dijon and ground mustard and bring to a simmer again until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken, turning to coat with the gravy. Cover and cook, turning the chicken occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley before serving.

4. House Seasoning: Yields 1 1/4 cups. Stir together the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Keep in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Related: Skip the Drive-Thru With Kardea Brown’s 30-Minute Fish Fillet Sandwich

Watch Delicious Miss Brown and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Watch the how-to video here:


Tea- and Orange-Brined Roasted Turkey

The Ultimate Guide to Turkey Cooking Times

The main event during the holidays often involves serving a perfectly juicy and succulent roast turkey to the ones you love. The last thing you want to do is present an overcooked (or worse, undercooked) bird. Even if this isn’t your first gobbler, it’s handy to have a cheat sheet on file to ensure you’re on track for dinner time. Follow the chart below for a foolproof way to roast the perfect turkey for your holiday feast every single time.

Related: The Best Leftover Turkey Recipe You’ll Ever Need (We Promise!)

Get the recipe for Tuscan Turkey Roulade

How to Roast a Basic Turkey

Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large roasting pan, place thawed turkey, breast side up and tent with a piece of aluminum foil. Bake turkey using the chart below. Remove foil during last hour of cook time. Cook until meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 170°F.

Size of Turkey Unstuffed Stuffed
10-12lbs 3 – 3 ¼ hours 3 ½–3 ¾ hours
12-16bs 3 ¼ – 3 ¾ hours 3 ¾ – 4 ¼ hours
16-20lbs 3 ¾ – 4 ¼ hours 4 ¼ – 4 ¾ hours
20-24lbs 4 ¼ – 4 ¾ hours 4 ¾ – 5 ¼ hours


Related: How to Brine a Turkey and Why You Should Try It

turkey cut in half on a plate with green leaf garnish and orange slices

Get the recipe for Tea- and Orange-Brined Roasted Turkey

Top Turkey Cooking Tips

1. If using a frozen bird, ensure it’s fully defrosted before roasting.

2. Take your bird out of the fridge while the oven preheats. Juices will run clear when the turkey is done. Look at the juices running from the meat around the thigh bone.

3. If you’re using a convection oven, your bird will cook in 25 per cent less time. Take 15 minutes off each hour on the recommended times above.

4. After the turkey is removed from the oven, let it rest for minimum 30 minutes. The juices need to resettle into the meat.

Looking for more delicious inspiration? Here are the perfect side dishes to pair with your holiday turkey.

Lemon spatchcock chicken on roasting pan

You’ll Love This Easy Lemon Spatchcock Chicken With Roasted Apples, Parsnips and Leeks

We are big fans of sheet pan-style meals where everything cooks together — especially when they’re a show-stopping dish like this. This is one of our favourite ways to cook a whole chicken, because when you spatchcock it, it cooks more evenly and you’re not left with overcooked breasts and undercooked thighs. Roasting apples, parsnips and leeks together with woodsy herbs like thyme has an incredible warming appeal that offers tart, sweet and earthy flavours.

Spatchcock chicken on sheet pan with roasted veggies

To spatchcock your chicken, flip the chicken so the back is facing up and cut along one side of the backbone from the top to the bottom. Now cut along the other side of the backbone, take it out. Flip the chicken over so it’s laying open in front of you. Using a knife, slice the cartilage that’s found between the breasts and then pull on both sides of the chicken to really open it up. And that’s it! Or if you don’t want to do the heavy lifting here, ask your butcher to do this for you.

Related: How to Grill the Perfect Piri Piri Spatchcock Chicken

Lemon Spatchcock Chicken With Roasted Apples, Parsnips and Leeks

Prep Time: 20 to 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

Chicken
1 whole spatchcocked chicken
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped finely
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
Pinch black pepper

Apples, Parsnips and Leeks
3 parsnips, chopped into 1-inch cubes
2 large pink lady apples, chopped into 1-inch cubes
2 leeks, washed thoroughly, halved and sliced into 1-inch thick pieces
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
A few cracks of pepper

Garnish
Fresh thyme sprigs
Freshly chopped parsley
Lemon wedges

Spatchcock chicken ingredients on kitchen counter

Directions:

1. Spatchcock your chicken if you did not buy one pre-spatchcocked. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl: garlic, parsley, thyme leaves, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper.

Spatchcock chicken marinade in glass bowl

3. Chop the fruit and veggies and lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss around to ensure all pieces are seasoned well.

4. Push the fruit and veggies to the side and create space in the middle for the chicken. Lay the spatchcocked chicken down and then nuzzle it with the fruit and vegetables.

Lemon spatchcock chicken with veggies on roasting pan

5. Spread some of the marinade under the skin of the chicken and then spread the rest mostly on top of the bird. Rub a small amount on the underside. Roast in the oven for 1 hour.

6. When you’re ready to eat, garnish with fresh thyme, fresh parsley and lemon wedges.

Cooked spatchcock chicken and roasted veggies on serving tray

Like Tamara and Sarah’s spatchcock chicken recipe? Try their sumac-spiced roasted delicata and their 5-ingredient beef Bolognese.

These Pan-Fried Pork Chops With Roast Cabbage Wedges Will Help Your “What’s for Dinner?” Woes

Healthy and budget-friendly, cabbage is one of the most delicious and versatile cruciferous veggies. Anyone who is “on the fence” about cabbage will be converted with this roasted variety — promise! High heat cooking caramelizes the outer cabbage layers and opens up the nutty sweetness, while maintaining a tender, textured crunch. With the addition of the quick and easy pan-fried pork chops, this meal ticks off all the boxes and will become a family favourite.

Pan-fried pork chops and roasted cabbage on white plate

Pan-Fried Pork Chops With Roast Cabbage Wedges

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Cabbage
1 red cabbage (feel free to swap out red cabbage with white cabbage or a medium Savoy cabbage)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¾ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp lemon juice or red wine vinegar

Pork Chops
2 bone-in pork chops (1 ¼ to1 ½-inch thick) (approx. 1 ½ lbs)
½ tsp each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
6 thyme sprigs
3 cloves garlic, smashed
4 green olives (optional)

Garnish
Chopped parsley
Finely grated Parmesan

Ingredients for pan-fried pork chops and roasted cabbage

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cut cabbage in half and then each half into 6-8 equal wedges, keeping the core and stem intact. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet; brush with ¼ cup of the oil all over and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Roast until browned and slightly charred on bottom, about 10 to 15 minutes. Flip and continue roasting until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice or vinegar.

Cabbage roasting on pan

3. While the cabbage is cooking, sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and cook pork chops until golden brown on one side, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes; repeat flipping and cooking until browned and instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 135°F, about 8 minutes total.

Related: 12 Must-Try Fall Cocktails to Give Thanks for This Autumn

4. Remove pan from heat. Add butter, thyme, olives (if using) and garlic to pan, tilting and spooning the butter mixture over chops, basting the fat cap to brown.

Pork chops in pan

5. Transfer chops to a cutting board; cover and rest for 5 minutes. Cut into thick slices, reserving juices. Sprinkle with parsley or grated Parmesan (if using). Serve with cabbage.

Pork chops and roasted cabbage

Like Soo’s pan-fried pork chops with roast cabbage wedges? Then try her Chinese stir-fried eggplant or pork banh mi burgers.

Forget Takeout and Make This Easy Chinese Stir-Fried Eggplant for Dinner Tonight

This umami-rich vegetarian dish gets tons of flavour from light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine (the key to authentic Chinese cooking), ginger and a healthy sum of garlic for an easy-to-prepare dinner rivalling any takeout. Though mastering the cookery of eggplant can be tricky, we’ve unlocked the mystery with a simple soaking and salting technique for the right texture and overall balanced flavour. Added bonus: this vegetarian dish will be ready in just over 30 minutes.

Chinese Stir-Fried Eggplant

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4

Ingredients:

3 Chinese eggplants (they are slightly smaller and shorter than Japanese eggplants and can be purchased in Asian markets)
1 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp light soy sauce or regular soy sauce
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
5 ½ tsp cornstarch, divided
1 ¼ tsp dark soy sauce or light soy sauce
3 Tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil, divided
2 tsp minced ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 dried chilies (optional)
Green onions for garnish

Directions:

1. Halve eggplant lengthwise and then cut into 2-inch pieces. Transfer to a large bowl and fill with enough water to cover; sprinkle with salt and swish around to dissolve salt. Cover with plate to keep eggplant submerged for at least 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Make the sauce by stirring together the light soy, water, sugar, wine, 4 tsp of cornstarch and dark soy sauce until smooth. Set aside.

Tip: Shaoxing wine is a fermented rice wine used to add depth of flavour and complexity to marinating meat, to add flavour to stir-fries, sauces and braises in Chinese cooking.

Related: These 25 Simple Stir-Fry Recipes Will Convince You to Cook More

3. Sprinkle remaining cornstarch over eggplant and toss to coat. Heat 2 ½ Tbsp of the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add eggplant in one layer and cook until dark brown, 6 to 8 minutes, flipping after halfway. Move to a large plate.

4. Add remaining oil to pan and add ginger, garlic and dried chilies (if using), stirring for 10 seconds. Return eggplant to pan and stir quickly until warmed, about 30 seconds. Stir in sauce and bring to a boil. Cook until sauce thickens and coats eggplant, 1 to 2 minutes.

5. To serve, scrape eggplant mixture onto platter and sprinkle with green onions if desired.

Tip: For a non-vegetarian version, marinate ½ cup ground pork with 1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine, 2 tsp minced ginger and garlic and 1 tsp light soy sauce. Stir into pan at the beginning of step 4 and cook until browned. Push to one side of the pan and continue with recipe, adding the oil, ginger, garlic and chilies.

Like Soo’s stir-fried eggplant? Try her pork banh mi burgers, gochujang cauliflower popcorn or asparagus and mushroom udon.

BBQ These 30-Minute Low-Carb Mint Lamb Burgers for Dinner Tonight

“This heavenly, satisfying burger is one of the many reasons I look forward to eating dinner at your house.” A true quote from my dear mother, who is also happy being my guinea pig whenever I’m testing meat recipes. These juicy, hot off the grill, zesty mint lamb burgers will have your mouth watering before they even hit your plate. Added bonus: they’re low-carb and can be made in 30 minutes!

Related: Satisfying Weeknight Recipes Where Veggies Replace Carbs

Zesty Mint Lettuce Lamb Burgers

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 burgers

Ingredients:

Burger
1 lb (454 g) ground lamb
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp (6 g) chopped mint leaves
1 shallot, minced
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch kosher salt and ground black pepper

For Serving
1 head butter lettuce
1 red pepper, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
2 cups (400 g) store-bought zucchini chips (optional)

Related: Our 80 Most Popular Burger Recipes

1. To make the burgers, fire up the grill or grill pan to medium heat. I used a grill pan for this recipe. While the grill pan is heating up, mix the ground lamb with garlic, mint, shallot, lime juice, salt and pepper. Form 4 equal-sized lamb patties.

2. Now comes the fun step: grill the lamb burgers for approximately 4 minutes per side, making sure to only turn them once. You can also enjoy listening to the lovely sizzle in the pan while these burgers are cooking.

3. When the burgers are ready, it’s building time. Layer the lamb burgers on the lettuce leaves with red peppers and onions. Serve with zucchini chips, if desired.

Want more summertime grilling recipes? These pork banh mi burgers and grilled stuffed zucchini boats are sure to impress.

Reprinted with permission from 30-Minute Low-Carb Dinners by Valerie Azinge, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Valerie Azinge, Yasaman Shafiei and Kabir Ali.

30-Minute Low-Carb Dinners, Amazon, $23.

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. For more products handpicked by our editorial team, visit Food Network Canada’s Amazon storefront. However, when you buy through links in this article or on our storefront, we earn an affiliate commission.

scallion pancakes on white and blue plate

Restaurant-Worthy Chinese Scallion Pancakes You Can Make at Home

We’re all spending more time indoors (and in the kitchen) these days, so it would come as no surprise if you’re missing restaurant-worthy cuisine. And the secret ingredient to making these savoury Chinese scallion pancakes worthy of appearing on a menu? Boiling water! It creates the softest, forgiving dough. Plus, the beauty of this recipe lies within a super easy, double roll and coil technique to produce endless, flaky layers, that are so crispy — we’re obsessed!

Scallion pancakes on white and blue plate

Chinese Scallion Pancakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

Dough
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cake and pastry flour or all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup boiling water
¼ cup cold water
6 Tbsp vegetable oil for frying (approx.)

Filling
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
¼ cup melted lard or melted shortening
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
6 scallions (green onions), finely chopped
1 tsp crushed Szechuan peppercorns or hot pepper flakes (optional)

Dipping Sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Chinkiang vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds or julienned ginger (optional)
Pinch granulated sugar
1 scallion (green onion), finely chopped

Scallion pancakes ingredients


Directions:

1. To make the dough: stir together the all-purpose flour, pastry flour and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork, gradually mix in the boiling water in a circular motion. Stir in the cold water to form a shaggy, wet dough. Turn out onto work surface; knead, scraping and dusting with additional flour until smooth and very soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Place on floured surface and loosely cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel to prevent crust from forming. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

Person mixing scallion pancakes dough

Note: The combination of boiling water produces a soft, easy to roll pancake, while the cold water creates a chewy texture, while also cooling the mixture for easy handling.

Related: This is How to Make The Perfect Chinese Hot Pot at Home

2. Meanwhile, make the filling: in a small bowl, stir the flour, lard, oil and salt until combined. Gently warm in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds to loosen if mixture solidifies. While you’re waiting for the dough to rest, you can also make the dipping sauce: in a ramekin, stir together soy sauce, vinegar, sesame seeds, sugar and scallion.

3. Divide dough into 6 even pieces and roll each into a ball, tucking at the bottom and then covering with a kitchen towel. Roll one ball into an 8 to 9-inch circle, dusting with flour to prevent sticking. Using a pastry brush, paint a thin layer of the filling. Roll up like a jelly roll and twist into a tight spiral, tucking the end underneath. Flatten with hand then roll again into 8-inch circle. Cover with kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining dough.

Scallion pancakes dough on countertop

Tip: To prevent drying out, be sure to cover each rolled dough with a damp cloth or plastic and don’t layer each on top of each other, they will stick together.

4. Working with one rolled dough, brush a thin layer of the filling and sprinkle with 1/6 of the scallions and Szechuan pepper (if using). Roll up like a jelly roll and twist into a tight spiral, tucking the end underneath. Flatten with hand then roll into 6-inch circle and cover with a kitchen towel. This is now ready for frying. Repeat with remaining dough.

Scallion pancakes being made on kitchen countertop

Tip: If you want to make these ahead of time, you can freeze uncooked rolled pancakes for up to 1 month. Defrost, pat dry with paper towel and cook with the following instructions.

Scallion pancakes rolled out on countertop

5. Heat a skillet over medium heat; add 1 Tbsp of the vegetable oil. Carefully add one pancake and cook, swirling to distribute oil until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip, swirling pancake to absorb oil and cover with a lid. Cook until second side is an even golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, adding more oil as needed. Transfer to a paper-towel lined serving plate and repeat with remaining dough and cooking oil.

6. To serve, don’t cut into wedges, these pancakes need to be torn to fully enjoy the flaky coating. Don’t forget the dipping sauce.

Tip: Reheat pancakes in a skillet with a drizzle of oil and enjoy with a sunny-side up egg, a popular Chinese breakfast.

Craving more comfort food? This asparagus and mushroom yaki udon or this one-pot pasta and chickpea stew might just do the trick.

Baked Salmon With Spicy Mango Avocado Salsa, Because Summer is Coming

Summer is all about simple cooking: few ingredients that are fresh and easy to prepare. That’s why this salsa is about to become a staple in your home. It’s one of the quickest salsas to whip up and it has big zesty flavours. It marries so well with salmon — but, the truth is, this salsa is really versatile and the perfect addition to grilled chicken or shrimp, over a cabbage slaw or even dolloped on top of a coconut curry or stew. A quick tip: if you don’t have access to fresh mango, we tested it with frozen and it worked just as brilliantly!

Baked Salmon With Spicy Mango Avocado Salsa

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 31 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients:

Salmon
2 pieces salmon (5 oz each)
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
Splash of extra-virgin olive oil

Salsa
½ large or 1 small mango, diced (or heaping ½ cup diced frozen mango, defrosted)
1 avocado, diced
3 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1 stalk green onion, finely sliced or 2 Tbsp finely diced red onion
½ to 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
3 Tbsp lime juice
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.

2. Season salmon with chili powder, sea salt and pepper.

3. Place a pan, that’s also oven safe, on the stove over medium heat and add a splash of extra-virgin olive oil and swirl it around.

4. Once hot, place the salmon in the pan, flesh side down and sear it for 2 minutes, then flip and sear for another 2 minutes on the other side.

Related: Middle Eastern Sumac Chicken With Date Syrup, Lemon and Pecans

5. Carefully take the pan off the heat and place it in the oven to cook for 12 minutes until perfectly flakey and tender.

6. While the salmon is cooking, prepare the mango avocado salsa. Start by dicing both the mango and avocado: first score them lengthwise and horizontally, then scoop out the fruit into a bowl.

7. Add the remaining salsa ingredients and mix until well combined.

8. When the salmon is done, remove from the oven and top with fresh mango avocado salsa.

Craving more easy summertime recipes? You can whip up this simple miso chicken and this salad with tuna in almost no time!

This Mint and Lemon Pearl Couscous Salad is What Every Dinner Table Needs

Looking for something simple and fresh to make this season? Look no further! This vibrant couscous salad utilizes the freshness of mint, citrus and cucumber, as well as pearl couscous. This grain is also called Israeli couscous and is similar to regular couscous, but is much larger in size and yields a chewier texture. However, if you have quinoa or regular couscous in the pantry, that will do the trick.

Mint and Lemon Pearl Couscous Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 ½ cups pearl couscous (Israeli couscous)
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock, store bought or homemade
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
1 Tbsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
½ cucumber, diced
½ cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and the couscous. Continuously stirring, cook until couscous is lightly toasted.

2. Add the chicken stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover with lid and let cook until liquid is absorbed, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool slightly.

3. To the mixing bowl, add the remaining olive oil, garlic, shallot, lemon zest, lemon juice, mint, cucumber and feta. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Want more recipes you can whip up quickly? This simple miso chicken and this salad with tuna both come together in a flash!

Molly Yeh’s Chicken Shawarma Tacos Will Satisfy Your Late Night Takeout Craving at Home

When you can’t decide between tacos and shawarma, why not have both? Resist the urge to order takeout and satisfy your craving with Molly Yeh‘s irresistible chicken shawarma tacos. Warm, fluffy flour tortillas are filled with tender morsels of spiced chicken thigh meat and golden fried onion, then topped with a tasty tahini sauce. Once you’ve tried a bite of this fun food fusion, it’ll instantly become your go-to late night snack.

Related: Healthy Middle Eastern Recipes You’ll Make on Repeat

Molly Yeh’s Chicken Shawarma Tacos

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves:
4

Chicken Shawarma Taco Ingredients:

1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 medium onion
10 6-inch flour tortillas
Tahini Sauce, recipe follows
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Tahini Sauce Ingredients:
1/4 cup tahini
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Related: Start Your Day the Molly Yeh Way With These Breakfast Recipes

Chicken Shawarma Tacos Directions:

1. In a large bowl, mix together the curry powder, garam masala, chicken bouillon, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Rub all over the chicken and let marinate for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

3. Spread the chicken out onto the lined baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly, then slice into bite-size pieces.

4. Thinly slice three-quarters of the onion and dice the remaining one-quarter. Set the diced onion aside for the topping. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil (or 2 tablespoons of the marinade) in a skillet over medium-high and add the sliced onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 7 minutes.

5. Add the chicken and some of the marinade to the onions and cook until crisp and beginning to brown on the edges, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Warm the tortillas on the stove or in the microwave. To assemble, fill them with chicken, Tahini Sauce, diced onion and cilantro.

Related: Molly Yeh’s Carrot Cake With Spiced Cream Cheese Recipe

Tahini Sauce Directions:

1. In a small bowl, mix together the tahini, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons cold water until the mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper.

Looking for more fun recipes from the star of  Girl Meets Farm? Try Molly Yeh’s grown-up spins on indulgent childhood favourites!

crockpot-freezer-meals

How to Prep Slow Cooker Freezer Meals to Get Through the Week

Slow cooker freezer meals are a must for any family and for the budget-savvy home cook. Often referred to as “dump meals” or “dump bags”, what makes it easy, is that you thaw and simply dump the contents of your freezer bag into your Crockpot. Then you let it do its thing as you go about your day. And when it’s dinnertime: your delicious home-cooked meal is ready to devour. This style of cooking awards you some precious time back, and it also happens to be kind to your wallet. Win, win.

To make perfect Crockpot freezer meals, there are a few tips and tricks to getting it just right. You don’t want to end up with a stew that’s way too soupy or vegetables that are mushy and unappetizing. Here’s what you need to know!

Related: These Budget-Friendly Microwave Recipes Are Total Time-Savers

lentil-soup-crockpot-freezer

Get the Right Meal Prep Equipment

Before you start planning which meal to make, you need the right equipment: a slow cooker, freezer bags, a permanent marker and labels (although these aren’t entirely necessary). We recommend buying name-brand freezer bags that are sturdy. The ones that have the slide lock are the easiest.

Always Label Your Freezer Bag First

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to make, it’s important you label your freezer bags. Do not attempt to label once the food is in, not only will the bags be too hard to write on, but the marker often won’t work, or the label won’t stick because of the moisture released from the ingredients inside.

This surefire labelling method will help you remember what you froze, how long it’s been in your freezer and how to cook it. First label what the meal is, for example: “Chicken Tortilla Soup” or “Turkey Chili” and write down the date you made it. Then label it with ingredients that need to be added before cooking as well as cooking instructions. For example: add 1/2 cup broth before cooking, set on high for 6 hours.

Label it with instructions on how you’re going to serve the meal once it’s ready – so you know which ingredients you need to have on hand before slow-cooking. If it’s a chili, maybe you want to serve it with avocado, fresh cilantro and some grated cheese. If it’s a curry, you might want to serve with toasted coconuts, peanuts and fresh mint. Or if you’re making chicken tortilla soup, you will certainly need to have tortillas on hand to crisp up and top your bowl.

Related: This Clever Trick Will Prevent Freezer Burn for Good (And Major Food Waste)

slow-cooker-prep

Time-Saving Tips for Freezer Meal Prep

Take your time chopping up all ingredients first and prepping the sauce or marinade before packing. It’s best if all prep work is done before for efficiency and for easy clean-up. Usually prepping for slow-cooked meals only takes 15-20 minutes.

Some savvy home-cooks like to make several different freezer meals at once, so they’ll prep four different recipes first, then pack all of the bags and freeze. This will usually take a whole day to do.

Some slow cooker recipes call for sautéing or blanching the veggies, or browning the meat beforehand. We’ve found these steps to be unnecessary. Just toss everything in, uncooked.

How to Pack Freezer Bags

To avoid big spills and messes in the kitchen, stand the bags upright to pack. You can buy special baggy rack holders online, or simply place the bag in a big bowl so it won’t fall over as you’re adding the ingredients.

No matter the meal, you can add the ingredients to the bag in any order. Some people prefer veggies and beans at the very bottom, sauces and marinades in the middle, and meat on top; but, once in the slow cooker, it will all meld together.

When closing up the bags, press them firmly to ensure all the air is released. Then lay the bag flat in the freezer (this allows for easy defrosting, and it doesn’t take up as much of your precious freezer space).

Related: Can I Freeze This? How to Freeze Fruit, Cheese, Leftovers and More

crockpot-freezer-packing

Do’s and Don’ts for Slow Cooker Freezer Meals

If you’re making a meat Crockpot meal and your chicken, turkey, lamb, pork or beef is already frozen, don’t defrost it before adding it to your bag. You never want to defrost raw meat and then freeze it again.

Slow-cooked meals tend to release a lot of liquid, especially if you’re cooking lots of veggies. You don’t need to add as much broth or water as you think; otherwise, you’ll end up with a soupy texture and diluted flavour.

Most dairy products need to be added to the slow cooker the day of cooking and shouldn’t be frozen, for example: milk, cream, sour cream and cheese.

If your recipe includes pasta, add it the day-of, don’t freeze beforehand. Pasta tends to get very, very mushy, so unless you’re making a baked ziti, add the pasta 15 minutes before cooking time is up.

Be careful with veggies that get too mushy, like broccoli, asparagus or leafy greens. Add those towards the end of the cook time to preserve some texture. If you don’t mind mushy veggies, then you can add them in with the rest of the ingredients.

Related: 10 Tasty Uses for Leftover Food Scraps to Reduce Food Waste

How to Thaw and Cook Crockpot Freezer Meals

Always thaw the freezer meal first before adding it to the slow cooker… this is important for food safety. You can defrost the freezer bag by placing it in the fridge the night before. The meals tend to store well in the freezer for 3-4 months.

Depending on how much time you have, most meals need to be cooked for 4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.

The Best Crockpot Freezer Meals to Make

The best meals to make in the slow-cooker are soups, stews, curries, chilis, daals, meatballs, ribs, brisket and roasts. We don’t recommend slow-cooked fish, seafood or pasta dishes.

There you have it: the ins and outs of making Crockpot freezer meals for any weeknight dinner!

Looking for some tasty slow cooker dishes to try? Start with our most popular slow cooker recipes.

Published September 1, 2018, Updated April 11, 2020

Refrigerator Rules: How Long Do Leftovers Last?

Remembering you have leftover chicken, pizza or turkey in the fridge can feel like a siren call to happiness. But depending on the type of food you’re dealing with, figuring out whether or not Wednesday’s dinner can safely be eaten as Friday’s lunch can feel like a guessing game. If you too are Googling “how long do leftovers stay good” and asking everyone you know the same question, here’s the complete run-down.

chicken-thighs-slow-cookerGet the recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs

Leftover Chicken

Storage conditions will cause the shelf life of cooked chicken to vary from kitchen to kitchen. If your fridge is exceptionally cold and the chicken is sealed properly, it can last for more than four days. However, a good rule of thumb for the average fridge is to toss cooked chicken after four days, which is when bacteria usually begins to grow. If you’re unsure whether or not the chicken is safe to eat, look for any signs of a sour smell or slightly slimy texture. If you find any of these traits, discard the chicken without tasting it first.

Related: Budget-Friendly Pantry Staples You Should Always Have on Hand

Leftover Stuffing and Gravy

While some might argue that half the fun of popular holiday dinners is the leftovers, both stuffing and gravy have a surprisingly short shelf life. Stuffing — which is often soaked through with meat drippings — shouldn’t be consumed after a maximum of two days in the fridge. The same two-day rule should be applied to the gravy, which should always be brought to a rolling boil to properly kill bacteria before serving again. The good news is that freezing excess stuffing and gravy will extend the shelf life for up to four months.

Leftover Pizza

Any food with meat and cheese that’s left unrefrigerated for more than two hours can cause foodborne illness. This includes the half-eaten pizza box you left out just in case “someone” wanted another slice. Place your pizza in the fridge within two hours of preparation and it will last for up to four days, three days being the recommended shelf life of the average slice. After that, bacteria can begin to grow and lead to food poisoning.

cauliflower-lasagnaGet the recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Lasagna

Leftover Lasagna

Cooked lasagna keeps in the refrigerator for up to five days if stored in a tightly sealed container to keep out excess moisture and other contaminants. The best way to determine whether or not lasagna has turned is to look for dried-out noodles or a sour smell emanating from the tomato sauce and cheese.

Related: 10 Surprising Foods That Boost the Immune System

Leftover Pad Thai and Takeout Noodles

Pad Thai and other popular takeout noodle dishes will generally last up to three days in the refrigerator. Due to heavy sauces that can contribute to a soggy texture, these dishes can sometimes taste bad before they actually go bad. To be safe, always reheat noodles with meat and animal products to a temperature of 165°F or higher in order to kill any outstanding bacteria before eating.

Leftover Beef 

Are you reaching for last week’s beef tenderloin leftovers or prime rib leftovers, but not sure if it’s still good to eat? If properly stored, the general rule of thumb for cooked beef is three to four days in the fridge or up to six months in the freezer. If it is giving off a bad smell or it looks slimy or sticky, it’s definitely time to toss that goodbye.

Looking for more info on food safety? Learn 4 Things You Don’t Know About Expiry Dates.

Published January 5, 2019. Updated April 2, 2020

9 Easy Weekly Meal Plan Ideas That Really Work

Between busy schedules and a family full of picky eaters,  the dinner struggle is real. Finding inspiration for quick, budget-friendly and (at least somewhat) healthy meals can challenge the best of home cooks, never mind those whose plates are already heaped pile-high.

That’s where meal planning becomes a lifesaver—if you can take the time to actually do it. If you don’t have the means to sit down weekly and plot out your favourite fare, we’ve got your back with this simple guide that will help you plan your meals and grocery list, too. These meal ideas and recipes (one for every night of the week, plus two bonus ideas to swap in and out) makes preparing a weekly meal plan  or menu easy while helping you to create dishes that are anything but routine.

How to Start Meal Planning? Try These No-Fail Meal Planning Ideas!

easy-pasta-pumpkin-sausageGet the recipe for Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

1. Start with Pasta

Pasta is an affordable universal favourite, so why not make it a weekly thing? Having a designated pasta night is genius because you can essentially pair any kind of pasta with whichever sauce, protein and veggie you feel like, and then you can do something completely different the following week.

Looking for some inspiration other than another plate of spaghetti and meatballs? Try these recipes instead:

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

15-Minute Three-Cheese Spring Pasta with Peas

Sweet Potato and Zucchini Noodle Pasta with Garlic Scapes and Grilled Shrimp 

Anna Olson’s Beef Stroganoff

Ina Garten’s Bow Tie Pasta with Broccoli and Peas

korean-steakGet the recipe for Korean-Style Marinated Skirt Steak

2. You Can’t go Wrong with Protein and Veg 

A  barbecued, baked or even pan-fried cut of meat or fish always pairs well with some steamed or baked veggies. Switch up your marinades and cooking methods for even more variety, and then throw in some rice, lentils or potatoes for a complete meal.

Want some new ideas? Check out these simple-to-prepare recipes:

30-Minute Kimchi Chicken Patties

No-Mess Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin With Veggies

The Best *Vegan* Steak Recipe Ever 

10-Minute Blackened Trout With Green Beans

Dill Salmon Burgers With Dairy-Free Tzatziki

chourico-kale-soupGet the recipe for Portuguese Chourico and Kale Soup

3. Soup and Salads are Your Friends

There are so many hearty salads and filling soups out there these days that it’s easy to make either one a meal in itself. If the weather is nice, plan on eating an elevated salad one night of the week with some fancy ingredients to make it interesting. Or, for those weeks when you need something a little more comforting, plan on having a hot soup and some crusty baguette to go with it.

Get started with these recipes:

Immune-Boosting Bone Broth, Chicken and Vegetable Soup

The Pioneer Woman’s Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Marinated Artichoke Salad with Prosciutto and Parmesan

The Pioneer Woman’s Lighter Asian Noodle Salad

Instapot-Pulled-Pork-recipeGet the recipe for Instant Pot Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwich

4. Make Use of Your Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

Who doesn’t love a meal that you can throw together and then forget about until it’s ready? That’s the beauty of slow cookers and Instant Pots—they do all of the heavy lifting for you. Figure out which night of the week will be your busiest, and then plan to use either tool to help pull dinner together in a breeze.

Need a new Crockpot or pressure cooker recipe? Check out any of these delicious dishes:

Instant Pot Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwich

Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs

The Pioneer Woman’s Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Get the recipe for Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

5. Stock up on Easy-to-Assemble Ingredients

Having a well-stocked pantry is always key when it comes to throwing together last-minute dinners, or figuring out how to use up fresh ingredients that have been sitting in your fridge for a few extra days. Make sure to keep things like canned tuna  and lots of stock, tomato sauce and a few protein-filled grains and legumes on hand.

Check out these simple ideas to elevate your basic pantry staples:

The Pioneer Woman’s Classic Tuna Melts

The Pioneer Woman’s Tuna Noodle Casserole

One Can of Chickpeas, Six Different Meals

10-Minute Spicy Sautéed Cauliflower and Chickpea Dish

One-Pot Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

How to Make the Perfect Veggie Burger (Plus One Easy Recipe!)

Get the recipe for The Best Homemade Veggie Burger

6. Find Your Freezer Meals

Remember those meals you made a few months ago that have been sitting in your freezer just waiting to be eaten ever since? Well, make use of them already, especially if you know you have an evening coming up where preparing dinner is just going to be another thing to worry about. And if you haven’t gotten on the freezer meal train just yet, you may want to think about starting. Whether it’s doubling up on your next pasta sauce or cobbling together a second lasagna or tray of enchiladas, there are plenty of freezer meals that you can make ahead of time to enjoy on those hectic nights when cooking is the last thing you want to be doing.

Turkey-Burger-Patty-Melts-recipeGet the recipe for Guy Fieri’s Turkey Burger Patty Melts

7. Have an Eat-With-Your-Hands Night

Whether it’s a burger, pizza or taco, it’s always fun to eat with your hands. That’s probably why these are the same fast-food items we tend to usually order throughout the week. If you want to save money, use better ingredients and still have a meal in a matter of minutes for a well-deserved Eat-With-Your-Hands night!

From pizza and tacos to sloppy joes and charcuterie boards, there are plenty of hands-on dishes to choose from here:

The Pioneer Woman’s Sloppy Joes

Mushroom Lovers’ French Bread Pizzas

The Pioneer Woman’s Shrimp Tacos

Guy Fieri’s Turkey Burger Patty Melts

cauliflower-pot-pieGet the recipe for Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Crispy Cauliflower Crust

8. Make One Night a Meatless Night

We’ve heard of Meatless Mondays, but really any night of the week is a good excuse to go meatless—especially when you incorporate foods like whole grains, quinoa and barley that fill the tummy and soul. Stir yourself up a creamy risotto, build a yummy Buddha bowl with all the things, or stuff an eggplant or squash with some whole grains and nuts. Keep it simple and hearty, and before long, you won’t even remember a time when you didn’t incorporate a meatless dish into your meal planning.

Check out these easy vegan recipes for beginners to get you started.

Leftover-Turkey-Chili-recipeeGet the recipe for Leftover Turkey Chili

9. Plan a Designated Leftover Night

Last but not least, it’s always a great idea to make one night an evening of no planning. That’s right, we’re talking leftovers. Once a week, throw whatever leftovers you have in the fridge on the table for everyone to enjoy, or reimagine them into a creative, brand new dish that requires very little effort.

Check out some of our favourite ways to use up leftovers here:

The Best Leftover Turkey Pizza 

Our Favourite Leftover Chicken Recipes

The Most Genius Ways to Use Leftover Rice

Weeknight Dinners That Taste Even Better as Leftovers

Looking for more meal planning tips? Try these hacks that will help you plan like a pro.