Tag Archives: cheese

Pierogie Casserole – A Unique Take on Meat & Potatoes

21 Jan

Ever have one of those shopping trips where you pick something up because it looks good and/or is such a great deal you can’t pass it up? Well that’s where this box of Mrs. T’s Pierogies came from – upon which my husband gave me a look that pretty much said he would never eat them. HA! Oh yes you will, you just won’t know it!

Now handmade pierogies sound pretty good and are a holiday tradition in some families. Each family has their own special filling of ingredients. But something frozen in a box, not so much. I had no idea what the texture would be like, or flavor for that matter. Also, in a suggestion recipe on the back, you added them to a recipe completely frozen. Eekk!

There were 12 in the package and I immediately thought of a casserole. Even though casseroles aren’t my favorite, they are simple and easy. Because pierogies are really just potato dumplings, I thought of layering them with a marinara, ground turkey and cheese.

First, I grabbed my favorite go-to dinner ingredient, extra lean ground turkey.

Season with salt and pepper and the tiniest bit of oil (unless you use a non-stick pan).

Once turkey is almost fully cooked, add to your marinara sauce to complete the cooking.

I used my recipe for quick marinara in this recipe. After adding the meat, you’re reading to assemble your dish. First, place your pierogies on a lightly oiled (to prevent sticking) 9×13 pan. Then carefully pour your meat marinara over the dish. Try your best to keep the pierogies in place and saucing the entire dish evenly.

Next, add 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese.

Place your dish in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted and bubbling.

And while this dish doesn’t plate so well, it tastes delicious. It’s a hearty meal, definitely made for a man who loves meat and potatoes!

My husband devoured this dish without questioning what he was eating. It tasted similar to a filled pasta dish, except with a potato filling instead of a cheese filling. And like most dishes with marinara, the flavor was even better the next day! And now he also knows that he likes a new food – handmade pierogies might make an appearance in our house soon!

Easy and Cheesy Ham Panini

31 Dec

With some leftover ham after Christmas, just sitting all nicely flavored with honey and sliced for easy use, I just had to create something for lunch. Using a reduced fat cheddar, 10 grain bread, and dijon, this sandwich is much healthier than most restaurant paninis.

First, I grabbed some dijon mustard and 10 grain bread.

Next I grabbed the yummy leftover ham. We bought the ham to make “egg stuff” for breakfast on Christmas morning. Usually we use sausage, but this ham looked so good to us. For reference, it was a Smithfield boneless ham, about 4 lbs. It was my first time buying ham like this, and tasted similar to the Honeybaked Ham that I’ve had with my husband’s family.

Next I sliced up some tomatoes and got my grill ready. I don’t have a panini maker, but I have a griddler junior. It’s a mediocre substitute for an outdoor grill. But its great for quick chicken dinners and easy panini lunches!

Once my grill was heated nice and hot. I sprayed it with some non-stick spray. This grill is also made to accommodate meats cooking on both side and has a spring that allows you to fit thick foods without squishing them.

To make life easy, I recommend doing a final assembly of the panini on the grill. I put down the first slice of bread with dijon and ham. I then topped them both with tomatoes and then finally some cheddar cheese.

And after the second slice of bread, I closed the lid for even cooking and quick cheese melting. After only five minutes, the bread was a toasty golden brown and the ham was nice and hot, covered in gooey cheddar cheese. I couldn’t wait to eat it!

Of course, you could do a lot of different variations with this sandwich. Use your meat and veggies and sauce of choice. Just be sure not to pile the fillings too high!

Recipe Lovers:

4 slices whole wheat bread
6 slices of tomato
4 tbsp dijon mustard
4 medium slices of ham
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
(Makes 2 sandwiches)

Other filling ideas:
Turkey, Cranberry and Brie
Steak, Balsamic Dressing, Provolone
Ham, Swiss, Yellow Mustard


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