Healthy Tortilla Casserole

We LOVE Mexican & Tex-Mex style recipes, but we get tired of tacos and nachos. So, when I stumbled upon a tortilla casserole recipe on Pinterest, I had to try it (and make it my own!)


Here’s what you need:

1lb ground turkey

1 taco seasoning packet

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 small white onion, diced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp chili powder

1 can whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can diced tomato (with green chilies would be delicious)

1 cup light or fat free sour cream

4-8 large soft tortillas (I used regular flour, but you can use whole wheat)

2 cups shredded cheese – sharp cheddar or colby jack

Brown ground turkey and taco seasoning packet. Set aside to cool. Heat olive oil in skillet and saute peppers and onions for 5 minutes. Add chili powder & remove from heat.

In small bowl, add tomato and sour cream together and mix well. In another bowl, combine corn, beans and pepper/onion mixture.

In a round covered casserole dish, layer in the following order: tortilla, sour cream mixture, meat, tortilla, vegetable mixture, cheese. Repeat until you reach the top of the casserole. Make sure the final layer is cheese :)

Cook, covered, in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove cover and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes or until bubbly. Cut into 8 pie-like pieces. Serve with light sour cream!


Chicken Ranch Pasta with Spinach & Bacon

I love pasta. I also love chicken, cheese, bacon and ranch. So, when I came across a Chicken Ranch Pasta on Pinterest, I had to pin it….and then tweak it for my family!


2 chicken breasts, cubed and cooked (I cooked mine in a little olive oil until slightly seared)

1 1/2 cup penne pasta (cooked and drained)

4-5 pieces of bacon cooked & chopped

2 TBSP butter

1 TBSP flour

2 cups Milk

2 TBSP dry Ranch dressing mix

1 1/2 cup shredded cheese

bag of fresh baby spinach

Cook chicken and bacon and set aside. Cook pasta according to box directions and set aside.

In a large soup pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk for 1 minute. Add milk and let cook until thickened. Add ranch mix and cheese and stir until melted. Add chicken, bacon and pasta to cheese sauce and stir to coat. Add spinach and cover to wilt. Stir in spinach and serve!

Cream Cheese Red Pepper Bacon BBQ Dip (aka Tori Dip)

Fall Saturday’s are Dawg football watchin’ days at our house! I always like to have something to munch on and this is my go-to dip. I call it “Tori Dip” because one of my best girlfriends – Tori – shared it with me a few years back…..


1 – 8oz pkg cream cheese (softened)

1- red bell pepper diced

1 – pack of bacon bits (or make bacon and crumble)

3-4 tbsp – your fave BBQ sauce

1/4 cup of shredded cheese

green onions (for garnish)

On a serving platter, spread cream cheese into a thin layer. Drizzle the BBQ sauce on the cream cheese and sprinkle bacon, peppers, shredded cheese and garnish with onions. Serve with your fave crackers.

I’ve added different colors of peppers, tomato, etc. to this, as well as eliminated items I don’t have on hand and it is delicious every time!

Toffee Caramel Dip

This was another recipe I found on and used for Harper’s 2nd Birthday party….it was so delicious and simple and it could be slightly modified to a lighter version using light cream cheese, but where’s the fun in that??

Here’s the recipe:

With hand mixer, blend cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Refrigerate. Before serving, sprinkle toffee bits on top. Served with sliced apples!

Serve with sliced apples…yummy!

Crescent Roll S’mores

I found this recipe on Pinterest and my hubby & Jacob (my oldest son) had just returned from a camping trip with plenty of Hershey’s chocolate and marshmallows leftover. I happened to have a tube of Crescent rolls, so I thought “why not?” I love trying new yummies on the fly….

Here’s what you need:

1 Crescent Roll 8-count

Hershey Chocolate Bar

Marshmallows (the new ones for s’mores are fantastic because they are flat!)

Lay the crescents out on a greased cookie sheet.

Add one rectangle of chocolate and one marshmallow (or several small ones if you don’t have the flat kind). Roll into the Crescent and bake according to the package.

Serve warm and they melt in your mouth!

Jacob approved!

White Chicken Chili

This is one of our faves! I make it several times a winter….so delicious!

White Chicken Chili
1 large onion, chopped
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon Tabasco, or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
1 can Cannellini Beans or Great Northern Beans
1 – 4oz cans whole mild green chilies, drained and chopped
5 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 pounds), cooked and shredded
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack (about 6 ounces)
1/2 cup sour cream

In a skillet cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter over moderate heat until softened. Add remaining 6 tablespoons butter over moderately low heat and whisk in flour. Cook roux, whisking constantly, 3 minutes. Stir in onion and gradually add broth and half-and-half, whisking constantly. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in Tabasco, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Add beans, chilies, chicken, and Monterey Jack and cook mixture over moderately low heat, stirring, 20 minutes. Stir sour cream into chili.

Garnish chili with sour cream and serve with tortilla chips.

Italian Cheese Ball

As I was planning Harper’s 2nd birthday party at the local pumpkin patch, I wanted food that was simple to transport and serve. This cheese ball recipe was the first thing that came to mind and I could cleverly disguise it as a pumpkin…how cute! It’s my Mom’s recipe with the exception of the shredded cheese…she usually covers the ball in dried parsley. Enjoy!

2 – 8oz pkgs Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened)
2 – packets Good Seasons Zesty Italian mix
¼ cup Shredded Cheese (mild or sharp)

With a hand mixer, combine the softened cheese & dressing mix until well blended. With hands, form a ball with the mixture. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate.

Before serving, roll the cheese ball in shredded cheese to cover the outside. Pat lightly to help it stay on the cheese ball.

Serve with crackers and fresh veggies. I made mine into a pumpkin using the bell pepper stem!


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