Cheesy Bacon & Vegetable Tortellini Bake

Cheesy Bacon & Vegetable Tortellini Bake | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

And just like that, It’s the new year.  We’re supposed to be setting resolutions, eating healthier and moving in new and exciting directions with our lives.  But right now I feel more like pouting that the holidays are over and snuggling up under a warm blanket.

This is the perfect recipe to warm those tummies in the cool weather and bring the family back together around the table.  Is it healthy?  Oh heck no.  It’s creamy, indulgent, cheesy and delicious.  And bacon.  Because, why not?  I keep it healthy around here most of the time.  And you can diet next week.

Cheesy Bacon & Vegetable Tortellini Bake | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

I’m keeping this one short and sweet, because there are so many other things to do right now to clean up from the madness of the last few weeks, so I’m going to be #lazyblogger today.  Go crank up the Christmas music and pretend we don’t have to wait another 50 weeks until Santa comes back around!

Cheesy Bacon & Vegetable Tortellini Bake | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Creamy Bacon & Vegetable Tortellini Bake
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 20 oz tortellini, cooked according to package and drained
  • 6 pieces of bacon
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 T preminced garlic
  • 1 - 1.5 cups asparagus, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 t basil
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t parsley
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1½ T flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cook bacon in a large skillet on medium high until crispy. Set aside and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Drain all but about 2 T of bacon fat from the pan and add onion and garlic, and cook for 3-5 minutes
  4. Add asparagus, zucchini, bell peppers, basil, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.
  5. Stir in flour until everything is coated and there are no chunks
  6. Stir in milk and let cook for an additional approximately 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in cooked tortellini, crumbled bacon and 1 cup mozzarella until heated and combined.
  8. Spray a 9x11 pan with nonstick spray
  9. Turn tortellini mixture into the pan and top with remaining 1 cup mozzarella and 1 cup parmesan.
  10. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until bubbly and beginning to brown
  11. Enjoy immediately topped with additional parmesan cheese if desired.

Cheesy Bacon & Vegetable Tortellini Bake | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Sweet Corn & Bacon Salad

Sweet Corn & Bacon Salad | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Before you think I’m going all soft posting a salad, let’s focus on the second word there.  Bacon.

This sweet little side dish also doubles as a delish topping to a lightly seasoned fish, or a butt kicking dip for chips.  Hubby likes to say that salsas have reached the peak of their goodness and can’t be improved on.  But then I showed him this.  Because, bacon.  Let’s say his stance is wavering.

Sweet Corn & Bacon Salad | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

The bacon gives something smokey and fun to an otherwise run of the mill corn salsa.  It’s a perfect little twist on the tradition.  And, because I only used about half the pack, we had a few extra pieces of bacon to snack on afterwards.  I’m pregnant.  Don’t judge.

One more fun bacon fact {because I guess that’s all this post is going to be about. Don’t judge.}.  Did you know that you can cook bacon in the oven??  It’s my new favorite way to do it.  Simply line a cooking sheet with foil or parchment and stick a cooling rack {the kind you cool cookies on} on top.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line up the bacon on the cooling rack, and bake for 15 – 20 minutes {start checking a little earlier if your oven runs hot}.  Let it cool a little, transfer to a paper towel to pat dry, and enjoy.  It’s perfectly crunchy and delicious every time and you save yourself the annoyance of burning yourself with hot grease and smelling like bacon for the rest of the day.  Awesome, right?  You’re welcome.

Sweet Corn & Bacon Salad | Little Kitchen, Big Bites Sweet Corn & Bacon Salad | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

 

Sweet Corn & Bacon Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad, Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cobs of corn, cooked and cut off of the cob, and chilled
  • 5 pieces of bacon, cooked well and crumbled or chopped, and cooled
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 1 T garlic salt
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 t chile powder
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine
  2. Serve cold

Sweet Corn & Bacon Salad | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Sweet Potato Skins Bacon Cheddar Casserole

Sweet Potato Bacon Cheddar Casserole | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

I started to write that this was a vegetarian recipe.  And then I remembered, bacon.  Then I thought maybe it was still kind of healthy.  And then I remembered, cheese.  What I can tell you?  This was a really delicious recipe and it is actually chock full of veggies.  It’s just full of bacon and cheese too.  Protein, right?  Oh well, I’m going with it.

This started as kind of a “sweet potato skins” kind of a deal and then I remembered how much I hate doing potato skins.  Especially the part where you have to gingerly scoop out the potato part and burn your hands only to rip the skins and have half of them look weird and feeling like you miss out on half the potato.  If there’s someone out there with a perfected method for this, let me know, because I haven’t found it yet.

Sweet Potato Bacon Cheddar Casserole | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

So instead of being fancy with it, I just slipped off the skins {still burning my fingers slightly because I’m too impatient and last minute to give myself time for them to cool sufficiently}, mixed everything up in a big bowl and plopped it in a casserole dish.  Which still turned out quite lovely looking actually.

We had this as our dinner {and subsequent leftovers}, but it would also make a yummy side dish for any meal.  Or if you’re feeling fancy, you could slip the mixture right back into those skins and make a fun appetizer too.

Sweet Potato Bacon Cheddar Casserole | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Sweet Potato Bacon Cheddar Casserole
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree, Side Dish, Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 4-5 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3 T milk {I used nonfat}
  • ½ onion, cut into chunks
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into chunks
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into chunks
  • 1 T garlic salt
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
  • 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional: green onions, sour cream, additional bacon and cheddar to top
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Wash and dry sweet potatoes and pierce several times with a fork
  3. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until cooked through
  4. With 15 minutes left, arrange onion, bell pepper and zucchini chunks around potatoes and let bake
  5. Remove everything from the oven and let cool slightly so you can handle them without burning yourself. Reset the oven to 375.
  6. Slip the skins off of the sweet potatoes and put them meat of the potato into a medium bowl
  7. Add milk and mash with a potato masher or fork until smooth
  8. Chop onion, bell pepper and zucchini and add to the bowl
  9. Stir in bacon, 1 cup of cheddar, garlic salt and salt and pepper to taste
  10. Spray a 9x9 pan with nonstick and turn mixture into the pan
  11. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup of cheddar on top
  12. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted
  13. Remove from oven and serve immediately, garnishing with green onions, sour cream, additional bacon and cheddar as desired

Sweet Potato Bacon Cheddar Casserole | Little Kitchen, Big Bites Sweet Potato Bacon Cheddar Casserole | Little Kitchen, Big Bites Sweet Potato Bacon Cheddar Casserole | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Slow Cooker Potato Bacon Chowder

Slow Cooker Potato Bacon Chowder | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

This recipe started off as a yummy, relatively healthy crock pot recipe.  And then bacon happened.  And it turned into a not so healthy, totally delicious, knock your socks off kind of a recipe.  I’m glad that bacon happened.  I always am.  It’s not quite as simple as some of my other slow cooker recipes, but trust me, it’s worth it.

This soup is totally delicious with a fabulous depth of smokey bacon flavor and tons of herbs and spices.  And the thick potatoes will fill your tummy with warm happiness.  Which is perfect for those of you stuck in the icy tundra that is pretty much the entire country right now.  We’re still wearing flip flops in So Cal, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t still need our winter chowders to keep us warm and cozy at night.

So try this one.  It may not help you keep your new years resolutions, but you’ll sure be full and happy.  Because when bacon happens, you always are.

Slow Cooker Potato Bacon Chowder | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Slow Cooker Potato Bacon Chowder
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 8 slices of smokey applewood bacon
  • 2 russet potatoes, cleaned and diced into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 - 15 oz can corn
  • 1 T preminced garlic
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 t basil
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t savory
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup low fat sour cream
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 T flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon on medium high heat in a large skillet, flipping frequently, until crispy.
  2. Remove bacon from the pan, crumble and set aside in the refrigerator
  3. Combine potatoes, onion, corn, and garlic in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, so they are able to absorb the flavor
  4. Add the entire contents of the pan to the slow cooker
  5. Add vegetable broth, basil, oregano, savory, thyme, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  6. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  7. Stir in milk, sour cream, cheddar cheese, about half of the crumbled bacon and flour and allow it to combine and cheese to melt for about 10 minutes
  8. Use an immersion blender to partially blend the soup according to your taste. I prefer it to be mostly blended with a few potato chunks remaining.
  9. Stir in remaining crumbled bacon and serve hot, garnished with bacon and cheddar cheese.

Slow Cooker Potato Bacon Chowder | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Bacon Apple Avocado Sandwich {yum}

Bacon Apple Avocado Sandwich | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Happy Halloween week {and holy smokes where did the month of October go}!  My little ghost has already gone to the pumpkin patch twice, dressed up in her costume once, and taken about a zillion halloween related photos.  Because we go a little overboard with the holidays around here.

And can we talk about something for a second?  I have officially decided that once Halloween is over, it’s completely acceptable to listen to Christmas music.  Thoughts on this?  I’ve been quietly listening to my holiday pandora station for…well…a month and a half.  It calms the baby down.  That’s the only reason that I do it.  You believe me, right?  But I feel like I can officially blast it at the end of the week.  I may be jumping the gun on it but whatever.  It’s my happy place.

Also my happy place?  This sandwich.  I don’t even know if it should count as a recipe.  I just took all of my favorite things and threw them together on a baguette {which is another one of my favorite things…} and called it a sandwich.  With crispy bacon and apples, chunks of avocado, sweet grilled onions and a bite of gorgonzola cheese, it was quite possibly one of the best things I’ve ever made.

Bacon Apple Avocado Sandwich | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Bacon Apple Sandwich
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • ½ of a french bread baguette
  • 1 package of bacon, cooked crispy
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 1 green apple, sliced into thin slices
  • ¼ onion, chopped
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • ¼ cup gorgonzola cheese
  • 1-2 T mayonaise
Instructions
  1. Add olive oil to a small pan and heat over medium high.
  2. Add onions and brown sugar and cook until onions are browned. Set aside.
  3. Cut the baguette into two pieces, and then slice in half. Toast on a griddle or in the oven.
  4. Spread mayonnaise over baguette as desired.
  5. Layer bacon, then green apples, then avocado, then onions and finally gorgonzola cheese.
  6. Enjoy hot.

Bacon Apple Avocado Sandwich | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Easy Cheesy Ranch Bacon Potatoes

Easy Cheesy Ranch Bacon Potatoes | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

These were omg good.  I mean, you can’t really beat hot, cheesy potatoes with ranch dressing and bacon, right?  I overdid it a little and made a huge batch of them for a dinner party for four.  We ate a ton of them, but there were still a bunch of leftovers.  And I thought there was no way we would eat all of them.  But then we realized that they were just as good as a cold potato salad as they were as a hot cheesy potato dish.

We ate all of the leftovers, guys.  Like, within a day or two.  I ate a plate full of this *side dish* as a meal.  I’m not saying it was a healthy thing, but it was a delicious thing.

Easy Cheesy Ranch Bacon Potatoes | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

4.0 from 1 reviews
Easy Cheesy Ranch Bacon Potatoes
Author: 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Ingredients
  • 2 - 16 oz bags of frozen "breakfast potatoes" (the kind with quartered red potatoes, onions, and bell peppers)
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • ½ cup + ¼ cup shredded cheddar
  • ¼ cup bacon bits
  • 1 T dill
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine ranch, ½ cup cheddar, bacon bits, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  3. Add potatoes and toss to coat.
  4. Spray a 9 x 13 pyrex in nonstick cooking spray
  5. Put potato mix in the pyrex and cover in tin foil
  6. Bake for 1 hour
  7. Remove foil and top with ¼ cup shredded cheddar
  8. Cook for an additional 10 - 15 minutes
  9. Enjoy hot, or chill for a potato salad the next day

Easy Cheesy Ranch Bacon Potatoes | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

 

Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Brown Butter Sage Pizza

Ok, I’m just going to say it before someone else does.  I need to stop it with the butternut squash, sweet potato, and brown butter sage.
But I can’t help it.
I think I’ve found my very favorite flavor combination in the whole world, and it’s the perfect season for it.

This one was born out of some leftover butternut squash, an unused sweet potato, and a pizza crust with no particular plan.  Hubby told me that if I don’t make it again, our marriage will suffer.  It was that good.

As with many of my recipes, this one could be vegetarian if you hold the last minute bacon bit addition.  I have realized that I couldn’t be a vegetarian mostly due to my obsession with bacon.  But if it’s not your thing {or if meat is not your thing}, then leave it off and you’re good to go.


Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Brown Butter Sage Pizza
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree, Pizza
Cuisine: Italian, Pizza
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 boboli pizza crust {or homemade pizza crust}
  • 4 T butter {half of a stick}
  • 1 t preminced garlic
  • ½ t black pepper
  • 2 T fresh sage, chopped finely
  • 2 T half and half
  • ¼ cup roasted butternut squash, chopped into small pieces
  • ¼ cup roasted sweet potato, chopped into small pieces
  • ½ t chili powder
  • ½ t cumin
  • ¼ t cinnamon
  • 1½ - 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 T bacon bits {optional, remove for vegetarian}
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put your pizza crust on a pizza pan.
  2. Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat.
  3. Add preminced garlic and black pepper and stir for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add sage and stir for an additional 2-4 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in half and half.
  6. Pour the sauce over the crust and distribute evenly.
  7. Combine roasted and chopped butternut squash and sweet potato in a small bowl.
  8. Add chili powder, cumin and cinnamon and mix to combine.
  9. Sprinkle about half of the mixture over the pizza.
  10. Sprinkle about half of the cheese over the pizza.
  11. Add the remaining half of the squash/sweet potato mixture.
  12. Add the rest of the cheese.
  13. If desired, sprinkle bacon bits on top.
  14. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
  15. Enjoy hot.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

I love portabella mushrooms.  They’re thick, juicy and delicious, just like a steak, but you never have to worry about biting into a fatty piece or having your medium rare come out a little too bloody {maybe that’s just me…}.

I also adore loaded baked potatoes.  You take potatoes, which are the world’s best vegetable {yes, I know they’re actually a starch…} and add all kinds of goodies to make it totally full of flavor and happiness.

This recipe basically took the two and slammed them together.  In a relatively healthy way.  It was perfect for Hubby and I for dinner, but it could be a gorgeous side dish too.  And we had some leftover sweet potato quinoa mix that made for a yummy lunch the next day.

Inspired by a recipe from Snixy Kitchen.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Loaded Portabella Mushrooms
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree, Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 portabella mushrooms
  • 1½ T olive oil
  • 1 T garlic salt
  • 1 baking sweet potato, microwaved
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package
  • 4 T low fat shredded cheddar
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • ¼ of an onion, chopped
  • 1 t low fat sour cream
  • 2 T real bacon bits
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Additional sour cream, onions, green onions, cheddar and bacon bits to top.
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Pull the stems out of the mushrooms and scoop out the gills and toss.
  3. Place the mushrooms, stem side down, on a baking sheet. Rub in olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper.
  4. Bake the mushrooms for about 10-15 minutes, until cooked but not burned.
  5. Put the quinoa on the stove and cook according to the package.
  6. Poke holes in the sweet potato, wrap it in a paper towel, and put it in the microwave for 5-7 minutes, until soft.
  7. When the sweet potato is done, scoop it out into the quinoa, add green onions, onion, bacon bits {omit bacon for vegetarian recipe}, and salt and pepper to taste and mix.
  8. Scoop mixture into mushrooms and sprinkle cheddar on top.
  9. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  10. Top with sour cream, green onions, onions, bacon bits, or whatever sounds good to you!

Slow Cooker Summer Squash & Corn Chowder

It’s starting to feel like fall.  Not due to the weather (at least here in So Cal), but football season is making me want to curl up with a blanket by the fire and start singing Christmas music (I always start early).

And, of course, this means that I also need to start breaking out the soups, stews and chowders.  And the regular use of the slow cooker for everything and anything due to my super busy fall work schedule.

But there’s still some fab summer veggies out there, so why not combine all of the love into a recipe like the one found here?  And make it for the crock pot?  Done.


Slow Cooker Summer Squash & Corn Chowder
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 package bacon bits {omit for vegetarian recipe}
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 large yellow summer squashes, chopped {about 1 - 1.5 lbs}
  • 2 cans sweet corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1½ cups chicken broth {use vegetable broth for vegetarian recipe}
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 T flour
  • ¼ cup cheddar cheese
  • Extra green onions, bacon bits, and sour cream, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine bacon bits {omit for vegetarian recipe}, green onions, celery, summer squash, sweet corn, chicken broth {or vegetable broth}, and spices in your crock pot. Stir to combine.
  2. Turn the slow cooker to low and cook for 6-8 hours.
  3. Come back and stir in sour cream, flour and cheese. Let cook for another 30 minutes.
  4. Serve hot. Top with extra green onions, sour cream bacon bits, if desired.

Happy Pizza {Pizza with Brie, Blue Cheese, Mozzerella, Green Apples, Bacon & Pesto…Phew}

 

When I went to name this post and this pizza, I didn’t quite know where to start.  If I left out any of the ingredients, it would be a complete sin, because each and every one of them are totally integral in making it the best darn pizza that I’ve ever made.

And then I thought about the way that I described it to Hubby as I was making it.  It went a little like this.
Him  What kind of pizza are you making tonight?
Me     I don’t know…it’s a mix of a bunch of stuff…it’s just…happy
Him   Well what’s in it?
Me     {Starts listing ingredients}
Him    Yum that does sound happy

So that’s what we’re calling this folks.  Happy pizza.  Another super easy pizza on a Boboli crust because that’s what I do when I’m lazy.  Made with the stuff that was in my fridge that sounded like it would go well together because I was on the brink of a dinner party and didn’t want to make anything too complicated.  Voila!

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Happy Pizza
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Boboli pizza crust
  • ¼ cup pesto
  • ¼ onion, sliced
  • 1 T preminced garlic
  • 1 t brown sugar
  • 1-2 T bacon bits
  • 2 T basil, sliced
  • 1 small green apple, sliced thinly
  • 1 wedge of brie, rind removed, cut into thin chunks
  • ¼ cup blue cheese
  • ½ cup mozzarella
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Put the pizza crust on a stone or pizza baking pan and spread the pesto on top.
  3. Cover pesto with a light layer of mozzarella.
  4. Cook the onion, garlic, brown sugar, and bacon bits in a small frying pan for about 5 minutes, or until the onions start to caramelize.
  5. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the pizza. Layer on apple slices, basil and brie chunks on top and sprinkle blue cheese.
  6. Cook for 8-10 minutes in the oven and serve immediately.

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