Polenta – like soup but more filling!

Polenta – like soup but more filling!

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
Avatar
Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

Polenta!?!  You may be asking what is that? It’s a delicious dish a friend introduced me to several years ago. Ok, ok, so Polenta technically is not a soup, BUT it is one of those dishes like soup that I crave when the weather turns cold.

The best part is that it takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish to prepare! So on Sunday afternoons or days I have very little time, this is the perfect meal for my family.

It’s also perfect to make when inviting larger groups over…again easy to make and it’s hearty!

You can make a rustic version like porridge, which is actually my preferred method, or make it all fancy by putting it into a fun mold and letting it cool for 10-15 minutes after cooking.  Some people even enjoy letting it cool then cutting it up and frying it later.  I’ve never tried the last version simply because it takes more time.  There are some dishes I rely on for their ease and speed and this is one of them.

Crucial Ingredient!

This simple Italian dish is made out of coarsely ground cornmeal or what we in the south call “corn grits.”  This is very important.  When you are purchasing your ingredients from the store, make sure you buy a package that says either “Polenta” or “Corn Grits.”  Cornmeal will not taste the same…I know.

I accidentally used cornmeal one time and couldn’t finish eating it because the texture was too horrible… and texture usually doesn’t bother me like it does my poor husband who didn’t say a word but ate it all!  LOL!!  Poor guy, he has had to try some really interesting meals over the years and has never complained.  Although he will let me know, I don’t have to cook it again unless I really want to!  I’d say that’s a polite way of saying he didn’t like it, wouldn’t you?  Oh, I love him….ok but back to the ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups Corn Grits (sometimes the bag might say Polenta) – Do not use cornmeal.
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil (or butter, but coconut oil gives it such a better flavor)
  • 1/2 cup minimum of shredded Parmesan or other cheese that melts well like Monterey Jack (Options for using cheese: add it into the Polenta while cooking, add it as a topping after plating, or both.  I usually do both!)
  • Your favorite pasta sauce
  • Chicken sausage – Optional but a must have in my house.  We really like using the spinach chicken sausage.

Directions

I’ve mentioned how easy this is right?  The first few times I made it, I did not think it so easy because the directions I used said to stir the polenta continuously for 30 minutes!  My arm was tired and I had little kids (still do) and stirring anything constantly for 30 minutes didn’t work out well.

What I later realized is that unless I wanted to mold the polenta into something pretty, I didn’t need to stir it for that long.  I’ve found that between 4-6 minutes of cooking and stirring yields the perfect consistency for porridge style polenta and my family devours it just the same.  So save the time and be done with the cooking part in 6ish minutes!

So where to start….

polenta-so-easy

Step 1 – If you need to shred the cheese do it before getting started. Believe me the rest of this is going to go really quickly and if you want to cook the cheese in with the polenta you will not have time to shred it later.

Step 2 – Put 6 cups of water with the 1 teaspoon of salt in a covered pot and bring it to a boil.

Step 3 – While waiting for the water to boil, cut the sausage however you like.  I cut them into small cubes by cutting the sausage into fourths and then cutting them like I’m cutting them into wheels.

Step 4 – Put the pasta sauce and the sausage into a medium sized sauce pan and cook it on medium heat and then lower once it starts bubbling.

Step 5 – The water should be boiling now.  Stir in the corn grits and immediately turn the heat down to low.  You have to stir the grits constantly for the next 4-6 minutes or they start bubbling and spitting and may burn.

Step 6 – Once the grits are in, add in the coconut oil and the cheese, if you so choose.  Continue stirring till the timer dings.

Step 7 – Now, you are ready to plate.  I typically put the polenta on the plate first, then add the pasta sauce and sausage, and top it with more cheese.

Step 8 – Enjoy great conversation around a hearty meal!

polenta-social

 

easy-delicious-polenta
Super Soup Series: Harvest Soup and Beer Bread

Super Soup Series: Harvest Soup and Beer Bread

I am a recovering Army brat who loves to travel and start new adventures. My handsome husband and I met at Oklahoma Christian University and he whisked me away to Kansas. So, I bought some ruby red high heels and made Topeka my home. I have a rough and rowdy Princess 4-year-old girl, amazing twin boys (almost 3) and a newborn baby girl who all make every day an adventure. We are grateful to be part of an amazing church in Topeka who regularly challenges and encourages our whole family. I have been both a full-time working mom and a stay-at-home-mom and/or both at the same time at one point or another. I am constantly seeking God’s wisdom on “balancing it all” and following His plan for my life, not mine.
Elizabeth P
Latest posts by Elizabeth P (see all)

This harvest soup recipe came to life when I was desperately needing a good dinner and I had to play Chopped in my own kitchen. Menu planning fail. We’ve all been there, ha!

Harvest Soup is so great during the fall but it is a total comfort food for me all winter long. I love this recipe because it is very forgiving and ingredients are easy to sub out if you need to clean out your pantry  (I’ll make some suggestions below.).

Essentially, this is a beef vegetable stew that uses pumpkin puree instead of canned tomatoes and broth. Stay with me, I know it sounds weird but it works. I am terrible at measuring when I’m cooking, so please adjust below for your own taste.  I love to serve this with warm beer bread, and that recipe is also below.

What you need:

1 lb ground beef

1 tsp salt

ground black pepper to taste

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 can of pumpkin puree (not sweetened pie filling, plain puree)

1/2 cup of diced onion (red or yellow vidalia is best, but can be any kind)

1-2 Tbs of dried Herbs de Provence (or use dried thyme, rosemary, tarragon, basil, marjoram, etc)

1 Tbsp butter

Olive oil

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (I often substitute for 2 Yukon golds as seen in the picture for this post, but the sweet potato really is best in this soup)

1 cup of frozen sweet corn or 1 can of sweet corn, rinsed and drained)

1/2 cup of carrots, diced

1 cup(ish)of white wine (You can also use broth–I usually have broth ready to add to this anyway if I need to bring up the liquid level without diminishing the flavor)

1 cup of milk (plus more if needed), or half-and-half

For soup:

*Note: I’ve made this with leftover roasted sweet potatoes and it was delicious. If you have time to roast them ahead of time to get great caramelization on them, it’s delicious. If they are pre-cooked, then add them toward the end of cooking to avoid them becoming too mushy.

Begin to brown the beef with salt and pepper and about 1/2 Tbsp of the dried herbs. Next, add the onion and saute until tender. Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds to 1 minute more; then remove all from pan into a bowl and set aside. Drain the extra grease.

Return pot to burner and add 2 Tbsp butter and a drizzle of olive oil. Add potato and carrots and saute until potato begins to brown on the outside or soften slightly. Deglaze pan with white wine (scrape up all the brown bits). Put beef mixture back in pot,  then stir in the pumpkin puree thoroughly until well combined. If it’s very thick, add broth until it can combine smoothly. Pour milk in slowly along with the rest of the dried Herbs de Provence. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer until potatoes and carrots are cooked through. Season to taste and add corn in the last 5 minutes of cooking. If it reduces too much and becomes too thick, add more wine or broth until you like the consistency.

Again, I love to serve this with beer bread!

Here is a super easy, versatile beer bread recipe:

3 cups flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/3 cup brown sugar, loosely packed OR white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

12 ounces of your favorite beer (I prefer malty beers. I also tend to think IPAs leave a hoppy aftertaste that I don’t love in this bread.)

3 Tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a standard size bread pan or line with parchment.

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Carefully pour over beer of choice and mix gently just until combined. Don’t overmix–the dough should be light and sticky. Place in a bread pan and form it gently into place. Pour melted butter right on top and pop it in the oven for about 50 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. You can smell when it’s done. 🙂  It is delicious with a pat of butter on a warm slice.

Hope you enjoy this meal!

 

Let your taste buds enjoy these delicious soups as well!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup Chili Lemon Thyme Chicken Noodle Soup  Creamy Mushroom Soup

 

Homemade Chicken Broth {Super Soup Series}

Homemade Chicken Broth {Super Soup Series}

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
Avatar
Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

Chicken Roast is one of the easiest meals to make!  A friend, Rick, who is also a chef, taught me a few tricks to make it even easier.  Not only that, but with some more time, you can have homemade chicken broth, which is amazing! This allows you to turn one meal into 3-6 meals!!  Who doesn’t love getting the most out of their food budget?!

I’ve taken his recipe and added a few little twists but basically a chicken roast is a chicken roast, right.  You can add whatever veggies you like but this is what I used in this recipe.

The Basics of the Chicken Roast

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • 10-15 minutes prep (depending on how many times the kids interrupt)
  • 2-2.5 hours to reach 165° F

Ingredients:

  • 3 celery ribs – rough-cut into inch-long pieces
  • 3 carrots – rough-cut into inch-long pieces
  • 2 med–large onions – cut into quarters, then separate rings (leave the skin on)
  • 6–8 garlic cloves – smash them with a knife once and then put them skin and all on into the pan
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 large sweet potato

(I add the sweet potato because I love how vitamin-packed sweet potatoes are. Plus, if I’m going to cook a roast, I might as well add extra veggies so our family can enjoy an entire meal.)

homemade-chicken-broth-starts-with-a-chicken-roast-1

Homemade Chicken Broth starts with a Chicken Roast. (I’m not sure why the roasted chicken looks so red in the picture. It wasn’t that red in person. Lol!)

Make a mixture of the following:

  • Salt to taste (2 parts)
  • Pepper to taste (1 part)
  • Herbamare (1-2 parts)

(Herbamare is an amazing herb/salt blend that Toni introduced me to years ago.  I use it constantly in so many dishes that contain poultry or veggies to enhance the flavor. It’s my not-so-secret ingredient for this recipe.)

homemade-chicken-broth-herbamare-1

Here are the tricks Chef Rick taught me:

1. You can use onions and garlic with the skin on…it’s faster than peeling them off!

2. How to close the chicken legs using the skin instead of string! Tie the legs closed by cutting slits into the fatty skin from the neck and then sliding each ankle of the drumstick through the slit across from it. (I use scissors to make the slits but you could also use a knife.)

tie-chicken-legs-together-without-using-string

These are brilliant tricks.

After you’ve chopped up all the veggies, put them in the 9×11 baking dish (or whatever size dish you have on hand).

Put the chicken breast side down on top of the veggies and fill the inside of the chicken with some of these veggies.

Season the outside and the inside of the chicken with the salt/pepper/herbamare mixture.

Tie the legs closed.

Before you put it in the oven be sure to add the bay leaves and enough water to cover the veggies.

Set the timer for two hours and go enjoy doing something else until the oven dings.

Use a meat thermometer to make sure the inside temperature of the chicken is at least 165° F.  If it’s not, then put it back in the oven for up to another 30 minutes.

Once the chicken has reached 165° F, let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes, debone the chicken, then enjoy a lovely chicken roast for dinner.

Chicken Broth Basics

OK, here is where I have to be brutally honest. This homemade chicken broth is so good, I have at times drank anywhere from a cup up to a quart of it by itself.  This is the perfect broth to use for soups but also when you are not feeling good and need some good nutrients.  It is delicious!  So feel free to drink a cup the 1st or 50th time you make it.

  • 15 minutes prep
  • 1.5-2 hours simmer time
  • Optional cool-down period of 30 minutes or stick in the fridge for the next day.
  • 15-20 minutes of separating and bagging for the freezer
  • Use a large stock pot to simmer the broth
homemade-chicken-broth-vs-store-bought-chicken-broth-2

Look how much richer the homemade chicken broth is!

After the table has been cleared, if you have time, now you can make the chicken broth!  If you don’t have time, put all the ingredients in the fridge till the next day.

Once your ready to create the broth, decide if you want to add more veggies to the broth.  I usually decide this based on how  many veggies we ate.

If you want more veggies, then saute the following in coconut oil in your large stock pot:

  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery ribs
  • onion
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • add a little more pepper, salt, and herbamare to taste

Once the onions are transparent, then add in the following from the leftover chicken roast:

  • bones
  • leftover veggies
  • broth
  • then add liquid about an inch from the top of the pot

homemade-chicken-broth-creating-the-broth

Bring it to a boil, then put it on low for an hour and a half to two hours.

I recommend letting the broth cool for about 20-30 minutes before trying to separate the bones and veggies from the broth.  I’m in the habit now of even popping the whole stock pot in the fridge and coming back the next day to separate everything.  If you wait till the next day, you will have to warm it up a little but not so hot that you can’t handle it immediately.

Separating the broth from the bones and the veggies

This part is easy but probably the most time-consuming part.  It usually takes me 20-30 minutes, depending on interruptions.  I simply put a round colander in an 8-cup Pyrex bowl and ladle the contents of the stock pot into the colander. I have two other large bowls waiting.  One to accept the bones and the other to accept the veggies.

homemade-chicken-broth-separate-broth-from-bones-veggies

I would recommend taking the onion and garlic skins out at this point.  If you don’t want to deal with this now, you can choose either to not use the skins in the beginning or to sift them out later.

Don’t Discard the Veggies!

For the first time ever, I decided not to discard the veggies after separating them from the broth but to puree them in my food processor and use it to further my chicken broth.  This was a brilliant idea my mother had and I’m so thankful for it.  I’ve used this to stretch leftover soups by adding water to it and thinning it out some.  Seriously delicious!  You could also choose not to thin it out and use it to make a creamier base for a soup.

homemade-chicken-broth-dont-discard-the-veggies

How many meals am I planning for this one chicken roast to make?

At least six!

So far it has made:

  • A chicken roast dinner
  • I used some thinned-out veggie puree to extend the life of some leftover turkey mushroom soup

There are so many wonderful dishes that could be made with this but here are some I plan to make:

  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Vegetable Pasta Soup
  • Potato Soup
  • Chicken & Rice Soup

What meals would you make with your homemade chicken broth?

homemade-chicken-broth-1-meal-turns-into-6

Our family of six eats a lot, so I enjoy stretching food to last longer and help our food budget!

(The following are affiliate links.  These links will not add any cost to your purchase but will help us maintain this encouraging website.)

homemade-chicken-broth-pinterest
Super Soup Series: Creamy Mushroom Soup

Super Soup Series: Creamy Mushroom Soup

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
Avatar
Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

Ah, as a child cream of mushroom soup from a can was one of my favorites! As I have gotten older, anything other than cranberry sauce coming out of a can does not sound appetizing…ok, I know, but I really enjoy that cranberry sauce!  LOL!

So of course, in an effort to create an easy, homemade cream of mushroom soup, I’ve scoured the internet and tried many recipes online, but this one from Food.com is one of my favorites. Did I mention this is EASY?  That and DELICIOUS are always my highest ranking criteria.

This homemade version will have you making your own cream of mushroom soup instead of using the canned stuff even for other recipes and casseroles!  It is that good.

Surprise Ingredients

What’s most interesting about this recipe are two surprise ingredients I never on my own would have considered putting into a cream of mushroom recipe:

Nutmeg and Condensed Milk.

Granted, the condensed milk was offered as a substitute if one did not have cream on hand but it really adds richness to the soup.

All the rest of the ingredients are pretty common:

  • salt
  • pepper
  • chicken broth
  • onion
  • garlic
  • flour
  • butter

Click here to get the exact measurements from Food.com

Creating the Recipe

One of the things I so enjoy about cooking is that I can play with recipes and make them fit me and my style.

I didn’t alter the ingredients other than using coconut oil when frying the veggies, cutting the mushrooms into smaller pieces and doubling or tripling the quantities.  For our family we have to triple the given amount, as the measurements given seem to only feed 3 or 4 of us.  We have big appetites, but I would still encourage a family of four to double the quantities. That way leftovers are easily available.

I enjoy eating mushrooms but washing them has never been fun until I figured this out.  If you wash mushrooms in a salad spinner, it makes the process so much easier!

tip-wash-mushrooms-easily-in-a-salad-spinner-3

I did, however, alter the cooking procedure.

Instead of following the given instructions, I did the following:

1. In a large pot on medium high heat (8) , I used coconut oil to saute  the mushrooms, onion, and garlic cloves for a minute or two before adding just enough chicken broth to cover the veggies.  Then I put a lid on the pot and let it simmer for around 15 minutes.

2. In a medium-size saucepan on medium low heat (4-5), I melted all the butter and then added all the flour, making sure to stir it so that it didn’t become clumpy.  Creating the roux this way “allows the starch granules [in the flour] to swell and absorb moisture, and lets you thicken a sauce base without the flour clumping or forming lumps” according to allrecipes.com.

making-the-roux-aka-thickening-the-soup-1

3. After the flour swells a bit, I added in all the spices and slowly…very SLOW-LY, added in 2-3 cups of chicken broth (it doesn’t have to be exact) a little at a time while stirring.  Then, put the rest of the chicken broth into the large pot, where the veggies are simmering.

4. After 4-5 minutes of allowing the roux, spices, and chicken broth to thicken, I added the condensed milk.  The condensed milk really brings an extra richness, but if you prefer to use cream that’s fine too.  We really enjoy this soup with the condensed milk…again, I never would have thought of that ingredient, but now will have to try it in other recipes as well! Once you’ve got the condensed milk or cream in, let it thicken for 5 minutes or so.

5. Once you are ready, add the creamy mixture into the veggie mixture and let it thicken a few more minutes until it bubbles.

6. Now, you are ready to serve and enjoy!

homemade-creamy-mushroom-soup-social-media

 

homemade-creamy-mushroom-soup-pin

Super Soup Series: Black-Eyed Pea Soup

I’m Lana, a native Oklahoman. Married 17 years to the first boy I ever dated. Mama to two amazing, darling girls. I’m a coffee-drinking, book-reading, home-educating night owl! An accountant in my life B.C. (Before Children), my dream job would be getting paid to read all day.And if you’re into Meyers-Briggs personality tests, I’m an ISTJ. Most important of all, I’m a follower of Christ.
Lana W

Black-Eyed Pea Soup

New Year’s Traditions Around the World

All around the world, New Year’s Day is a day for new beginnings.  Along with setting resolutions and taking down the holiday decorations, several traditions have evolved that are said to bring good luck or prosperity. For example, in Spain the tradition is to eat twelve grapes, one for each month. In France, the new year is celebrated with a stack of pancakes. Here in the southern United States, it’s a common tradition to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day.  Supposedly it brings good luck for the new year, but I’ve always held the opinion that I’d rather have bad luck than eat a single black-eyed pea!

My opinion of black-eyed peas changed once I tasted this soup, however! Bacon, ham, and liquid smoke all combine tBlack-Eyed Pea Soupo create a delicious, hearty soup.  Even better, there’s hardly any prep work involved. Just open a few pantry and freezer staples, and in the time it takes to heat up some crusty bread and toss a salad, you’ll have a quick, filling supper.

Black-Eyed Pea Soup

  • 2 bags (approx. 12 oz. each) frozen green beans
  • 10 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into bite size
  • 1 16 oz. package cubed ham
  • 2 cans diced new potatoes, drained
  • 3 cans black-eyed peas with bacon
  • 1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke flavoring
  • 1/4 tsp paprika

In a large pot add green beans and uncooked bacon.

black-eyed pea soup ingredients

Frozen green beans and chopped bacon in a large stockpot are the beginning of a delicious dinner!

Add enough water (approximately 2 quarts) to cover completely. Bring to a boil and boil until the bacon is cooked. (Note: the bacon will not get brown and crispy as it would if pan-fried. Some of the fat will render into the soup and the meaty part of the bacon will start to look cooked.)

Black-Eyed Pea Soup ingredients

Pantry staples make for a huge amount of inexpensive soup!

Add the seasonings and all remaining ingredients.  Cook over medium high heat until broth begins to get thick, about 30 minutes. Serve with tossed salad and crusty bread if desired.

Black-eyed peas are one option, but there are several other foods that people believe can bring good luck or prosperity in the new year.  People in the South also eat collard or other greens to bring wealth, since the greens symbolize the green of money. It might be fun for your whole family to investigate New Year’s traditions from other parts of the United States, or even from around the world. Maybe you will find some fun ideas to create your own New Year’s traditions…just don’t forget to eat your black-eyed pea soup!

What are your family’s New Year’s traditions?

Easy Weeknight Burgers–No Grill Required

Easy Weeknight Burgers–No Grill Required

Hi! Born in the great state of Texas and raised in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, this Daughter of the Alamo/Georgia Peach is still adjusting to life in Razorback Nation! My husband and I live just outside of Little Rock, Arkansas with our two toddlers and two crazy pups. I’m a small business owner, chocolate aficionado, and travel lover with a 2pm coffee hour no matter what time zone I’m in!
Lindsay W
Latest posts by Lindsay W (see all)

Weeknight dinners are all about fast, affordable, healthy, and crowd-pleasing at our house. That’s a lot of boxes to tick! (Especially since we have a toddler!) If you’re anything like me, the urge to just order a pizza or drive through your local take-out spot can be fierce at the end of a long day, especially once you hit mid-week. But, take-out or delivery usually only ticks the “fast” box. I’ve come to realize that if I use a few secret weapons, there are a couple dishes my family can enjoy for dinner that not only tick all my boxes but require minimal clean up afterwards. (And all the mamas cheered!) One of those tricks is easy weeknight burgers.


easy-weeknight

I’m going to let you into the mind of Lindsay for just a minute–I usually like the way food smells while it’s cooking or while I’m eating it, but 10 minutes after the meal, I’m over it. And if that smell is still lingering in my house even a couple hours after I’ve cooked, I just about have a comin’ apart.

Which is why easy weeknight burgers requires a secret weapon….

The broiler.

It’s such an underused tool in our kitchen, and I think that’s because most of us don’t like cleaning the broiler pan. I’ll share a couple tips for that later. Broilers can be a mama’s best friend on a weeknight. They’re fast, and they allow me to cook inside my oven instead of on my stove top. Cooking burgers on a stove top means it smells forever. Using my broiler also lets me cook inside which means I don’t have to attempt to use my husband’s grill outside or wait for him to get home to fire it up and grill me some patties. When the goal is to have all four boxes ticked and dinner on the table as he’s walking through the door, I just can’t wait for him to get home.

So, the broiler is secret number #1 to easy weeknight burgers.

Secret #2: The freezer.

I usually do my grocery shopping at the beginning of the week or over the weekend. Some meats might not last all week in the fridge, but they will last all week if I pop them in the freezer until the day I’m ready to cook them. Same with hamburger buns. Most of us aren’t using hamburger buns every day, am I right? And when 8 come in a package, and my toddler isn’t eating them yet, that means me and the hubby are going to take weeks to get through all eight. Those buns will have mold on them by week 3 for sure. So, I pop them in the freezer as soon as I get home from the grocery store along with my pre-made hamburger patties. (I like Laura’s. They’re extra lean and hormone free and come in a package of four.)

And now I wait until the day comes (haha – Thursday usually) when I have no idea what to make for dinner, and I’m tempted to order a pizza or drive through our local hamburger place and get a few burgers to go (and a chocolate shake).

That is when I take those frozen patties out of the freezer and let them start defrosting. Depending on how much time I have, I’ll either put them right on the counter for a bit and then move them into the fridge, or I’ll just put them straight into the fridge.

When it comes time to actually make dinner, I pull out however many hamburger buns I need from the freezer and set them on a plate on the counter and let them hang out till I’m ready for them.

Toppings and Sides–Anything Goes!

Next, I make sure my top rack in the oven is in its highest position, and turn on the broiler to HIGH.

Then I pull out whatever I have on hand for toppings. We usually have all the standard hamburger toppings on hand. Once easy weeknight burgers are on your REPEAT menu, you’ll start collecting your favorite toppings too: ketchup, mustard, mayo, pickles, sliced cheese, etc. If I have the fresh stuff (i.e. lettuce, tomato, etc.), hooray! If I don’t, oh well, I’ve got the other basic condiments I like already.

Same goes for sides. Use what you have. Bag of kettle chips? Frozen broccoli you can steam up? Can of baked beans? Carrots? EASY. If keeping things easy is your goal, don’t pick something that requires more than one plate or bowl or pot to prepare it.

Side note: The burgers cook so quickly when broiling, that I take care of my sides and toppings before I start them.

I spray my broiler pan with my favorite non-stick spray (I love grape seed oil personally) and season my hamburgers (I just use a few shakes of seasoned salt). I place my hamburgers onto the broiler pan and pop them in the oven.

img_2957

This next part is going to be 100% up to you and your family’s preference on burger doneness. I recommend starting with 2 minutes, then flipping, and putting them in for 2 more minutes. Until you know how fast your broiler cooks the thickness of your burgers, you won’t know exactly how long to cook them. Keep in mind the burgers will continue to cook once you take them out of the oven. You can always use your trusty meat thermometer if in doubt. I like a well-done burger, so I cook mine for 4 minutes on one side, then flip, and then put them in for another 3 minutes.

While your burgers are broiling, pop your hamburger buns in the microwave if they’re still frozen. I microwave 2 buns for 30 seconds. Next, if you want some cheese on your burgers, put them on your bun and pop them into your toaster oven for a quick toasting.

When they’re done and your burgers have gotten to your family’s preferred doneness, you’re ready for toppings and sides!

And dinner is served! (Da da da daaaaa!!!!)

Next, dinner is over. It was yummy, and healthy, and fast, and affordable. You did good, mom.

Now it’s clean up time.

The only beast you have to tackle is the broiler pan. Everything else should be a quick drop in the dishwasher.

I use my scrubbing brush to get all the burger-goo off of both pieces of my pan. (This takes 2 minutes max.) If there are any sticky spots from my spray, I rub those really quickly with my steel wool brush. Then I pop the whole thing in the dishwasher! I have had my broiler pan for 10+ years. My mom gave it to me (it was hers) when I left for college, and she had just gotten a new one. This thing could totally be 20 years old for all I know and has been in COUNTLESS dishwashers. Non-stick spray, scrubber brush, steel wool brush, and the dishwasher = my tips to an easy clean up with the broiler pan.

And there you have it. Easy weeknight burgers. I’m curious to know, do you have any easy dinner dishes that you use your broiler for? I’d love to hear what they are in the comment section!

Happy broiling!

-Lindsay

Easy Weeknight Burgers

Ingredients:

Hamburger buns

Pre-made burger patties

Burger seasoning (I prefer seasoned salt)

Favorite burger toppings: ketchup, mayo, mustard, pickles, lettuce, tomato, etc.

Directions:

Place top rack in oven to its highest position. Turn broiler on to HIGH. Defrost hamburgers buns and pre-made burger patties if necessary. Season patties with seasoned salt or preferred burger seasoning.

Place patties on broiler pan after spraying it with non-stick spray. Broil patties for 2 minutes, then flip, and broil for another 2 minutes.

Continue to broil until burgers have reach your desired doneness or have reached desired internal temperature with meat thermometer.

Once cooked, remove patties from broiler pan. Toast hamburger buns in toaster oven (add cheese before inserting into toaster oven if desired). Remove buns and place on a plate. Add patty to one bun and adorn with your favorite toppings.

Enjoy with a simple side such as steamed broccoli, kettle chips, or baked beans.

Pin It on Pinterest