Creamy Shrimp Pasta

This amazing creamy shrimp pasta is an easy recipe with garlic butter and spinach sauce. Flavorful spices, tomatoes and cream cheese makes this rich dish irresistible! Easy Creamy Shrimp Pasta When it comes to shrimp pasta, this Creamy Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe is about as good as it gets! I have been making this […]

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Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken

This easy Slow Cooker Chicken is a delicious family dinner. Crockpot Barbecue Chicken recipe with corn, sweet potatoes, barbecue sauce and cornbread make a flavorful combination!

Slow Cooker Chicken dinner. Crockpot Barbecue Chicken recipe with sweet potatoes, barbecue sauce and cornbread.

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Recipe

If you’re looking for an easy and delicious family dinner, this Slow Cooker Chicken recipe is definitely worth trying! I love easy chicken recipes and this Crockpot Barbecue Chicken is certainly one of our family’s favorite dishes.

As a busy mom, I enjoy using my free weekly meal plans for quick dinner ideas. I’m definitely loving the slow cooker recipes on the list. This simple chicken recipe is adapted from week 7 in the meal plans. I’m always looking for a new idea for my Crockpot and this chicken hits the spot!

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken dinner - Crockpot Barbecue Chicken recipe

 

CrockPot Barbecue Chicken is a simple weeknight meal!

I’m not a big barbecue chicken fan, but this blend of vegetables and chicken with the cornbread is rather addicting. Because it’s such an easy recipe, that makes me like it even more!

Serve this simple Crockpot barbecue chicken and cornbread with a salad for a fast and easy comforting meal. The chicken turns out very moist and it’s hard to stop eating. Even my kids like it! That’s kind of a miracle these days. ha!

Delicious Sweet Potatoes

I’m always looking for ways to hide healthy sweet potatoes into my meals for the kids. They are full of vitamins, but if I told my kids I was cooking them, there is no way they would eat them. Well, this recipe certainly does the trick if you mash the potatoes. Your kids will never know!

Slow Cooker Chicken dinner. Easy Crockpot Barbecue Chicken recipe from Living Locurto

 

More easy chicken recipes you might like:

Speaking of easy chicken recipes, here are some of my favorites that you might like to try as well.

Delicious Slow Cooker Chicken

Get out your slow cooker and enjoy making this easy Crockpot barbecue chicken recipe!

Originally published January 23, 2014

Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken

This easy Slow Cooker Chicken is a delicious family dinner. Crockpot Barbecue Chicken recipe with corn, sweet potatoes, barbecue sauce and cornbread make a flavorful combination!

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 small red onion (diced)
  • 1 small sweet potato (peeled and diced)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • parsley
  • salt and pepper
  1. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and place in the slow cooker.

  2. Top with the corn, diced onion, sweet potato and barbecue sauce. Toss together until chicken is coated.
  3. Add the water, a dash of salt and pepper then stir.
  4. Prepare Jiffy cornbread mix as directed on box and spread over the top of the chicken mixture.
  5. Cook for 6 hours on low.
  6. When cooked, remove the cornbread in sections and serve on top of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with parsley.

You can also use 1 box of cornbread if you like less bread.

Recipe adapted from $5 Dinners.

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One Pot Enchilada Mac and Cheese

This One Pot Enchilada Mac and Cheese is simple to make and always a winning recipe! Have dinner on the table in 30 minutes!

Enchilada Mac and Cheese is simple to make and always a winning recipe! Have dinner on the table in 30 minutes!

Simple One Pot Enchilada Mac and Cheese Recipe

This One Pot Enchilada Mac and Cheese is an easy recipe to get dinner on the table in 30 minutes! Dinnertime at my house can be quite hectic. I’m always on the lookout for recipes that are easy to prepare and will win rave reviews from my harshest critics-my family. This one pot enchilada mac and cheese recipes is definitely one of my favorite fast and easy week night meals

Slow cooker meals are great if you’re gone all day and have little time to cook. But if I have a little time at the end of the day, I love to prepare something fresh for my kids and husband. On those days, I turn to my one pot meal recipes.

This One Pot Enchilada Mac and Cheese is simple to make and always a winning recipe! Have dinner on the table in 30 minutes!

 

I created this one pot recipe when I had some leftover ground beef and a can of enchilada sauce. I threw it together with some pasta and shredded cheese and “Enchilada Mac and Cheese” was born! This is my family’s favorite one pot meal. I’m asked to make this at least once a week and I don’t mind, because it’s easy and delicious and only takes about 30 minutes to prepare.

 This One Pot Enchilada Mac and Cheese is simple to make and always a winning recipe!

Best Pots for One Pan Meals

A one pot meal is an entire meal in one pan, which means minimal cleanup and less time in the kitchen. Along with my cast iron skillet (perfect for oven and stove top use), I also have a 6 quart sauté pan that I absolutely love!

With one pot meals, size is important because you need to accommodate for your cooking liquid and other ingredients. My favorite pan has a glass lid, which makes it perfect for keeping a close eye on the food while it’s cooking.

I also recommend using silicone spatulas because they are heat resistant and will allow you to rest your utensil in the pan while you are preparing the meal, leaving less mess on the countertops.

How to Make One Pot Enchilada Mac and Cheese

Simple One Pot Enchilada Mac and Cheese Recipe. Have dinner on the table in 30 minutes!

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) beef broth
  • 1 can (15 oz) red enchilada sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • ½ lb elbow pasta
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2-3 stalks green onions, chopped

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Sauté the onion in a large (5.5 qt) sauté pan with lid until translucent and fragrant.
  2. Add ground beef and brown, breaking it up with the silicone spatula.
  3. Once browned, stir in black beans and taco seasoning.
  4. Add the beef broth, the enchilada sauce, and the diced tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Stir in the dried pasta and return to boiling.
  6. Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. When liquid is gone, uncover and stir in the cheddar cheese until melted.
  7. Garnish with chopped green onions and serve immediately.

One Pot Enchilada Mac and Cheese

This one pot Enchilada Mac and Cheese is simple to make and always a winning recipe! Have dinner on the table in 30 minutes.

  • 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • 1 15 oz can black beans (drained)
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 2 14.5 oz cans beef broth
  • 1 15 oz can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • ½ lb elbow pasta
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup green onion (chopped)
  1. Saute the onion in a large sauté pan with lid until translucent and fragrant.

  2. Add ground beef and brown, breaking it up with the silicone spatula.
  3. Once browned, stir in black beans and taco seasoning.
  4. Add the beef broth, the enchilada sauce, and the diced tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Stir in the dried pasta and return to boiling.
  6. Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. When liquid is gone, uncover and stir in the cheddar cheese until melted.
  7. Garnish with chopped green onions and serve immediately.

You might also love these simple one pot recipes!

Cheesy Instant Pot Chicken Tetrazzini

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Tetrazzini. Cheesy pasta recipe made in a pressure cooker.

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EASY Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Fast and easy Chicken Tikka Masala made in the Instant Pot. This spicy, creamy tomato Indian dish is an easy pressure cooker recipe.

EASY Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

EASY Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

This three ingredient Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala is one of the simple dishes I love to whip up for dinner! My husband loves spicy Indian food, me not so much. But once I discovered masala sauce, I changed my tune. If you like creamy tomato soup and a small hint of spices, then you’ll enjoy this easy chicken recipe.

The best part about making it in an Instant Pot is the guaranteed tenderness of the chicken. I love Instant Pot recipes and this Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala will melt in your mouth. Served with jasmine rice, it’s a wonderful quick and easy meal. In other words, I highly recommend trying this recipe if you’ve never tried tikka masala!

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

More chicken recipes you might enjoy:

 

Fast and easy Chicken Tikka Masala made in the Instant Pot. This spicy, creamy tomato Indian dish is an easy pressure cooker recipe.

Not From Scratch

If you are looking for a Chicken Tikka Masala recipe made from scratch, this is not for you. I’m a busy mom and only sharing my technique for how I make this dish in my Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Tikka Masala Sauce

Chicken tikka is an Indian dish. The masala sauce was added to satisfy the desire of British people to have their meat served in gravy. Chicken tikka masala sauce usually includes tomato purée, cream, coconut cream and spices. The sauce is orange because of the turmeric and paprika spices.

You can make your own sauce from scratch, but to save time for this dish, I’ve found some great flavorful tikka masala sauces.  The brand pictured below is what I like to use for my dinners. I like this brand because it’s not overly spicy and perfect for my personal tastes. You can find a lot of great sauces on Amazon as well.

Tikka Masala Sauce


How to make Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

This chicken only takes 8 minutes to cook, but it will take 10 -12 minutes for your Instant Pot to pre-heat. For a total of about 18-20 minutes of hands free cooking, you can’t beat it!

Pour a few tablespoons of sauce into the Instant Pot pan and add boneless skinless chicken thighs. Cover the chicken with more sauce and add a small amount of water. I used coconut water to give it a sweeter flavor.

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

You’ll have plenty of sauce when it’s done which is perfect for spooning over rice.

Shred or slice the chicken and place onto a serving plate, spoon more sauce over the top of the chicken and serve with jasmine rice and warm naan.

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

 

This Chicken Tikka Masala is one of my favorite things to make in my Instant Pot. It’s so simple!

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala easy recipe.

 

EASY Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Fast and easy Chicken Tikka Masala made in the Instant Pot. This spicy, creamy tomato Indian dish is an easy pressure cooker recipe.

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 16 oz Tikka Masala Sauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut water (or regular water)
  1. Preheat Instant Pot by pressing the sauté button.
  2. Pour a few tablespoons of sauce into the instant pot pan and add chicken thighs.
  3. Turn off the sauté feature.
  4. Pour half of the sauce left in the jar over the chicken, then add water. Make sure the chicken is fully covered. Set the rest of the sauce aside.
  5. Close the Instant Pot lid and make sure the pressure release valve is turned to sealing.
  6. Press manual, high pressure for 8 minutes.
  7. It will take 10 -12 minutes for your instant pot to pre-heat. Then it will start pressure cooking for 8 minutes.
  8. When it’s done cooking, turn the valve to released the pressure. Carefully remove the lid.
  9. Heat remaining sauce in the microwave.
  10. Shred or slice the chicken and place onto a serving plate, spoon the heated sauce over the top of the chicken.
  11. Serve with Jasmine Rice and warm Naan (flat bread).

The post EASY Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala appeared first on Living Locurto.

Lemon Basil Salmon Foil Bake (VIDEO)

This sheet pan lemon basil salmon foil bake is a quick and easy dinner recipe. With only a few minutes of prep time, this healthy meal is sure to please any salmon lover.

A fast sheet pan lemon basil baked salmon recipe with veggies. With only 10 minutes of prep time, this healthy meal is sure to please any salmon lover. #salmon

Easy Sheet Pan Lemon Basil Salmon Foil Bake

Sheet pan Lemon Basil Salmon Foil Bake is perfect for the grill or oven. I’m starting my low carb diet again and made one of my favorite sheet pan lemon basil salmon recipes this weekend that I think you’ll love! Making sheet pan dinners is so easy and perfect for busy week nights.

Salmon is by far my favorite fish. I’m always looking for new ways to cook this flavorful low carb, healthy dish. friend Cate shared this recipe several years ago for one of my free weekly meal plan dinners. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked!

Basil Lemon Salmon Foil Bake - Fast and Easy Dinner Recipe! LivingLocurto.com

Originally published September 2014

Easy No Mess Sheet Pan Dinner!

This delicious baked salmon recipe is fast, easy and since you bake it in foil on a sheet pan, there is no pan to wash! Fresh basil, butter, lemon, asparagus and tomato are a great combination! Feel free to substitute the asparagus for your favorite green vegetable.

I love that it only takes a few steps to make. You can assemble the foil packs ahead of time, then bake when you’re ready for dinner.

Basil Lemon Salmon Foil Bake - Fast and Easy Dinner Recipe! LivingLocurto.com

Why You Should Eat Salmon

When you are feeling sluggish, salmon is the perfect brain food. It’s an excellent source of high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals, but it’s the omega-3 fatty acids that will give you the brain boost. These fatty acids are thought to contribute to healthy brain function,  along with being good for your heart, joints and general wellbeing. Eating fish may reduce the risk of heart disease as well.

Easy Salmon Foil Bake How to Video

Watch the video below to see just how easy it is to make this Basil Lemon Salmon Foil Bake recipe!

 

More Easy Low Carb Recipes For You

 

A fast sheet pan lemon basil baked salmon recipe with veggies. With only 15 minutes of prep time, this healthy meal is sure to please any salmon lover.

Print the Lemon Basil Salmon Foil Bake Recipe

I hope you enjoy this delicious, simple sheet pan basil lemon salmon foil bake recipe! This is one of my go-to low carb recipes when I need something quick and easy.

Lemon Basil Salmon Foil Bake

This sheet pan lemon basil salmon foil bake is a quick and easy low carb dinner recipe. With only 5-10 minutes of prep time, this healthy meal is sure to please any salmon lover.

  • 2-4 Salmon Fillets
  • 1/2 stick softened butter
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil (finely chopped)
  • 1 lemon (sliced)
  • 3 Roma Tomatoes (diced)
  • Fresh Asparagus
  • Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Foil
  1. Preheat oven or grill to 375°
  2. Mix the chopped basil into the softened butter and set aside
  3. Lay out foil for holding individual Salmon fillets. Foil should be about 12-15 inches in length
  4. Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray
  5. Place salmon in the center of the foil, skin side down
  6. Put a spoonful of the basil butter mixture on top of salmon and press down slightly with a spoon along the top of the salmon and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  7. Place 1 lemon slice on top of each salmon fillet
  8. Add 4 asparagus stems to each packet (rub butter mixture on top of asparagus for extra flavor)

  9. Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of the tomatoes on top of lemon layer
  10. Sprinkle with salt to taste and grind fresh pepper over the top
  11. Pull top and bottom of foil up and roll down until it seals in the center. Fold over the sides several time toward the center to seal and form the foil packet.
  12. Place foil packets on a baking sheet or directly on grill and bake for 20 minutes.
  13. Open steaming packets carefully and transfer to plates.

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You might also love these healthy recipes:

A fast sheet pan lemon basil baked salmon recipe with veggies. With only 15 minutes of prep time, this healthy meal is sure to please any salmon lover.

The post Lemon Basil Salmon Foil Bake (VIDEO) appeared first on Living Locurto.

Baked Chicken Greek Salad with Avocado

This simple Baked Chicken Greek Salad with Avocado is a perfect dish to share when watching Mamma Mia! Here we Go Again, now available to own on Digital and available on Blu-ray October 23. A juicy baked chicken recipe and fresh avocado slices loaded onto a homemade Greek salad is an irresistible low carb meal packed with flavor!

Baked Chicken Greek Salad with Avocado. Juicy baked chicken and fresh avocado slices loaded onto a homemade Greek salad is an irresistible low carb recipe packed with flavor!

The Best Baked Chicken Greek Salad with Avocado!

This post is in partnership with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Greek food and ABBA are two of my favorite things! When I was asked if I wanted to share a recipe to help celebrate the Worldwide Phenomenon and Sing-Along event of the year, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Sing-Along EditionI said of course!

Make plans for a Mamma Mia movie night in soon with this amazing recipe for Baked Chicken Greek Salad with Avocado. First of all, this baked chicken is super moist, easy to make and perfect for a healthy Greek Salad. Second, you’ll want to be sure to serve it up while watching Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, which is on digital now and on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 23.

Seriously, this easy baked chicken greek salad is drool worthy don’t you think? I could eat this everyday!!

Baked Chicken Greek Salad with Avocado and fresh vegetables. Juicy chicken and fresh avocado slices loaded onto a Greek salad is a low carb recipe packed with flavor!

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

As soon as this movie came out in the theaters, I was there! Now that it’s on digital, I’m even more excited to watch it again, so I can sing along at home. LOL! If you haven’t seen this cute movie yet, it’s a must! It’s so fun to return to the magical Greek island of Kalokairi with this musical full of ABBA songs.

Baked Chicken Greek Salad Recipe and Baked Chicken Greek Salad Recipe

The original cast returns and I love that Cher makes an appearance! The guys are my favorite though, because I have a crush on Colin Firth. I dream of living on a Greek island running around singing ABBA songs! When I visited Greece, that’s kind of what I did. LOL! Get the film here.

Baked Chicken Greek Salad Recipe and Baked Chicken Greek Salad Recipe

Easy Baked Chicken Greek Salad

Since I don’t live on a Greek island, this yummy Baked Chicken Greek Salad will have to do for now. It’s a twist on the traditional Greek salad. I made a homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing and added avocado. It’s full of flavor and very easy to whip up for dinner or party.

This amazing Baked Chicken Greek Salad with Avocado is amazing! This easy low carb healthy salad recipe makes the BEST dinner. #salad #dinner #recipes #chicken #greeksalad #healthy #lowcarb

Romaine lettuce tossed with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, yellow peppers, olives, red onion and feta cheese makes the most amazing salad! I love the rainbow of colors.

Baked Chicken Greek Salad with Avocado and fresh vegetables recipe.

You don’t have to add chicken to your salad, but it makes more of a hearty meal. This baked chicken recipe is my go-to meal for perfectly moist chicken every time!

First, I marinade the chicken in the dressing, then brown each side over the stove and finally bake in the oven.

Baked Chicken Greek Salad - Easy recipe to bake moist delicious chicken

More Delicious Baked Chicken Recipes:

Adding this delicious baked chicken to your Greek salad is the best and looks beautiful!

Baked Chicken Greek Salad with Avocado Recipe

Before serving, I will pour some of my homemade dressing over the chicken to give it a glossy, even more appetizing look. People will go crazy when they see this dish!

Baked Chicken Greek Salad with homemade dressing and fresh vegetables. Juicy baked chicken and fresh avocado slices loaded onto a Greek salad is a low carb recipe.

Head out to the store to get your ingredients for making this salad and don’t miss the Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Sing-Along Edition, now available on Digital, and on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 23.

Baked Chicken Greek Salad Recipe

Baked Chicken Greek Salad with Avocado

Juicy baked chicken and fresh avocado slices loaded onto a homemade Greek salad is an irresistible low carb recipe packed with flavor!

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper

Greek Salad

  • 2  large skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 4  cups  romaine lettuce leaves (chopped)
  • 1  avocado (sliced)
  • 1 cucumber (halved and sliced)
  • 2  small tomatoes (cut into wedges)
  • 1/2  yellow pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2  red onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Feta cheese (crumbled)
  • 1/4  cup  pitted kalamata olives (sliced)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Fresh ground pepper

Dressing

  1. In a bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar and mustard together.
  2. Slowly add the olive oil and blend.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer to an air tight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Baked Chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of dressing and chicken breasts to a large zipper bag or bowl and toss together.
  3. Lightly coat a baking dish or skillet that is oven and stovetop safe with cooking spray and place the chicken breasts into the dish.
  4. Brown the chicken breasts over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side.
  5. Remove from heat and bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes or until cooked all the way through (meat thermometer should read 165°). If your dish is not oven safe, place chicken into a casserole baking dish before putting in the oven.?Remove from oven, cover the dish with foil for 5 minutes to let the chicken rest before slicing for the salad.

Greek Salad

  1. While the chicken is baking, fill a large bowl with romaine lettuce.
  2. Combine the avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, yellow pepper, onion, Feta and olives.
  3. Squeeze the juice from a lemon wedge over the vegetables.
  4. Add the sliced chicken and sprinkle with fresh pepper to taste.
  5. Drizzle a tablespoon of dressing over the chicken.
  6. Serve this baked chicken greek salad with dressing on the side.

More Amazing Greek Recipes:

The post Baked Chicken Greek Salad with Avocado appeared first on Living Locurto.

The Cheesecake Factory Behind the Scenes

A behind the scenes look at The Cheesecake Factory kitchens. Learn secrets and fun facts about how your food is prepared at one of America’s favorite restaurants!

Get a behind the scenes look at The Cheesecake Factory! I got a VIP tour of the Culinary Center and revealing some top secrets and fun facts about how your food is prepared at one of America's favorite restaurants! Get a sneak peek at the new fall menu recipes and learn how each dish is made fresh from scratch!

In partnership with The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory Behind the Scenes Look

Last week I was invited to California for a private tour of The Cheesecake Factory Culinary Research and Development Center where all recipes are tested and created. Then got a behind the scenes look at one of the restaurant’s kitchens and treated to an amazing lunch to try the new fall menu items. It was an exciting trip and I’m betting you’ll have a whole new outlook on The Cheesecake Factory after you read this!

Get a behind the scenes look at The Cheesecake Factory! I got a VIP tour of the Culinary Center and revealing some top secrets and fun facts about how your food is prepared at one of America's favorite restaurants! Get a sneak peek at the new fall menu recipes with food bloggr Living Locurto

Fun Cheesecake Factory Secrets!

Here’s a fun secret that I never knew about The Cheesecake Factory… EVERY dish on the menu, yes all 250 menu items, are made fresh from scratch in each of the restaurant’s kitchens. Nothing is frozen or pre-made on the menu but the cheesecakes. Each head of lettuce is cut by a person, every eggroll hand rolled and each sauce is made fresh simmering for hours until perfect. For such a large restaurant chain, making the recipes from scratch is unheard of these days and what makes The Cheesecake Factory stand apart from the rest.

It was so much fun being invited for a behind the scenes look at the Culinary Center and having a chance to taste so many recipes!  The incredible aroma as soon as we walked into the kitchens was mouthwatering. Full of beautiful fresh fruits, vegetables, bread baking in the oven, bacon sizzling and amazing sauces I didn’t know if I could make it to lunch! Luckily we got to nibble things as we got the tour. Click here to see my Instagram Story about my trip.

Made fresh from scratch Th Cheesecake Factory Vegetables and sneak peek.

If you don’t know the background story of The Cheesecake Factory, it all started in 1978 when the founder, David Overton, wanted to share his mother’s cheesecake recipes by offering a variety of cheesecake flavors at his small Beverly Hills restaurant. Most people thought it would fail, because who would want different flavors of cheesecake? Fast forward 40 years and The Cheesecake Factory has became one of America’s favorite restaurants.

The founder didn’t know much about the restaurant business when he started and used fresh ingredients with no shortcuts. When he realized there were ways to have food pre-made and shipped, he already had a system that was working and never changed. All recipes are still made fresh from scratch to this day. What an amazing story!

Behind the scenes look at the Cheesecake Factory Culinary Center Kitchens

The Cheesecake Factory VIP Tour

Getting a never before seen look at the Culinary Center kitchens where the recipes are developed was definitely a treat! Donald Moore, Chief Culinary Officer at The Cheesecake Factory gave us a tour and introduced us to his team.  It was evident how much they love their jobs because many have been with the company for 15 years or more. We also got to tour a kitchen of one of the restaurants. The kitchens were so sparkly clean! It was great watching some of our favorite recipes being made from scratch!

Love The Cheesecake Factory? Go behind the scenes to learn top secrets, get a sneak peek at the new fall menu and learn how each dish is made fresh with food blogger, Amy Locurto from LivingLocurto.com

Crispy Brussels Sprouts

The first secret we learned was how they make their amazing Crispy Brussels Sprouts, an amazing new fall menu item. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was, because this is my all-time favorite appetizer! Fried Brussels sprouts and Brussels sprouts leaves tossed in salt, maple butter syrup, and smoky bacon, this dish is to die for! The chefs put so much time and care into each recipe. They actually tried about 500 different kinds of syrup over the years before they picked the perfect one. Wow!

The Cheesecake Factory Crispy Brussels Sprouts Recipe Living Locurto

Cocktails

Even the cocktails are tested daily! It was fun meeting the people who develop the drinks, because I love the Cheesecake Factory’s happy hour. They let me taste test some Passion Fruit Mojitos. I tried three different varieties… 1) mint was muddled 2) mint was torn 3) mint was not muddled or torn. My favorite was the drink with the torn mint. It had just the right amount of mint flavoring. I could really get used to this job!!!

The Cheesecake Factory Cocktails Taste test with food blogger Amy Locurto from LivingLocurto.com

When I told friends I was going on this trip, the most requests were for me to ask them why are there so many choices on the menu? The answer was straight and simple… the founder wanted a place where everyone would enjoy a meal together. His vision was to bring people together, so there would always be something on the menu for everyone. Now you know why the menu is so large. It makes total sense, because you could definitely try something different on each visit!

But what happens to all of that fresh food at the end of the night? I love that it’s donated to local food banks to help the community. Just another bonus of visiting your local Cheesecake Factory more often!

New Fall Menu

We got to try a lot of the new fall menu items and I’m excited to share the photos I took with you today! If you haven’t been to The Cheesecake Factory in a while, check out these amazing recipes below and head over as soon as possible!

 

Favorite Cheesecake Factory Recipes

We tried SO MANY menu items, but I have narrowed it down to my favorites to share with you today!

First, I fell in love with the Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes. These fluffy buttermilk pancakes with Ricotta cheese and lemon zest topped with strawberries is a speciality on their brunch menu that you can’t pass up!

The Cheesecake Factory Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes

 

New this year is a chocolate lover’s dream, Peanut Butter & Banana Waffles. It’s a Belgian waffle covered with peanut butter, fresh banana, Nutella and crispy almond-toffee. Several people thought it was too much, but I could have eaten this entire plate! I’m a crazy chocolate person and there is no such thing as “too much” chocolate for me!

I’m actually going to use this as a bribe for my teenage son who loves chocolate. If he does something good, we’ll have to celebrate with these waffles! ha! He doesn’t like bananas, but that’s no problem because since all dishes are made from scratch in the kitchen, it’s easy to ask for them to modify something for my picky son.

The Cheesecake Factory Peanut Butter & Banana Waffles by Living Locurto

 

The Chipotle Grilled Shrimp Salad is a dish I would probably never think to order, but as soon as they brought it to our table, I knew it would be my new favorite dish! Perfectly grilled shrimp served over warm quinoa with avocado, corn, black beans, peppers, feta cheese with cilantro-lime dressing is so delicious.

The Cheesecake Factory Chipotle Grilled Shrimp Salad

 

The Cajun Jambalaya Pasta has always been my husband’s favorite. Just looking at this photo of shrimp and chicken in a spicy cajun sauce on top of fresh linguini is makes my mouth water! If you’ve never tried this pasta before, you’re missing out!

The Cheesecake Factory Cajun Jambalaya Pasta Recipe Food blogger Tour with Living Locurto

 

I’ve never ordered a Mexican dish at The Cheesecake Factory, but now I’m addicted to these Grilled Steak Tacos! These are SO GOOD! I think the crispy onions on top is what made them so amazing.

The Cheesecake Factory Grilled Steak Tacos Recipe

Take a look at more amazing fall menu recipes that we got to taste. Everything was crazy delicious!

The Cheesecake Factory amazing fall menu recipes

From top to bottom; Almond-Crusted Salmon Salad, Breakfast Tacos, Tuna Poke, Avocado Eggrolls, El Diablo, Roadside Sliders.

Mocktails

If you’re not a drinker, there are some amazing mocktails on the menu now. The Passion Mint Fizz and Citrus Sparkler are pictured below. My daughter would go crazy over these!

The Cheesecake Factory Passion Mint Fizz and Citrus Sparkler Mocktails

New Cheesecake Flavors

We couldn’t end our trip without having some cheesecake! We got to try a few of the newest flavors.

The Cinnabon Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake is layered with Cinnabon cinnamon cheesecake and vanilla crunch cake topped with cream cheese frosting and caramel. I thought it was incredible!

The Cheesecake Factory Cinnabon Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake

I was shocked that I actually liked the Very Cherry Ghirardelli Chocolate Cheesecake the best out of the two! What’s even better is for every slice sold, 25 cents will be donated to Feeding America: the nation’s largest organization dedicated to fighting to domestic hunger through a network of food banks.

The Cheesecake Factory Very Cherry Ghirardelli Chocolate Cheesecake Living Locurto

Thanks to The Cheesecake Factory for inviting me to be a guest on such a fabulous VIP tour and lunch! I hope you enjoyed drooling over some of these amazing fall menu items.

Let me know what dish looks the best to you!

The post The Cheesecake Factory Behind the Scenes appeared first on Living Locurto.

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls + Giveaway

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls are a quick and easy recipe! With only 5 minutes of prep time, these delicious pizza rolls are made with pizza dough and filled with pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, Italian spices and topped with garlic butter. Dip these pizza rolls in marinara sauce for the perfect dinner or serve at your next party!

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls with pizza dough filled with pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, Italian spices! Easy dinner, party food or kids snack!

Easy Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls are my go to easy recipe when I need something fast! These pizza rolls made with pizza dough filled with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese are a crowd pleaser and easy to whip up for dinner, game days or for kids to make on their own. Since my daughter doesn’t like tomatoes, we leave out any sauce and use our favorite marinara sauce for dipping. It never fails to be the most asked for recipe in my home!

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls with pizza dough filled with pepperoni, mozzarella cheese. Dip in marinara sauce for an easy dinner, party food or kids snack!

Pizza Rolls + 10 Years of Blogging

This summer was my 10 year blogging anniversary and I can’t believe I haven’t put these yummy Pepperoni Pizza Rolls here until now! I have written lots of articles about pizza, but completely forgot to share our most favorite recipe of them all! We do so much at home and I often forget to share. Ha!

I’m just so happy to have been able to have been creating fun ideas for this website for 10 years now! To celebrate, I’m hosting a fun Amazon gift card giveaway along with sharing our favorite pizza rolls recipe. Thank you for reading and following along!

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls + Giveaway

10 awesome memories to celebrate 10 years!

1) I truly can’t believe it, but nearly a million people have viewed this recipe. Never would have thought that would be possible back in 2008!

2) I remember being SO EMBARRASSED to share this, but turns out it has helped millions of people!

3) After getting a dozen questions a week from my kids about the Elf on the Shelf, I wrote this article for other parents and can’t believe how many times it’s been shared all around the internet! It still makes me laugh. Ha!

4) Did you know this printable started it all? I designed this for my son and shared it on my new blog, then a few days later the idea got shared like crazy. That was when I realized my creative ideas might help others, so I began sharing more eventually turning my blog into a full-time business. So cool!

5) My daughter grew up on my blog and this was the first craft she created and filmed all on her own. It’s gaining on being THE MOST POPULAR creative idea on my website! So proud of her!

6) When I got my Instant Pot, I discovered you could do this. Hundreds of thousands of people have visited this recipe after I shared my tips. WOW!!

7) These cute no-bake cookies have definitely been one of my most popular desserts and my personal favorite. I have loved seeing so many reader’s photos of them!

8) I’m most proud of this adorable recipe creation because it’s popularity encouraged me to do more food ideas on my blog. I have received more photos from readers who made this than any other recipe. So fun!!

9) This was my VERY FIRST video I made for my Youtube channel. It’s still a super popular recipe to this day!

10) As the years went by, my passion for travel grew. I began to write travel tips and this is still my most visited travel article to one of our favorite places ever!

Thank you so much for reading Living Locurto! I hope you enjoy this giveaway and simple Pepperoni Pizza Rolls recipe which is one of my family’s favorite meals. xoxo ~ Amy

Giveaway Time!

To celebrate 10 years of blogging, I’m giving away one of my most favorite printable party collections and a $100 Amazon gift card!!!

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls and Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

 

PLEASE READ –  How to Enter

To enter to win the Amazon Gift card:

Fill out my survey and come back to this post to leave a comment letting me know you did and finish this sentence…

I would put __________ in my pizza rolls.

–> EVERYONE gets my party collection as a FREE gift just for filling out THIS SURVEY. <–

Giveaway ends August 24, 2018 – Must be 18 or over to enter to win.

 

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls Recipe

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls with pizza dough filled with pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, Italian spices! Dip in marinara sauce for an easy dinner, party food or kids snack!

  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 25 pepperoni slices
  • 1 1/2 cups Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups Marinara dipping sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degree
  2. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and roll pizza crust into a large rectangle (about 14×9) and bake for 5 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl mix melted butter and garlic.
  4. Remove pizza crust from oven, let cool for a minute. Use a spatula to unstick crust from pan.
  5. Brush garlic butter over the crust. Reserve a small bit for later.
  6. Layer the pepperoni and cheese onto the pizza crust and sprinkle with basil and oregano.
  7. Gently roll the pizza crust and coat the top with reserved garlic butter.
  8. Bake 8-10 minutes more or until golden brown.
  9. Slice and serve with warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls with pizza dough filled with pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, Italian spices! Dip in marinara sauce for an easy dinner, party food or kids snack! Kids love this recipe.

 

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Honey Lime Baked Chicken

These amazingly easy Honey Lime Baked Chicken Breasts are so moist and juicy! If you make this recipe, you’re guaranteed to enjoy a delicious dinner in less than 30 minutes. Bonus, it’s a flavorful low carb meal the whole family will love! Easy Honey Lime Baked Chicken Breasts I have finally made one of the […]

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Crispy Oven Baked Chicken

An easy crispy oven baked chicken recipe! Only 10 minutes of prep time for healthy oven fried chicken. Kids will absolutely love these easy crispy chicken strips.

Easy crispy oven baked chicken recipe your family will love for dinner! Only 10 minutes of prep time for healthy oven fried chicken!

Crispy oven baked chicken is a family favorite!

Getting stumped for dinner ideas? With just a few ingredients, this simple crispy oven baked chicken recipe hits the spot! I love experimenting with chicken recipes! From baked chicken rolls, chicken enchiladas, and Instant Pot lemon garlic chicken, I can’t decide which would be my favorite recipe. This is definitely one of my top picks.

My family loves all kinds of chicken recipes, but this crispy oven baked chicken is always their favorite. It’s a classic oven fried chicken recipe and perfect for picky eaters, which describes my kids to a tee! Skip going out for chicken nuggets and make this healthy homemade version.

Originally Published November 18, 2013

Healthy crispy oven baked chicken your family will love for dinner! Make chicken nuggets for kids.

I started making this for my son way back when he was in kindergarten. All he would eat was chicken nuggets and hot dogs then, so I had to try something healthier than fast food nuggets! I was thrilled when he was happy eating my homemade version.

Make your family happy too with this quick and easy chicken recipe. If you have picky kids like me, believe me, you’ll love this one! Kids will love if you make chicken nuggets or strips for dipping. Serve this crispy chicken with your favorite vegetables and homemade sweet potato chips.

More delicious chicken recipes to try:

How to make Crispy Oven Baked Chicken

Only 10 minutes of prep time for healthy oven baked chicken! It’s one of my favorite recipes. I hope your family likes it as much as mine does.

Easy crispy oven baked chicken recipe your family will love for dinner! Only 10 minutes of prep time for healthy oven fried chicken! Make nuggets for kids or strips for dipping. #chicken

Easy Oven Baked Chicken Recipe

Crispy Oven Baked Chicken

Easy crispy oven baked chicken recipe your family will love for dinner! Only 10 minutes of prep time for healthy oven fried chicken!

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite size pieces or strips)
  • 3 cups Corn Chex cereal (crushed)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 2 tablespoons low fat milk
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with oil.
  3. Place Cereal, Parmesan, salt, garlic powder, and paprika into a gallon zip lock bag.
  4. Mix milk and butter into a small bowl.
  5. Dip half of the chicken into the milk and butter
  6. Put chicken into the bag and shake it to coat all of the chicken. (Make sure to seal the bag!)
  7. Place chicken on baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the chicken.
  8. Bake for 14-16 minutes, turning chicken over halfway through.
  9. Serve Crispy Oven Baked Chicken with your favorite dipping sauce.

What is your go-to recipe for family dinners?

Don’t miss out on my free weekly meal plans for more great recipe ideas!

Get Free Meal Plans! 6 Months worth of dinner recipes with free printable grocery lists.

You might also enjoy these amazing chicken recipes:

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