Italian Beef Pizza




Forget the same old delivery pizza – make an Italian Beef Pizza for dinner instead!

This dinner is really a two for one recipe.

One being the Italian beef that your going to make in your slow cooker. Lipton onion soup mix, beef broth, beer and some seasonings and just let it cook all day.




That night you can grab some rolls and have Italian beef sandwiches for dinner. Add some mozzarella cheese, peppers, some of the gravy for dipping and some fries.

There’s nothing better in my book.

You can even have those sandwiches a couple of nights if you want – I know we did. And there was also the addition of shredded beef in someones omelet the next morning.

But you guys get it, you can do a lot with this shredded beef recipe.

And then when leftovers get boring…

You’re gonna put it on a pizza! Just grab a store bought pizza dough and let it come to room temperature for a few minutes. Roll it out and then put it on a greased baking sheet. Press it out to the sides and bake it for 5 minutes in a 400º oven.

Take it out and cover the pizza crust with mozzarella cheese…




Then a couple of cups of the leftover shredded beef…




And then some peppers. Because we all know you need the peppers for an Italian Beef sandwich – so you have to have them for this Italian Beef Pizza. Christie is originally from Chicago where the Italian Beef Sandwich rules and she says this recipe tastes just like that sandwich in pizza form.

I’ve never had an Italian Beef Sandwich in Chicago but after eating this pizza, I think I’m going to need to get myself one soon. 




Then put it in the oven to bake for about 15-20 minutes. You want the cheese to be bubbling and the crust to be slightly brown on the bottom.

We made this Italian Beef Pizza recipe three times just to make sure it was right.

3 times. But we do like our pizza around here.

The last time we made it for an appetizer for the rum tasting party, along with many, many other apps., and it was a big hit. I think we probably could have served two of these and we would have been good to go.

If you’re looking for a recipe that you can make on the weekend and eat for a few dinners during the week – this is definitely the one.

The possibilities with this shreded beef are pretty endless…

But this pizza is definitely my favorite one.




Italian Beef Pizza
The shredded beef alone for dinner will serve 6-8. You'll need 2-3 cups of shredded beef leftover to make the pizza. If using this recipe for sandwiches, make sure you have at least 8 sub rolls on hand and any extra toppings you'd want for the sandwiches.
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For the Shredded Beef
  1. 4 lbs. beef rump roast
  2. 2 packages Lipton Onion Soup Mix
  3. 2 t. sugar
  4. 2 t. salt
  5. 1 1/2 t. fresh grated black pepper
  6. 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  7. 4 c. beef broth
  8. 1 bottle of beer
For the pizza
  1. 1 ball store-bought pizza dough
  2. 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  3. 1 c. sliced Mezzetta Deli-Sliced pepper rings
  4. 1 c. sliced roasted red peppers
  5. 2-3 c. leftover shredded beef
  1. To make the shredded beef, add all the ingredients to your slow cooker and turn on high for 8 hours.
  2. Remove the roast from the slow cooker and shred with two forks, then place back in the slow cooker with all the juice.
For the Pizza
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Take the pizza dough out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for 15 minutes.
  3. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  4. Roll the pizza dough out into a rectangle shape on a floured board, then place it into the sheet pan and spread it out to the corners of the pan.
  5. Bake for 5 minutes until slightly browned.
  6. Remove from the oven and top with 1 cup of the cheese.
  7. Add the shredded beef (squeezed out of any juices) into a single layer on top of the cheese, then add the sliced peppers.
  8. Top with the other cup of cheese and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbling and the crust is brown on the bottom.

Buffalo Chicken Dip




I’m getting my menu ready for Superbowl Sunday with this kicked up Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe!

Chips and dip are usually on the list for the football game, not just one but as many as we can make.

Buffalo Chicken Dip is always a hit with everyone, but when you add jalapeño cream cheese…it’s turns into something even better.

I’m always at the grocery store. I mean – all the time. Between the normal cooking that we do for our family and the cooking we do for Mantitlement, there always seems to be something we’re out of.

I don’t mind going though. A lot of the time going to the store and looking around gives me ideas for new things to make. Like when I saw this Philadelphia Jalapeño Cream Cheese I knew I had to grab it.

The first thing that came to mind was making an extra spicy buffalo chicken dip.

I was actually picking up cream cheese (on the list) for my little guy. He loves it with pretzels or an a bagel…but my older son won’t touch it. It’s great when they like different things isn’t it? One wants one thing – the other wants something else.

And nope – neither of them wanted this Buffalo Chicken Dip when it was done. Sometimes that’s good too – more spicy chicken dip for me!

Start off with some shredded chicken, cheese, sour cream and you spicy cream cheese…



Mix it all together with a half of a cup of Frank’s Red Hot sauce. I know what you’re thinking – that’s a lot of hot sauce – it is but I’m telling you, it works.

Even with the jalapeño cream cheese.

Put your mixture in an oven proof dish and cover with the shredded cheese. You might want to place it on top of a sheet pan in case some cheese melts over the side like mine did.

Bake it, grab a bag of tortilla chips and then start dipping.

Or dunking. Or scooping. However you can get it in your mouth – it’s spicy, cheesy and awesome.

Not that I think you wouldn’t…but make sure you have lots of ice cold beer on hand for this one!





Buffalo Chicken Dip
Serves 4-6 for appetizers
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  1. 2 c. shredded chicken
  2. 4 oz. Philadelphia Jalapeño Cream Cheese, softened
  3. 1/2 c. sour cream
  4. 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
  5. 1/2 c. Frank's Red Hot Sauce (this is a milder hot sauce, if you have another kind start with 1/4 cup)
  6. 1 bag tortilla chips
  1. Add the cream cheese, sour cream, and hot sauce to a large bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Stir in the shredded chicken and then pour into an oven safe baking dish.
  3. Top with shredded cheese and bake at 425º for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping.

Coconut Chicken Meatballs




These Coconut Chicken Meatballs are crispy and fried perfectly, just the way fried food should be.

The first thing about fried food is that it needs to be crispy.

Soggy fried food is bad.

One of the things I’ve learned since cooking in the last year is how to fry something the right way. I had no idea before that there was a right way and a wrong way to fry, but I guess there’s a right and wrong way to do just about anything.

Here’s how it goes…

Start heating up your pot with oil over medium heat. If you have a thermometer that clips on the side of your pot it’s ideal for this recipe. These meatballs fry at a lower temperature than most deep fry recipes. You want the chicken to cook through (obviously) but not burn the coconut in the breading.

Mix up the filling for the meatballs and let the mixture sit in the fridge for a couple of hours to let the flavors all come together.

I used a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop to and I ended up with about 24 meatballs. I emptied the scoop right into my coconut/breadcrumb mixture and tossed it around before I picked it up. A lot less messier meatball rolling that way.




Once the oil gets to about 325 degrees add in your first batch of meatballs. Usually you would fry at a little higher temperature but you don’t want the coconut to burn so I knocked the heat down just a little.

Give them 5 minutes, turning them around about halfway through.

Drain the fried meatballs on paper towel lined plates and start your next batch. You might have to wait until your oil comes to temperature again to start frying…just be patient.

You have that whole batch you just cooked to snack on while you’re waiting.

Try out these Coconut Chicken meatballs for dinner or you next party – don’t be afraid of the deep fry, just deep fry right.

There’s even a healthy slice of pineapple on top for you.




Coconut Chicken Meatballs
Makes about 24 meatballs
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  1. 1 lb. ground chicken
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1/4 c. crushed pineapple, drained (reserving juice from can)
  4. 3/4 c. regular breadcrumbs
  5. 1/2 t. garlic powder
  6. 1/2 t. onion powder
  7. 3/4 t. salt
  8. 2 T. reserved pineapple juice
  9. 1/2 c. flour
  10. 1 c. panko breadcrumbs
  11. 1 c. coconut flakes (sweetened)
  12. 1 t. coconut extract
  13. vegetable or canola oil for frying
  1. Mix the ground chicken, 1 egg, crushed pineapple, breadcrumbs, garlic and onion powders, salt and the pineapple juice together in a bowl.
  2. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Set a large pot filled halfway with oil to heat over medium heat.
  4. While the oil is heating start scooping out the meatballs.
  5. Set out 3 bowls for coating the meatballs.
  6. One with the other egg mixed with the coconut extract and 1 T. of water.
  7. Another with the flour and another with the panko breadcrumbs and coconut flakes combined together.
  8. Using a 1 1/2 T. scoop, portion out a meatball and dip it first in the flour, shaking off any excess, then in the egg and then in the panko/coconut mixture.
  9. Place on a sheet tray or a board and repeat with the remaining mixture.
  10. Once the oil comes to 325 degrees carefully place in your first batch of meatballs.
  11. How many meatballs per fry will depend on the size pot your using, just be sure not to overcrowd your pot of oil.
  12. Fry the meatballs for 5 minutes, then remove one and cut into it to make sure the mixture is coked through. If it's not, give them another minute and check again.
  13. Place the meatballs on a plate lined with paper towels and repeat until all the meatballs are fried.
  14. Serve with toothpicks and a piece of pineapple for appetizers or serve for dinner with fries or rice.
  1. You can keep these meatballs in the oven at 250º for up to an hour.

Chicken Marsala Mac and Cheese



This Chicken Marsala Mac and Cheese is my idea of what mac and cheese should be all about!

I love chicken marsala. It’s definitely one of my favorite dinners so I like to try and work the flavors into other dishes like my Chicken Marsala Alfredo that I did a while back. This is similar to that – but in macaroni and cheese form.

This Chicken Marsala Mac and Cheese takes a little time to put together but I can tell you that it’s worth it. And it feeds a crowd – at least 6 if not 8 people. Especially if you’re serving it with a side salad and bread.

You can use rotisserie chicken to speed this up a little, or roast off a few chicken breasts in the oven for 20-25 minutes and then shred them into big bite-sized pieces.

Boil up a pound of pasta, I really like a cut called pipette but you can use whatever short tube pasta shape you like.

Start off the sauce by melting a few tablespoons of butter in a large pot. Add in sliced mushrooms and some salt and pepper and cook the mushrooms until they are browned, about 10 minutes.

Next you’re going to add in some onion and garlic, cook that up a few minutes and then throw in some flour.

Stir the flour and the mushroom mixture until it’s all well coated and then let it cook while stirring for about 5 minutes. You’re pot will turn pretty brown like this…



Then add in the marsala wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the brown stuff off the bottom as the wine cooks down.

Pour in 3 1/2 cups of milk, whisk it together so there’s no lumps from the flour and then let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Add in shredded muenster cheese, dijon mustard and the worcestershire sauce.

All that’s left to do is add your cooked pasta and the shredded chicken.




Taste it again for seasoning and then add in a bunch of crispy pancetta.

So the big taste test…serve it up to the boys for dinner. Not everything we make goes over good but this one was a hit. They both loved it.

My little guy actually said it was the best macaroni and cheese he ever had. Now I’m not sure what we’re going to do with all the store-bought blue boxes of mac and cheese.

I hope this Chicken Marsala Mac and Cheese becomes one of your families favorites too!





Chicken Marsala Mac and Cheese
Serves 6
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  1. 3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you can substitute rotisserie chicken)
  2. 1 lb. pipette noodles, or any short-tube pasta you like
  3. 10 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  4. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1/2 c. onion, chopped
  6. 1/2 t. garlic powder
  7. 3 1/2 c. whole milk
  8. 1/3 c. flour
  9. 1/2 c. marsala wine plus 2 T., separated
  10. 4 oz. pancetta, diced and cooked until crispy and drained of any grease
  11. 4 c. muenster cheese, shredded
  12. 4 T. butter
  13. 1 t. salt
  14. 1/2 t. fresh ground black pepper
  15. 1 T. fresh thyme, stemmed and chopped
  16. 1 t. dijon mustard
  17. 1 t. worcestershire sauce
  1. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees until no longer pink inside.
  2. When cool enough, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, start a large pot of water to boil and cook your pasta for 8 minutes, just a little under cooked.
  4. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  5. In a large pot, melt the butter and add the sliced mushrooms.
  6. Cook for 7-8 minutes, then add the onion and garlic.
  7. Add the flour to the pan and stir for 3-4 minutes until he flour has cooked out.
  8. Pour in the marsala wine and scrape up the browned parts on the bottom of the pan.
  9. Add in the milk, whisking while pouring.
  10. Whisk the mixture well and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.
  11. Next add in the salt, pepper, garlic powder, mustard, worcestershire sauce and fresh thyme.
  12. Add the cheese to the pot by handfuls, stirring after each time to make sure the cheese is blended into the sauce well.
  13. Then start adding in the shredded chicken and your cooked pasta.
  14. Pour in the 2 extra tablespoons of marsala and stir once more.
  15. Stir until the chicken and pasta are well incorporated into the sauce and then top with the crispy pancetta.

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions are mine alone. #WarmthInACrust #CollectiveBias



This Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing is just the right side dish to go with your Marie Callender’s Pot Pie for dinner!

Pot pies are usually a special occasion dinner for us. It’s a long process to get a good homemade pot pie on the table.

Starting with making a pastry crust, roasting the chicken, making the filling and then baking for an hour or so…

So I was really excited to get the chance to go to Walmart and grab a few Marie Callender’s Pot Pies to try for dinner – there’s got to be an easier way, right?




Coming up with a side dish to serve was pretty easy, we always make a big salad. Salad is not high on my list of comfort foods – not like a pot pie with a golden flakey crust…nope. I’ll take one scoop of salad and the rest of my plate is the pot pie.

But this Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing is different. It’s a salad that IS comfort food! Bacon, chopped eggs, sauteed mushrooms and fresh spinach with a warm bacon dressing made right in your cast iron skillet.

And did I mention that there’s bacon drippings in the dressing? No need for olive oil, just use some of that bacon grease left from cooking up your bacon. I didn’t say this was a diet salad, I said a comfort food salad.

That’s a salad I can get into.

You’re just going to get a few of the salad toppings together first…



For the dressing, add some sugar, dijon mustard, and a little salt and pepper into the skillet you cooked the bacon in and start whisking. Then get ready, because once you add in the vinegar you’ll get a whole bunch of smoke and bubbles…just keep whisking.




That’s it. Dressing done.

Pour over your spinach salad and toss it all together.

Serve it up next to your smoking hot Marie Callender’s Pot Pie and I’d say that’s a quick and easy comfort food dinner.

Marie Callender’s is also launching their Comforts From Home Program, a program they’ve designed to help support our United States Military.

Every time you enter a code from a specially marked package of Marie Callender’s meals or desserts, Marie Callender’s will make a donation to USO2GO, a USO program that brings electronics, sports gear, books, games, and more to troops stationed in remote locations.

Now that a good reason to grab some pot pies if I ever heard one.

Visit Marie Callander’s for more information on their products and recipes…you can also check out their Facebook page for other great dessert and dinner ideas.

And don’t forget the salad!




Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
Serves 4
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  1. 10 oz. bag of pre-washed baby spinach
  2. 16 oz. white mushrooms, sliced
  3. 1/2 lb. bacon
  4. 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  5. 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
For the Dressing
  1. 3 T. reserved bacon grease
  2. pinch of salt
  3. 2 t. sugar
  4. 3 T. champagne vinegar
  5. 2 t. dijon mustard
  6. 4-5 grinds of fresh black pepper
  1. Place the spinach in a large salad bowl.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp.
  3. Drain the bacon on a plate lined with paper towels.
  4. Once the bacon has cooled, chop into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Reserve the bacon drippings from the skillet in a bowl and set aside.
  6. Add 1 T. of bacon drippings back to the skillet and add in the sliced mushrooms.
  7. Season with 1/4 t. salt and 1/4 t. black pepper and cook until browned, about 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.
  9. To the same skillet, add in the sliced red onion with another tablespoon of the bacon drippings.
  10. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes, then remove to a bowl.
  11. Add the bacon, mushrooms, red onion and chopped eggs to the bowl with the spinach.
  12. Now for the dressing, heat up the skillet over medium-high heat and add 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings.
  13. Next add in the sugar, dijon mustard, salt and pepper and whisk until combined.
  14. Carefully add in the vinegar, whisking until the dressing is thick.
  15. Shut off the heat and let the dressing sit for 2-3 minutes.
  16. Pour the dressing over the spinach salad and toss well.