Tag Archives: FAST

Healthy Cheeseburger Pasta

I have a dirty little secret, when I lived at my parents house, my mom would make Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper and I loved it.  I’m not sure my dad was wild about it and my husband isn’t wild about it (I’m certain it has something to do with not cooking and sometimes trying to get in and out of the kitchen as fast as possible, they don’t do it so they don’t understand!)  I haven’t had it in years cause I know it’s not healthy or good for you, so I just don’t buy it, but I still love it!

When I created this recipe, I had no idea how much it would taste like that dish.  I love butternut squash and sweet potatoes, but I not crazy about sweet dishes, despite all the desserts on this site.  And this recipe doesn’t make the butternut squash sweet it’s just savory tasting, and it’s just good!! Kids will love it and only you know it’s good for them.

It takes me right back to living at home having Hamburger Helper but this ones healthy and good for you, with real cheese, turkey burger, rotini noodles and some pasta water to make the sauce…. it’s so good, and good for you, but probably not if you eat it all at one sitting and I could have without any problems!


Start out roasting some butternut squash with some olive oil, salt and pepper



Meanwhile that’s in the oven, boil some noodles and saute some garlic in another pan, then add the turkey burger

When the squash is done, add it to the hamburger mixture and when the noodles are almost done, drain them in a colander with a bowl under it to catch the water and add the noodles to the pan with the hamburger and squash.  Stir in parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese and at least a cup of the pasta water





I baked mine in the oven, but you could just melt the cheese while it’s on the stove, but I had a new pan that will go from the stove to the oven and I wanted to try it out… sue me I was just showing off my new bling!

If at the end, it needs more creaminess add more pasta water… It’s so good!

You can mash the squash up more if you have picky eaters, but in my house this is a hit just the way it is! Or you could use a food processor or blender and add the pasta water and the squash and no one will know what it is…..


Healthy Cheeseburger Pasta

2 1/2 to 3 cups of Butternut Squash, cubed

1 lb. ground turkey

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 box  Rotini Pasta or other short cut pasta

1 to 2 cups of reserved pasta water

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

1/4 cup mozzarella Cheese

Olive oil, salt & pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees and on a rimmed baking sheet(you can line it if you want for easier clean up) drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper.  Roast squash for 15 minutes, turn and check after another 15 minutes to see if it’s tender, if it is then it’s done, if not continue to roast for a few more minutes.  Meanwhile cook pasta according to directions and in another pan, add a TBSP of olive oil and garlic, cook for a minute, then add ground turkey and cook turkey until it’s done.

When the pasta is done, drain in colander over a bowl and add pasta and roasted squash to pan with ground turkey.  Stir together, mashing the squash if desired and add a 1/2 to 1 of the pasta water and add cheeses.  Stir together and taste, add additional salt and pepper to taste, if it’s too thick add additional pasta water. You can melt cheese while on the stove top or in the oven.









Italian Grilled Chicken with Grilled Veggie Salad

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There’s just something that when the weather turns warm, it makes me want to grill something healthy on Sunday night.  I’ve usually overindulged over weekend, so by Sunday, I’m ready to rein it in for little while.  Plus when I cook something healthy on Sunday, I have a healthy lunch ready for Monday.  I’ve always liked chicken breast with Italian dressing seasoning sprinkled on it marinading in the mix, olive oil and vinegar, but what to do when you don’t have one of those little packets…. come up with your own!

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Sunday afternoon, I took olive oil, white vinegar, oregano leaves, garlic sliced up and salt and pepper and marinated the chicken breast in it for a few hours.  When I got ready to grill, I cut up zucchini, peppers, onion, garlic add a little olive oil, salt and pepper and popped them on the grill when I put the chicken on.

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While everything was grilling up I made a dressing similar to what I saw Clinton Kelly make on the Chew.  He did a mixture of mayo, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.  I went with mayo, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and this creamy dressing was beyond good.  I’d never used mayo for a salad dressing, I always use mustard, so it was a nice change that I’ll be using a lot in the future.

grill chicken & veggie salad 033It’s a pretty little pink dressing! And it packs a lot of flavor.

Italian Grilled Chicken with Grill Veggie Salad

1 lb. chicken breast

3 TBSP. olive oil

3 TBSP. white vinegar

1 clove garlic, sliced

1 TBSP. oregano

Combine the above ingredients in a Ziploc bag along with a little salt and pepper and marinade for 3 or 4 hours.

Before grilling the chicken, cut up

1 medium zucchini

1 onion

1 bell pepper

2 cloves of garlic

Put veggies in a foil tray or tin foil tray, sprinkle with salt, pepper and drizzle a little olive oil on them.

On a medium hot grill add your chicken and veggies.  Cook everything 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is done.

Dressing for the veggies

1 TBSP. Red wine vinegar

1 TBSP. lite mayo

1 clove of garlic

1 tsp. oregano

salt and pepper

Combine in a jar and shake and pour over the warm veggies when they come off the grill.

Grilled Pork Chops and Veggie with Pineapple Salsa


This was the meal we opened the grill up with this year. Light, healthy and so flavorful! I love salsa, they pack a big punch of flavor without a lot of calories. And this salsa I made was with canned fruit, so it’s easy and cheap! Plus no peeling a pineapple, trying to get the core out and making a mess, thank you canned pineapple!

I made the salsa first.  I drained the pineapple but saved the juice because I used it in the marinade for the pork, waste not, want not!

I mixed the pineapple with some jalapeno pepper and onion.  I used 1/2 the pepper in the marinade for the pork and the rest in the salsa. The red onion I used 1/4 in the salsa and the rest in the grill veggies I made to go along with the pork, so you won’t waste anything making this recipe. Add a little lime juice and salt and pepper and salsa made! I used the tidbit pineapple so no chopping the pineapple up!


The pork marinated in the pineapple juice, lime juice, jalapeno pepper slices and sprinkled the pork with cumin, red pepper, oregano, salt and pepper.


Everything marinated for about 4 or 5 hours, then off to the grill


I just combined some veggies in disposal trays for our sides and this is a great thing to do with kids, my daughter doesn’t like peppers, so I made mine with peppers, onions, zucchini, garlic and tomatoes and I made hers with onions, zucchini, garlic and mushrooms, so everyone can customize them the way you want.  Just add a little olive oil, salt and pepper and throw them on the grill with everything else.


Grill Pork Chops with Veggies and Pineapple Salsa

4 boneless pork chops

1/4 cup of lime juice

pineapple juice from the canned pineapple you use in the salsa

1/2 a jalapeno pepper sliced

4 TBSP. olive oil

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. oregano

1/4 tsp. red pepper

salt & pepper

Mix together spices and sprinkle over pork chops, then in a ziplock bag combine juices, jalapeno and oil and place the pork chops in and marinade for 4 to 8 hours.


1/2 can of drained tidbit pineapple

1/2 jalapeno, seeded and de-ribbed and dice finely

1 TBSP. diced red onion

1 TBSP. lime juice

salt & pepper

Combine everything and refrigerate until you serve the pork chops

After the pork has marinated on a medium hot grill, cook pork chops for 5 to 6 minutes per side until thermometer reads 160.

This recipe was shared at The Country Cooks Potluck Party