I should declare this week cheesy-pasta week. We have this amazing-ness from last week, plus this recipe here…and another super smooth and tasty homemade mac n cheese recipe coming on Friday. Cheese…I love love love cheese. And I love making ...


Bacon Carbonara and more...

Bacon Carbonara

Bacon Carbonara Recipe from 5DollarDinners.com

I should declare this week cheesy-pasta week. We have this amazing-ness from last week, plus this recipe here…and another super smooth and tasty homemade mac n cheese recipe coming on Friday. Cheese…I love love love cheese. And I love making homemade cheese sauce for pasta!!!

This is a simpler homemade cheesy pasta…this is an eggy-cheesy carbonara sauce that coats and covers the hot, hot pasta! Be sure to read the recipe closely, if you’ve never made a carbonara – it’s super easy, I promise!


And be on the lookout for more cheesy fun later this week!!!


Note: There is a print link embedded within this post, please visit this post to print it.

Bacon Carbonara

Yield – 6 servings

Preparation Time – 5 minutes

Cooking Time – 25 minutes


  • 12 oz bacon
  • 12 oz spaghetti
  • 2 eggs
  • 10 oz Parmesan, grated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh veggies, as side dish


  • Cook the bacon until crispy. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
  • Cook the spaghetti according to package directions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, stir together the eggs and parmesan in a large bowl.
  • Once the pasta is done, drain immediately and quickly add to the egg and cheese mixture in the bowl. Stir vigorously to cook the eggs with the very hot pasta. Add salt and pepper liberally to taste.
  • Prepare fresh veggies.
  • Serve Bacon Carbonara hot with a side of veggies.



Cuban Black Beans


I adore Caribbean food. I’m not sure if it’s because I lived in the Caribbean (specifically the Dominican Republic) for 6 years. Or because I love Latin food in general. Or because I love Tex-Mex food. Or because I just love food.

It’s probably all of the above…but mainly the Caribbean living part.

I also love rich and flavorful rice and beans meals like this one because they are cheap, hearty and fill up all my boys’ tummies.

This recipe cooks the black beans from scratch…because…that’s how they cook them in Cuba and the rest of the Caribbean. I would spent at least 10 minutes sorting beans every time I cooked them in the DR. I would find rocks, pebbles, small chunks of dirt and big chunks of dirt. They weren’t nearly as ‘clean’ as the packs of dry beans I find now in the US.

The black beans soak in the flavors from the green pepper, onion, cilantro and Jerk seasoning as they slow cook in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. If you’ve never cooked dry beans before, check out this how to cook dried beans post.

Yes, you could substitute 4 cans of black beans for the 1 lb. dry black beans…BUT…it’s just not the same!

With a recipe like this, you’ll have yourself an amazing dinner for “rice and beans” night or “meatless Monday!”


Get more “Rice and Beans Budget Recipes” here.

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Cuban Black Beans

Yield – 6 to 8 servings

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Caribbean Jerk seasoning (or less if you don’t want any kick at all)
  • 1 lb. dry black beans
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Brown or white rice, as side dish
  • Fresh veggies, as side dish


  • In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and saute the chopped red onion, chopped bell pepper, minced garlic with the Jerk seasoning for 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the dry beans, chicken stock plus 6 cups hot water.
  • Bring to bubbling, then float in the cilantro sprigs and pour in the vinegar and brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper and bring to boil over medium heat. Cover and simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Cook another 15 minutes, if the beans aren’t soft yet. Once beans are softened, remove the cilantro sprigs and spoon over rice.
  • Cook rice, as directed.
  • Prepare veggies.
  • Serve Cuban Black Beans and Rice with veggies.



Honey Mustard Chicken


Your new family favorite dinner awaits…

This is one of our new MyFreezEasy freezer friendly meals and one of the featured meals into the build your own meal plan recipe database. Check it out here!

Note: There is a print link embedded within this post, please visit this post to print it.

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 40 minutes


  • 4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbsp minced onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
  • Fresh veggies, as side dish
  • Dinner rolls, as side dish


  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • To glass baking dish, add the chicken breasts and sprinkle minced onion, salt and pepper over top of the chicken.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, yellow mustard and vinegar. Pour over the top of the chicken.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Cooking time may vary depending on thickness of the chicken.
  • Serve Baked Honey Mustard Chicken.
  • To Freeze: Make the honey mustard marinade, add the chicken into plastic baggie or glass container and pour the marinade over the chicken. Freeze, thaw and bake as directed.




Chicken Alfredo Pasta Casserole with Bacon and Peas

Chicken Alfredo Pasta Casserole from 5DollarDinners.com

Pasta + Alfredo + Bacon. This combo makes for a magical dinner!

Throw in some chicken and peas and you’ve got yourself an amazing meal for the family. When people ask me how I’m going to afford feeding 4 teenage boys, I immediately think of meals like this that are hearty, filling and loaded with both carbs and protein. If I were ever to release a cookbook about feeding teenage boys on a budget, this would be the lead recipes in the pasta chapter 😉

Hope you enjoy this creamy pasta delicious-ness!

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Chicken Alfredo Pasta Casserole with Bacon and Peas

Yield – 8 servings

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 60 minutes


  • 12 oz. ziti pasta
  • Olive oil, to coat pasta
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, cut into chunks
  • 15 oz. can English peas, drained


  • Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss with a little olive oil. Set aside until sauce is ready.
  • Cook the bacon on the stovetop over medium heat until crispy. Remove from stove and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
  • In the saucepan with the bacon drippings, cook the chicken over medium heat until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Let the chicken rest a few minutes on a cutting board. Cut into chunks and set aside.
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In the same pan where you cooked the chicken, add the garlic and cook the garlic for about 2 minutes on medium heat. Pour in the cream and reduce heat. Stir until the cream comes to a very gentle simmer. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and cream cheese. Stir until creamy and completely melted.
  • Pour the pasta into a casserole dish. Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir to combine. Sprinkle with chicken, bacon, and English peas. Bake for about 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.
  • Serve Chicken Alfredo Pasta Casserole hot.

Shredded Beef Oven Tacos


This right here is the perfect example of a “leftovers makeover.”

Not long ago, I made a giant beef roast. I found it on sale and I planned on slow cooking it so that I could make roast/potatoes/carrots for meal #1 and tacos for meal #2. I was planning on soft tacos, but 4 unnamed children decided to polish off the flour tortillas that I’d purchased for the second meal. (They love plain tortillas – they make for a great after school snack!)

But I found some hard shell tacos in the pantry, put it all together for the oven…and voila!

The leftover roast still had a traditional beef roast flavor to it (given it had cooked with potatoes/carrots), so I doctored it up with a little lime juice and taco seasoning before assembling and baking these tacos.


**Please note: Thee recipe below is written as if it were NOT a leftovers meal, so you could make it from scratch like this…

Note: There is a print link embedded within this post, please visit this post to print it.

Shredded Beef Oven Tacos

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 5 minutes

Cooking Time – 8 hours in slow cooker, 10 minutes in oven


  • 1 to 1 1/2 lb. beef chuck roast
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce (optional)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (or 2 Tbsp  homemade taco seasoning)
  • 8 hard shell tacos
  • 1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • Taco toppings: pico de gallo, guacamole, shredded lettuce
  • Side: fruit


  • Add the beef roast to the slow cooker insert and season with salt and pepper. Pour the tomato sauce, lime juice and taco seasoning over the top of the beef roast. Set on low and cook for 8 hours.
  • Just before dinner, preheat the oven to 350 F. Once the beef is doing cooking, shred with 2 forks and add to hard shell tacos in baking dish. Top with shredded cheese.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Add favorite taco toppings and devour.
  • Serve Shredded Beef Oven Tacos with fruit.
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