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Marvelous Meatball Sandwiches

Marvelous Meatball Sandwiches

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Marvelous Meatball Sandwiches

Fan-freakin’-tastic.

I’ve never heard those words out of my husband’s mouth before.  Until I served him this meatball sub sandwich.

It all started with a quest to find the perfect lunch for an upcoming youth camp (click on the link to check out the fun pics and recipes from last year’s camp!) for our church’s young men and young women.  I wanted some kind of sandwich we could assemble from pre-made components.  Often, for these events I pick up some pre-made sub sandwiches from Wal-Mart.  Not bad, but I was looking for much better.   I’m pretty sure we’ve found it.  This meatball sub sandwich recipe requires minimal last minute prep and it’s outrageously good.   This is also a good choice if you’re looking for a dinner to take to someone.  You can provide them the components and they can enjoy them at their own schedule.

Make Ahead Meatballs

This recipe uses my Make Ahead Meatballs .  You’ll love this meatball recipe.   It’s incredibly versatile.   A big plus is that the meatballs bake in the oven.  This not only keeps them from breaking up as you’re trying to brown them, it frees you to do other tasks (besides nursing burnt fingers from turning the meatballs in the scorching hot pan!).    It’s the only way I cook meatballs anymore.

You have many options with these make-ahead meatballs.  I’ve tried each and they all work very well:

  • You can bake the meatballs the day before.  To reheat, simply add the meatballs and the sauce to a pot and heat until sauce is simmering, or
  • You can assemble the unbaked meatballs up to 4 months in advance and freeze the the unbaked meatballs on a baking sheet covered with plastic wrap.  Once the meatballs are frozen, just transfer them to several heavy duty plastic freezer bags. To cook, place the frozen meatballs in a 475 degree oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until heated through, or
  • You can simply freeze the cooked meatballs on a baking sheet covered with plastic wrap.  Once the meatballs are frozen, just transfer them to several heavy duty plastic freezer bags for up to 4 months.  To reheat, simply add the meatballs and the sauce to a pot and heat until sauce is simmering and the meatballs are cooked through.

Regardless of which method you choose, you end up with lovely meatballs.  I wished you could smell these.  They taste every bit as good as they look!

Best Buns

I generally don’t like Hoagie sandwiches.  For one thing, there’s almost always too much bread for the amount of filling.  Secondly, the bread doesn’t usually add much to the over all experience.   Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for both these shortcomings:

  • Reduce the bread-to-filling ratio by removing some of the bread to leave about 1/2 inch to 1 inch of top bun and 1/2 inch to 1 inch of bottom bun.  You can use the bread removed in the meatball recipe below if you wish.

 

  • Next coat the cut sides of each bun in lots of garlic butter and griddle them or place them under a broiler until they are golden brown.

Easy Sauce

I have an out-of-this-world old family Northern Italian Spaghetti Sauce recipe which I’ll happily share with you sometime, but this Meatball Sub Sandwich recipe is all about keepin it easy.  I simply buy a jar of my favorite spaghetti sauce (Prego Three Cheese) and then I unashamedly CHEAT.  To turn a plain store-bought sauce into something swoon-worthy, all you have to do is liberally scrape the drippings from the meatball pan into the sauce.  Trust me.  It works like magic.  You’ll want about this much sauce per sandwich:

Your Make-Ahead Sub Sandwich Game Plan

  • Once you’ve toasted your Hoagie buns, place both halves of loaf bun back together.  Wrap buns in foil or plastic wrap. Place buns and mozzarella cheese in a 1-gallon freezer bag.
  • When meatballs are finished cooking, place meatballs and sauce in a 1-gallon freezer bag. Freeze meatballs, sauce and buns for up to 4 months.
  • When ready to cook: Place frozen buns and cheese on the countertop,  Bread won’t spoil at room temperature, so you can thaw your Hoagie buns easily by simply removing them from the freezer and setting them on the counter, covered with the plastic wrap, so they don’t dry out as they defrost.  A single bun should thaw out in about 15 to 20 minutes. A full bag of buns will require about 45 minutes.
  • Finally, add the meatballs and the sauce to a pot and heat until sauce is simmering and the meatballs are heated through.
  • Assemble Sandwiches per the recipe below and serve.

Pin for Later

Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Or Make Now

 

Meatball Sub Sandwiches - Freezer Meal
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

This is a wonderful make ahead Freezer Meal.  It's the perfect sandwich for a hungry crowd.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 sandwiches
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
For the Sandwiches:
  • 36 meatballs See recipe below
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce (I use Prego Three Cheese)
  • 12 slices provolone cheese
  • 2 (6 count) packages Hoagie Buns
  • 2 sticks softened butter (16 tablespoons total)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
Special Equipment if Making and Freezing
  • (1 gallon-size) freezer bags
For the Meatballs (makes 36 medium-small meatballs)
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs made from white sandwich bread crusts removed, bread torn into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk - whole
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano - ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 onion - diced
  • 3 garlic cloves - minced
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef - 90% lean
  • ½ pound sweet Italian sausage (do not use hot), casings removed
  • cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Assemble meatballs following instructions below.

  2. While meatballs are baking, slice hoagies in half lengthwise. To reduce the amount of bread proportionate to the meatballs, if necessary remove another ½ inch or so from each cut side, so thickness of each bun half is 1 1/2 inch. You can remove some of the bottom bun to form a ‘canoe’ like shape to better hold the meatballs. Combine butter and garlic salt. Generously spread butter on cut of each bun.
  3. To serve, heat meatballs and sauce in a pan on medium high heat until hot.
  4. Place buns, cut side up, under broiler. Broil until golden brown. Set bun tops aside.
  5. Place 3 meatballs on each bottom bun and ladle sauce over meatballs. Place 1 slice of provolone cheese on top of sauce. Place sandwich (open face without top bun) under broiler until cheese is melted.
  6. Place top bun on sandwich and serve.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Place both halves of toasted bun back together. Wrap buns in foil or plastic wrap. Place buns and mozzarella cheese in 1 gallon freezer bags. When meatballs are finished cooking, freeze on a baking sheet then transfer frozen meatballs in 1 gallon freezer bag. Freeze meatballs and buns for up to 4 months. When ready to cook: Place frozen garlic bread, meatballs and mozzarella in refrigerator to thaw until ready to eat.
To Make the Meatballs:
  1. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray
  2. Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees
  3. Tear bread into rough chunks and pulse in the food processor until reduced to fine crumbs.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and milk and seasonings. Stir in garlic and onion. Add breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Stir to combine.
  5. Add ground beef and Italian sausage meat (make sure you discard the sausage casing). Gently combine mixture with your hands, working the mixture into golf-ball size balls uniform in size (so they cook at the same time). The light touch of your hands will incorporate all of the ingredients without crushing the meat. You don't want to over-mix into a paste, instead make sure full pieces of ground meat are still visible. Makes 35 - 36 meatballs
  6. Place the balls on a large rimmed baking sheet as you work.
  7. Bake at 475 degrees F for 20 minutes until no longer pink inside (160 degrees internal temperature).
  8. Remove from oven and when cooled slightly remove meatballs from sheet. Pour grease off sheet and scrape browned meatball bits into the spaghetti sauce.

Here’s some other fantastic recipes if you’re cooking for a crowd.

Marvelous Meatball Sandwiches

Want a wonderful ooey-gooey, saucy, savory Freezer Meal Sandwich Recipe? These little meatballs are baked in the oven, heated with a great time-saving spaghetti sauce, and place on a crunchy hoagie roll slathered with garlic butter and melty Provolone cheese! And you have a Fan-‘freakin’-tastic sandwich (to quote Jeff).

Easy Oven Rice for a Crowd

Don’t miss this one! Now you can make perfect rice EVERY TIME in just 30 minutes with this easy and proven recipe to cook rice in the oven. You’ll want to add this to your recipe box for sure.

Butter Pecan French Toast Breakfast Casserole

Looking for an over-the-top delicious breakfast for your family this holiday season? This wonderful overnight Butter Pecan French Toast Casserole won’t fail to delight. Nestled in between the velvety pieces of cream-soaked bread are bits of buttery, suger-y crunchy pecans. Heaven!

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole for a Crowd

You’ll love this Delicious Easy Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole. They don’t get any quicker or easier than this! The great thing about this dish is that it comes together easily in 20 minutes night before and is simply the best Breakfast Casserole I’ve ever had. It’s the perfect Breakfast Casserole for your Crowd this holiday season. I’ve also included a smaller version which serves 12.

Asian Lettuce Wrap for a Crowd

If you’re looking for a healthy recipe for your family but are tired of salad, these Pork & Ginger Lettuce Wraps are for you. They are really easy and really fast, on the table within 30 minutes from start to finish. But the best part of all is they are REALLY good! Whip up a batch for your family this week, they’ll LOVE them.

Sausage, Egg and Cheese Sliders for a Crowd

You'll love this sweet and salty breakfast. It will have your house smelling so good your family will be waiting at the table, at least mine was! A few simple ingredients and a few minutes in the kitchen give you an extraordinary breakfast big enough to feed a crowd.

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom

EXPLORE

If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!

SAY YES!

If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

AHONUI

Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

PARTY

Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Asian Lettuce Wrap for a Crowd

Asian Lettuce Wrap for a Crowd

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Easy Delicious Chinese Food

Asian Pork & Ginger Lettuce Wraps

What’s the BEST way to make an Asian Chicken Lettuce Wrap?  Don’t.  Make an Asian Pork & Ginger Lettuce Wrap.   It’s way more juicy and flavorful than chicken ever was.   If you’re looking for a fun, great tasting, EASY meal for this week, Asian Pork & Ginger Lettuce Wraps are for you.  Your family will love them and you will too since they take less than 30 minutes to bring to the table.

We really like P.F. Chang’s Asian Lettuce Wraps.  Just going to P.F. Chang’s is fun.  For us that means a trip to the Plaza.  I rarely buy anything at the Plaza (except at The Better Cheddar where I can’t pass up the duck pate or cheese and crackers…)  but P.F. Chang’s is a treat and the Lettuce Wraps are a favorite.  It’s also a great dish to cook at home when you want to WOW their socks off but you don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen.

For some reason, I always assumed the Lettuce Wrap filling was difficult to make.  And you know what?  It’s not.  In fact, you don’t even need a wok to make these wonderful Lettuce Wraps.  Try ’em this week for yourself.

Here’s all it takes:

1. Brown some ground pork with some sliced mushrooms and onions.

2. Punch it up with aromatics like ginger, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar and garlic.  Then add in water chestnuts and shredded cabbage for some crunch and texture and you’re done!

Great Chinese Recipe for a Crowd

Believe it or not, this is a fantastic Chinese Recipe for a large group.  Use Leaf Lettuce instead of the more tender Butter Lettuce, it’s sturdier and easy to pull apart.  In fact, all it takes is only a well-placed slice about 1 inch from the root end to break the head into about 15 leaf servings.  The pork can then be cooked in large quantity in the oven while the aromatics are cooking on the stovetop and that’s it!  That’s all it takes to put a dish on the table that will be bringing them back in droves for seconds.

Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Pin for Later

Tropical Summer Salad

Or Make Now

Large Group Size

 

Asian Pork & Ginger Lettuce Wraps
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

These Asian Pork & Ginger Lettuce Wraps are a true 20-minute meal, they can easily be made ahead and will keep for several days in the refrigerator.  They freeze beautifully and can be easily reheated on your stovetop.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese, Cooking for a Crowd
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
Dipping Sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 tesaspoon Sriracha
Lettuce Wraps
  • 1 head butter (bibb) lettuce (12 - 15 leaves each) - or leaf lettuce
  • 1 pound ground pork - can substitute chicken if desired
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 pound button mushrooms - sliced
  • ½ large yellow onion - chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts - chopped and drained
  • 1 ½ cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 bunch green onions chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
Instructions
Make the Dipping Sauce
  1.  In a small bowl, combine the dipping sauce ingredients and whisk until fully mixed.  Set aside or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Make the Lettuce Wraps
  1. Cut off root end of lettuce within 1 inch of the end. Gently separate lettuce leaves. Set aside.
  2. To a large skillet, add ground pork and cook over medium high heat until browned and cooked through, stirring often. Remove the pork from the pan to a plate, and set aside. 

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in the same skillet, reducing heat to medium-high heat.  Add the onions and mushrooms.  Sauté until onions are tender and translucent and the mushrooms are golden brown, stirring frequently.  

  4. To the mushroom onion mixture add the garlic, stirring about 30 seconds until fragrant.   Add the cooked pork, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, rice wine vinegar, drained water chestnuts, and shredded cabbage, to the pan, stir, and cook until the cabbage just begins to wilt, about 3-4 minutes.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: The chicken mixture can be made to this point and refrigerated, covered for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 2 months. To re-heat, warm on the stovetop over medium heat until hot.
  1. To serve, pile the lettuce leaves on a plate and transfer the hot chicken mixture to a serving dish, or serve straight from the skillet. Or place a generous spoonful of chicken mixture in the middle of a lettuce leaf, and eat right away. Can serve with green onions and white sesame seed sprinkled over.

Recipe Notes

Slow Cooker Instructions: Can be kept warm on LOW for 2 hours until ready to serve. If mixture becomes too dry, rehydrate with a splash of chicken broth or water.

Large Group

 

Asian Lettuce Wraps for a Crowd of 50
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Don't be intimidated. These Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps are not only a HUGE CROWD PLEASER, they are easy to make, can be made ahead and will keep for several days in the refrigerator. The filling freezes beautifully and can be easily reheated on your stovetop or in the oven.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese, Cooking for a Crowd
Servings: 50 servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
Dipping Sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
Lettuce Wraps
  • 5 heads leaf lettuce (12 - 15 leaves each)
  • 5 pounds ground pork - can substitute ground chicken breast if desired
  • 1/2 cup sesame oil
  • 5 pounds button mushrooms - sliced
  • 2 1/2 large yellow onions - finely chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic - minced, about 4 tablespoons - use the stuff in a jar
  • 1 cup soy sauce or to taste
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 5 (8 ounce) cans water chestnuts - drained and finely chopped
  • 7 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 4 bunches green onions chopped
Special Equipment
  • 1 20-3/4" x 12-3/4" x 4" disposable aluminum pan (this is a full-size) steam table pan
Instructions
Make the Dipping Sauce
  1. In a large bowl, combine the dipping sauce ingredients and whisk until fully mixed. Set aside or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Make the Lettuce Wraps
  1. Within 4 hours of serving, cut off root end of lettuce within 1 inch of the end. Gently separate lettuce leaves. Set aside.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.   Place ground pork in the disposable aluminum pan,  breaking it up and spreading evenly.  Bake until browned and cooked through, stirring several times to break it up, about 50 - 60 minutes. When done, remove the pork from the oven, break up into small 1/2 size pieces  and set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, in 1 - 2 large skillets over medium heat, add the sesame oil, onions and mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms are tender and golden brown and the onions are translucent and soft, stirring frequently.

  4. To the mushroom and onion mixture, add the garlic, reduce heat to medium and cook 30 seconds or until fragrant, stirring frequently.  Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, rice wine vinegar, water chestnuts and shredded cabbage to the pan, stir, and let simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

  5. Add the mushroom and onion mixture to the disposable pan containing the pork. Mix well to thoroughly combine.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: The pork mixture can be made to this point and refrigerated, covered for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. To re-heat, warm in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until hot. Taste and add a bit of water or chicken broth if too dry.
  1. To serve, pile the lettuce leaves on a plate. Serve the hot pork mixture from the pans, sprinkling with white sesame seeds and 1 bunch green onions cut on the diagonal. Serve the dipping sauce in several bowls with spoons to allow people to spoon over the chicken mixture.

Recipe Notes

Slow Cooker Instructions: Can be kept warm on LOW for 2 hours until ready to serve. If mixture becomes too dry, rehydrate with a splash of chicken broth or water.

Here’s some other fantastic recipes to put you in a Hawaii frame of mind.

Maui Road to Hana Banana Bread

This Road to Hana Banana Bread is moist and flavorful, transporting you to the islands in one bite. The crunchy sugar topping adds sweetness and texture. Read all about it along with our recent vacation to Maui.

Hawaiian Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

Another great, super-easy make ahead recipe. 10 minutes work, overnight unattended low and slow cooking, and you’ve got mouthwateringly tender luau-style Kalua pork. Really easy. REALLY good!

Beach Baby Pudding Cups

These Beach Baby Coconut Pudding Cups are everything that's great about the islands! Kids LOVE ‘EM. You will too since they are so easy to make.

Hawaiian Pineapple Cheesecake Bars

Even people who don’t like pineapple or coconut take a bite and say “WOW!” Treat yourself to a mini trip to Hawaii with these luscious Hawaiian Pineapple Cheesecake Bars.

Hawaiian Wedding Cake

Looking for a quick and easy treat? This Hawaiian Wedding Cake comes together in a snap and tastes like a piña colada on your plate.

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom

EXPLORE

If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!

SAY YES!

If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

AHONUI

Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

PARTY

Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad

Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad

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Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

We just had a thoroughly enjoyable day.   Our good friends invited us to the Symphony in the Flint Hills.  What a marvelous event.  It’s a fund raiser to heighten the appreciation and knowledge of the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie.   The Flint Hills are a region in eastern Kansas and northern Oklahoma renowned for their prime cattle grazing.   The Flint Hills got their name from the abundant deposits of flint lying near or on the surface of the land.   Aren’t they lovely?

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

Started in 2006, the Symphony in the Flint Hills become a Kansas tradition that now attracts approximately 7,000 attendees from all over the world.  There are a variety of speakers in multiple tents scattered across the prairie, talking about topics as diverse as The Kanza Indians in the Flint Hills to The Tallgrass Prairie and Cattle Ranching.

I really enjoyed learning all about the challenges of running a profitable cow-calf operation.  (And I sometimes think I have it tough…)  We had a fantastic dinner of pulled pork and BBQ beans and then settled in for some great music.  One year they even staged a cattle drive on the hills behind the orchestra.  Outstanding!

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

It’s one of my favorite places in the world.

I grew up not far from there.  I used to love it most of all when a mega storm would blow up!

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad

So what, you may ask, does all this have to do with Chicken Salad?   Not a darn thing.  I just thought you’d find it interesting.  Although, now that I think about it this would make an great recipe for a picnic.

There are a lot of good chicken salad recipes out there.  I think this is one of the great ones.  Here’s why:   The cool sweetness of the red grapes with a hint of garlic takes this chicken salad to a whole new level. Combining sour cream with the mayo adds a wonderful savory element.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.   Your whole family will love it!  This Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad recipe is hands down the perfect go-to chicken salad for sandwiches (think flaky croissants).   Jeff also likes to sometimes eat it on top of a bed of lettuce (when I remind him he’s on a diet).

Full of tender juicy chicken, fresh sliced red grapes, celery, toasted walnuts and crunchy celery, there’s a lot to love here.  In fact, the batch that I made to serve 6 today only has 2 helpings left after my dear husband got done with it.

This makes a great salad for quick delicious lunch or a light supper, and takes hardly any time to mix together.  The sweetness from the grapes always makes it a favorite with kids!

Easy Delicious Poached Chicken Recipe

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

You can either buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it, or make up a batch of my poached chicken.  It cooks up 14 cups of incredibly delicious poached chicken.  All ready for you to shred (quickly and easily in a stand mixer) as the foundation for multiple meals!   This chicken salad recipe uses 4 cups, leaving you 3 cups for Cheesy Chicken Melts and 7 cups left over for this fabulous tortilla soup!

Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Great Chicken Salad for a Crowd

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

If you’re hosting a family reunion, pool party or girls camp, you gotta try this Chunky Chicken Salad.   It’s great in a wrap or served on its own.  It’s also delicious served in a croissant for a bridal luncheon or a brunch.   It can be made up to 2 days ahead (it gets even better), serves 25 and is easily doubled or tripled if you’ve said “Yes!” to an even larger crowd.

When served alone, as straight-up chicken salad, the average serving size is 6 – 8 ounces per serving.  For sandwiches or (large flour tortilla) wraps, plan on 5 ounces of chicken salad per wrap.  It’s easy.  Just fill a large flour tortilla with about 10 ounces of chicken salad.  Roll up.  Cut in half (I like to cut it on the diagonal).  And secure each half with a toothpick.  Makes 32 (1/2 tortilla wrap) servings.

Pin for Later

Or Make Now

Large Group Size

 

Best Ever Chunky Chicken Salad
Prep Time
20 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Makes 6 cups.   For the shredded chicken you can poach a couple chicken breasts or buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken.

An AlohaDreams.com recipe

Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless - skinless - cooked and shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 1 pound red seedless grapes - cut in half
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise - I always use Hellman’s or Best
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup English walnut pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large garlic clove - minced
  • 1 stalk celery - chopped
Instructions
  1. Poach and shred the chicken breasts.  Cut the grapes in half.  Slice the celery stalk length-wise, then slice into small slices.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until well combined.
  3. Can serve immediately, however it's even better refrigerated for 30 minutes - 1 hour.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE:
  1. Can be made up to 2 days in advance and held in the refrigerator, covered.

Large Group

 

Best Ever Chicken Salad for a Crowd
Prep Time
45 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Makes 32 (5 ounce) servings.  For the shredded chicken you can poach several pounds of chicken breasts, using my easy method to poach chicken or buy 4 pre-cooked rotisserie chickens.   Serve alone or fill 1/2 tortilla for a wrap. 

An AlohaDreams.com recipe

Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 8 Chicken breasts - boneless, skinless - cooked and shredded (about 16 cups)
  • 4 pounds red seedless grapes - cut in half
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise - I always use Hellman’s or Best
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups English walnut peices
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large garlic cloves - minced
  • 4 stalks celery sliced
OPTIONAL FOR WRAPS:
  • 16 large flour tortillas
  • 32 toothpicks
Instructions
  1. Poach and shred the chicken breasts. Cut the grapes in half. Slice the celery stalk length-wise, then slice into small slices.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until well combined.
  3. Can serve immediately, however it's even better refrigerated, covered, for 30 minutes - 1 hour.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE:
  1. Can be made up to 2 days in advance and held in the refrigerator, covered.

  2. If serving wraps, lay each tortilla flat and spoon on about 10 ounces chicken salad. Roll tortilla, cut in half and secure with 2 tooth picks to create 2 wraps.

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom

EXPLORE

If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!

SAY YES!

If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

AHONUI

Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

PARTY

Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Hawaiian Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

Hawaiian Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

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Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

Slow cooker Kalua Pork is a quick and easy wonderful foundation for your family meal plan.  Combine it with my Hawaiian Beach Club Coleslaw for fantastic sandwiches.  Or enjoy it with my Maui Mango Barbecue sauce (coming this week).  It’s also an outta this world topping for a fabulous Kalua pork pizza with Maui Mango Barbecue sauce, pineapple tidbits and onions (also coming this week).  All wonderful, easy dishes for your family.

It’s also a great easy dish for a large group activity.

Want a luau with minimal work?  This is just what you’re looking for.  It doesn’t get much easier than this slow cooker Kalua  Pork.  It’s as close to the real thing as you’re going to get without buying a La Caja China (Which I have and love! More about cooking a pig in a La Caja China here) or digging a pit in your back yard.  Note: Another option you’re cooking for a larger crowd is this easy pulled pork for a crowd recipe

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I love, love, love make-ahead dishes that hold and re-heat well.  We like to entertain quite a bit and one of my cardinal rules (and it should be yours too!) when having company is to do as little at the last minute as possible. I generally plan to have only one dish on the menu which requires any last minute attention.   If I’m very familiar with the recipes, at most I’ll allow for 2 last minute dishes.  Anything more than that is just inviting stress and sub-optimal results.  And we all have enough stress without adding any self-imposed to the pile.

Before we jump in to the cooking let me tell you a bit about this recipe.   Kālua (pron. Kah-loo-a) is a Hawaiian word meaning to cook in an underground oven.  Kalua is a traditional Hawaiian cooking method utilizing an underground oven called an imu.   The word Kalua is also used to describe food cooked in this manner, such as kālua pig, a common luau or family gathering main dish.  Here’s an emu cooking a pig for a family gathering.

 

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

The general method for cooking kālua pig in an emu consists of first digging a large pit and lining it with banana or ti leaves.  The leaves  insulate the pig, facilitating the steaming process, and adding flavor.  Next, ever abundant lava rocks are heated over an open flame until they are extremely hot.  These rocks are then placed in the pit.  Finally, a whole dressed pig is seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt and placed in the pit.  It’s covered with more banana or ti leaves, soil and hot lava rocks and left to cook approximately 8 hours.

Besides being roasted whole in an emu (which we’re not going to do, thank you very much), several things characterize kālua pig: 1) the  red Hawaiian salt seasoning, 2) the banana or ti leaves and 3) a slightly smoky flavor.

While you can certainly substitute Kosher salt, the red salt is fun and can be easily purchased here.  Since we’re trying to make this easy, we can manage a fabulous kālua pig without the banana or ti leaves.  We’ll mimic the smoky flavor with a bit of liquid smoke.  By the way, my kālua pig is cooking while we speak and I WISH YOU COULD SMELL IT.   Better yet, make one for yourself.  It’s incredibly easy and the meat, which falls off the bone, and is very tender and moist, with a slightly salty, smoky flavor that is just delicious.

 

Sold yet?   Great, let’s get started, shall we!

You’ll want to use a 4-6 pound Boston Butt roast like this one for the family-size recipe – or get a 9-10 pound roast if you’re cooking pulled pork for a crowd.

Begin by piercing your roast all over with a knife or fork. This enables the flavor from the salt and liquid smoke to penetrate the roast. Traditional Kaula pork is seasoned with red Hawaiian sea salt.  We always pick up a bag of this salt when we go to Hawaii on vacation, but you can save some money by taking a virtual romantic Hawaiian vacation here and purchasing the salt on-line here.

If you’re cooking a 4-6 pound roast, use 1 tablespoon red Hawaiian sea salt.  Here’s the roast with 1 tablespoon of the salt rubbed on top.

If you’re cooking a 9-10 pound roast, use 2 tablespoons red Hawaiian sea salt.

You can see it a bit better here.  I know this looks like a lot of salt – but trust me you’ll want to use the full amount of salt.   We’ll also be adding more later.  That’s ok.  This is the only seasoning this large cut of meat gets.  It’s also what makes the difference between an OK result and a GREAT result.

Next, put your roast in the slow cooker, fat side up.  Pour 1 tablespoon liquid smoke over the top of a 4 – 6 pound roast (and 2 tablespoons for a 9 – 10 pound roast).   Put the cover on the slow cooker and set to LOW. There is no extra liquid needed with the roast since it’s cooking low and slow

A 4-6 pound roast will be fall-apart tender after 7-8 hours on LOW.

It will take a 9 pound roast about 12 hours on LOW to cook to the point that it is fall-apart tender.  It will become fork tender after 10 hours, but you want those extra couple hours to make it shreddable.    NOTE:  Many slow cookers will only stay on for 10 hours on LOW.   You may need to set an alarm to remind yourself to re-set the slow cooker for another 2 hours on the LOW setting if it’s going to turn off after 10 hours.

Once your roast is fall-apart fork tender, remove it to a cutting board to shred.  Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a fat separator and set aside.  Shred the roast.  Once your roast is shredded mix in at least 1/2 cup of the defatted the juice to keep it moist.  Serve immediately or return to the slow cooker to hold, covered, up to 2 hours on LOW setting.  NOTE:  If you’re going to hold for later serving, MAKE SURE TO reserve the remaining juice to add when you’re reheating it.

 Just look at how juicy this pork looks.  It’s loaded with flavor!

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Kalua Pork
 It’s fantastic with this Maui Mango Barbecue Sauce!  Stay tuned – recipe coming later this week…
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Kalua Pork
Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Pin for Later

Tropical Summer Salad

Or Make Now

Large Group Size

 

Hawaiian Style Slow Cooker Kalua Pork - Family Size
Prep Time
10 mins
 
This recipe is very easy to make with little effort. It turns out perfect every time and the smell while it's cooking will drive you wild! Don’t skimp on the salt. This is all the seasoning the roast gets and it makes the difference between good pulled pork and GREAT pulled pork. A 5.25 pound raw pork butt roast cooked down to 48 ounces after the fat cap is removed for serving. This is 16 servings of 3 ounces each.
Course: Main Course
Servings: 16 servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 1 (4 - 6 pound) pork shoulder or Boston butt roast
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke Hickory or Mesquite flavor
  • 1 tablespoon red Hawaiian sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (OR 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
Instructions
  1. Pierce roast all over with a knife, then sprinkle the sea salt evenly all over the roast. Place the roast in the slow cooker, fat side UP. Then pour liquid smoke over roast.

  2. Cook, covered, on LOW for 7- 8 hours.
  3. When roast is fall-apart fork tender, gently remove most of the fat cap with tongs and discard.
  4. Gently remove roast from pot to a large bowl and shred with a fork.
  5. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt (OR 1/2 teaspoon table salt).

  6. Pour the juices from the slow cooker through a strainer into a fat separator. Add ½ cup of the separated juice back in.
  7. You can either just return the roast to the slow cooker to serve immediately.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Pulled pork will keep up to 3 days, bagged and refrigerated or up to 2 months, frozen in a heavy duty freezer bag.
  1. When ready to serve, pulled pork can be returned to slow cooker and held on LOW setting for up to 2 hours.

Large Group

 

Hawaiian Style Slow Cooker Kalua Pork - For a Crowd of 30
Prep Time
10 mins
 
This recipe is very easy to make with little effort. It turns out perfect every time and the smell while it's cooking will drive you wild! Don’t skimp on the salt. This is all the seasoning the roast gets and it makes the difference between good pulled pork and GREAT pulled pork. A 9 pound raw pork butt roast cooked down to 85 ounces after the fat cap is removed for serving. This is 28 servings of 3 ounces each. Plan on it serving 25 - 30.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cooking for a Crowd
Servings: 30 people
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 1 (9 pound) pork shoulder or Boston butt roast
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke Hickory or Mesquite flavor
  • 2 tablespoons red Hawaiian sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt OR 1 teaspoon table salt
Instructions
  1. Pierce roast all over with a knife, then sprinkle the sea salt evenly all over the roast. Place the roast in the slow cooker, fat side UP. Then pour liquid smoke over roast.
  2. Cook, covered, on LOW for 10 - 12 hours.
  3. When roast is fall-apart fork tender, gently remove most of the fat cap with tongs and discard.
  4. Gently remove roast from pot to a large bowl and shred with a fork.
  5. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt (OR 1/2 teaspoon table salt).
  6. Pour the juices from the slow cooker through a strainer into a fat separator. Add ½ cup of the separated juice back in.
  7. You can either just return the roast to the slow cooker to serve immediately.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Pulled pork will keep up to 3 days, bagged and refrigerated or up to 2 months, frozen in a heavy duty freezer bag.
  1. When ready to serve, pulled pork can be returned to slow cooker and held on LOW setting for up to 2 hours.

Here’s some other fantastic recipes to put you in a Hawaii frame of mind.

Maui Road to Hana Banana Bread

This Road to Hana Banana Bread is moist and flavorful, transporting you to the islands in one bite. The crunchy sugar topping adds sweetness and texture. Read all about it along with our recent vacation to Maui.

Hawaiian Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

Another great, super-easy make ahead recipe. 10 minutes work, overnight unattended low and slow cooking, and you’ve got mouthwateringly tender luau-style Kalua pork. Really easy. REALLY good!

Beach Baby Pudding Cups

These Beach Baby Coconut Pudding Cups are everything that's great about the islands! Kids LOVE ‘EM. You will too since they are so easy to make.

Hawaiian Pineapple Cheesecake Bars

Even people who don’t like pineapple or coconut take a bite and say “WOW!” Treat yourself to a mini trip to Hawaii with these luscious Hawaiian Pineapple Cheesecake Bars.

Hawaiian Wedding Cake

Looking for a quick and easy treat? This Hawaiian Wedding Cake comes together in a snap and tastes like a piña colada on your plate.

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom

EXPLORE

If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!

SAY YES!

If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

AHONUI

Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

PARTY

Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Sausage potatoes green beans

Sausage potatoes green beans

  Aloha Dreams

   Fabulous Recipes, Cooking for a Crowd & Dream Home Design      

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Simple Pleasures Sunday

Comfort Food at its Best – Sausage Potatoes and Green Beans

One of the BEST.  DINNERS.  EVER.

Sausage Potatoes Green Beans

Do you have a sister?  I do.  In fact I have many.  Some are not directly related to me, one is a cousin and one is technically a half-sister.  But the one thing that they all have in common is they are wonderful, smart, strong, loving, caring women.  Another thing they share is that I love them dearly.

Sometimes you don’t realize just how much you love someone until something happens that shows you their character and depth.  My half-sister, Geri, is 18 years older than me.  (can you imaging what a surprise THAT was to my 38 year old mom!?!)  so we didn’t know each other very well growing up.  She is a scary-smart, no nonsense, roll up her sleeves and get things done kind of gal.  We stayed in touch, but she lives in a different state and we could go months without talking.  Then several years ago my half-brother passed on.  He was not exactly a neat person and I found myself standing in his (extraordinarily cluttered) home wondering just exactly how to deal with the sheer volume of his belongings.  Geri, who was getting ready to leave for her flight home, was watching me closely as I surveyed the scene and said simply, “Who’s going to help you with all this?”  “No one,” I replied somberly.  “Not true,” was all she said as she went to the phone to cancel her flight.

I love my sister.

Turns out we have a lot in common.  For example, one of our all time favorite meals is Sausage, Potatoes and Green Beans.  It is warm, comforting and oh so easy to cook.  Sisters – I hope you’ll love it as much as Geri and me!

Sausage Potatoes Green Beans

Fixing this Sausage Potatoes and Green Beans meal couldn’t be easier.   This is all you need.  In this dish I strongly prefer canned French-style Green Beans for their unique taste.

Sausage Potatoes Green Beans

 

Just chop the onions.

Sausage Potatoes Green Beans

 

Chop the potatoes.

Sausage Potatoes Green Beans

 

Chop the Polish Sausage and fry it until it’s slightly browned.

Sausage Potatoes Green Beans

Add the potatoes, onions, beans and butter (the butter makes it).

Sausage Potatoes Green Beans

And 20 minutes later – you have the most wonderful meal in the world.  Serve with a crusty loaf of bread and butter and Geri and I will join you for dinner.

Sausage Potatoes Green Beans

Pin for Later

sausage potatoes green beans

Or Make Now

Let’s get started!

 

5 from 1 vote
Sausage Potatoes Green Beans
Sausage, Potatoes and Green Beans
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

A quick, very easy WONDERFUL meal.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 - 2 packages Polish Kielbasa (Polish Sausage)
  • 1 large onion , white or yellow - cubed
  • 8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes - cubed
  • 2 cans French Style Green Beans - don’t drain
  • 2 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Chop potatoes, peel and shop onions, cut sausage into finger width slices

  2. In a large Dutch oven, over medium heat, cook sausage until browned on both sides. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat.

  3. Add onion and some of the juice from the beans. Sauté until onion is softened, scrapping up browned bits on bottom and sides of pan.

  4. Add potatoes, green beans including juice, 2 tablespoons butter, and ¾ cup water.

  5. Cover and reduce heat to simmer.
  6. Cook 15 - 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until potatoes are fork tender.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

 

Still hungry?

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Chili for a Crowd

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Kansas City Steak Soup

  Aloha Dreams    Fabulous Recipes, Cooking for a Crowd & Dream Home Design         Better than Plaza III Steak Soup Have you ever been to Kansas City and eaten at the Plaza III?  This iconic Kansas City restaurant has been a steak mecca for many years.  But perhaps...

Betsy’s Christmas Clam Chowder

Mom used to tell stories of her relatives from Maine having Oyster Stew for Christmas Eve. I like the idea of annual traditions, it helps tie generations together. I do not like the idea of oyster stew. This offers a nice compromise.

Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

AlohaDreams

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom

EXPLORE

If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!

SAY YES!

If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

AHONUI

Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

PARTY

Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Jeff’s Vegetable Beef Soup

Jeff’s Vegetable Beef Soup

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Simple Pleasures Sunday

Comfort Food at its Best – Jeff’s Vegetable Beef Soup

Vegetable Soup

When was the last time you snuggled into a big soft cozy chair, with a hot cup of cocoa, a warm, ultra-soft blanket wrapped around you and a fantastic book you’d been dying to read; the rain pattering softly on the windows, thunder rumbling in the distance and the space around your chair lit with the soft glow of the table lamp or a pumpkin spice candle.

Hygge

If it wasn’t recently, you need to – sometime soon.  That wonderful, warm cozy sensation such an activity inspires is called hygge (pronounced “hooga”)

The word hygge comes from a Norwegian word meaning “well-being” and it encompasses many things, including the art of creating intimate gatherings, removing annoyance from your life, cultivating an attitude of gratitude for your current blessings, enjoying cozy togetherness and especially cocoa by candlelight.  This is hygge.

Hygge

Another key component of hygge is sharing fabulous comfort food with family and friends.  While I don’t remotely agree with Danish politics, at a Danish hyggelige dinner there are no divisive discussions about politics, family issues, or someone’s dysfunctional kids. No one makes snide comments, complains, or is overtly negative.  Everyone pitches in and lends a hand, so that not one person gets stuck doing the dishes.  There’s no bragging, or attacks, or competition.  It is filled with well-meaning communication with a focus on appreciating the here and now, the good food, and the folks.  We all need a little more hygge in our life.

Our regular dinners with our dear friends are hyggelige to the max.  These are the faces of hygge.

Vegetable Soup

So for our Simple Pleasures Sunday this week, and to send you some hygge of your own with love, here’s another one of my favorite comfort food recipes – Jeff’s Vegetable Beef Soup.  This soup is like wrapping yourself in a soft warm snuggly blanket.  It’s really, really, really good.  It’s also really, really easy.  Just chop some stew meat or chuck roast and add it to a stock pot to sear over medium heat.  While the meat is browning, chop some potatoes like so.

Vegetable Soup

Next chop some celery, carrots and onions.  Jeff loves using a bench scraper to transport food in the kitchen.

Vegetable Soup

Add 4 quarts of water to the stock pot and scrape the bottom of the pot to dislodge any browned bits.  Then add 15 cubes of beef bullion and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce and all the vegetables except the cabbage.

Vegetable Soup

Let everything cook for 30 minutes at a low simmer.  Jeff generally uses green cabbage, but he thought the red cabbage would add some festive Halloween color.  (Besides which, that was what we had in the vegetable crisper…)  Waste not, want not.  Doesn’t this look wonderful?

Vegetable Soup

You may be tempted to rush it, but the soup needs the full 45 minutes of cooking time to tenderize the meat and allow all the wonderful flavors to mingle and marry.  It’s worth it when you’re rewarded with this.

Vegetable Beef Soup

This Vegetable Beef Soup is so tasty and filled with love. Look at all that beautiful fall color and the meat is fork tender.  Not to mention, t’s just brimming with hygge.

Pin for Later

Vegetable Beef Soup

Or Make Now

Let’s get started!

 

Jeff’s Vegetable Beef Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

A warm, savory comforting bowl of love.  An AlohaDreams.com recipe brought to you with hygge.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 bowls
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds stew meat
  • 8 Yukon Gold potatoes , medium size - peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 large white or yellow onion chopped
  • 12 - 16 ounces baby carrots , sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 6 stalks celery , chopped - 1/2 inch thick
  • 15 beef bullion cubes
  • 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
  • 4 quarts water
  • ½ head green cabbage , or red - sliced ¾ thick
Instructions
  1. In a large stock pot over medium high heat, sear stew meat until browned on all sides.
  2. Add water to pot and scrape bottom to remove the browned bits.
  3. Add beef bouillon cubes, Worcestershire sauce and all vegetables except cabbage.

  4. Cook, uncovered for 30 minutes.
  5. Break cabbage slices apart and add to soup. Cook, uncovered and additional 15 minutes. Serve.

 

Here’s some other fantastic recipes to put you in a hygge frame of mind.

Wonderful Rich Tortilla Soup

This tortilla soup is quick and easy to make. It has everything to become your new favorite: chicken, corn, and avocados. Added bonus - it freezes well.

Chili for a Crowd

Everyone will love this delicious, easy Chili for a Crowd! It comes together quickly and holds beautifully.

Kansas City Steak Soup

  Aloha Dreams    Fabulous Recipes, Cooking for a Crowd & Dream Home Design         Better than Plaza III Steak Soup Have you ever been to Kansas City and eaten at the Plaza III?  This iconic Kansas City restaurant has been a steak mecca for many years.  But perhaps...

Betsy’s Christmas Clam Chowder

Mom used to tell stories of her relatives from Maine having Oyster Stew for Christmas Eve. I like the idea of annual traditions, it helps tie generations together. I do not like the idea of oyster stew. This offers a nice compromise.

Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

AlohaDreams

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom

EXPLORE

If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!

SAY YES!

If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

AHONUI

Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

PARTY

Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Tropical Salad

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