Meal Prep Monday: Exciting Twists on Classic Comfort Foods

Meal Prep Monday: Exciting Twists on Classic Comfort Foods

I absolutely love classic home cooked dishes that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, reminding you of home and those family get-togethers. I also love to try new things and there's no easier way to expand your comfort zone than to start with something familiar! You can actually jazz up these comfort foods and make them even more awesome. We're about to dive into some seriously cool recipes that put a fresh spin on traditional comfort dinners. Get ready to experience your favorite foods in a whole new way. It's time to embrace the deliciousness of modern twists!

Click on the name of a dish to see the recipe.

Mac and Cheese Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches


  • 2 boxes of Kraft mac and cheese
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 (28 oz) jar of pasta sauce
  • 2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 12 slices of bread
  • 6 slices of cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large saucepan or pot, boil the mac and cheese according to the directions on the package.
  3. While the mac and cheese is boiling, spread mayonnaise on one side of each bread slice. Place 6 slices of bread, mayo side down, on a baking tray.
  4. Top each bread slice with 1 slice of cheese, and then place the remaining bread slices, mayo side up, on top to make sandwiches.
  5. Bake the sandwiches for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.
  6. Once the mac and cheese is cooked, drain it and return it to the saucepan or pot.
  7. Add the butter, milk, and cheese mix packages to the mac and cheese. Stir well to combine and coat the noodles.
  8. Stir in the pasta sauce and chicken broth, and cook for 5 minutes or until everything is thoroughly heated.

This recipe serves 6 people. Enjoy!

Cheeseburger Meatloaf with Seasoned Mashed Potatoes



For the Cheeseburger Meatloaf:

  • 2 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 ½ cups bread crumbs
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled

For the Seasoned Mashed Potatoes:

  • 6 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • ½ cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
  3. Press half of the meat mixture into a greased loaf pan, creating a shallow well in the center.
  4. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon over the meat mixture within the well.
  5. Press the remaining meat mixture over the cheese and bacon, sealing the edges and forming a loaf shape.
  6. Bake the meatloaf for 45-50 minutes, or until cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C).
  7. While the meatloaf is baking, boil the potatoes until tender. Drain and return them to the pot.
  8. Mash the potatoes, adding milk, butter, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper (if desired). Mix well.
  9. Once the meatloaf is done, let it rest for a few minutes, then slice into thick slices.
  10. Serve the meatloaf alongside the seasoned mashed potatoes.

This recipe serves 6 people. For faster prep on the potatoes, sub for instant potatoes and French Fry Seasoning. Seasoned microwave veggies also make a great addition to this dish!


Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Spaghetti with Parmesan Roasted Broccoli



  • 16 ounces spaghetti or angel hair pasta
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 packets ranch seasoning mix
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • Pre-cooked chicken, such as rotisserie chicken (optional, for substitution)


  1. Cook the spaghetti or angel hair pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 5-7 minutes. If using pre-cooked chicken, skip this step and proceed to the next.
  4. Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet and set aside. If using pre-cooked chicken, shred or chop it into bite-sized pieces.
  5. In the same skillet, add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the halved cherry tomatoes and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften.
  6. Pour the chicken broth into the skillet and sprinkle the ranch seasoning mix over the ingredients. Stir well to combine.
  7. Add the softened cream cheese to the skillet and stir until it melts and blends into the sauce. Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.
  8. Return the cooked or pre-cooked chicken to the skillet and stir to coat it in the creamy ranch sauce.
  9. Add the cooked spaghetti or angel hair pasta to the skillet and toss everything together until the pasta is well coated with the sauce and the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  10. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon over the pasta and garnish with fresh parsley.

This recipe serves 6 and can be made even easier by using pre-cooked chicken, such as rotisserie chicken, for added convenience. Adjust the quantities of chicken broth and cream cheese to create a richer and creamier sauce.

Roasted Parmesan Garlic Broccoli


  • 2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon wedges (optional, for serving)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy cleanup.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli florets with olive oil, minced garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Make sure the broccoli is evenly coated with the mixture.
  3. Spread the seasoned broccoli florets in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Roast in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender and the edges are slightly crispy. Stir once or twice during cooking to ensure even browning.
  5. Remove the roasted broccoli from the oven and transfer to a serving dish. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top, if desired, for a bright citrusy flavor.

Serve the Roasted Parmesan Garlic Broccoli as a delicious and healthy vegetable side dish alongside the Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Spaghetti. The roasted broccoli will add a flavorful and nutritious element to your meal. Enjoy!


Chicken Parm Pull-Apart Sliders


  • 1 bag (25 oz) frozen chicken tenders
  • 2 (11 oz) pans parker-house style frozen yeast rolls, partially thawed
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  1. Cook the frozen chicken tenders according to the package instructions.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  3. Take the rolls out of the provided tin pan and slice them in half horizontally, ensuring the rolls remain intact. Set aside the tops of the rolls.
  4. Spread 1/2 cup of marinara sauce over the bottom halves of the rolls and sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
  5. Chop the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and arrange them evenly over the mozzarella cheese.
  6. Spoon another 1/2 cup of marinara sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
  7. Sprinkle the shredded Parmesan cheese on top.
  8. Place the top halves of the rolls back onto the sliders, aligning them with the bottom halves.
  9. Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
  10. Cover the sliders with foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the rolls are browned and the cheese is melted.
This recipe serves 6.

Side Caesar Salad with Goldfish


  • 1 head romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  • ½ cup Caesar dressing
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Goldfish crackers


  1. In a large bowl, combine the chopped romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, and shredded Parmesan cheese. Toss well to coat the lettuce evenly.
  2. Top with Goldfish Crackers (Cheddar Bunnies, Turles Baked, etc. all work).
  3. Serve the Caesar salad alongside the Chicken Parm Pull-Apart Sliders for a delicious combination.

Croutons replaced with Goldfish crackers will be a hit with the young and young-at-heart!

BBQ Quesadilla with Elote Cornbread


  • 6 large flour tortillas
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • Pre-made Coleslaw, for serving
  1. In a bowl, combine the shredded chicken and BBQ sauce, ensuring the chicken is coated well.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Brush one side of a tortilla with olive oil and place it in the skillet, oiled side down.
  3. Spread a layer of the BBQ chicken mixture onto half of the tortilla. Top with a handful of shredded cheddar cheese, sliced red onion, and chopped cilantro.
  4. Fold the tortilla in half to cover the filling, creating a half-moon shape. Press down gently with a spatula.
  5. Cook the quesadilla for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until the tortilla is golden brown and crispy, and the cheese has melted. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
  6. Once cooked, remove the quesadillas from the skillet and let them cool for a few minutes. Cut each quesadilla into wedges.
  7. Serve topped with pre-made coleslaw and a side of Elote Cornbread
This recipe serves 6. Enjoy!

Elote (Mexican Street Corn) Cornbread


  • 1 box of cornbread mix (such as Jiffy)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese (or feta cheese)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9-inch square baking dish (or cast iron skillet).
  2. In a mixing bowl, prepare the cornbread batter according to the package directions.
  3. Fold in the thawed corn kernels, shredded cheddar cheese, and chopped cilantro into the cornbread batter.
  4. Pour the cornbread batter into the prepared baking dish, spreading it evenly.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. In a bowl, mayonnaise, sour cream, crumbled cotija cheese, chopped cilantro, chili powder, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  7. Once the cornbread is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
  8. Spread prepared topping over cooled cornbread and serve with BBQ Quesadillas.

Note: You can adjust the seasoning and toppings according to your taste preferences. Feel free to add extra chili powder or lime juice for more kick or sprinkle additional cotija cheese and cilantro on top for added flavor and garnish.

Fishstick Casserole



  • 1 (26 oz) package frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (8 oz) package shredded Colby-Jack cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 (24 oz) package frozen breaded fish sticks


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the thawed hash browns, cream of chicken soup, shredded Colby-Jack cheese, sour cream, melted butter, lemon zest, and seasoned salt. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  3. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan or casserole dish.
  4. Spread the hash brown mixture into the prepared baking pan, ensuring it is evenly distributed.
  5. Arrange the frozen breaded fish sticks on top of the hash brown mixture, evenly spacing them.
  6. Place the casserole dish in the preheated oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the potatoes are bubbly and the fish sticks are golden brown.
  7. Once baked, remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.
  8. Serve the fish stick casserole as a delicious and comforting main dish. Enjoy the crispy fish sticks paired with the creamy and flavorful hash brown mixture.

Note: You can garnish the casserole with additional shredded cheese, chopped fresh parsley, or a squeeze of lemon juice before serving, if desired.

Tex-Mex Ravioli Skillet



  • 1.5 cups ground beef
  • 1 (19 oz) can enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 (25 oz) package frozen cheese ravioli
  • 1 (12 oz) package frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Optional toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeños, sour cream

For serving:

  • Tortilla chips
  • Southwest Salad Kits


  1. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat until browned. Drain any excess grease.
  2. Stir in the enchilada sauce, beef broth, and ground cumin. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  3. Add the frozen cheese ravioli and frozen corn kernels to the skillet. Stir gently to combine all the ingredients.
  4. Cover the skillet and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the ravioli is cooked through and tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  5. Sprinkle the shredded Monterey Jack cheese over the top of the skillet. Cover again and let the cheese melt for a few minutes.
  6. Remove the skillet from heat. Garnish with optional toppings such as chopped fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeños, and a dollop of sour cream if desired.
  7. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping and a side of Southwest Salad Kits for a refreshing accompaniment.

Note: Feel free to customize this dish by adding other ingredients such as diced bell peppers, diced onions, or black beans. Adjust the seasonings to suit your taste preferences, adding more cumin or spices for extra flavor.

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