Beef Recipes

Sausage and Beef Hand Pies

Meat-hand-pie-the-cheap-gourmetPersonally, I love meat pies because they contain an entire meal in flakey dough and can be consumed without utensils.

I'd never attempted making my own, simply because I don't have a great track record with dough. However, I found a recipe for Natchitoches Meat Pies at Food Network and felt I could pull it off. I adapted the recipe to suit my tastes and am happy to report the dough was light, flakey and crispy and very easy to make. 

The sausage and beef hand pies have become a favorite in our household. I've modified the recipe in various ways and used ground turkey and chicken, different types of beef, breakfast sausage and scrambled eggs, and even a vegetarian version. Let your imagination run and see what ingredients you can change to create your own version of meat pies. 

Yield: 12 individual pies
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 2-3 minutes per batch of 3 pies



1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
1/3 lb Grassfed Ground Beef
1/4 lb Ground Sausage (we prefer Chorizo or Andouille)
1/4 cup Leek (or sweet onion), finely chopped
1/4 medium Bell Pepper (red or green), finely chopped
1 rib Celery, finely chopped
1 small Jalapeno (seeds removed), finely chopped
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
1-1/2 teaspoon organic all-purpose Flour
1/2 cup Beef Stock (Kitchen Basics is our preferred choice)


1-1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 cup Crisco shortening
1 Egg
1/2 cup whole Milk
Vegetable or Peanut Oil for frying


Meat-pie-filling-the-cheap-gourmet1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add coconut oil and coat bottom of skillet.
3. Add ground beef and sausage and stir cook until browned; about 5 minutes.
4. Add the leek, bell pepper, celery, jalapeno, salt and pepper.
5. Stir and cook until vegetables are soft; about 6-7 minutes.
6. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.Stir in flour and beef broth.
7. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened; about 1 minute.
8. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.


  1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.
  2. Use a fork or pastry blender to cut shortening into flour mixture until it becomes coarse crumbs.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the egg and milk together. 
  4. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until dough is pliable. 
  5. Form dough into a ball and flatten into a round disc.
  6. Pastry dough can be used immediately or wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and stored in refrigerator for up to 24 hours.


Meat-pie-dough-the-cheap-gourmet1. Cut dough into 12 equal pieces.
2. Lightly dust a cutting board or work surface with flour.
3. Flatten each piece into a 6-inch round disc; about 1/4-inch thick.
4. Place 2 tablespoons of meat mixture on one side of the dough. Fold in half and crimp edges with a fork to seal them.


1. In a deep fryer or large skillet, preheat oil to 375 degrees.
2. Carefully place 2 to 3 meat pies into the oil and fry until golden brown on both sides; about 3 minutes.
3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pies to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb grease.
4. Transfer to serving dish and enjoy.



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BBQ Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf Onion Bombs

Everything about these BBQ bacon wrapped meatloaf onion bombs is amazing and certain to please the carnivores in your family. Not only are they easy to prepare, they can be made in advance and frozen for those nights when you don't want to cook.

I wish I could take full credit for the recipe, but instead it is adapted from one I found at It's a great source for all types of recipes based on what you currently have in the fridge, plus guests can submit their own recipes for a chance to win prizes.

For us, the beef onion bomb is a meal in itself, but it would pair well with a fresh garden salad, steamed green beans, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes or fries.


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 2


1 pound grassfed ground beef
1/4 medium Green Bell Pepper, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground Pink Himalayan Salt
1/2 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs (we like Emeril's Original Panko breadcrumbs
1 medium egg, beaten
1/4 cup Half & Half or whole milk
1/4 cup BBQ sauce, plus extra for brushing (my favorite is The Shed Spicy Sweet BBQ Sauce)
2 medium White or Yellow onions
6 thick slices Applewood or Hickory Bacon


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a large bowl combine all ingredients except onions and bacon.
3. Cut the top and bottom off each onion and remove skin. Cut in half and remove core, leaving 3-4 thick outside layers.
4. Divide meat mixture in half and roll into balls.
5. Wrap onion halves around meat to create a seal around the meatball.
6. Wrap each bomb with 3 slices of bacon and secure with toothpicks.












7. Bake in glass casserole dish for 45 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
8. Brush with BBQ sauce and bake an additional 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Balsamic Glazed Sirloin and Potato Onion Bacon Hash

This recipe for chocolate balsamic glazed sirloin and potato onion bacon hash is certain to be a huge hit! While it tastes as though you spent hours preparing it, this gourmet meal takes less than an hour from start to finish.

I purchased chocolate mandarin balsamic vinegar from a vendor at our local Farmers Market, but it can also be found in specialty stores such as Dean and Deluca. You can also try online stores such as the Olive Branch Oil and Spice Company

Servings: 2
Marinade Time: 20 minutes
Prep Time: 20 minutes


2 (5-ounce) Top Sirloin Fillets
1/3 cup Chocolate Mandarin Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus 2 Tablespoons
2 Tablespoons fresh Rosemary, finely chopped, plus 2 small sprigs for garnish
4 strips Bacon, chopped
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced
8-10 Pearl Onions, ends and skin removed
4-6 medium Baby Portobella Mushrooms, gills removed and thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon fresh Garlic, minced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, and chopped rosemary. Add the sirloin steak and coat boat sides, then allow to marinate in refrigerator for 20 minutes.


2. Slice Yukon Gold potatoes and submerge in a bowl filled with cold water. 

3. Place a large saute pan on high heat and add remaining olive oil. Heat until oil begins to smoke. Drain water from potatoes and carefully add to pan along with pearl onions.

4. Place a medium saute pan on high heat and add chopped bacon. Cook until crispy, then reduce heat to medium and add portobella mushrooms and garlic. Stir ingredients together and cook for 5-6 minutes until onion becomes translucent. 

5. While the potatoes are finishing, remove sirloin steak from marinade and lightly season both sides with salt and pepper, if desired. 

6. Place the steak on a broiler pan or heated grill and cook each side for 3-4 minutes for medium-rare.

7. While steak is grilling, add bacon, mushroom and garlic mixture to potatoes and mix well to combine ingredients. 


8. Remove steak from grill/broiler and let set for 2-3 minutes. Divide potato onion bacon hash in half and transfer to dinner plate. Serve the steak on top of the hash and garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig. 




Slow Cooked Cuban Flank Steak and Rice

If you're looking for an exceptionally flavorful slow cooked Cuban flank steak recipe, I think you'll love this one. Although this version is served over rice, you could substitute with quinoa or pile the meat and veggies onto Cuban bread and make a sandwich.

While this slow cooked Cuban flank steak is perfect for dinner, it's also ideal for pitch-ins and parties. It's super easy to make and requires zero pre-cooking, other than the rice. All you have to do is place everything in the slow cooker and enjoy all the goodness later in the day.


Slow Cooked Cuban Flank Steak and Rice
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Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours


1 small white Onion, thinly sliced
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, sliced in ½" strips
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, sliced in ½" strips
2 large cloves Garlic, minced
1 pound Flank Steak, sliced in ½" strips
2 teaspoons ground Chili powder
1 teaspoon ground Oregano
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Lime, juice only
1 cup organic Beef Broth
1 (15 ounce) can organic Black Beans, drained and rinsed


1. Lightly grease slow cooker with oil, butter, or cooking spray,
2. Place onions, peppers, and garlic on bottom of slow cooker.
3. Add sliced beef.
4. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt. Mix together and sprinkle over meat.
5. Squeeze juice from lime and drizzle over meat. Add beef broth.
6. Cover and cook over low for 6-8 hours.
7. Remove beef and transfer to cutting board. Shred beef using two forks and return to slow cooker. Add black beans. Turn heat to high and begin preparing rice.
8. Cook rice according to package directions.  When done, scoop onto plate and add flank steak, veggies, and stock.

Prime Rib with Dijon Mustard Slather


If you're looking for a recipe that adds a burst of flavor to prime rib, you'll love this Prime Rib Dijon Mustard Slather. It's super easy to make and works well as a meat tenderizer. I let the meat marinade in the refrigerator for a few hours, then let the prime rib roast stand at room temperature for about an hour prior to roasting.

I serve Prime Rib with Dijon Mustard Slather with roasted potatoes or bacon bleu cheese mashed potatoes, along with steamed green beans or roasted corn on the cob. It pairs well with a fresh garden salad and dinner rolls.


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Servings: 4 (8 ounce)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Marinade Time: 2 to 3 hours
Roasting Time: 35 to 45 minutes


2 pound Prime Rib Roast
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
4 cloves Garlic, mashed
1 Tablespoon fresh ground Black Pepper
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Hot Creamed Horseradish


1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients, except prime rib roast, and whisk together until well blended.

2. Rub slather over entire roast. Place in a baking dish and store in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.

3. Remove roast and let stand for 30 minutes to an hour.

4. Preheat oven to 500 degrees then reduce to 350 degrees when you put the roast in. This will sear the outside and help keep juices locked in.

5. Roast for 18 to 22 minutes per pound for medium rare. Remove from oven and let stand for 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees before slicing. If you prefer medium, the internal temp should be 150 degrees. For well done, the internal temp should be 170 degrees.

6. Slice meat and transfer to serving dishes. Serve with side dishes, garden salad, and rolls.


BBQ London Broil Recipe

London broil is one of my favorite ways to prepare flank steak. This affordable cut of meat is often tough and requires a great-tasting marinade to tenderize. I was getting weary of the same ole' Worchestershire marinade I've used for years. After scouring the Internet for different ways to prepare London broil, I grabbed a few recipes, altered and changed ingredients, and came up with the following BBQ London Broil recipe. This recipe includes a dry rub and a marinade sauce, but is super simple to make.

It's best to marinate the BBQ London Broil flank steak overnight if possible. If you're short on time or can't wait an entire day to enjoy the deliciousness of this tasty cut of beef, allow at least one hour of marinating time. This steak is perfect for grilling, but can also be broiled; which is how I prepared it. I served the BBQ London Broil with macaroni and cheese and a side of green beans. Simple, tasty, and cheap!

London Broil should be served medium-rare, so keep a watchful eye when grilling or broiling. The meat is sliced and requires less cooking time than usual.


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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Marinate Time: 24 hours or 1 hour minimum
Cooking Time: 12-15 minutes
Meat Resting Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4


1-1/2 pounds Flank Steak

Dry Rub

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Blackening Seasoning


1/3 cup Ketchup
2 Tablespoons Tamari Sauce (or Soy Sauce)
2 Tablespoons Worchestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
3 cloves Garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 Tablespoon Onions, pressed through garlic press or finely minced


1. Score meat diagonally, a little less than half-way through meat thickness. Turn meat 45 degrees and score diagonally again to create a criss-cross pattern.

2. Rub meat with one teaspoon of dry rub per side. Be certain to get seasoning into scored areas.

3. Place marinade ingredients into a gallon-size resealable plastic bag. Massage bag to incorporate ingredients. Place steak into the bag and gently massage marinade into the meat.way


4. Refrigerate overnight or for at least one hour.

5. Place meat on broiler pan and turn oven to broil.

6. Broil 6-8 minutes per side, depending on meat thickness.

7. Remove from broiler and let rest for 10 minutes.


8. Slice thinly against the grain and serve immediately.


If you have leftover meat use it for fajitas, quesadilla, or homestyle beef Manhattan sandwiches.

Homestyle Beef Manhattan Sandwich

Homestyle Beef Manhattan sandwiches are one of my all time favorites. Stuffed with juicy meat, creamy mashed potatoes, a soft Kaiser roll and tons of gravy, beef manhattan's make a complete meal. Well, almost. It's always a good idea to serve with a side of veggies, a yummy salad or tasty slices of fruit.

I've enjoyed homestyle beef manhattan sandwiches for as long as I can remember. I recently discovered a decadent recipe for Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich at The Pioneer Woman Cooks blog. After making it according to the recipe, I realized this sandwich was perfect for making Beef Manhattan sandwiches. It was a huge hit and today, I'd like to share the recipe with you.

I'm a huge advocate for copyright laws and refuse to publish another food blogger's recipe. So, you will need to obtain the Marlboro Man's Favorite Recipe and then follow the remaining cooking instructions.


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Serves 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes


Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich Recipe

Mashed Potatoes Recipe:

2 large Idaho Potatoes, washed and chopped into 1-inch cubes
2 quarts water
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 cup whole milk or half-and-half
2 tablespoons butter
4 Kaiser Rolls
1 jar Homestyle Beef Gravy


1. Cook Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich recipe according to directions.
2. In 3-quart saucepan, add potatoes and salt. Bring to a boil. Cook uncovered for 12-15 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.
3. Drain potatoes in colander. Transfer to mixing bowl. Add butter and milk or half-and-half.
4. Using hand mixer, mash potatoes until creamy. Add additional milk if desired.
5. Slice Kaiser buns in half. Top with meat mixture. Add 1/2 cup mashed potatoes. Top with gravy and top of Kaiser roll. Serve with veggie side dish, tossed salad or fruit slices. Enjoy!

Beef Manhattan Sandwich

Brad's Bodacious Beef, Bean and Sausage Chili Recipe

Today, I'd like to share Brad's Bodacious Beef, Bean and Sausage Chili recipe; a creation made by my culinary-exploring husband. I am constantly amazed at how far his cooking skills have improved in the eleven years we have been together. When we first met, he was strictly a meat-and-potatoes-guy who was not very enthusiastic about changing his dietary habits.

After creating his Bodacious Beef, Bean and Sausage Chili recipe, I decided it was time to officially crown him The Mini Cheap Gourmet! He took our family chili recipe to an entirely new level with this tasty and hardy rendition. It is by far the best chili I have ever tasted and I am thrilled to share his recipe with you. 


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Serves: 8-10
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour


1-1/2 pounds lean Ground Beef
2 Johnsonville New Orleans Brand Andouille Recipe Spicy Smoked Sausage links
1 package Carroll Shelby Chili Mix
½ medium White or Yellow Onion, chopped
2-3 medium Garlic cloves, minced
½ medium Green Pepper, chopped
1 small Jalapeno, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 64-ounce bottle Campbell's Tomato Juice
1 15-ounce can Bush's Seasoned Black Beans, drained
2 cups Bowtie Pasta or Elbow Macaroni, uncooked
Shredded Cheddar Cheese, optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Crackers or corn chips, optional


1. Add ground beef to heavy stockpot over medium heat. Break into pieces and cook for 10-12 minutes or until meat is browned.
2. Place cooked hamburger in a colander and rinse with warm water to remove excess grease. Return to stock pot.
3. Cut Johnsonville sausage links half then cut each half in half. Cut slices into half-inch pieces. Add to cooked hamburger.
4. Add Carroll Shelby Chili Mix, except for masa flour. Use half of the cayenne pepper packet unless you like exceptionally spicy chili.
5. Add onion, garlic, green pepper and jalapeno. Pour in the entire bottle of tomato juice, add the black beans and mix ingredients together.
6. Add pasta. If the tomato juice does not cover the pasta, fill the tomato juice bottle about half-way full of water and add to chili mixture.
7. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for one hour.

8. Transfer to serving bowls. Top with cheddar cheese, salt and pepper, if desired. Serve immediately. 


We like to add corn chips to our chili to provide a little extra crunch. Frito's scoop corn chips are my personal favorite because I can scoop up small amounts of the chili when it is too hot to eat. We often use leftover chili to make nachos, taco salads and as a topping for baked potatoes.

If you enjoy Brad's Bodacious Beef, Bean and Sausage Chili please stop back and leave a comment. Doing so will make my husband a very happy man!

Copyright © The Cheap Gourmet and Kathy Browning. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright and intellectual property rights. Reproducing or electronically submitting this article without written permission from the author is prohibited by law. Govern yourself accordingly. Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Homemade Corn Chip Meatballs with Spaghetti Recipe

The following homemade corn chip meatballs with spaghetti recipe occurred as a fluke. It wasn't until after I assembled my regular meatball ingredients that I realized I had no bread crumbs in the cupboard. As I searched for a substitute, I noticed a container of corn chips stashed at the back of the pantry.

I thought, what the heck… why not grind the corn chips in a food processor and improvise? The corn chips I used were pretty stale, which may or may not be the key to the recipe. I've yet to try these meatballs using fresh corn chips.

The meatballs were quite tasty, with just a hint of corn chip flavor. I imagine kids would really like these meatballs. You could easily substitute ground beef with ground turkey, chicken or pork, or use half pork and half ground beef. Feel free to experiment and create your own version of corn chip meatballs!

Homemade Corn Chip Meatballs with Spaghetti Recipe

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Serves: 4 (16 meatballs)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

1 pound lean Ground Beef
¼ cup Red Onion, finely chopped
¼ cup Green Pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
½ cup Corn Chips, finely ground
2 teaspoons dried Oregano
1 teaspoon dried Basil
½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 Egg
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 ounces shredded Mozzarella Cheese, optional



1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, expect olive oil and mix with hands to incorporate all ingredients.
2. Using a cookie dough scoop, or hands, make 16 one-ounce meatballs.
3. Add olive oil to 12-inch skillet and heat over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes.
4. Reduce heat to medium and gently place meatballs in skillet and cover with a lid.
5. Cook meatballs for 2-3 minutes per side.
6. Cook each side of meatballs for 1 minute.
7. Line a plate with paper towels and transfer meatballs to plate to absorb excess oil.
8. Serve on top of cooked spaghetti and add your favorite sauce.
9. Top with mozzarella cheese, if desired.


Side Note: Cook spaghetti according to package directions. I used regular spaghetti, which takes 10-12 minutes to cook. Start water prior to cooking meatballs. Once it comes to a rapid boil, add spaghetti and stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Drain in a colander and serve immediately.

This recipe pairs well with garlic bread or garlic toast and a fresh salad.

Looking for homemade pasta sauce recipes? Check out my Yahoo! Contributor Network article ~ Homemade Sauces: Three Easy-to-Prepare Pasta Sauces


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Baked Spicy Macaroni and Cheese with Ground Beef and Bacon Casserole

Baked spicy macaroni and cheese with ground beef and bacon casserole is one of our family favorite recipes. This one-dish meal is a cheap gourmet version of America's all-time favorite comfort food. It pairs well with a fresh salad and piping hot dinner rolls.

Baked spicy macaroni and cheese with ground beef and bacon casserole is a great dish to take to pitch-in parties and cook-outs. It can be served for lunch or dinner, as an entrée or side dish, and makes a great leftover meal that can be taken to work and reheated in the microwave.

This Mac' and Cheese casserole can be transformed into a healthier version by using whole wheat pasta, substituting ground beef with ground chicken or turkey, and using turkey bacon instead of pork. I have used low-fat cheddar cheese in the past, but found it to be a bit too rubbery in this particular recipe. I hope you, your family and friends enjoy this macaroni and cheese recipe as much as we do!


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Serves: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 10 – 12 minutes

1 to 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 pound lean Ground Beef, Chicken or Turkey
6 slices Bacon, (Pork or Turkey)
1 16-ounce box Corkscrew Pasta (or Elbow Macaroni, Penne or Bowtie)
1 or 2 Jalapeno Peppers, seeds removed and diced
2 medium cloves Garlic, minced
1 16-ounce jar Ragu Cheddar Cheese Sauce
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
1 teaspoon dried Basil
Salt and pepper, as desired


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place bacon strips in large skillet and cook over medium heat approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side. Bacon should be crisp on both sides for ease in breaking into smaller pieces.
3. Transfer cooked bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up grease.
4. Crumble ground beef into skillet, allowing it to cook in the remaining bacon grease. Stir frequently and break up any large pieces using a spatula. 

Spicy hamburger bacon mixture

5. Using a 3-quart pot, add 2 quarts of water, pinch of salt and a splash of olive oil. Bring to a boil, add pasta and cook as per package instructions.

Spicy hamburger bacon mixture and cooked pasta

6. While ground beef and pasta are cooking, wash jalapeno peppers, remove seeds and dice. If you prefer super spicy, chop entire pepper including the seeds.
7. Remove skin from garlic cloves and mince.
8. Break bacon into bite-size pieces and add along with jalapeno peppers and garlic cloves to ground beef during the last 3 to 4 minutes of cooking.
9. Lightly grease a 9x12 baking dish with olive oil.
10. Drain pasta using a colander and transfer to baking dish.

Corkscrew macaroni

11. Drain hamburger mixture in colander and rinse with water to remove excess grease.
12. Add hamburger mixture and Ragu Cheddar Cheese Sauce to pasta. Gently stir to incorporate ingredients.

Mac and cheese casserole

13. Top casserole with shredded Cheddar Cheese. Evenly sprinkle with dried Oregano and Basil.

Spicy hamburger bacon mac and cheese

14. Place Mac' and Cheese in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cheese melts and begins to turn brown on top. 

Baked spicy hamburger bacon mac and cheese

15. Using oven mitts, remove casserole from oven. Allow to sit for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to dinner plates and serve immediately.

Baked spicy hamburger bacon mac and cheese on plate



Philly Cheese Steak Quesadilla Recipe - The Cheap Gourmet Original

I am excited to share this Philly Cheese Steak Quesadilla recipe with you. A few weeks ago I saw a commercial for a local restaurant offering two new cheese steak sandwiches; one of which was a quesadilla. What was ironic about it was my husband and I had been discussing the concept a few nights before.

To us, a philly cheese steak quesadilla seemed like a perfect fit. It also seemed less messy. I LOVE philly cheese steaks, but always end up wearing half of it. Do you have that problem too?

A few nights ago, my husband was attending an event and I had to fend for myself come dinner time. We had all the makings for cheese steaks sandwiches except for bread.

The light bulb went on and I decided to give the quesadilla concept a try. I am happy to report it was an incredible success. Even better, this recipe is super simple to make. The icing on top is you can make personal quesadillas to accomodate everyone's taste buds.

I love mushrooms on my philly cheesesteaks. My husband isn't too fond of those. I added fresh diced tomoatoes in the quesadilla and it added a nice flavor contrast. We've had cheese steak quesadillas three times in four days -- that's how addicting these things are!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Philly Cheese Steak Quesadilla Recipe

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Serves 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

2 medium flour Tortilla wraps
4 slices frozen Philly Cheese Steaks
1/2 green Bell Pepper, diced
1/3 cup Red Onion, diced
1/3 cup fresh Tomatoes, diced (optional)
4 Tablespoons Ragu Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Chop bell pepper, onions and tomatoes.
  3. Preheat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Remove frozen Philly Cheesesteak meat from package. Break into bite-size pieces and add to skillet.
  5. Add pepper and onion, stirring frequently.
  6. Cook 5 to 6 minutes or until beef is thoroughly cooked.
  7. Cover each quesadilla with 2 Tablespoons Ragu Cheddar Cheese Sauce. Spread cheese evenly and all the way to the edges.
  8. Place half the meat mixture on one half of each quesadilla.
  9. Top with fresh tomatoes, if desired.
  10. Fold the other half over meat mixture and seal edges using the cheese sauce.
  11. Place on baking stone or baking sheet.
  12. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until tortillas begins to turn light brown.
  13. Remove from oven, transfer to plates and serve immediately.

Philly Cheese Steak Quesadilla

Gourmet "Souped-Up" Rice-a-Roni

I've been a fan of Rice-a-Roni since I was a kid. It was a staple in our household because it was a cheap food nearly everyone liked. With a husband and four kids to feed, my mom was not only the Cooking Queen, she was also the Queen of Frugality. Who knew her frugality would lead me to my destiny of becoming The Cheap Gourmet ;-).

Last week, our grocer was selling Rice-a-Roni as buy one, get one free. I love BOGO sales, don't you? Considering Rice-a-Roni is still one of my favorite "San Francisco treats", I stocked up. After all, this is probably one of the most versatile and easy-to-prepare dishes on the planet.

Today, Rice-a-Roni is owned by the Quaker Oats Company and offers 18 varieties. Although I haven't tried all of them (Yet!) my favorites include: Chicken, Beef, Red Beans and Rice, Rice Pilaf, Long Grain and Wild Rice, and Fried Rice.

Since I had purchased a total of 20 boxes of Rice-a-Roni, I decided to experiment a bit. I figured if my experiment failed, I would only be out a couple of bucks. But, I had a feeling my idea would work and I'm happy to report that it did!

I added one of my other favorite products, Campbell's French Onion Soup, to a box of Beef flavored Rice-a-Roni. The package called for 2-1/2 cups of water. I replaced the the water with one can of French Onion Soup and about 1 cup of water. It really "souped-up" the flavor and the onion chunks added a new layer of texture.

This dish is "souper" easy to prepare ;-). Did you like my pun, LOL! All that is required is one box of Beef flavored Rice-a-Roni, one can of Campbell's French Onion Soup and one cup of water. Food prep doesn't get much easier than that does it?

Follow the package directions for preparation of the Rice-a-Roni. Instead of using the full 2-1/2 cups water, replace with the French Onion Soup and one cup of water. Within 25 minutes, you will have a yummy side dish bursting with flavor.

Soup up Rice-a-Roni

The Ultimate Beef Crockpot Recipe

'Tis the season for breaking out the Crock-Pot Slow Cooker! There's nothing better than the aromas that fill your house as your fork-tender meal is cooking. Today I'd like to share the Ultimate Beef Crockpot Recipe which I created for my family last weekend.

Before I share the Ultimate Beef Crockpot Recipe, allow me to explain how it came about. On October 22, I underwent oral surgery for complete dental restoration. I had been living off nutrition shakes and soup. My dentist told me I would need to stay on a liquid and soft food diet for several weeks while my gums healed.

After a week, I could barely stand the thought of downing one more drink or bowl of soup or plate of mashed potatoes. Then it hit me... Bring out the Crock-Pot!! I had been craving beef, which is odd since I don't eat much red meat. I'm assuming my body needed the protein to help me through the healing process.

I gathered my favorite ingredients and began adding items to the Crock-Pot I inherited from my mom, the Cooking Queen. She cooked up some seriously good food and I was in need of something with substance. I'm certain she would have loved this recipe and it has offically been added to my family's list of all-time favorites. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


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Serves 6 Cook Time: 4 to 6 hours


1-1/2 pounds Sirloin Tip Side Steak, cut in strips
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Black Pepper, coarsely ground
1 Onion (yellow or white), sliced into rings
2 medium Carrots, sliced diagonally
4 medium Potatoes
1 green Bell Pepper
4 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 Jalapeno Peppers, minced
2 Tablespoons Dale's Seasoning (or Worcestershire Sauce)
1 Tablespoon Stubb's Moppin' Sauce (or BBQ Sauce)
1 14.5-ounce can Diced Tomatoes
1 10-1/2-ounce can Campbell's French Onion Soup, plus 2 soup cans Water


  1. Slice sirloin tip side steak into 2-inch strips
  2. Add olive oil to 10-inch skillet and heat to medium.
  3. Sprinkle both sides of meat with coarsely ground black pepper and press pepper into meat with the palm of your hand.
  4. Carefully add meat to skillet and lightly brown on both sides. Remove from skillet and place on plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  5. Slice onion into 1-inch thick rings. Separate rings and place on bottom of Crock-Pot.
  6. Slice carrots diagonally into 1-inch chunks and add to Crock-Pot.
  7. Cut potatoes into large chunks. I prefer to leave the skin on, but you can remove it if desired.
  8. Cut green bell peppers into rings or large chunks.
  9. Chop garlic and toss in with the rest of the veggies.
  10. Slice jalapeno peppers in half and remove seeds. Mince and add to the Crockpot.
  11. Mix the Dale's Seasoning (or Worcestershire Sauce) and Stubb's Moppin' Sauce (or BBQ) together in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the sirloin steak with the sauce.
  12. Place seasoned meat on top of veggies.
  13. Drain diced tomatoes and place on top of the meat.
  14. Pour French Onion Soup and 2 soup cans of water over the meat and vegetables.
  15. Turn the Crock-Pot on high for 30 minutes, then lower setting to medium or medium-low.
  16. Cook for 4 to 6 hours.
  17. Ladle into soup bowls and serve with a French Baguette or warm bread with butter or dipping oil.



Sweet and Sassy Crockpot Chicken

Crockpot Caramel Apples

Crockpot Beef Roast with Burgundy Wine Gravy

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe

The following Vegetable Beef Soup recipe has been served for three generations in my family. It began with my maternal Grandmother. Then my mom, who is the Queen of Cooking, added a few more ingredients to make it a bit heartier. It has since been passed to me and I have incorporated even more ingredients. So, over the course of 40 years it has gone from ordinary Vegetable Soup, to what I now refer to as "Everything But The Kitchen Sink Vegetable Beef Soup!"

While there are quite a few ingredients, this soup is relatively easy to make. At best estimate, it costs about $12.00 to make a huge stockpot full of this yummy goodness. Our family consists of three and this recipe yields about 12 servings.

I like to store four to six servings in individual containers and place them in the freezer for later use. It only takes a few hours for the soup to thaw, making this a great item to take to the office for a tasty and healthy lunch. Just reheat in the microwave for two to three minutes and serve with Saltine crackers or a slice of homemade cornbread.


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Serves 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3-4 hours


2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pound Sirloin Steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small Yellow Onion, chopped
2-3 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 whole Bay Leaves
1 (46-ounce) can Tomato Juice
1/2 head green Cabbage, chopped
3 stalks Celery, sliced
2 medium Carrots, sliced
3 medium Potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 (15-ounce) can Corn, drained
1 (15-ounce) can Peas, drained
1 (15-ounce) can Green Beans, drained
1 (15-ounce) can diced Tomatoes
1 cup quick-cook Barley
Salt and Pepper to taste


Add Olive Oil to large stockpot. Set heat to medium and allow oil to heat for one minute.

Add Sirloin cubes to oil and cook thoroughly; about 4-5 minutes.


Add Onion and Garlic to meat. Saute until translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add Bay Leaves and heat for 1 minute.


Add cabbage, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn, peas, green beans and tomatoes.



Add Tomato Juice.

Bring ingredients to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 3 hours; stir occasionally.

Add Barley, stir well and simmer for 30 minutes.


Remove bay leaves from soup and discard.

Transfer to soup bowls and serve immediately.


Crockpot Beef Pot Roast with Burgundy Wine Gravy Recipe

During the holidays, I went home to visit my family in Indiana. Pretty much everything I know about cooking was taught to me by my mom. She is the Queen of putting together a scrumptious, melt-in-your-mouth meal with her ever-present Crockpot.

When I arrived, the aromatics of mom's Beef Pot Roast filled the air. I could smell it the instant I opened my car door. The moment I crossed the threshold, my salivary glands went into overdrive and I was instantly drawn to the Crockpot sitting on the counter.

As I approached the Crockpot, it took every ounce of energy to not stick a fork in and grab a morsel. Mom informed me I would have to wait one more hour before diving into her famous concoction of beef, onion soup, burgundy wine and mushrooms. The wait was excruciating!

It wasn't easy prying this recipe from mom. But, she's a passionate foodie and with a little persuasion from her favorite daughter (sorry Sis!) she agreed to share her divine recipe with The Cheap Gourmet readers. I am honored to pass along this tried-and-true Crockpot recipe to you and hope that you and your family enjoy it for years to come!

Shop Crock Pot the original slow cooker!


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1-2 cloves Garlic, peeled
Salt and Pepper for seasoning
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-1/2 to 3 pound Eye-of-Round or Beef Rump Roast
1 packet of dry Onion Soup mix
1/2 cup Water
1 can Mushroom soup mix (my favorite is Campbell's Golden Mushroom)
1/3 cup Burgundy Wine (Merlot or Cabernet are excellent choices)
4 teaspoons Cornstarch
1/4 cup Water
1 (4 ounce) jar sliced Mushrooms, optional


  1. Place roast in a shallow pan and allow to come to room temperature; about 2 hours.
  2. Rub roast with garlic, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add olive oil to heavy skillet, turn heat level to high.
  4. Carefully place roast in heated oil and sear* on all sides.
  5. Remove beef from skillet, reduce heat to medium-low and transfer beef roast to crockpot.
  6. Add dry onion soup mix and 1/2 cup water to skillet used for searing and mix well.
  7. Cook soup mixture for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. Add mushroom soup and wine to soup mixture, stir well.
  9. Remove from heat and pour mixture over beef roast in slow cooker. If necessary, add water so liquid covers three-quarters of the roast. Cover.
  10. Cook 6 to 8 hours or until roast is fork tender.**
  11. Remove roast from crockpot, place on plate and cover loosely with foil.
  12. Add cornstarch to 1/4 cup cold water and stir.
  13. Add mixture to liquid in crockpot and cook until thickened; then cook one additional minute.
  14. Add water if necessary for desired consistency.
  15. Add sliced mushrooms, if desired and heat thoroughly.
  16. Transfer mixture to gravy pitcher and serve with beef roast.
  17. Slice beef roast and transfer to serving platter.

*Sear means to brown beef on all sides to lock in juices and create a crisp outer layer.
**Fork tender means the beef will easily fall apart when a fork is inserted, pulling the meat away from the roast.

If desired, add quartered onion chunks, red potatoes and baby carrots. Place in crockpot after adding the soup-wine mixture. Or serve with mashed potatoes and vegetable side dishes.

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Gourmet Hamburger Recipes

Gourmet hamburgers are always a big hit at Labor Day parties and I found some recipes that are sure to delight your tastebuds. Everyone has their own special style of creating gourmet burgers and there really is no right or wrong way, as long as it turns out juicy.

Although sirloin makes a tasty burger, it also tends to make a dry burger. When using sirloin add some type of liquid such as Worchershire, Soy or Dale's Seasoning to the mix. Ground beef that contains 20 to 30 percent fat will make a juicy burger, but they tend to shrink up. You can lose as much as 20 percent of the volume during cooking, so be sure to add extra meat to your patties.

Ground turkey or chicken are good choices for those who are watching their fat and calorie intake. Simply replace either meat for ground red meat in your favorite gourmet burger recipe. Make note that turkey and chicken tend to get mushy, so add a small amount of bread crumbs and an egg to provide elasticity.

When grilling gourmet hamburgers select coarse ground meat as it will hold up better over the hot coals. Finely ground meat has a tendency to turn mushy and fall apart. Adding large chunks of vegetables such as onions and green peppers can cause your gourmet burger to crumble. If you decide to add vegetables, be certain to finely chop and incorporate ingredients well.

Sargento Cheese offers a free brochure that includes a variety of gourmet hamburger recipes. Indulge in Island Jerk Burgers with Habanero Lime Coleslaw, Steakhouse Peppercorn Mushroom Burgers, Tuscan Olive Burgers, or Southwest Caesar Burgers.

In addition to gourmet hamburger recipes, Sargento Cheese offers a variety of free instant download recipes, along with an entire recipe collection at their website. To obtain your free gourmet hamburger recipes, sign up for their free newsletter, watch cooking videos and more, visit their website at

Wishing you a safe, happy and fun Labor Day!


All-Purpose Meat Marinade Recipe

Here's a recipe for an easy-to-prepare all-purpose meat marinade. You can use this marinade for white fish, chicken, turkey, red meat (it's awesome for London Broil), ribs, hamburgers, meatloaf and more. If you try it, stop back and let me know how you used it and how you like it!

All-purpose-meat-marinade-the-cheap-gourmetALL-PURPOSE MEAT MARINADE
Makes 1 cup


1/3-cup Soy Sauce (reduced sodium is a healthier choice)
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Adobo Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper, freshly ground


  1. Using a small wire whisk, combine all ingredients together.
  2. Place your choice of meat in a glass baking dish and pour marinade over meat. Flip meat and coat the other side.
  3. Place meat in refrigerator for 30 minutes and no longer than 2 hours.
  4. Transfer meat to oven or grill and cook until done.

Note: If using the marinade to season hamburgers or meatloaf, use just enough to moisten the meat. Otherwise, you'll end up with a liquidy mess that won't be pretty or edible.

Tip: You can double or triple the recipe and store in a shaker bottle. Store in the refrigerator and use to season rice, vegetables, potatoes, or whatever strikes your fancy.


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Gourmet Meatloaf Recipe

I have many fond memories of meatloaf. It smells so yummy when it's baking. It's super easy to make and best of all, it's relatively inexpensive. Below is one of my favorite versions of meatloaf. You can use different types of meat if you like. You can also add in additional spices such as parsley and basil, cayenne pepper or garlic salt. Feel free to get creative and experiment with the recipe to find the flavors that suit your taste buds.


Gourmet Meatloaf Recipe 

Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes





2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Onion, finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Salt
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper flakes
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 pound Extra Lean Ground Beef or Turkey
1/2 pound Ground Pork or Italian Sausage
2 large Eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup plain Bread Crumbs
1 14-ounce can Italian Tomatoes, diced


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large heavy skillet saute the onion and garlic in olive oil, over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes; stir occassionally.
  3. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the meats, eggs, bread crumbs, and sauteed vegetables.
  5. Form into a loaf and place in a lightly greased rectangular baking pan.
  6. Bake meatloaf in oven for 45 minutes.
  7. Drain juice from tomatoes and pour over the top of the meatloaf.
  8. Return to oven and continue baking for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes.
  10. Transfer to serving platter and voila - you have a delicious Gourmet Meatloaf!




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