Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein

I made this for years using expensive Chinese Chow Mein noodles. $4 for 6 oz seemed a bit steep. Especially because I make it every other week. I decided to use thin spaghetti one night and never looked back. 🤣 $1 for 16 oz? Yes, please! So while it might not be 100% authentic, it is 100% delicious! ❤️🥢🥡 I love my veggies, so I usually add in a few more that Panda doesn’t use. 😋

Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein

• 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
• Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
• 1 medium Onion; chopped
• 2 1/2 cupsCabbage; shredded
• 1 cup Celery; thinly sliced
• 1 package Thin Spaghetti; cooked and cooled
• 1 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
• 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
• 2 cloves Garlic; finely minced
• 2 teaspoons fresh Ginger; grated
• 1 teaspoon Chile Paste
• Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Heat a large skillet, Dutch oven or wok over medium high heat and add in oils. Once hot, add veggies and sauté until tender.
  2. Add in garlic and ginger; cooking until just fragrant.
  3. Add pasta, sauces and seasonings. Tossing to coat and adding more oil if needed.
  4. Continue to toss until the pasta is crispy and all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  5. Enjoy!

Looking for a main dish? Try one of these!

Asian Beef Cabbage Rolls
Ginger Broccoli & Beef
Baked Sweet & Sour Beef

Asian Beef Cabbage Rolls

I really, really wanted to make Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps, but I can’t find lettuce anywhere. Time to improvise! I had a head of cabbage in my fridge that I needed to use up and figured what the heck. Lol! They turned out great! The heat of the chile paste and the creaminess of the Sriracha Aioli went so well together. I decided to make some copycat Panda Express Chow Mein to go with it.

Asian Beef Cabbage Rolls

• 12 Cabbage Leaves; steamed until tender
• 2 lbs Lean Ground Beef
• 1 large Shallot; minced
• 2 large Garlic Cloves; minced
• 1 teaspoon fresh Ginger; finely minced
• 1/2 cup Carrot; chopped
• 1/2 cup Sugar Snap Peas; chopped
• 1 cup Rice; cooked
• 8 oz Water Chestnuts; chopped

• 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
• 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
• 1 teaspoon Chile Paste
• 1 Tablespoon Mirin
• 1 teaspoon Fish Sauce
• 1 teaspoon Oyster Sauce
• 2 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
• Salt and Pepper to taste

• 1/2 cup Teriyaki Sauce

• 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
• 1/4 cup Mayo
• Small pinch of salt
• Splash of Mirin

  1. Heat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat and add in ground beef, shallot, garlic, ginger, carrot and sugar snap peas. Saute until beef is cooked through then drain. Add in rice and water chestnuts; cover and turn off heat.
  2. In a bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients and add to the beef mixture; stirring to coat.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  4. Place 1/2 – 2/3 of a cup of filling into each cabbage leaf and roll tightly. Place in large baking dish and drizzle Teriyaki sauce over top. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, combine Sriracha Aioli ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  6. Removed the cabbage rolls from the oven and remove foil, allowing to cool for 5-7 minutes.
  7. Drizzle aioli over top and garnish with cilantro, sesame seeds or fresh chiles slices.
  8. Enjoy!

Looking for a side dish? Try one of these!

Half Fried Shrimp Spring Rolls
Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Spicy Fried Rice

Copycat Popeye’s Fried Chicken

One of my weaknesses is fried chicken and Popeye’s was my favorite, though I haven’t had it in years. Honestly, frying it fresh at home is so much tastier than the chicken that’s been sitting under a heating lamp for an hour plus. Adding spices to every layer is key and the buttermilk bath makes the chicken so tender! I had some zucchini I needed to use, so I made some little Cheddar Zucchini Bakes to go with the chicken.

Copycat Popeye’s Fried Chicken

• 3 lbs Chicken pieces (I prefer dark meat)
• Buttermilk to cover
• 2 Tablespoons Louisiana Hot Sauce
• Pinch of Salt and Pepper

• 1 cup Cornstarch
• 3 large Eggs; whisked
• 1/8 cup Milk
• 3 cups Flour
• 1 Tablespoon Cayenne
• 2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
• 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
• Salt and Pepper to taste
• Oil for frying

1. Add the chicken to a large bowl and pour in buttermilk, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Toss to coat, cover and chill overnight.
2. After marinating, set out 2 separate shallow baking dishes. In a large ziplock bag, add cornstarch and 1/3 of the spices. Add chicken and toss to coat.
3. Add eggs and milk into one dish, whisking until smooth, and the flour into the remaining dish. Divide the remaining seasonings and spices to each of the dish, making sure to evenly mix the ingredients.
3. Heat oil in deep cast iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat until it reaches 325°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, add a tiny pinch of flour to the oil and if it sizzles the oil is hot enough.
4. Meanwhile, remove the chicken from the bag and shake to remove any extra cornstarch. Dredge in the egg mixture, flour mixture, then back in the egg mixture and finally the flour one last time. Shake loose any extra flour and add to the hot oil.
5. Fry in batches for 4-5 minutes per side or until the internal temp reaches 165°F and the juices run clear.
6. Place on rack or paper towel to remove the excess oil while the remaining batches cook.
7. Serve with Chipotle Ranch and enjoy!

Looking for a side dish? Try one of these!

Parmesan Herb Garlic Knots
Sweet Onion Pie
Braided Puff Tartlets

Supreme Calzone

Happy Friday! Supreme Calzone and Cheese Bombs for dinner! I won’t post my pizza dough recipe because I posted it a while back. The fresh Ricotta Cheese makes this a little slice of heaven!

Supreme Calzone

• Pizza dough; proofed
• 1/2 cup Marinara
• 1/2 cup Mozzarella
• 1 cup Ricotta
• 1/2 cup Parmesan
• 1 lb Pepperoni
• 1/2 lb Spicy Italian Sausage
• 1 Tablespoons Olive Oil
• 1/2 cup Bell Pepper; chopped
• 1/2 cup Red Onion; chopped
• 1/2 cup Tomato; diced
• 1/2 cup Mushrooms: sliced
• 2 Garlic Cloves; minced
• 1/4 cup Butter; melted
• 1 Garlic Clove; minced
• Pinch of Salt and Italian Herbs

1. Toss pizza dough until flat and press into a large oval over parchment paper (Kitchenatic’s is my favorite brand and the only one I use).
2. Spread marinara sauce over the center 1/3 of the dough, making sure to leave at least 1/2 inch at the top. This allows the dough to stick to itself when folded over. Top with half of the cheese. Layer Pepperoni over top.
3. Heat cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add a drizzle of oil.
4. Add the Italian Sausage to skillet and cook through then drain and set aside.
5. Add all of the toppings on top of the pepperoni and top with remaining cheese. Gently fold the dough, pushing stray ingredients back in if they pop out. Crimp the edges to seal and score. Cover with towel or plastic wrap and allow 30 minutes to rise.
6. Preheat oven to 375° F.
7. Combine melted butter, garlic, salt and herbs in a small dish. Brush the top of the Calzone with half of the mixture and place in oven; baking for 20 minutes.
8. Check and make sure it’s baking evenly; if it’s browning more on one side turn the tray in the oven to cook the other side. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and brush with remaining melted butter mixture and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
10. Slice and serve with warm marinara or garlic alfredo sauce.
11. Enjoy!

Looking for a side dish? Try one of these!

Parmesan Herb Garlic Knots
Sweet Onion Pie
Braided Puff Tartlets

Italian Sausage Soup

It actually snowed today for the first time all season! Definitely a soup night! 🍲 Italian Sausage Soup with Garlic Parmesan Crostini and hot tea is just what this night needed!

Italian Sausage Soup

• 2 lbs Italian Sausage
• 3 Garlic Cloves; minced
• 1 White Onion; chopped
• 2 quarts Beef Broth
• 14.5 oz Italian Stewed Tomatoes
• 1 Carrot; chopped
• 1 can beans of choice
• 1 large Zucchini; diced
• 2 cups Spinach; packed
• Salt and Pepper to taste
• 2 Bay Leaves
• 1 teaspoon Italian Herbs
• 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

1. In a large dutch oven or skillet and brown sausage over medium high heat. Drain and add in onion, and carrots, sautéing until tender. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant.
2. Add in broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, Italian Herbs, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Stir in zucchini and beans; cooking until zucchini is tender.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in spinach and cheese. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.
5. Enjoy!

Looking for a side dish? Try one of these!

Parmesan Herb Garlic Knots
Sweet Onion Pie
Braided Puff Tartlets

Baked Garlic Parmesan Wings

Baked some Garlic Parmesan Wings for lunch! ❤️ They were missing something, so I made an Italian Vinaigrette to drizzle over top. Top notch wings! I will definitely be adding these to my weekly wing recipe rotation.

Bake Garlic Parmesan Wings

• Dozen Wing drumettes and flats
• 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
• Pinch of Salt and Pepper

• 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
• 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
• 1 teaspoon Fresh Basil; chopped
• 1 teaspoon Oregano
• 1 teaspoon Parsley
• 3 Tablespoons Italian Vinaigrette
• Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. In a large bowl, toss wings in the cornstarch, salt and pepper.
3. Place wings on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 165° F, flipping halfway through.
4. Once done, transfer wings to a large bowl with remaining ingredients. Toss to coat and serve.
5. Enjoy!

Looking for a side dish? Try one of these!

Parmesan Herb Garlic Knots
Sweet Onion Pie
Braided Puff Tartlets

Chicken and Cornbread Waffles

I’m definitely marinating my fried chicken in mustard and mayo again! More flavorful (and cleaner) than an egg wash! It was so tender and moist I loved it! I sandwiched the chicken in a cornbread waffle and served it with BBQ baked beans and Air Fryer Garlic Herb Fries.

Chicken & Cornbread Waffles

• 2 lbs Chicken Breasts
• 1 Cup Dijon Mustard
• 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
• 1/2 teaspoon Salt
• 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
• 1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
• 1 Tablespoon Honey

Breading Mixture
• 1 Cup Flour
• 1 Cup Panko
• Pinch of Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder

1. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place in bag with mustard, mayo honey and spices. Place in fridge for 2-3 hours.
2. Heat cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add 1” of oil. To tell if your oil is hot enough, sprinkle in some flour. If it bubbles, you’re good to go.
3. In another bag, add the flour mixture ingredients and add in chicken pieces one at a time; toss to coat. Remove chicken from bag and shake off excess flour.
4. Carefully place in hot oil and allow to fry for 3-5 minutes, monitoring how dark the breading is getting. If it gets too dark, remove chicken from oil and preheat oven to 325°. Place the chicken on a baking sheet with a rack and place in oven. Bake until internal temperature reaches 165°.
5. Enjoy!

Looking for a main dish? Try one of these!

Spice Rubbed Steaks

Parmesan Herb Garlic Knots

I had some inquiries about my garlic knot recipe. I use the previously submitted pizza dough recipe, but I’ll include it incase someone didn’t catch the post. This makes a whopping 16 large knots, so halving the recipe would be beneficial if you didn’t want that many. You can also freeze the dough before the first proof.

Parmesan Herb Garlic Knots

• 4 cups All Purpose Flour (or Gluten Free blend)
• 1 teaspoon White Sugar
• 2 1/4 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
• 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
• 1 1/2 cups warm Water (110-115 degrees)
• 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

• 2 Garlic Cloves; finely minced
• 1/4 cup Parmesan
• 1 teaspoon Italian Herbs
• 1/2 cup Butter; melted

1. In bowl, whisk water, sugar and yeast together until frothy. Let bloom for 10 minutes.
2. In mixer, combine flour and salt. Create a well in the center and pour in yeast mixture. On medium speed, mix ingredients; slowly drizzling in oil until combined and sticking to the dough hook.
3. Turn out on to floured surface and knead lightly and form into a ball. Put in a large, greased bowl and cover with towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
4. Once doubled in size, punch down and turn out onto floured surface. Cut into 16 even portions and form into a balls. Roll each dough ball into a rope and tie it in a knot. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and rise for an additional 40 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 400°F.
6. In a bowl, combine melted butter, cheese, herbs and salt.
7. Place the knots on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and brush with half of the butter mixture. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Remove from oven and brush with remaining butter mixture. Serve warm with marinara or alfredo sauce!
8. Enjoy!

Looking for a main dish? Try one of these!

Spice Rubbed Steaks
Supreme Stromboli
Baked Caprese Chicken

Beer Braised Bangers and Irish Champ

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! ☘️ I normally make Corn Beef and Cabbage with Boiled Potatoes, but unfortunately all of the corn beef sold out a week ago along with almost everything else in the store. 🤣 I had to stick with what I had in my pantry and freezer this St. Patty’s day. It was delicious! Bangers and Irish Champ with Caramelized Onion Gravy and Buttered Peas. ❤️

Beer Braised Bangers and Irish Champ

• 1 Tablespoon Oil
• 4 Pork Link Sausages
• 1 pint Guinness

• 3 large Russet Potatoes; peeled and cubed
• 2 Garlic cloves; minced
• Salt and Pepper to taste
• 2 cups Green Onion; chopped
• 1/2 cup Butter
• 1/2 cup Milk

• 1/4 cup Irish Butter
• 1 quart Pork Broth
• 1 large Onion; thinly sliced
• 1 Garlic Clove; finely minced
• 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
• Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and Salt liberally. Add in potatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Drain and add in garlic, salt, pepper, onions, butter and milk. Mash until smooth, then cover and set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add oil. Sear sausages on all sides and pour in ale. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and cover; simmering for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a saucepan over medium high heat. Add butter, onions and garlic; sautéing until caramelized. Sprinkle in cornstarch and toss to coat. Slowly pour in broth and mix until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Plate everything and serve!
  5. Enjoy!

Looking for a side dish? Try one of these!

Garlic Herb Knots
Sweet Onion Pie
Braided Puff Tartlets

Air Fryer Sweet & Tangy Plantains

I love plantains! I used to pan fry them, but my air fryer does the trick brilliantly with almost no oil! ❤️ I’d only ever had them with sea salt, garlic and Parmesan so I decided to switch it up a bit and make an interpretation of Maduros. They were pretty dang good!

Air Fryer Sweet & Tangy Plantains

• 2 large Plantains; peeled and sliced
• 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
• Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
• Pinch of Cinnamon
• Pinch of Salt and Pepper
• Drizzle of Olive Oil

  1. Preheat air fryer to 360° F.
  2. Toss all of the ingredients in a large bowl and layer them on air fryer rack.
  3. Slide the rack into the air fryer once it’s preheated.
  4. Fry for 5 minutes and flip. Fry the other side for 4-5 more minutes or until crispy and the sugar is caramelized. Serve hot with Sweet Chile Sauce.
  5. Enjoy!

Looking for a main dish? Try one of these!

Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Bowl
Chinese Spatchcock Chicken