Super bowl grilled cheeseburger sandwiches


The game changer

With the super bowl LV aka the 55th super bowl right around the corner, it’s time to get serious about game snacks and tasty food to have alongside. We snack, they play. That kinda labor distribution sounds good to me.

This super bowl, my favorite football treats are grilled cheeseburger sandwiches. They are essentially an amazing fusion between grilled cheese sandwiches and burgers. In other words: a savory win win situation. The whole nine yards of tasty soul food. It’s like your stomach will score a touch down. Essentially, this dish is a deconstructed cheeseburger. I love it as it gives you this nice blend of all the different flavors with every bite. Besides being a great soul food option alongside watching a game, grilled cheeseburger sandwiches are also a wonderful option for a comfort food dinner with the family.

I am also fully aware that technically every burger is a type of sandwich, but this recipe makes them even more sandwich-y since you use a sandwich maker to prepare them. Have you notice what a super sporty fella this grilled cheeseburger sandwich is, since technically you could say that it is super ripped like it loves working out. So I’d say, it is indeed a perfect fit for the super bowl.

Also don’t forget my super bowl food compilation for more tasty game day inspiration.

At a glance

  • Category: Dinner, Soul food, Game snack
  • Serving: 4
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Grill time per sandwich: 3-5 minutes
  • Total time from start to finish: 30 minutes
  • Extra equipment: sandwich maker

Ingredients for one grilled cheeseburger sandwich

  • 8 slices of (brioche) sandwich bread
  • 4 slice of cheddar
  • A bit if chopped up lettuce
  • 5.3 ounces (150 grams) of ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 medium sized onion onions
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/4 cup of diced up (mini) pickles
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite burger sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make a grilled cheeseburger sandwich

It’s kick-off time for your grilled cheeseburger sandwiches…

Step 1: First of all, start by chopping the onion, the tomato and the pickles into tiny a.k.a. smallish dices and then cut your washed salad leaves into thin slices.

Step 2: Add the vegetable oil to a pan and bring it to high heat, then cook the ground beef. Now, you might have stumbled over the word “high” with regards to the cooking temperature as normally you should only ever cook meat on medium heat. In this case, I advocate for high temperature as it gives the meat that slight crunch and caramlization effect to the beef.

Cook the ground beef until it’s almost well done. Almost, because any kind of protein will continue to process even when you take it off the heat and also because you don’t want to dry out the meat, by leaving it exposed to high heat for too long. How medium or well done you cook it, should depend on your personal preference. I actually do it well done, even though I have my classic burgers cooked medium.

Step 3: Add the pickles, onions, tomato, lettuce and ground beef to a bowl and toss it up until it’s well mixed. Then, add the burger sauce as well as salt and pepper to taste. Now your filling for your grilled cheeseburger sandwiches is ready for the next step.

Step 4: Place the brioche bread sliced in front of you and add a slice of cheddar to half of them. Another option here would be to go fully cheesy and add cheese to the other half and essentially have cheese back to back. Adding more cheese to the grilled cheeseburger sandwiches.

Step 5: Scoop your filling on top of the cheddar and spread it out on the bread. Make sure though to not let it get to the edge of the bread, otherwise it just squeezes out of the bread slices as soon as you close the top cover of your sandwich maker. Close the sandwich, by placing the second bread slice on top.

Step 6: Bring your sandwich maker up to temperature. Once that is the case, place the grilled cheeseburger sandwiches in the sandwich maker, close the top and let it sit on the grill for 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your bread slices.

Step 7: Once they are done and the sandwiches earned their stripes, place them on a plate and cut them in half.

Loved the grilled cheeseburger sandwiches and long for more tasty soul food. Look no further…

Discover 4 delicious ways to make lasagna


Home sweet homemade soul food

Lasagna is one of the oldest types pasta dishes. It therefore reminds me of this beautiful song by Celine Dion “Tale as old as time” that was the theme song for the Disney movie “The beauty and the beast”. Though in this case it’s not tale as old as time, but pasta as old as time. Or shall I rather say thyme? Hm… sorry, this was a really low hanging fruit for a dad-joke-afficionado like me.

The good news about all the recipes below is that they are fresh homemade soul food dish that will give your heart, soul and stomach joy. So it’s only the oldest pasta dish, but certainly not old at all.

History fun fact: apparently the word goes back to the latin term lasanum, which means cooking pot. The kitchen utensil that the dish was prepared in. Now you are prepared, in case you ever compete on “Who wants to be a millionaire” or “Jeopardy” and that question randomly comes up. Or maybe you just want to be one of those people who “entertain” others with “btw did you know…” kinda monologues.

So let’s not say “Pasta la vista” but “Hello food heaven”! Enjoy the recipe compilation.

The classic: Lasagna with rich beef tomato sauce and bechamel sauce

To me, lasagna tastes like home, like coziness, like belonging, as well as like family and friends. It’s one of those dishes that is best shared with many people and perfect for when you have guests and truly want to make them feel at home when they visit. One of the best lasagnas I ever had was made by the Italian dad of one of my closest friends from childhood, when we were just teenagers. It’s safe to say that it’s one of those dishes for which everyone who regularly makes it will have their own personal way of preparing it. This is my take on the classic version, which I sincerely hope you enjoy.

Il bianco: White chicken lasagna with Alfredo sauce

White chicken lasagna or lasagna bianco can be prepared in a million different ways, using all sorts of white Italian sauces. This one uses Alfredo sauce, which is my personal favorite as I can’t think of any dish that isn’t make tastier thanks to this sauce. It is prepared with rotisserie chicken. Simply because it is so boastfully flavorful that it tastes like christmas and your best birthday ever combined in one amazing day.

Low carb: Stuffed lasagna peppers

Who doesn’t love great soul food on any given day? The thing is though, sometimes you might feel like having it, but still kinda stick to your plan to eat healthier, yet also don’t feel that stuffed pepper alone would do the trick to make you go straight to food heaven. Thus, how about stuffing your pepper with lasagna – minus the pasta? Trust me, it is pretty amazing and also amazingly filling, even though it only has a fraction of the calories of traditional soul food noodle dish.

Creative: Lasagna Alfredo rolls

I am willingly admitting that I have a slight addiction to Alfredo sauce, it is just soooo tasty. This recipe for pasta Alfredo rolls with a tasty broccoli and chicken filling therefore ticks that box and also perfectly coincides with my love for lasagna in all possible varieties. Two soul food options in one, if you will. It serves 4 people as a main course. The recipe uses chicken, but vegetarians can easily substitute this by replacing the meat with 1.5 cups of sweet corn.

Heavenly white chicken lasagna with Alfredo sauce


This heavenly white chicken lasagna cradles every nook and cranny. Like many Italian-American dishes, it’s an ultimate soul food sunday meal choice. It’s so creamy, it’s dreamy.

Lasagna in general tends to be a labor of love and is certainly nothing you just pull right out of your sleeve within 15 minutes and be done with it. Though I would argue that in fact every single minute that you dedicate towards it and to preparing it is a minute that adds to the deliciousness of it.

This is why any type of lasagna tends to be a great sunday meal option, since it’s the day of the week that typically allows the time for it. In my family we therefore call sunday “soul food sunday”. We tend to start with a special breakfast treat like French toast or cottag cheese pancakes and end it with a tasty comfort food meal.

Now, white chicken lasagna or lasagna bianco can be prepared in a million different ways, using all sorts of white Italian sauces. This is a lasagna with Alfredo sauce, which is my personal favorite as I can’t think of any dish that isn’t make tastier thanks to this sauce. Besides white chicken lasagna there is of course the mother of all lasagnas: the red lasagna with beef and rich tomato sauce and bechamel sauce layering.

You can certainly make this recipe with normal roasted chicken breast, I guess most white chicken lasagna recipes tend to use that. I would still strongly recommend that you opt for rotisserie chicken. Simply because it is so boastfully flavorful that it tastes like christmas and your best birthday ever combined in one amazing day.

At a glance
  • Servings: 8-10
  • Preparation time: 30-40 min
  • Oven time: 45 min (30 min uncovered, 15 min covered) (or in accordance with the instructions for the specific lasagna noodles you use)
  • Total time from start to finish: 1 hr 20 min
  • Lasagna noodles for 4 layers
  • 1 lbs of shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 3 cups of Alfredo sauce (try out my take on Alfredo sauce)
  • 6 handful of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup of diced up artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup of flaky parmesan cheese
  • 4.4 ounces (125 grams) of fresh mozzarella cheese (alternatively: 1 cup of shredded mozzarella)

How to prepare white chicken lasagna with alfredo sauce

Step 1: Start by preparing the Alfredo sauce, following my recipe for Alfredo sauce.

Step 2: While the Alfredo sauce is simmering on the stove, shred the chicken into small chunks, wash the spinach and cut the artichock hearts into dices.

Step 3: Now it’s time to assemble. Start by adding a couple of tablespoons (3-4) of Alfredo sauce to the bottom of your casserole dish. Then place a layer of lasagna noodles on top, followed by a cup of Alfredo sauce. Distribute it evenly on top of the noodles, then drizzle one third of the chicken on top, followed by 3 handful of the spinach and the artichock dices.

Repeat the noodles, sauce, chicken and spinach layers, but this time sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top of it. Then add another layer of noodles, followed by the sauce and the last third of the chicken. Afterwards add the mozzarela on top.

Step 5: Bring the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Then bake the white chicken lasagna in the oven for a total of 45 minutes. 30 minutes should be fully uncovered. For the last 15 minutes, cover the Lasagna in tin foil so the cheese on top stays nicely browned without burning up or getting too crunchy.

Step 6: This is purely optional, but since preparing this dish is quite a bit of work, use the time in the oven to relax with a chilled glass of white wine while your white chicken lasagne is getting ready in the oven.

Other recipes using Alfredo sauce

Rich mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows


The soft and tender texture of mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows make you feel in 7th heaven with this ultimate holiday side dish. No thanksgiving dinner or roast is completely without this unassuming casserole. Sweet potatoes are super versatile, yet, we always underestimate them.

And the marshmallows? Yes, they make all the difference. They add just the right amount of sweetness and nicely compliment the savory sweet potatoes. Isn’t it anyhow funny, how we call them sweet potatoes, yet they are not. So the marshmallows put the sweet back into it.

While you obviously can’t go wrong with the standard white marshmallow, I recommend using mini versions and opting for some colorful ones while you’re at it. I fell in love with golden mini marshmellows as they make everything instantly a little more festive and cheerful. This is especially true, if you prepare them for Thanksgiving or around christmas time. The shinnier, the merrier. Marshmallows all the way…

The recipefor my mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows uses brown sugar as it gives the dish a nice caramlizing flavor. So the reason for sugar is not to simply make it sweeter, but to enhance the overall richness of the mash and that includes the savory components. You will achieve this with brown sugar, but not with white sugar.

At a glance
  • Servings: 8
  • Calories per serving: 284 kcal
  • Preparation time: 15 min
  • Oven time: 25 min
  • Total time from start to finish: 40 min
  • 3 sweet potatos
  • 2 garlic cloves or 1 tablespoon of powdered garlic
  • 3 tablepoons of brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3-4 handful of mini marshmellows

How to prepare mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/175 Celsius.

Step 2: Chop the sweet potato into dices – right there and then, you will have finished a full workout. Congrats! I think chopping sweet potatoes for mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows should be considered a legitimate fitness routine.

Step 3: Bake the sweet potatoes on a baking tray until soft and tender. Depending on the size of your chunks, this should be the case after approx. 15 minutes.

Step 4: Add the sweet potato dices, butter, brown sugar, milk, chopped or powdered garlic and spices to a bowl. Now either use a masher or a blender or a fork if you have neither of the two, to create a mash. Unlike their standard potato cousin, sweet potato is super easy to mash up and have a smooth result.

Step 5: Fill the mash into a casserole dish and spread it out evenly. Distribute the marshmallows on top and bake everything in the oven for 10 minutes. For the perfect mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows, you want the marshmallows to be nicely caramalized and browned, but not crunchy or burned.

Loved the mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows and are looking for more amazing side dishes to discover

Mouth-watering German-style meat balls


Frikadelle, Bulette, Fleischpflanzerl, Bratklops or Fleischküchle. All these German words mean the same thing: meat ball. Every region has their own term for it. German-style meat balls are a total crowd pleaser and not only the ultimate comfort food, they are also a very common sight as a party finger food, picnic staple, travel snacks or kid-friendly dinner option, in short: it fits (almost) every occasion.

I cannot help but wonder whether there are as many different German words for meat balls as there are occasions to which they would be just the perfect addition. I once read somewhere that meat balls originated in France and then made their way to Germany with the Huguenots, when they fled eastwards in the 17th century. Still, to me, meat balls are as German as beer and sausages.

With ultimate soul food like German-style meat balls, there always tends to be the same catch: everyone has his or her very own personal recipe for it, alternatively a recipe that has been in their family since generations. They all seem roughly similar, but differ in the details (“my great grandmother always used X as her secret ingredient” kinda style). Same, same, but different. This much is true for dishes like mac and cheese, lasagna or chili con carne. German-style meat balls are no different.

My meat balls are on the smaller side and round, think of them as tasty edible golf balls.

At a glance
  • Servings: 4-6
  • Calories per serving: 402 kcal (4)/268 kcal (6)
  • Preparation time: 15 min
  • Cooking time: 10 min
  • Total time from start to finish: 25 min
Ingredients for German-style meat balls
  • 1 lbs (480 grams) of ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup (1.9 ounces/55 grams) of breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper

How to prepare German-style meat balls

Raise your hands, if you meat balls are one of your happy childhood memories as far as food is concerned. Great, now that we all have our hands up in the air, let’s roll our sleeves up and start cooking:

Place the meat in a bowl and add the egg, breadcrumbs, mustard, tomato paste, paprika, salt and pepper. Next you have to make a choice: mix everything using your hands or using a spatula. I know, quite a few people shiver at the idea of touching raw meat with their hands, much less kneating it. It however creates the best results in terms of combining the meat ball ingredients. You will however also manage ok, using a spatula.

Once everything is combined, start forming golf ball sized meat ball. Then, place a pan on your stove and bring it to medium heat, add butter to your pan and cook the meat balls in it, turning it every other minute until they are evenly browned on each side. Since they are rather small this should take you between 7-8 minutes until they are completely done.

I actually love serving my meat balls with mashed potato, so make sure to check out my avocado mashed potato recipe for some inspiritation. Another great side kick for German-style meat balls are mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows. This would then we a true German-American dinner option.