Taquito Tuesday: Mix Up Your Weeknight With These 12 Awesome Flauta Recipes


By Cooking Panda

Tacos are perfection and will always have a special place in our hearts, but every now and again, it’s pretty fun to roll those tortillas up and crisp them to add extra flair to your Taco Tuesday.

Some of these flautas are fried, and some are baked, but you can really do whatever your heart desires. If you want to bake something the recipe says to fry, we recommend throwing them in the oven for approximately 20-25 minutes on 400 F, though it depends on the recipe and oven, so make sure you keep an eye on your flautas and remove them as soon as they are golden and crisp.

You can also pan-fry them in a little oil over medium-high heat or just throw caution to the wind and deep fry them in an inch or so of oil until they are nice and crunchy — make sure you secure each one with a toothpick first.


1. Chicken Flautas with Avocado Cream

These flautas are cheesy and packed with flavor; plus it’s the perfect use for leftover chicken. Who can resist?

2. Pork Flautas

You won’t be able to resist these fragrant, classic pork treats.

3. Chorizo and Potato Flautas

Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Or even dessert.

4. Baked Honey Lime Chicken Taquitos

Creamy, sweet, tangy and EASY.

5. Chile Relleno Flautas

This is a new and fun way to enjoy Chile Rellenos. Plus, you sprinkle a little corn meal over the egg wash before lightly frying for extra crispy goodness that rivals the deep fried stuff.

6. Spicy Alfredo Chicken Bacon Taquitos

Chipotle Alfredo? Count us in!

7. Egg and Sausage Breakfast Taquitos

Because breakfast burritos are for amateurs. (We don’t really mean that. We love breakfast burritos.)

8. Baked Salmon Taquitos

​These spicy, cheesy salmon (or chicken, if you’d prefer) baked taquitos are a great and healthy way to enjoy your favorite snack.

9. Confetti Mash Potato Flautas with Hot Tomatillo Sauce

If you ever have leftover mashed potatoes, you know what to do with them.

10. Crab Rangoon Taquitos

Just in case the crab Rangoon element isn’t enough awesome for you, the extra sweet, sour, spicy kick from the fresh raspberry and jalapeno salsa will totally win you over.

11. Banana Dessert Flautas

Don’t forget dessert! What goes better with bananas than caramel glaze, cream cheese and dulce de leche, all rolled into a crispy flauta?

12. Apple Pie Taquitos

If you’re feeling lazy, you can totally just use canned apple pie filling. It’s all about the butter-cinnamon sugar that coats the shells.

Featured Photo Credit: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Tags: Appetizer, flautas, recipe list, Taco Tuesday, Taquitos
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8 Quick But Fancy Meals You Should Make This Week


By Cooking Panda

We hope you’re feeling hungry this week. While these recipes all require a little more work than, say, making a sandwich, all of these are pretty easy and very realistic for your busy weeknights – bonus, they are all super tasty. Knock yourself out:

1. One Pot Cajun Chicken and Sausage Alfredo Pasta

One Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta Alfredo with Sausage

A one-pot wonder. If you don’t feel like buying Cajun seasoning, go ahead and mix equal parts cayenne pepper, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

2. Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef

Let it cook all day when you’re at work. Then just serve it with some rice and maybe veggies if you’re feeling healthy.

3. Pretzel Crusted Cordon Bleu

You can totally use this formula and up your ingredients if you want – for example, you could totally fill the inside with spinach and ricotta and/or wrap the outside in bacon. Follow your heart.

4. Easy Chicken Piccata

Creamy, crunchy, salty, tangy, moist – this chicken recipe has it all. We recommend serving it with this easy rice cooker rice pilaf.

5. Pork Cutlet Sliders

No, you don’t understand – the pork cutlets are the buns!

6. Rigatoni Pasta Pie

It looks awesome and tastes even better. Make sure your sauce isn’t too chunky so that it will slide down into the noodles and keep them nice and moist.

7. Spicy Sesame Cauliflower Wings

These Sticky Spicy Sesame Cauliflower Wings are the best veggie wings I've ever had! Loaded with a maple sesame flavor and spice, they are the perfect game day snack for vegans!

Be sure to make extra, because you are going to devour these faster than humanly possible.

8. One-Pot Poached Shrimp And Orzo

One-Pot Poached Shrimp And Orzo

If you have a rice cooker with a steamer attachment, use it to make this one of the easiest recipes you will ever cook.

Featured Photo Credit: Tablespoon

Tags: easy weeknight meal, one pot meal, quick dinner, recipe list, weeknight dinner
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8 Mouthwatering Taco Recipes You Should Make Tonight


By Cooking Panda

Taco Tuesday is upon us, and we’re here to keep your dinner easy and spectacular. From normal to wacky, here are some of our favorite taco recipes that we totally think you should try:

1. Barbacoa-Style Beef Tacos

Make the most tender, flavorful barbacoa-style beef in your slow cooker. Set it and forget it!

2. Dave’s Mocha Chicken Tacos

Make this coffee chicken in your slow cooker using any cut you want – just make sure to cook out your alcohol first. We recommend browning the chicken on the stove with a quick sear, putting it aside, and pouring the sherry (marsala wine or brandy would probably work just fine here too – if you use a drier alcohol, add a little more sugar later on) into your chicken pan.

Turn down the heat a little, and let the booze cook out for a couple minutes, until it doesn’t smell alcohol-y anymore. Then dump everything into the slow cooker and cook that sucker!

Shred it, toss it back in the sauce-filled slow cooker and let everything mingle for a few minutes, and you’ll have a super-awesome taco filling. Top with cilantro, onions, grilled chilies, cream – whatever floats your boat.

3. Dave’s Mexican Veggie Tacos

Is this the same Dave from the Mocha Chicken? We don’t know, and we’re full of questions! One thing’s for sure — people swear these are the best veggie tacos ever. You be the judge.

4. Chicken Mole Tacos

Mole always requires a lot of ingredients and a ton of work, but this slow cooker sauce really cuts down the amount of time you need to spend to get something super delicious and rich. Do your chopping, sauteeing and blending ahead of time (you can even make a double batch and freeze half), and the rest is just a matter of slow cooker magic.

5. Crispy Potato BLT Tacos #SP5

Have you ever tried stuffing your tacos with crispy potatoes and bacon? If not, you need to do this now! For a vegetarian twist, try these.

6. Peanut Butter Steak Tacos

Sounds crazy, but savory peanut butter, cilantro and sriracha make for a totally awesome steak sauce. Trust us.

7. Taco-Filled Pasta Shells

Like many of these other recipes, labeling this pasta dish as a taco is a major stretch. But honestly these shells are just super delicious and we want you to be happy, so we’ll call them tacos, because they deserve your attention.

8. Curried Turkey Tacos

Curry powder, black beans and salsa go perfectly with the ground turkey and give it a unique flavor kick, especially when you’re tired of the same old ground meat with taco seasoning.

Featured Photo Credit: Dessert For Two

Tags: dinner recipe, easy weeknight dinner, recipe list, taco recipe, Taco Tuesday
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You Absolutely Must Make These 7 Exciting Dinners


By Cooking Panda

We don’t ever want you to stress when pondering the age old question, “What should I make for dinner tonight?” Dinner should always be a source of excitement, and we’re here to make it easy for you. As a sign of our undying friendship, we rounded up seven solid recipes that, yes, you should absolutely make for dinner this week. You’re welcome.

1. Avocado Stuffed with Spicy Shrimp

Want a super quick dinner? Stuff an avocado half with shrimp and mango. It’s that simple! If you want to go a little more elaborate, you can totally bake or grill the avocado half first for next-level deliciousness.

2. Chickpea, Barley and Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Mint and Feta

A quick vegetarian meal that is super healthy but tastes incredibly decadent.

3. Slow Cooker Braised Lamb Shanks

Lamb shanks are affordable and so tender and delicious when braised. But traditional braising methods can require a lot of time and attention, so keep it simple and use a slow cooker instead.

4. Steak in Whiskey Mushroom Sauce

Got some inexpensive whiskey that you just haven’t been able to finish? Turn it into an excellent steak sauce. If you’re on a budget or steak isn’t your thing, you can swap it out for ground beef patties, chicken, tofu… whatever you’re in the mood for. This is a pretty versatile sauce.

5. Ramen Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Peas

This is not a drill, and we’re not joking. This recipe is not only cheap and way easier to make than traditional gnocchi, but it’s also adapted from world-renowned chef David Chang. The ramen noodles give it that extra classy zing, and the vegetables will make you feel like you aren’t dying on the inside when you eat this. But forget about all that, because it’s super delicious.

6. Vietnamese Loaded Fries

Ok, this isn’t exactly the healthiest of dinners either, but it’s totally worth it. If you need more veggies to justify eating (delicious) loaded fries as a meal, dump some shredded cabbage and quick pickled carrots and daikon on top. There. Better?

7. Wild Arugula Salad with Pears

If you’re going to have a salad for dinner (perhaps to atone for the ramen gnocchi or Vietnamese fries?), you might as well make it with arugula, hazelnuts and pears. If you need more protein, top it with any kind of sliced pork, chicken or your veggie protein of choice. Use leftovers, or cook your protein in this tangy, savory raspberry sauce.

Featured Photo Credit: Steamy Kitchen

Tags: dinner recipes, one pot dinner, quick dinner, recipe list, weeknight dinner
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Beef Has Nothing On These 6 Meatless Tacos


By Cooking Panda

Just because cutting out meat saves you a lot of money and calories doesn’t mean you should feel like you are giving anything up. We have some crazy good next-level veggie tacos that won’t even feel a little like a sacrifice, and they might just make you forget about meat entirely.

Note: If you don’t do dairy, feel free to top your tacos with homemade cashew crema, vegan queso or cotija-like raw almond cheese.

1. Best Tofu Tacos

Because you have to start with the basics, and you can’t deny that tofu tacos are surprisingly super delicious. For ultimate crispiness, we recommend cutting the tofu into small cubes first and tossing with taco seasoning (make your own here), oil, a little veggie bouillon, and either citrus or vinegar (preferably something mild or spiced).

Throw the tofu in the skillet and stir/flip carefully (to keep the pieces from crumbling) and frequently until the pieces are a deep golden brown all over. If you are already going outside, consider grilling your tofu instead (recipe here).

It’s super delicious and easy! If you’re worried about the tofu sticking or crumbling, wrap it up in foil first. You’ll still get that awesome grilled flavor.

2. Panko Baked Avocado Tacos

We all know that avocados are the best food in the world. Tossed in panko crumbs, baked, and paired with quick-pickled radishes, cilantro and lime juice? We’re not saying you can improve upon perfection, but this is pretty darn close.

3. Roasted Red Onion and Potato Tacos

If potato tacos sound bland or boring to you, then you are not doing them right. These tacos are so delicious that you don’t even need to smother them with toppings to be satisfied.

4. Portobello Bulgogi Korean Tacos

The mushroom tacos are sweet, spicy and salty, just like their beefy counterparts. We’re not saying you need to rush home early to make these right this second, but we’re also not saying not to do that.

5. Spicy Plantain Black Bean Tacos

Plantains make pretty much everything better. Why not caramelize them with some black beans for a sweet, spicy, flavorful and filling meal?

6. Squash Tempura Tacos

The recipe uses acorn squash, but you can use pretty much anything similar you can get your hands on – butternut, delicata, kabocha – even sweet potato would be fine.

Featured Photo Credit: Avocado A Day Nutrition

Tags: meatless, recipe list, taco recipes, Taco Tuesday, vegetarian recipe
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7 Budget-Friendly Dinners: Eat Like Royalty On The Cheap


By Cooking Panda

On a budget? No problem. Just about everyone can benefit from cutting back on the costs of food, so we are here to help!

Here are some incredibly delicious recipes that will feed the family (or yourself, four times) for less than $10.

1. Lightened Up Turkey Meatballs

Mushrooms are usually cheaper than ground meat, and they are savory, delicious and full of vitamins.  They really help make your ground meat go a long way — beef will work equally well here, but turkey is usually cheaper.

You can also use dried or powdered garlic and onions. Serve these atop some spaghetti or on a sandwich, and you have yourself a cheap dinner! If you want to go full mushroom and nix the meat (even cheaper), here’s how to do it.

2. Chicken Shawarma

This comes out to around $2 per serving, so you have a pretty affordable meal here. If you already have some of this stuff on hand – plain yogurt or spices for instance – then it will cost you even less.

3. Lemon Butter Cod

You can make this with pretty much any white fish, or even salmon – maybe you already have something sitting in the freezer? This would be great with whatever vegetables you have on hand – you can probably roast them with the fish – and rice or any other grain you already have. Maybe some rice pilaf?

4. Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes

Chicken and potatoes are absolutely wonderful if you are on a budget – they are healthy and filling, and you can get a ton for a pretty cheap price. Why not make it easy on yourself and throw everything in the slow cooker?

5. Curried Chickpeas with Spinach

At just about $1 per serving, this is one of the cheapest, easiest and healthiest dinners you can make. Throw it over some rice or bread and you have a heavenly dinner.

6. Brown Rice Mujadarra with Mixed Herbs

This delicious and healthy Middle Eastern lentil and rice dish is way more affordable and healthy than it actually tastes. Top with a fried egg to make it a meal.

7. Crispy Cheddar Chicken

Turn chicken breasts, crackers and cream of mushroom soup into cheesy oven-baked nuggets on the cheap. If you already have some of the ingredients on hand, you can indulge your inner 6-year-old for next to nothing.

Featured Photo Credit: Jamie Cooks It Up

Tags: budget, cheap dinner, cheap recipe, dinner recipe, recipe list
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10 Amazing Vanilla Desserts That Will Make You Forget About Chocolate


By Cooking Panda

It’s high time that we give credit to the most underrated dessert flavor – vanilla! Sure, it’s a well-established favorite flavor, but we tend to forget about it in favor of chocolate, caramel or strawberry. This flavor deserves appreciation!

Here are some amazing classic list of vanilla dessert recipes that are anything but boring:

1. Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

A true classic! These scrumptious, moist and flavorful vanilla cupcakes blow all the others out of the water.

2. No-Fail Blondies​

We love brownies, but sometimes we forget about their exciting, buttery vanilla cousin that are every bit as decadent. Impress your friends with these, or just make a batch and eat it all yourself – we won’t tell.

3. Classic Vanilla Fudge

The ultimate indulgence! If you want something a little easier, try this version.

4. Nectarine, Blueberry and Vanilla Bean Hand Pies

If you like pop tarts, you’ll Iove these homemade fruit hand pies! They are great for dessert or breakfast, whatever floats your boat.

5. The Best Vanilla Pudding

It’s actually pretty easy to make pudding from scratch – just stir everything over the stove in a saucepan. Plus, it’s so much more delicious than the boxed stuff.

6. Salty Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies

Salted caramel needs to get out of the way! These salty vanilla bean sugar cookies are better than any caramel cookie.

7. Vanilla Ice Cream

That’s right – it’s easy to make yourself! If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can easily adapt using the instructions here.

8. Labneh Tart

This thick yogurt makes a heavenly base for a delightfully tangy vanilla dessert that’s a little bit like really vanilla-y cheesecake.

9. Sparkling Vanilla-Grapefruit Granita

Want something cool and refreshing? The bittersweet citrus fruit is the perfect mate for vanilla extract in an easy, delicious slush.

10. Creme Brulee

The classic, ultimate vanilla dessert! Plus, it’s super fun to torch the sugar at the end! Don’t have a torch? No problem – use your broiler instead (instructions here).

Featured Photo Credit: Farideh Sadeghin/SaveurTags: classic desserts, dessert, recipe list, vanilla, vanilla dessert, Vanilla Pudding, weekend desserts
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8 Exciting Strawberry Shortcake-Based Desserts


By Cooking Panda

We are psyched for National Strawberry Shortcake Day! 

There’s nothing like the perfect fluffy, fruity, sweet and creamy treat, that is somehow light but rich all at the same time, and it is the perfect dessert for a warm summer night.

If you don’t want to make the shortcake yourself, you can totally substitute store-bought biscuits or something light and soft like angel food cake for a light and easy indulgence.

Want to amp up the flavor of your strawberries? Consider topping them with balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, mint or basil for a perfectly complementary twist.

1. Ultimate Strawberry Shortcake

Because you have to start with the basics!

2. No Bake Strawberry Shortcake Pie

This super versatile no-bake pie is totally delicious, and you can use whatever tickles your fancy for the crust. Don’t have golden Oreos or graham crackers? Try lemon Oreos or vanilla wafers.

3. Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Sponge Cake

This light, moist cake is full of summery flavors and basically turns the idea of strawberry shortcake into a giant sponge cake. Oh, and it’s also gluten-free.

4. Fried Strawberry Shortcake

Naturally, we had to find at least one deep-fried thing for you. The soft fresh strawberries and cream were begging for a warm crunch to provide exciting contrast.

5. Strawberry Shortcake Egg Rolls

If you’re on board the fried desserts train, these egg rolls are also great, and this recipe is a perfect way to revitalize leftover strawberry shortcake, if there is ever such a thing.

6. Lemon Strawberry Shortcake

Adding lemon juice and zest to the shortcakes adds a fresh, exciting flavor, almost like strawberry lemonade in shortcake form.

7. Strawberry Shortcake With Balsamic And Black Pepper Syrup

Sounds weird? Sure, but if you’ve never tossed your strawberries in balsamic vinegar you are seriously missing out. The sweet, thick, mild vinegar complements the flavor and adds a pop of complexity.

8. Strawberry Shortcake Cocktail

Looking for an adult spin on your favorite childhood treat? This blended cocktail is the perfect way to relax after a long day. If you want to make it kid-friendly, substitute the creme de cacao for white chocolate sauce and either leave out the amaretto or add a few drops of it in syrup form – the kind you put in coffee.

Featured Photo Credit: Oh Sweet Basil

Tags: dessert recipes, recipe list, strawberry shortcake, Strawberry Shortcake Day, strawberry shortcake recipes
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10 Recipes To Satisfy The Munchies (Videos)


By Cooking Panda

Got the munchies? We thought so. In honor of 4/20, we pulled together some great recipes for you, so that when the munchies strike, you’ll be well prepared. Party on.

1. Honey Chipotle Chicken Crispers

In the mood for some tangy nuggets? These will definitely satisfy your craving.

2.Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls are tasty and pretty simple to bake, but if you’ve never tried making them with bacon, you are in for a treat.

3.Bacon Maple Fudge

In case one bacon dessert isn’t enough for you…

4. Bacon Chicken Sriracha Bites

Still not enough bacon in your life? The spicy, savory chicken bites will do the trick.

5.Copycat Crunchwrap Supreme

You’re craving Taco Bell, aren’t you? Did we just read your mind? We did? Weird…

Why not try making your go-to order in your own kitchen? You can add bacon to this one too if you’d like. We fail to see how a Crunchwrap could be bad with Doritos, French fries, extra cheese, chipotle ranch or anything else that you have lying around.

6. Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork Wontons

Bonus: make the pulled pork in advance in your slow cooker, so when the munchies strike, all you need to do is wonton them.

7. Fried Pickle Poppers

Craving something fried and cheesy? We thought so! Try making these pickle poppers. If pickles aren’t your thing, jalapenos would make a great substitute.

8. Fried Mac n’ Cheese

We bet you want more fried stuff. You can’t go wrong with frying this ultimate comfort food.

9. Homemade Pop-Tarts

Craving something sweet? Pop tarts are great, but did you know they are pretty easy to make at home? Give it a try. If you want to go more chocolaty, try subbing the strawberry filling for Nutella or something with a similar thick texture.

10. Chicken and Waffle Casserole

Can’t make up your mind between sweet and savory? Why not have both with an easy twist on this classic combination?

Photo Credit: Luigi Anzivino/Wikimedia Commons

Tags: DIY fast food, fried, munchies, recipe list, video
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Taco Roundup: 7 Great Recipes For Taco Tuesday


By Cooking Panda

Tacos make for great weeknight dinners, since they are versatile, easy and fun. If you go out for dinner every Taco Tuesday, try making them at home this week instead, and prepare to be swept off your feet by these tasty taco recipes:

1. Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos

The only thing better than eating carnitas is the fact that you can make them in your slow cooker. Does it get any easier?

2. Tofu Tacos

Tofu makes a surprisingly tasty vegetarian taco filling — the key is to season well and brown thoroughly. If you are pressed on time, cut the large tofu block into cubes before cooking to speed up the process.

3. Mushroom and Chile Tacos

Another great vegetarian option that’s packed with flavor. This is a great filling to accompany a meaty table spread, too.

4. Fried Fish Tacos

Fish tacos are spectacular – why not make them at home? These are amazing with a lime-cilantro crema or mango salsa on top, if you are feeling ambitious.

5. Deep Fried Avocado Tacos

While you have the deep fryer out, clog up your arteries with easy deep-fried avocados. We’re thinking some bacon would fit in well here too.

6. Braised Chicken Tacos

You can never go wrong with a classic chicken taco. Why not braise your meat until it’s shreddably tender?

7. Choco Tacos

Round out your meal with chocolate-dipped tacos for dessert. Or eat them as the main course – we won’t judge you.

Photo credit: Larry Miller/Wikimedia Commons

Tags: recipe list, taco recipe, Taco Tuesday
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9 Sweet Treats For The Weekend


By Cooking Panda

The weekend is coming – here are nine sweet treats you need to make!

1. Quick and Easy Carmelitas

This chocolatey caramel dessert is a delicious way to use up that cookie dough that has been sitting in your freezer for months.

2. S’Mores Cups

You know you want that irresistible campfire taste without leaving your kitchen. These decadent s’mores cups are big hits with kids and adults alike.

3. Raspberry Liquer-Spiked Lazy Dinner Party Tart

Because who can say no to raspberries and booze? You can put this versatile dish together pretty quickly in the morning, leave it in the fridge for a while, and come home to a delicious crowd-pleasing dessert. Does it get any easier?

4. Better Than a Boyfriend Brownies

This is the ultimate recipe to get thick, gooey, fudgy brownies, and it’s pretty easy, too. We won’t judge you if you are tempted to eat the whole pan.

5. Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Oreo Pie

A sweet and salty, decadent chocolate tart with chocolate oreo crust and gooey caramel. The best part? It’s easy as pie.

6. 5 Minute Very Berry Ice Cream

No machine needed! All you need are frozen berries, your favorite kind of milk, and sweetener like stevia or honey. We’ll go ahead and call this one healthy.

7. Simple 5 Minute Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

This is definitely the best way to eat cookie dough by the spoonful. If you aren’t a mint fan, you can easily remove it or substitute with any flavor you like.

8. Easy Reese’s Fudge

All you need are four ingredients, a microwave and a big appetite.

9. M&M Pizookies

Save yourself a ton of money and make them at home with some M&M’s or any other filling you like!

M&M's U.S.A. pizookie! LIKE Cooking Panda for more delicious videos!!!

Posted by Cooking Panda on Friday, April 8, 2016

Photo Credit: Livininoblivion/Flickr

Tags: dessert recipes, easy desserts, recipe list
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