More favorite holiday recipes from readers

By The Active Age | December 1, 2020

Cheesy Ziti and Beef Pasta Bake

1 lb. dry ziti pasta

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 lb. lean ground beef

2 (26-oz.) jars spaghetti sauce

6 oz. pkg. sliced non-smoked Provolone cheese

1½ cups sour cream

6 oz. finely shredded mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and boil until al dente, drain. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter a 9×13 inch casserole dish. Layer in this order: half the pasta, Provolone cheese slices spread to cover pasta, sour cream, half the sauce mixture, remaining pasta, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until heated through. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Wenda Black

Lasagna Soup

This recipe has more than the 10 ingredients called for in our contest rules, but knowing the cook who submitted it, we’re sure it’s worth bending the rules to include.

Kosher salt

8 oz. lasagna noodles (about 10 noodles)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 onion, chopped

1 lb. hot or sweet Italian sausage, casing removed

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons tomato paste

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes

½ cup chopped fresh basil, plus thinly sliced leaves for topping

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling

¼ cup heavy cream or half-and-half

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook as the label directs. Drain, cut into 1-inch strips and toss with olive oil.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the sausage, garlic and oregano and cook, stirring and breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon, until the sausage is browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until darkened, about 2 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, tomatoes and 1 cup water; cover and bring to a simmer. Uncover and cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Stir in the noodles, basil, parmesan and heavy cream; simmer 2 more minutes.

Divide the soup among bowls. Top with ricotta and sliced basil.

Pat Hysko

Side Dish: Yam Yum Yum

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 large golden delicious apples

3 large Granny Smith apple

1 lemon

2 sweet potatoes

3 Red Garnet yam

1 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In casserole dish(es) add peeled 1/4″ apple chunks, rubbed with lemon half. Add peeled yams and sweet potatoes chunks. Add butter, brown sugar, salt, pepper. Mix by hand. Bake 20 minutes.


3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup flour, all-purpose or whole wheat

3 cup pecan pieces

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled small pieces

Take casserole(s) out of oven. Top with brown sugar and flour mixture. Add chilled butter pieces on top. Sprinkle pecans evenly on top.

Bake 30 minutes until browned.

Enjoy with Thanksgiving dinner!

Paige Howard, Wichita


3 cups sugar

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1 cup milk

1/2 cup light corn syrup

3 squares (3 oz) unsweetened chocolate

2 1/2 sticks butter or margarine

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup chopped nuts

Butter a 9-inch square pan. Mix sugar and dry gelatin in saucepan. Add milk, corn syrup, chocolate, butter and cook over med. heat, stirring frequently until a few drops form soft ball in cold water.

Remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Flavor with vanilla, and cool 15 min. Beat until candy thickens, stir in nuts and pour in buttered pan.

Theresa Bills, Benton

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole

We bake this every Christmas morning, but we like it so much we make it during the year as well.
*note make the night before and refrigerate overnight.

1 16-oz. bag frozen tater coins

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 lb. ground turkey or spicy Italian sausage

1 onion, finely diced

1 cup whole milk

½ cup half & half

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

4 large eggs

3 cups grated Colby jack cheese, divided use

Spray a 9×13 baker with cooking spray. Line the tater coins in the pan. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the meat & onion to cook until browned, breaking up the meat into crumbles. Spread the meat and onions in the baking pan over the tater coins. Spread half of the cheese over the meat. Whisk the eggs, milk, half-and-half, salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over in the pan over the cheese. 6). Top with the remaining cheese. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake casserole covered 25 minutes.

Remove foil and bake until the casserole is cooked through, another 20 to 35 minutes. Serving suggestions: sour cream, salsa, avocado.

Catherine Leslie

Rum Cake

½ cup chopped pecans

1 pkg. yellow cake mix

1 (3¾ oz) pkg. instant vanilla pudding

½ cup oil

½ cup rum

½ cup water

4 eggs

Set oven at 325 degrees. Grease and flour (or coat with non-stick cooking spray) a 10″ Bundt pan. Sprinkle nuts on the bottom. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, rum, water, and eggs.

Beat 2-4 minutes at medium speed. Pour batter into pan. Bake 50-60 minutes.

About 10 minutes before cake is done, make Hot Rum Glaze-

1 c. sugar 1/4 c. rum

1/2 c. oleo 1/4 c. water

Combine all ingredients and boil 2-3 minutes.

When cake has finished baking, remove from oven and pour the hot rum glaze over the hot cake (still in the pan). Cool in pan for 30 minutes, then turn out on to serving plate.

The cake needs 1 cup of liquid. It can be half water and half rum, or you can adjust the amount of rum, using less water, as long as you use 1 cup total. I don’t advise using less than 1/2 cup of rum, but if you must, add some rum extract to juice up the flavor.

Elaine Johnson, Wichita

Cranberry Mock Cherry Pie

1 (12-oz.) bag fresh or frozen cranberries

1 ½ C. sugar

4 Tbsp. flour

¼ tsp. salt

1 C. water

1 C. seedless raisins

½ tsp. almond extract

Pastry for 2-crust 9-inch pie

Milk and sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, flour, salt, water and raisins. Bring to a boil and boil gently for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and blend in almond extract. Pour into pastry-lined pie pan. Cover with top crust and flute/seal edge. Brush with milk; sprinkle lightly with sugar. Decoratively cut several slits in the top crust so steam can escape while baking.

Bake in hot oven 30-40 minutes until crust is golden.

Makes 1 9-inch pie (6-8 servings).

Peg Bowman

Pretzel Dip

1 block cream cheese, softened

1 stick of butter, softened

1 pack Hidden Valley ranch dip

Pretzels, for dipping

Mix ingredients; spread out a 1/4-inch layer on mostly flat pan or plate. Sprinkle pepper all over top and enjoy!

Teresa L. Jackson