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Give Sides Center Stage

Sep 28, 2015 03:40AM ● By Family Features
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(Family Features) Fall is a busy time for families on the go, but dinner can still be approachable and wholesome. One easy solution: transform a simple everyday side dish into a meal that will have your family asking for more.

These recipes, created in partnership with lifestyle expert Sandra Lee, feature Bob Evans’ collection of high-quality, like-scratch side dishes ranging from mashed potatoes to macaroni and cheese. The sides, found in the refrigerated section of most local grocery stores, are made with real ingredients and the perfect blend of seasonings to make entrees taste just right.

Time Saving Tips

These simple tricks from Sandra Lee will cut minutes off your busywork, so you can get to the more important things like enjoying fall with your family.

  1. Shave minutes off meals using tools in original ways: An ice cream scoop makes cookies and meatballs in a flash; an egg slicer quickly cuts mushrooms and berries.
  2. To further speed up slow cooker prep time, keep favorite premixed seasoning packets, pre-sliced vegetables and jarred sauces on hand.
  3. Desserts need not be made from scratch to have a homespun feel. Dip packaged cookies in chocolate, embellish bakery cupcakes or create lollipops from candies.

Find more mealtime solutions that put side dishes at the forefront at Farm Fresh Ideas (, a club that provides recipes, a personalized recipe box and helpful tips in the kitchen.

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Baked Potato Pizza


  • 1 package Bob Evans Sour Cream & Chive Mashed Potatoes
  • 1 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 premade large pizza crusts
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
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  1. Heat oven to 450°F.
  2. In bowl, mix together mashed potatoes and bacon crumbles.
  3. Place each pizza crust on cookie sheet. Spread half of mashed potato mixture evenly over each pizza. Top each pizza with cheddar cheese.
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly golden. Cut into wedges and serve.

Orzo with Italian Sausage, Mushrooms and Spinach


  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound hot or Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
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  1. In a large sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter and add orzo. Stir until lightly browned. Add chicken broth and bring to boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes, until orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, in large skillet over medium heat, add sausage and crumble with potato masher until fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Add onion and mushrooms, and continue to cook until onions are translucent and mushrooms are tender. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds or until garlic becomes fragrant.
  3. Turn heat down to low. Add spinach and cover pan to allow spinach to wilt. Set aside until orzo is done.
  4. When orzo is done, add sausage mixture and Parmesan cheese and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

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Mixed Berry Cobbler


  • 1 package Bob Evans Glazed Apples
  • 1 cup frozen sweet cherries
  • 1 cup blackberries or raspberries
  • 1 cup pear, diced
Streusel Topping
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Streusel Topping Preparation
  • Mix together brown sugar, oats, flour and cinnamon until evenly combined. With fingertips, blend in butter pieces until small clumps form and butter is well incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  • Sprinkle topping evenly over fruit and place back in oven uncovered. Bake until streusel is lightly browned and fruit is tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let set 5 minutes before serving.
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  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. In large mixing bowl, mix together glazed apples and fruits. Pour into 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. While fruit is baking, mix together ingredients for streusel.



  • 8 slices garlic bread, frozen
  • 1 package Bob Evans Macaroni and Cheese
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • 16 dill pickle chips (optional)
  • 1 can tomato soup, prepared (optional for dipping)
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  1. In large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat, heat 8 bread slices for 3 minutes and flip over to evenly warm through.
  2. Prepare macaroni and cheese according to package directions.
  3. Place 1/2 slice of cheddar cheese on each piece of garlic bread.
  4. On 4 pieces of garlic bread, evenly spoon 4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) of macaroni and cheese on top of cheddar cheese/ garlic bread slices.
  5. Place remaining 4 slices of garlic bread on top of macaroni and cheese stack.
  6. Toast both sides for an additional 2 minutes or until bread is toasty brown and cheese is melted. Serve with dill pickle chips and tomato soup for dipping.

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