Spinach Lasagna (no boiling needed)

This tasty Spinach Lasagna is an easy recipe and jam-packed with spinach & three kinds of cheese!

Layers and layers of pasta, sauce, cheese & spinach, this dish can be made ahead of time, freezes and reheats well and everyone loves it.

Spinach Lasagna on plates with Reynold's Wrap

I am so excited to have partnered with Reynolds Wrap® to bring you this favorite spinach lasagna!

Tips for an Easy Meal

Who doesn’t love to cook entrées that are easy, delicious, and filling? Spinach Lasagna is a family favorite, with its fragrant layers of rich flavors — and lots and lots of cheese! Below are our favorite time-saving tips!

  • Lining the pan with Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil before baking makes cleanup a total breeze. (This works with any lasagna recipe)!
  • Skip boiling the noodles, and simply pour hot water over them while you prepare the sauce and the cheese mixture.
  • Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil is durable and sturdy and using it to line the pan means you can lift the lasagna out (without the foil tearing) for easy cutting and serving!
  • This dish can be made up to 3 days ahead of time before baking.
  • Bake spinach lasagna covered with Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil for the first 45 minutes to keep it from drying out.
  • Top with cheese and bake uncovered for the last 15 minutes; this gives a nice cheesy crust on top.

This dish is a great one to bake an extra and give to a neighbor or loved one. I am excited to partner with Reynolds Wrap® this year especially after learning of their partnership with Feeding America®. They are helping provide meals to people who need them. Did you know that 1 in 9 Americans do not have access to a meal? This affects all walks of life, children and adults alike, which means many children and families need help. Reynolds Wrap® has joined Feeding America® in the fight against hunger by helping to provide 2 million meals* to families across the country. 

Visit Feeding America® here for ways that YOU can get involved, including donating, fundraising, and volunteering to name a few. Volunteers are always needed across the United States (check out the link above to find a food bank close to you) and each has a variation of needs making every volunteer experience a little different.

*$1 helps provide at least 10 meals on behalf of the Feeding America® network of food banks

ingredients on a baking sheet to make Spinach Lasagna

Ingredients

SAUCE We love homemade marinara sauce but a jarred sauce makes this extra quick. Replace the marinara with a meat sauce if you’d like.

SPINACH LAYER Spinach lasagna needs a great spinach layer. We add ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan for great flavor. Frozen spinach works well in this recipe (but you can replace it with fresh if you’d prefer). Be sure to squeeze it dry so the layers set up.

PASTA Traditional lasagna noodles are our favorite (and they don’t actually require boiling, more on that below). You can also use fresh lasagna sheets found in the refrigerate area (no boiling required for those either)!

Time Saving Tip

To make lasagna without boiling the noodles first—even if they are not the oven ready kind — pour boiling water over them while you prepare the sauce and cheese mixture.

Use plenty of sauce and be sure to cover the casserole with Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil so no steam escapes. Tender noodles and no boiling!

ingredients to make Spinach Lasagna

How to Make Spinach Lasagna

Spinach lasagna takes a bit of time, but it’s easy to pull together. Your family will love its cheesy goodness!

  1. Prep Sauce Simmer your favorite marinara sauce with some onions, garlic, and seasonings (per recipe below).
  2. Prep Filling Stir together spinach, ricotta, some mozzarella, and some parmesan.

Sauce in a dish with Reynold's Wrap and lasagna noodles

  1. Layer the Lasagna Line the pan with Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil and layer the lasagna.
  2. Bake Cover tightly with foil and bake. Uncover, add cheese, and bake until browned.
  3. Rest 15-30 minutes to allow the lasagna to set up. Grab the edges of the foil and lift it out of the pan. Cut and serve.

Spinach Lasagna in pieces on Reynold's Wrap

 

Make it a Freezer Meal

  • Freeze a whole lasagna by prepping it in a casserole dish lined with Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil, extending the foil on each side about 6 inches. Wrapping in foil will protect the spinach lasagna from freezer burn.
  • Fold over the foil and freeze the lasagna. Once frozen, remove the lasagna from the casserole dish (and wrap well in Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil). This way your casserole dish can be used for other things until you’re ready to thaw and cook the spinach lasagna.
  • To bake from frozen, place the foil-wrapped lasagna back into the same pan and bake covered 75 to 90 minutes at 350°F or until hot in the middle. Open the top of the foil, add cheese and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

close up of plated Spinach Lasagna

More Lasagnas We Love

Did you love this Spinach Lasagna? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

close up of plated Spinach Lasagna

Spinach Lasagna

This homemade Spinach Lasagna is cheesy & budget-friendly, it’s the perfect dish to feed a crowd!
Course Casserole, Dinner, Entree, Pasta
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Rest Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 476
Author Holly Nilsson

Equipment

  • Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil

Ingredients

  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups pasta sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach thawed
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 4 cups mozzarella cheese shredded, divided
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese shredded, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 pan with Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil.
  • Place lasagna noodles in a pan and cover with boiling water for 15 minutes. Rinse with cold water and dab dry.
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add pasta sauce and Italian seasoning. Simmer 5 minutes more or until slightly thickened.
  • While sauce is simmering, squeeze spinach to remove moisture. Combine with ricotta cheese, 2 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, egg, and fresh parsley. Mix well.
  • Place 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan.
  • Layer with 3 lasagna noodles. Add ½ of the spinach and cheese mixture and ⅓ of the sauce.
  • Add 3 more lasagna noodles, remaining ½ of the spinach and cheese mixture, and ⅓ of the sauce. Top with the last 3 noodles and the remaining sauce.
  • Cover with Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil to ensure it is well sealed and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil, top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until browned.
  • Cool 20 minutes before cutting.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 476 | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 1320mg | Potassium: 751mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 5430IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 553mg | Iron: 3mg
plated Spinach Lasagna with a title
close up of Spinach Lasagna with writing
close up of Spinach Lasagna with a title
Spinach Lasagna cut into pieces and a plated dish with a title

Originally posted at Spend with Pennies

How to Make a Breakfast Strata

A savory strata is the perfect make ahead meal! Combine bread cubes with some add-ins and cheeses. Toss with a quick egg mixture and refrigerate overnight. 

While the mixture sits overnight, it soaks up the egg mixture and is ready to be baked in the morning. A great meal for a lazy morning or when you have guests!

close up of Mushroom Brie Breakfast Strata

What is a Strata?

A strata is a super-easy-to-make breakfast almost like a savory bread pudding (and truly, it’s great any time of day!).

Bread is cubed and tossed with flavorful ingredients (in this case brie and mushrooms). It’s tossed with egg/milk mixture and sits overnight. As it sits, the bread soaks in the mixture and in the morning it is baked until puffy and set.

Best of all, you can use this base to use up any ingredients you have on hand from leftover taco meat to roasted asparagus.

Frittata vs. Strata

A frittata and a strata are both essentially breakfast casseroles. A strata has a more soufflé-like appearance whilea frittata is more similar to a baked omelet.

A strata often includes bread cubes while fritattas can have potatoes or even pasta along with the add-ins.

ingredients on a table to make Mushroom Brie Breakfast Strata

How to Make a Strata

  1. Cook veggies or meats (such as mushrooms, sausage or bacon). Cool.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg mixture (per recipe below).

ingredients to make Mushroom Brie Breakfast Strata

  1. Toss the egg mixture with bread cubes and let it soak in a few minutes.
  2. Stir in add ins, herbs and cheeses.

ingredients in a glass bowl to make Mushroom Brie Breakfast Strata

  1. Spread into a baking dish and cover. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. Remove from the fridge while the oven preheats. Bake until set in the middle.

top view of ingredients mixed in a casserole dish to make Mushroom Brie Breakfast Strata

PRO TIP: Letting the strata set overnight ensures the egg mixture is completely soaked into the bread cubes so it puffs up almost like a soufflé.

close up of cooked Mushroom Brie Breakfast Strata

Best Breakfast Dishes

Did you love this Mushroom Brie Strata? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

close up of a slice of Mushroom Brie Breakfast Strata on a white plate with casserole dish in the back

Mushroom Brie Strata

Full of fresh veggies, cheese, and eggs, this Mushroom Brie Breakfast Strata is the perfect dish for breakfast or brunch!
Course Breakfast, Casserole
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 343
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms or 1 ½ cups vegetables of your choice, asparagus is another favorite
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 6 cups bread cubes slightly dried
  • 1 cup Havarti shredded, or mozzarella
  • 4 ounces brie cheese cubed

Egg Mixture

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • ½ cup light cream or half and half
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder

Instructions

  • Cook mushrooms and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until tender. Set aside to cool.
  • Whisk the egg mixture in a large bowl. Season with salt & pepper. Add bread and toss to combine. Let sit 5 minutes and toss again until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in mushrooms, brie and ½ of the Havarti cheese.
  • Add the mixture to a greased 2 qt baking dish (or 9×9 pan). Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover, top with remaining cheese and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until set in the middle.
  • Rest 10 minutes before cutting.

Notes

Any mix ins can be added. Vegetables should be cooked to tender crisp and meats should be cooked and drained.

This recipe can be doubled and cooked in a 9×13 pan to feed a crowd. In a 9×13, bake covered for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until set. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece | Calories: 343 | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 132mg | Sodium: 728mg | Potassium: 342mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 593IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 334mg | Iron: 2mg
slice of Mushroom Brie Breakfast Strata on a plate with writing
Mushroom Brie Breakfast Strata in a casserole dish with a title
close up of Mushroom Brie Breakfast Strata on a plate with a title
ingredients to make Mushroom Brie Breakfast Strata in a glass bowl with the final plated dish with a title

Originally posted at Spend with Pennies

Zuppa Toscana – An Olive Garden Copycat Recipe!

Zuppa Toscana is SO MUCH BETTER made at home!

A rich creamy broth, Italian sausage, crispy bacon, and tender potatoes; all of the best flavors for a cozy comforting soup recipe.

Zuppa Toscana in two bowls with bread on the side

What is Zuppa Toscana Soup?

Zuppa Toscana, or “Tuscan Soup” is a  delicious creamy soup and this copy cat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana is even better than the restaurant version!

MEAT Bacon adds a smoky salty flavor while Italian sausage is hearty and seasoned (not to mention a generous dose of garlic).

POTATOES Help thicken the sauce slightly and add some starch. If you’re low carbing, swap them out for cauliflower!

KALE (or not!) Kale is great in this soup but needs a bit of time to cook. Other greens can be substituted. If using spinach, add it right at the end as it needs just a couple of minutes to wilt.

 

Zuppa Toscana ingredients on a marble board

Variations

One of the best things about soup is the fact that you can add almost anything to it! Add leftover chicken in addition to the sausage.

Skip the potatoes and stir in cannellini beans, cooked orzo, or your favorite pasta!

Time Saving Tips

  • I found frozen chopped onion in the freezer section of our local grocery store, it’s great for quick prep!
  • Check your grocery store for pre-washed kale/spinach or even diced potatoes.
  • Real bacon bits (or pre-cooked bacon) saves the step of cooking bacon. If you use bacon bits, crisp them in the microwave a few minutes before adding to the soup.

ingredients for Zuppa Toscana in a pot with broth being poured in

How to Make Zuppa Toscana Soup

  1. Brown sausage and onion, drain and set aside. Cook the bacon until crispy.
  2. Place all ingredients in a soup pot (except bacon & cream) into a large pot. Simmer per recipe below.
  3. Stir in heavy cream and garnish with crumbled bacon.

PRO TIP: For an even thicker soup, make a slurry by whisking a small amount of corn starch in cold water (1:1 ratio) and then add to the soup until desired consistency is reached.

Storing and Freezing Leftovers

  • Zuppa Toscana will keep in the refrigerator for about 4 days and is easily reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and it’s just like new again!
  • Diary doesn’t always freeze well so if you’d like to freeze this soup, scoop some out before adding the cream. Once thawed, stir in the cream after heating.

More Creamy Soups You’ll Love

Did your family love this Zuppa Toscana Soup? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below! 

Zuppa Toscana in two bowls with bread on the side

Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana is an easy Italian soup filled with sausage, potatoes, and greens, with a rich, creamy broth.
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Entree, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 520
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 6 slices bacon diced
  • 4 cups potatoes peeled and cut into ½” cubes
  • 1 ½ cups kale chopped, or fresh spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 cups chicken broth low sodium
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red peppers (optional)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a large pot, cook sausage and onion until no pink remains. Drain and set aside.
  • Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain on a paper towel and drain fat from the pan.
  • Add in potatoes, kale, garlic, chicken broth, crushed peppers (if using), and sausage. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 12-14 minutes or until potatoes are softened.
  • Stir in heavy cream and pepper and let simmer 1 minute.
  • Garnish with bacon.

Notes

If using spinach, add in the last 2 minutes of cooking.

If you’d like a thicker soup, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Drizzle into the boiling soup while stirring until soup reaches desired consistency. You may not need all of the cornstarch mixture.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cup | Calories: 520 | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 1438mg | Potassium: 546mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2256IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 2mg
Zuppa Toscana ingredients and Zuppa Toscana in a pot with a ladle and writing
Zuppa Toscana in a pot with a ladle and writing
Zuppa Toscana in two white bowls with a title
Zuppa Toscana in white bowls with text

Originally posted at Spend with Pennies

Spinach Artichoke Dip – Party Perfect!

Spinach Artichoke Dip is one of those snacks that absolutely everyone loves. A cream cheese base is loaded with spinach, a bit of garlic, and of course marinated artichokes. Top it all off with more cheese and bake until golden and bubbly!

This recipe can be made well ahead of time, reheats beautifully, and tastes delicious!

spinach and artichoke dish with herbs and crackerBetween this recipe and my almost famous Jalapeno Popper Dip, I’m pretty much guaranteed an invite to every party! Spinach Artichoke Dip is found on almost every menu and at every party for good reason.

Ingredients

CHEESE Cream cheese, sour cream, and a touch of mayonnaise make up the base of this recipe. Use a hand mixer to make the dip extra smooth.

SPINACH Frozen chopped spinach is defrosted and sqeezed dry. You can substitute fresh spinach for the frozen.

ARTICHOKES Marinated artichokes (instead of canned) have more flavor. Canned artichokes are packed in water with a bit of salt while marinated artichokes are in olive oil and have seasonings that flavor this dip. If you’re using canned artichokes, add a pinch of Italian Seasoning or some dried basil for flavor

MORE CHEESE I use a combination of mozzarella and gruyere. If you don’t have gruyere you can substitute it with gouda or swiss.

Fresh or Frozen

While I love the convenience of frozen spinach, you can use fresh spinach in this recipe too.  Cook 1lb of fresh, cool completely, and squeeze dry. Use as directed in the recipe.

How to Make Spinach Artichoke Dip

Like most creamy dip recipes, this spinach artichoke dip starts with a delicious cream cheese base. The first step to a perfectly scoopable spinach dip is to make the cream cheese nice and fluffy using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer. You can certainly mix it by hand but an electric mixer will make your dip softer so you don’t end up with a ‘chip-wreck’.

  1. Mix base Mix cream cheese, sour cream and a bit of mayo until fluffy.
  2. Add ins Fold in spinach, artichokes and cheeses.
  3. Bake Bake until bubbly.

To Cook in the Slow Cooker spread the dip into the bottom of a 4QT crock pot and cook on low for about 2 hours stirring after 60 minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle extra cheese on top.

unmixed spinach and artichoke dish

What to Serve With Spinach Artichoke Dip

This is a hot spinach artichoke dip and I like to it with crostini. It’s also great with crackers, chunks of sourdough bread or even tortilla chips!

If you happen to have flour tortillas on hand, they make great dippers once baked in the oven! Lightly brush them with olive oil (or melted butter) and season them with a pinch of salt and garlic powder.  Bake at 350°F 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp.

If you’re looking for a fresh crunch (or to keep this low carb), carrots, celery, mini bell peppers or cucumbers are also great dippers!

spinach and artichoke dish with cracker

To Make Ahead

This dip can be made as much as 48 hours ahead of time and refrigerated. Once baked it will keep 3-4 days in the fridge.

If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, it’s great to heat up with a bit of cream and toss with pasta or spoon over chicken and baked for a complete meal!

More Great Dip Recipes

spinach and artichoke dish with cracker

The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip

This is my favorite Spinach Artichoke dip recipe!! It’s easy to make and always a huge hit!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 292
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese , softened
  • cup sour cream
  • cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
  • ½ cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 14 oz marinated artichoke hearts chopped

For Serving

  • 1 baguette optoinal
  • olive oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and garlic with a hand mixer until fluffy.
  • Stir in parmesan cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, gruyere cheese, spinach, and artichokes.
  • Place into a 9×9 casserole dish (or deep dish pie plate) and top with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is browned.
  • Slice baguette into 1/2″ slices. Lightly brush one side of each slice with olive oil. Broil the oiled side for about 2 minutes or just until lightly browned.
  • Remove from the oven and gently rub each slice with a clove of garlic. Serve with spinach artichoke dip.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information does not include baguette

Nutrition

Calories: 292 | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 568mg | Potassium: 173mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3590IU | Vitamin C: 8.5mg | Calcium: 324mg | Iron: 1.5mg

 

 

Spinach Artichoke Dip with cracker and unmixed dip and text 

Originally posted at Spend with Pennies

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach is a perfect Autumn comfort food.  This easy and flavorful recipe is packed with veggies and will become your favorite Fall and Winter family weeknight dinner!

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach and creamy Parmesan Sauce

Butternut Squash Pasta –  Seasonal and Holiday Main Course

Butternut squash pasta is one of those recipes you would probably make only in the Fall and Winter when the butternut squash is in season.  Which makes this pasta so much more special!  It’s so good I hope you will be looking forward to making it every year!  My other favorite butternut squash pasta dish that I highly recommend is butternut squash and spinach lasagna.

This easy pasta is also a great holiday main course.  If you want to expand your Thanksgiving or Christmas menu, add this colorful and flavorful butternut squash pasta to your holiday menu!  Another fantastic holiday recipe is Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries.

Why Make Butternut Squash Pasta

This butternut squash pasta is one of those rare pasta recipes that combine both comfort food deliciousness and healthy ingredients. This pasta is surely comforting yet it’s packed with fiber and nutrients.  A perfect family weeknight dinner!

  • Butternut squash is an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, C, and E, as well as several minerals, including magnesium, manganese, and potassium. Butternut squash is also rich in dietary fiber.
  • Spinach is packed with nutrients and antioxidants. It’s high in fiber and a good source of many vitamins and minerals. Spinach is a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as folic acid, iron, and calcium.

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach and Parmesan Cream Sauce

How To Make Butternut Squash Pasta

Ingredients

  • Bow Tie Pasta. This recipe uses an Italian pasta, called Farfalle, or bow tie pasta. The bow-tie shape of this pasta works very well with the cubed butternut squash and add an appealing look to your dinner. Cook bow-tie pasta al dente for best texture.
  • Butternut Squash. This wonderful vegetable is known for its subtly sweet and nutty flavor. In this recipe, butternut squash is roasted with olive oil and acquires a nice soft texture on the inside with a little crunch on the outside.
  • Sausage. If you have a spicy sausage somewhere in your fridge or a freezer, this is the recipe to use it! Spicy sausage will blend exceptionally well with sweet and nutty butternut squash and creamy pasta sauce.  Use crumbled sausage without casings.  Any type of pork sausage, spicy sausage, or Italian sausage will work!
  • Spinach. Spinach adds flavor, texture, and colorfulness to this pasta dish.

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

How to Roast Butternut Squash

For everything you need to know about roasting this fantastic vegetable, refer to my recipe on how to roast butternut squash.

The butternut squash should be peeled, seeded, and cubed.  You can do it yourself or buy cubed butternut squash in the store.   Tip: If you peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash ahead (or bought cubed squash in the store), you can store it refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.  Use cubed butternut squash within 2 days.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Combine butternut squash with 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.  Toss together.
  3. Then,  spread the squash on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in a single layer.   Make sure the butternut squash is not overcrowded.  This way the air can circulate around the squash in the oven and the squash roasts properly instead of steaming. Roasted this way, without overcrowding, will give squash a slightly crunchy texture on the outside.  This will ensure that the squash is roasted and not steamed.
  4. Roast the squash in the preheated oven at 400 F for 30 minutes.

How To Make Creamy Pasta Sauce

While the butternut squash is being roasted, prepare the cream sauce.

  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil together with 4 minced garlic cloves and 6 oz of spinach.  Cook on medium heat for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the spinach starts to wilt.
  2. Add heavy cream.  Bring to boil and immediately reduce to a low or medium boil.
  3. Add shredded Parmesan cheese while the sauce simmers, constantly stirring.
  4. Season with salt to taste, about 1/4 teaspoon of salt.  Note: No salt is necessary if the sausage is very salty.

Cook Sausage

In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Add crumbled sausage and cook for about 10 minutes, regularly stirring, until the sausage is cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.

How Long to Cook Pasta

  • Usually, the pasta is cooked in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Always check the cooking time on the package instructions for precise times of cooking pasta.
  • To prepare any pasta al dente, cook pasta in boiling water for 8 minutes, or for 2 minutes less than indicated on the package instructions.

Assemble the Pasta

  1. Add drained cooked pasta and cooked sausage to the creamy spinach sauce in the skillet. Stir. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Top with roasted butternut squash.  Stir it in, or leave butternut squash on top.

Tips on Making Pasta Ahead

Make-ahead Tip: Roast butternut squash up to 2 days ahead. Keep it refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use. Reheat it briefly in the microwave (for about 30 seconds) before adding to pasta. Or, just add to the creamy pasta sauce, stir it in and reheat in the cream sauce.

How to Store, Freeze, Reheat Butternut Squash Pasta

  • Refrigerate. Store leftover butternut squash pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze. You can freeze butternut squash pasta in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
  • Reheat. Reheat the pasta gently on the stovetop in the skillet over medium heat, stirring halfway through. Add extra milk or heavy cream to thin out the sauce.

It’s always best to serve bow tie pasta (or any pasta) al dente. That’s when the pasta texture is at its best. Storing cooked pasta for a day or two will cause the pasta to lose its perfect texture, however, it will still taste great.

Also, keep in mind that the cream sauce when refrigerated loses its texture and becomes thick. To reheat it the next day, reheat over medium heat and add extra milk or heavy creamy when reheating to thin out the sauce.

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

Substitutions

  • Pasta.  Use any type of short pasta.  That includes farfalle (bow-tie pasta), penne, rigatoni, fusilli, or orecchiette.  You can also use gnocchi.
  • Spinach.  This butternut squash pasta will work equally well with spinach, kale, Swiss chard, or arugula.  Pick the greens of your choice, add them to the pasta, and enjoy!
  • Sausage.  Use crumbled sausage without casings.  Regular or spicy pork sausage (such as Jimmy Dean brand) is a great choice.    Crumbled Italian sausage or spicy Italian sausage is another excellent option.
  • Cheese.  Use shredded Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, or Asiago.  You can also use shredded low-moisture part-skim Mozzarella cheese.  Do not use soft Mozzarella cheese balls.
  • Cream.  If you don’t have heavy cream, you can use half-and-half instead and add more shredded cheese to thicken the sauce.

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

Other Butternut Squash Pasta Recipes

Butternut squash is an amazing vegetable that pairs beautifully with pasta, whether the squash is roasted or pureed.  Here are some delicious butternut squash pasta recipes to explore:

What to Serve with Butternut Squash Pasta

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Spinach and Sausage

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Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

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Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach is a perfect Autumn comfort food.  This easy and flavorful recipe is packed with veggies and will become your favorite Fall and Winter family weeknight dinner!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 759kcal
Author Julia

Ingredients

Roasted Butternut Squash

  • 2 cups butternut squash , peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Sausage

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 lb sausage , crumbled, without casings

Creamy Pasta Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 6 oz spinach
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Pasta

  • 8 oz farfalle (bow tie pasta)

Instructions

Roast Butternut Squash

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • In a large bowl, toss cubed butternut squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. 
  • Spread the squash on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in one layer, without overcrowding. 
  • Roast in the preheated oven at 400 F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven.

Cook Sausage

  • In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat.
  • Add crumbled sausage and cook for about 10 minutes, regularly stirring, until the sausage is cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Tip: Cook the sausage while the butternut squash is being roasted.

Make Creamy Sauce

  • In a separate, large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil together with minced garlic and spinach over medium heat.  Cook, occasionally stirring, for about 5 or 7 minutes until spinach starts to wilt. 
  • Add heavy cream.  Bring to a brief boil, then immediately reduce to simmer (boiling but not intensely).  Add shredded Parmesan cheese.  Keep stirring the sauce with the Parmesan cheese on low to medium boil (simmer) until the cheese melts. Remove from heat.
  • Season with salt to taste, about 1/4 teaspoon of salt.  No salt might be necessary if the sausage is very salty.
  • Tip: Use your judgment about whether to add salt or not based on how salty the sausage is. Make the cream sauce while the butternut squash is being roasted.

Cook Pasta and Assemble

  • Cook pasta al dente in boiling water according to package instructions. That usually means cooking pasta in boiling water for about 7 to 11 minutes. Drain.
  • To a large skillet with the creamy spinach sauce, add drained cooked pasta and cooked sausage. Stir. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 
  • Top the pasta with roasted butternut squash.  Stir the squash in, or leave it on top.

Nutrition

Calories: 759kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 703mg | Potassium: 807mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 12411IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 235mg | Iron: 3mg

The post Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach appeared first on Julia’s Album.

Originally posted at Julias

Creamy Spinach Mushroom Tortellini with Caramelized Onions

Creamy Spinach Mushroom Tortellini with Caramelized Onions is an Italian pasta dish packed with veggies.  This easy and delicious meatless recipe is a perfect weeknight dinner!

Creamy Spinach Mushroom Tortellini with Caramelized Onions

If you’re looking for a simple creamy tortellini recipe, this is it!  To make this, you will need basic ingredients, such as spinach, mushrooms, onions, cream, and store-bought tortellini.  This creamy pasta was inspired by my farfalle recipe.

If you like this type of easy-to-make, family-friendly weeknight pasta dishes, I also recommend the following recipes: Italian ravioli with spinach, artichokes, and capers, as well as pesto chicken tortellini with veggies.

What is Tortellini?

  • Tortellini is a stuffed pasta that features a distinctive ring shape.  Tortellini is traditionally served with broth.
  • Tortellini is usually stuffed with cheese and meat-based filling.
  • Tortellini originates from the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, situated in northeast Italy.

creamy spinach mushroom tortellini with caramelized onions

Things I love about creamy spinach mushroom tortellini

  • Meatless recipe. This pasta dish creates rich, deep flavors without any meat.  Sauteed mushrooms, creamy spinach, and caramelized onions provide so much flavor to the pasta that it stands great on its own.
  • You can easily add protein if you prefer.  This pasta will make a perfect sidekick to any type of grilled meat, whether it’s steak, pork, or chicken.  Spinach mushroom tortellini will also work well with fish, shrimp, and scallops.
  • Simple ingredients.  This recipe uses basic ingredients, such as spinach, mushrooms, onions, cream, and store-bought tortellini.  There is no need to look for that special ingredient.  These basic ingredients, when combined, create an absolutely amazing flavor profile!
  • Easy recipe.  Because this recipe comes together so easily, it’s a perfect dish to make for a weeknight dinner.  Tip: make caramelized onions a day or two in advance to save time.
  • Versatile dish. Tortellini is not the only stuffed pasta you can use in this recipe.  Ravioli will work great as well!  You can also use regular pasta, such as bow-tie or penne pasta.

Creamy Spinach Mushroom Tortellini with Caramelized Onions

Substitutions

  • What kind of tortellini should you use? You can use any type of tortellini: three-cheese tortellini, spinach tortellini, beef-stuffed tortellini, etc.  I used refrigerated 3-cheese tortellini.
  • What can you substitute for tortellini?  Use ravioli, gnocchi or bow tie pasta.
  • What can you use instead of spinach?  Baby kale or arugula will work great in this recipe.
  • What kind of mushrooms will work well here?  You can use button mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, shiitake, crimini, porcini or oyster mushrooms.

What can you use instead of heavy cream?

  • Half-and-half. You can use 1 cup of half-and-half instead of heavy cream.  Bring half-and-half to boil, then add 1/s cup of shredded Parmesan cheese.  Reduce to simmer.  Keep stirring while the sauce simmers until the cheese melts.
  • Coconut milk. Use 1 cup of coconut milk to replace 1 cup of heavy cream.  Follow the recipe as is.

Can you make this recipe gluten-free?

Substitute tortellini with gluten-free ravioli or gluten-free short pasta, such as gluten-free bow tie pasta.  You can also use gluten-free gnocchi (be sure to check the packaging as not all gnocchi is gluten-free).

Creamy Spinach Mushroom Tortellini with Caramelized Onions

How long to cook tortellini?

Follow the package instructions.   The cooking times and instructions will depend on whether you buy refrigerated or frozen tortellini. If using the refrigerated type of tortellini (not frozen), usually you would bring a large pot of water to boil and then cook the tortellini for about 7 to 10 minutes in boiling water.

Cooking tips

  • Make-ahead tip.  Make caramelized onions ahead of time, refrigerate them in an air-tight container, and use within the next 3 days.  You can also freeze caramelized onions for up to 2 months and thaw them whenever you need them.
  • How to reheat.  Reheat gently, on low-medium heat.  Add a small amount of heavy cream or half-and-half to thin out the sauce.

Creamy Spinach Mushroom Tortellini with Caramelized Onions

SIDE DISHES

Spinach mushroom tortellini is a rich pasta dish that features a luscious cream sauce made with heavy cream. The best side dishes for this type of rich creamy pasta are fresh salads along with bread. Here are some ideas:

Add protein

If you crave to add protein to your dinner, this pasta is so versatile, there are many types of meat you can add.

  • Grilled steak.  This creamy spinach mushroom tortellini will make a worthy side dish to any steak: rib-eye, filet mignon, porterhouse, flank steak, or skirt steak.
  • Chicken.  Serve this pasta with grilled or sauteed chicken.  You can use chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or chicken legs.
  • Pork.  Grilled pork chops or pan-seared pork chops will work great.  You can also serve spinach mushroom tortellini as a side dish to pork tenderloin.
  • Seafood.  Add grilled or pan-seared salmon or trout.  This pasta goes well with seared shrimp and scallops.

Other Pasta Recipes

Other Tortellini Recipes

creamy spinach mushroom tortellini

Print

Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Tortellini with Caramelized Onions

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Creamy Spinach Mushroom Tortellini with Caramelized Onions is an Italian pasta dish packed with veggies.  This easy and delicious meatless recipe is a perfect weeknight dinner! 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 544kcal
Author Julia

Ingredients

Caramelized Onions

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions large
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Creamy pasta sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 08 oz mushrooms (I used crimini mushrooms)
  • 8 oz spinach
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9 oz tortellini (I used 3-cheese tortellini, refrigerated)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper when serving

Instructions

How to caramelized onions (this can be done a day or 2 in advance):

  • Peel the onions, wash them and thinly slice them.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add sliced onions and cook on high heat for about 10 minutes, constantly stirring with the spatula.
  • Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking the onions for 10 more minutes, continuing to stir, as onions brown even more without burning. At this point add a pinch of salt over the onions.
  • Continue cooking for 10 more minutes on medium or low heat, stirring occasionally to make sure onions don’t stick to the bottom of the pan or burn.
  • In total, you should have cooked onions for 30 minutes.  Remove the onions from the skillet onto a plate. 

How to make the creamy sauce

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same skillet on medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook mushrooms for about 5 minutes, occasionally stirring, until mushrooms are soft.
  • Add fresh spinach to the skillet and stir on low heat just until spinach starts to wilt.
  • Add back the caramelized onions.
  • Add 1 cup of heavy cream and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the mushroom and spinach mixture and bring to a quick boil. Immediately reduce to simmer.  Keep stirring while the sauce simmers for a couple of minutes. 

Add tortellini

  • Cook tortellini according to package instructions.   Usually, that means to bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add tortellini and boil for 7 to 10 minutes.  Drain.
  • Add cooked and drained tortellini to the creamy sauce. Stir on low heat for a couple of minutes to reheat.
  • Top with cracked black pepper when serving.

Notes

Helpful Tips about Caramelized Onions.

  • Make-ahead tip.  Make caramelized onions ahead of time, refrigerate them in an air-tight container, and use within the next 3 days. 
  • You can also freeze caramelized onions for up to 2 months and thaw them whenever you need them.

Substitutions for heavy cream

  • Half-and-half. You can use 1 cup of half-and-half instead of heavy cream.  Bring half-and-half to boil, then add 1/s cup of shredded Parmesan cheese.  Reduce to simmer.  Keep stirring while the sauce simmers until the cheese melts.
  • Coconut milk. Use 1 cup of coconut milk to replace 1 cup of heavy cream.  Follow the recipe as is.

Other Substitutions 

  • Use button mushrooms, portobello, cremini, shiitake or oyster mushrooms.
  • Good substitutes for spinach are kale and arugula.
  • You can also use pre-made ravioli, gnocchi or short pasta (such as bow-tie or penne pasta) instead of tortellini.
  • Substitute tortellini with gluten-free ravioli or gluten-free short pasta, such as gluten-free bow tie pasta.  You can also use gluten-free gnocchi (be sure to check the packaging as not all gnocchi is gluten-free).
  • Protein.  You can add grilled steak, pork chops, or chicken.  You can also serve this with fish, shrimp, or scallops.

 

Nutrition

Calories: 544kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 640mg | Potassium: 621mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 6190IU | Vitamin C: 21.5mg | Calcium: 198mg | Iron: 3.6mg

The post Creamy Spinach Mushroom Tortellini with Caramelized Onions appeared first on Julia’s Album.

Originally posted at Julias