Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera is a delicious dinner made with lots of vegetables, a creamy sauce, savory herbs, parmesan cheese, and of course pasta! A surprisingly light and delicious pasta dinner. So so tasty with homemade garlic bread and salad.

top down view of pasta primavera on a white plate

Pasta Primavera | An Easy Classic

Pasta Primavera is the bomb diggity and must be made. Seriously. I am in LOVE with it. Of course, I have a weird obsession with eating veggies and LOVE to pack them into my food any which way, but making fresh pasta to go along with them somehow took this meal to new heights. It’s an easy classic meal that is loved by all. Seriously, I made this for a dinner with friends and we all were seriously fighting over who would get seconds! Not even kidding.

What is Pasta Primavera?

Pasta Primavera is a simple pasta-based dish with lots of fresh vegetables, pasta and a creamy white alfredo sauce. While you might think this is an Italian dish because its pasta, believe it or not, this is an American dish from the 1970’s! There are lots of versions online and this is my version getting added to the bunch. With spring and summer right around the corner, crack out those summer veggies for a fantastic hearty and healthy dinner.

vegetables in a glass bowl

Main Ingredients Needed

Look through your fridge to see what veggies you need to use up before they go bad then make this Pasta Primavera dish for dinner! It is so versatile which makes it perfect for any day of the week. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fettucine Pasta – this can be either homemade or store-bought. More about homemade pasta below!
  • Butter, White Onion + Garlic – these three start the base of our vegetable saute!
  • Zucchini, Asparagus, Bell Peppers + Carrots – the rest of the vegetables joining the pan. Use what you have for the best results.
  • Flour – this thickens the sauce and soaks up any of that lingering butter from sauteing the vegetables.
  • Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock – use vegetable stock to keep this recipe vegetarian. This creates a flavorful sauce.
  • Heavy Cream – to make the sauce creamy and delicious.
  • Basil + Oregano – two dried herbs to create even more depth in this dish.
  • Salt + Pepper – and don’t forget to salt and pepper as you go!
  • Parmesan Cheese – this tops the whole dish off. Use freshly grated parmesan for the best results!
cooked vegetables and sauce in a cooking pan

Is Homemade Pasta Worth It?

Fresh pasta is one of those things that I was hesitant to try. I mean, only people on Iron Chef would make fresh pasta right? WRONG. I got my hands on some purdy little KitchenAid Pasta attachments and went to town making my own pasta.

Verdict? Holy life changing deliciousness batman.

It takes a little more time than say….opening a box of dried pasta from the store, but there is such a huge difference between the two. Homemade pasta is fresher, cheaper, more delicious {and dare I say healthier!!} than the store-bought kind. All you need is some flour, a few eggs, a little water, and these attachments.

Anyways, I definitely think making homemade pasta is worth it, especially because you can make a bunch and freeze some for later. However, that doesn’t mean this pasta primavera recipe won’t be just as delicious with store-bought pasta either. The choice is all up to you and how much time you want to put into this recipe.

A Good Fresh Pasta Alternate

While the dried boxed fettuccine is just fine to use in this recipe, try getting the fresh pasta already made in the refrigerator section at the store. It’s a great happy medium. Buitoni makes a great fresh pasta that I use on the fly!

close up of cooked vegetables and sauce in a cooking pot

How to Make Pasta Primavera

For full details on how to make Pasta Primavera, see the recipe card down below 🙂

1. Sauté Veggies

In a large pot, saute onion, garlic, zucchini, asparagus, red pepper, yellow pepper, and carrots in butter over medium heat until veggies start to soften, 5-7 minutes.

2. Make the Sauce

Sprinkle with flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in chicken stock and let the mixture turn into a thick sauce. Add in spices, seasonings, and cream. Stir to incorporate and reduce heat to low to keep warm

3. Cook + Add the Pasta

In another large pot, bring water to boil and salt the water generously. Cook pasta until al dente and drain. Pour immediately into the pot of sauce, sprinkle over parmesan cheese and toss. If need be, add in a little pasta water to get the sauce to desired thickness. Serve immediately.

top down view of pasta primavera in a pot and on two white plates

Variations

And if you need ideas on how to customize this dish to suite your likings then I have a couple of suggestions:

  • Add Protein. If you’re looking to add some protein into this dish consider adding grilled chicken, smoked sausage, shrimp, or something like Italian Sausage. Yum!
  • Use Different Veggies. Yellow squash, broccoli, red onion, cauliflower, green beans, tomatoes, or peas. The sky is the limit with pasta primavera. Like I said before, use what you have and use what you like.
  • Lemon Juice. Squeeze about 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice into the sauce to brighten it up! Then garnish with lemon zest if you’re looking for more zing.
three quarters view of pasta primavera on a white plate

More Veggie Loaded Pasta to Try!

Loved this pasta primavera recipe? Let me know about it in the comments below 🙂

The printable recipe card is below, have a good day!

top down view of pasta primavera on a white plate

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Pasta Primavera

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Pasta Primavera is a delicious dinner made with lots of vegetables, a creamy sauce, savory herbs, parmesan cheese, and of course pasta!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword pasta primavera
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 813kcal
Author Lauren

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fettuccine store-bought or homemade
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup white onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small zucchini diced
  • 1 lb asparagus chopped
  • 1 small red pepper diced
  • 1 small yellow pepper diced
  • 1 cup carrots diced
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • a little hot pasta water if needed

Instructions

  • In a large pot, saute onion, garlic, zucchini, asparagus, red pepper, yellow pepper, and carrots in butter over medium heat until veggies start to soften, 5-7 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in chicken stock and let the mixture turn into a thick sauce. Add in spices, seasonings, and cream. Stir to incorporate and reduce heat to low to keep warm
  • In another large pot, bring water to boil and salt the water generously. Cook pasta until al dente and drain. Pour immediately into the pot of sauce, sprinkle over parmesan cheese and toss. If need be, add in a little pasta water to get the sauce to desired thickness. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 813kcal | Carbohydrates: 102g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 183mg | Sodium: 507mg | Potassium: 950mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 7885IU | Vitamin C: 75mg | Calcium: 322mg | Iron: 6mg

The post Pasta Primavera appeared first on Lauren’s Latest.

Originally posted at Laurens Latest

Chicken Cacciatore

Who doesn’t love Chicken Cacciatore?! It’s delicious slow cooked flavor in an Italian Stew with chicken thighs, peppers, mushrooms with a flavorful sauce. Served over pasta and topped with parmesan cheese and parsley. It’s so so tasty! Delicious served with Garlic Bread and Salad.

chicken cacciatore in bowl

Chicken Cacciatore | An Italian Stew

I never grew up eating Chicken Cacciatore. Having Hungarian and German family history, we ate a lot of Goulash and Chicken Paprikash. Both are delicious stews in their own right, but when I first tried Chicken Cacciatore, I was smitten. It was so flavorful and comforting! Extremely tender chicken and veggies that have been cooked down into this amazing and flavorful stew.

But First, What is Chicken Cacciatore?

The word ‘cacciatore’ literally translates to hunter in Italian. In cooking, alla cacciatora refers to the way the meal is prepared: “hunter-style”. This means it is made like a stew with onions, herbs, tomatoes, bell peppers, and sometimes wine. Traditionally it is made with chicken or rabbit.

pot of chicken cacciatore

Main Ingredients Needed

I know this ingredients list may look intimidating but don’t worry, every ingredient has its purpose and perfectly comes together to create this hearty Chicken Cacciatore. Here’s what you need:

  • Chicken Thighs – you could use chicken breasts here but I find that chicken thighs come out way more tender and flavorful. I use boneless, skinless thighs, but you can definitely use bone-in thighs. Just make sure you remove the skin before you use them.
  • Salt + Pepper – always important to season in order to bring out the most flavor.
  • Olive Oil – this is used to cook our chicken and to saute some vegetables.
  • Onion + Garlic – the basic building blocks of flavor for any italian dish.
  • Carrot– grated carrot adds a sweetness and cooks way down so it adds nice flavor while going mostly undetected.
  • Green Bell Pepper + Red Bell Pepper – two types of bell peppers for color and slightly different flavors.
  • Baby Bella Mushrooms + Criminis – feel free to use all baby bella mushrooms or omit completely if mushrooms aren’t your jam. If you have mushroom haters in your family, you can always halve the amount listed and chop them small so they go undetected. 
  • Tomato Paste– this adds intense tomato flavor.
  • Crushed Tomatoes – I like crushed tomatoes over diced tomatoes because it’s a little more like a sauce versus tomato chunks. If you don’t have crushed tomatoes, blend diced tomatoes for similar results.
  • Chicken Broth – use good quality chicken broth for best results!
  • Soy Sauce – Adds depth of flavor and salt without it tasting obviously salty.
  • Sugar – to balance out all of the savory and to cut some of the acidity from the tomatoes.
  • Italian Seasoning, Basil + Oregano – lots of herbs here to take this dish to the next level.
  • Butter – I finish off this stew recipe with butter for a silky smooth texture.

Should I add Wine?

This is personal preference. Lots of recipes call for the addition of red or white wine into their chicken cacciatore recipes. While I didn’t use any in my recipe, you are welcome to add some in (1-2 cups) with the garlic and tomato paste, reduce it down by at least half, and then add in the remaining ingredients. This is step 2 in the recipe card.

piece of chicken on spoon

How to Make Chicken Cacciatore

For full details in how to make Chicken Cacciatore, see the recipe card down below 🙂

Brown Chicken Thighs + Add Veggies

Blot chicken thighs with a paper towel to dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Brown chicken thighs on both sides and remove from pot.

Saute onion, peppers, and mushrooms with a little extra salt and pepper until mostly tender, 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another minute until fragrant.

Add Tomatoes and Seasonings

Stir in crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, Italian seasoning, basil, and oregano. Bring sauce to boil, then reduce to simmer. Add chicken thighs back into the pot.

Simmer + Serve

Simmer gently for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour (but expect the chicken to fall apart as it cooks…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.) As it cooks, stir occasionally, adding in chicken broth if the sauce gets too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings. Melt a little butter in to the Chicken Cacciatore to finish the sauce and serve with pasta, parmesan cheese and parsley.

chicken cacciatore in bowl

How to Serve Chicken Cacciatore

I like to serve my chicken cacciatore with pasta and I think it is traditionally served with pasta, but you can definitely also serve it with:

  • extra wide egg noodles
  • couscous
  • rice
  • mashed potatoes
  • orzo
  • polenta (yum!)
  • crusty bread

If you’re feeling particularly decadent, melt some butter and parmesan cheese onto your pasta before topping with chicken cacciatore. So good! And of course top it all off with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese and parsley!

plate of chicken cacciatore

What to Serve with Chicken Cacciatore

If you loved this chicken cacciatore you’re going to love these other similar recipes! Give them a try soon 🙂

The printable recipe card is below, enjoy!

chicken cacciatore in bowl

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Chicken Cacciatore

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Chicken Cacciatore is a tomato-based slow-cooked Italian stew that tastes amazing over pasta with parmesan cheese! So good!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Chicken Cacciatore
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 278kcal

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs about 6
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 whole onion diced
  • 1 carrot peeled and grated
  • 1 whole green bell pepper diced
  • 1 whole red bell pepper diced
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms chopped
  • 4 oz criminis chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • pasta, parmesan cheese, parsley optional for serving

Instructions

  • Blot chicken thighs with paper towel to dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.

    In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Brown chicken thighs on both sides and remove from pot.

  • Saute onion, carrot, peppers and mushrooms with a little extra salt and pepper until mostly tender, 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste and cook another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Stir in crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, Italian seasoning, basil and oregano. Bring sauce to boil, then reduce to simmer. Add chicken thighs back into the pot. Simmer gently for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour (but expect the chicken to fall apart as it cooks…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.) As it cooks, stir occasionally, adding in chicken broth if sauce gets too thick.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings. Melt in butter to finish sauce and serve with pasta and parmesan cheese. Top with chopped parsley.

Notes

Feel free to use all baby bella mushrooms or omit completely is mushrooms aren’t your jam. If you have mushroom haters in your family, you can always halve the amount listed and chop them small so they go undetected. 

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 624mg | Potassium: 980mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 4mg

The post Chicken Cacciatore appeared first on Lauren’s Latest.

Originally posted at Laurens Latest

Vegetarian Enchiladas

Veggie Enchiladas are super healthy, super colorful, and full of flavor!

Seasoned, roasted vegetables, are wrapped in corn tortillas, covered in enchilada sauce, and baked until bubbly. Vegetarian Enchiladas are a quick and easy meatless meal that your whole family will love.

plated Veggie Enchiladas

Ingredients

VEGETABLES Veggie enchiladas are chock full of healthy veggies like cauliflower, bell pepper, and zucchini, but we seasoned them and roasted them to bring out their best flavor. Add your favorite veggies based on what you have in your fridge.

SEASONING To keep it simple we use homemade taco seasoning for the vegetables. You can use your favorite seasonings or even just salt & pepper.

TORTILLAS Corn tortillas are best for enchiladas. Be sure to heat them so they don’t crack. I heat them on the grill or directly over the flame of a gas stove for a few minutes.

CHEESE This recipe uses pepper jack cheese since it’s easily available but feel free to try different kinds of cheese like cotija!

ingredients to make Veggie Enchiladas

Variations

    • Line tortillas with fresh spinach leaves before adding the veggies for a little extra color, flavor, and nutrients!
    • We also like sautéed sliced mushrooms, diced onions, or a can of diced tomatoes, or even a can of green chilis.
    • For an extra protein boost, add a can of drained and rinsed black beans and some brown rice!
    • Veggie enchiladas are a great way to use up leftovers like other veggies, rice, or scrambled eggs.

How to Make Veggie Enchiladas

  1. Prep, season, & roaste vegetables per recipe below.
  2. Fill tortillas with roasted vegetables, place in a baking dish with a bit of enchilada sauce.
  3. Top with remaining enchilada sauce & bake.

process of cooking vegetables for filling for Veggie Enchiladas

Toppings for Enchiladas

Topping possibilities are endless!

A dollop of sour cream, some easy guacamole, some salsa, or pineapple salsa are all great options.

We like to serve vegetarian enchiladas with Cilantro Jicama Slaw for a fresh crispy side.

Veggie Enchiladas open with filling on a baking sheet

More Great Enchilada Recipes

Veggie Enchiladas baked in a casserole dish

Perfect Enchiladas Every Time

  • When making enchiladas, heat the corn tortillas before rolling so they don’t crack.
  • Cut veggies the same size so they roast at the same rate.
  • Keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator and they will last about 4 days. Enchiladas can be reheated in the microwave or oven.
  • Or, make a vegetarian enchilada soup by placing roasted vegetables in a pot with caramelized onions, salt & pepper, taco seasoning, and a can of tomato soup. Add some salsa, vegetable broth, then heat and serve with shredded cheese and tortilla chips on top!

Did you make these Veggie Enchiladas? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

 

Veggie Enchiladas on a plate

Veggie Enchiladas

These easy & cheesy enchiladas are filling, flavorful, and budget-friendly!
Course Casserole, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Calories 246
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 2 cups enchilada sauce divided
  • 8 corn tortillas 6″ each
  • 2 cups pepper jack cheese shredded, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro finely chopped

Vegetable Filling

  • 6 cups cauliflower cut into small florets
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 small zucchini diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Combine all of the vegetable filling ingredients in a small bowl. Toss to combine.
  • Spread onto a baking sheet, roast 10 minutes. Stir and roast an additional 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Place 2 tablespoons of cheese on each tortilla. Evenly divide vegetable mixture over tortillas. Roll tortillas and place seam side down in the prepared dish.
  • Top with remaining sauce. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Bake uncovered 20 minutes or until bubbly. Add remaining cheese and bake 5 minutes more.
  • Top with chopped cilantro.

Nutrition

Serving: 2enchiladas | Calories: 246 | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1120mg | Potassium: 296mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1889IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 2mg
Veggie Enchiladas on a plate with garnish and a title
Veggie Enchiladas in a dish with a title
close up of Veggie Enchiladas on a plate with a title
adding filling to Veggie Enchiladas with plated dish and a title

Originally posted at Spend with Pennies

Crock Pot Lasagna

Crockpot Lasagna has all of the rich zesty flavors, creamy cheese, and tender, juicy ground beef found in a traditional lasagna recipe!

The slow cooker is an easy way to prepare this favorite and let it cook all day while you’re away. Nothing is as good as a ready meal after a busy day.

close up of plated Crock Pot Lasagna

An Easy Crockpot Meal

We love any and all Crockpot recipes, but this one has a special place in our kitchen!

  • This recipe is easy to put together and no pre-cooking the noodles required.
  • It’s great to make ahead (even the day before) and cook while you’re out or at work.
  • It’s the perfect entrée to add to a potluck or dinner party since all you need to do is plug the Crockpot in to keep it warm.
  • It’s versatile, too, and can easily be changed up with other favorite lasagna ingredients.

ingredients to make Crock Pot Lasagna

Lasagna Ingredients

3-CHEESE FILLING Traditional lasagna uses ricotta cheese, but cottage cheese works. Cottage cheese can sometimes produce a bit more liquid. Parmesan adds flavor while mozzarella makes it gooey and cheesy.

SAUCE This easy ground beef version uses a marinara sauce that’s already seasoned, but we add some of our own homemade Italian seasoning. If you have the time, you can make your own easy marinara sauce, too! If you have leftover meatsauce, that can be used too.

OPTIONAL ADD-INS

      • Add some fresh or frozen spinach to the cheese mixture.
      • Layer in cooked veggies like peppers or mushrooms.
      • Swap half of the ground beef for Italian sausage.

Crock Pot Lasagna ingredients in bowls

How To Make Crockpot Lasagna

Let the slow cooker do all the work for this delish dish!

  1. Brown ground beef, onion, and garlic. Add sauce, tomatoes, and seasonings.
  2. Combine cheese filling.
  3. Layer cheese mixture, meat sauce, and noodles until the final layer is pasta sauce topped with cheese.
  4. Cover and cook per recipe below.

process of adding layers to pot to make Crock Pot Lasagna

Important Tip

Once cooked, be sure to let the lasagna rest with the lid ajar for at least 30 minutes (or up to 40 minutes). This allows it to cool slightly and the layers to set up.

What To Serve With Lasagna

Lasagna doesn’t need much more than a fresh, crispy salad and garlic toast! Here are a few of our favorites!

Salads:  tossed salad, Italian salad, Caesar salad

Breads: homemade garlic bread, dinner rolls, French Bread, no knead bread

top view of Crock Pot Lasagna

How to Store Leftovers

Lasagna keeps very well in the refrigerator for about 4 days. Make sure it is covered tightly. Sprinkle a little extra mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top and reheat in the microwave.

As with any lasagna, this recipe freezes well!

Lasagna Recipes

Did your family love this Crockpot Lasagna? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

close up of Crockpot Lasagna with bread and a slow cooker in the back

Crock Pot Lasagna

Crockpot Lasagna is an easy set-it-and-forget-it meal that tastes just like the oven version. Layers of lasagna noodles, meat sauce, & loads of gooey cheese make an unforgettable Italian favorite in the slow cooker!
Course Beef, Casserole, Dinner, Entree, Main Course, Pasta, Slow Cooker
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 611
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 9 lasagna noodles uncooked
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese grated

Sauce

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 15 ounces petite diced tomatoes
  • 36 ounces marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Cheese Filling

  • 24 oz ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  • Cook ground beef, onion, and garlic in a large saucepan until no pink remains. Drain fat.
  • Stir in sauce, diced tomatoes with juices and seasoning. Simmer 5-7 minutes or until thickened. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  • Meanwhile, mix cheese filling ingredients.
  • Spread 1 ½ cups sauce in the bottom of a 6 qt slow cooker. Top with a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (break them to fit in the slow cooker as needed).
  • Create layers of cheese mixture, sauce, and noodles. End with pasta sauce and finally top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
  • Cover and cook on low for 3 to 3.5 hours or until pasta is cooked through (the edges will be brown and crispy). Turn the slow cooker off, open lid slightly to allow steam to escape and let rest 30 minutes to set.

Notes

Layering order (you may or may not be able to fit 3 whole noodles on each layer depending on the shape of your slow cooker):

1.5 cups of sauce- 2 ½ to 3 noodles- 1/3 of cheese mixture 

1.5 cups of sauce- 2 ½ to 3 noodles- 1/3 of cheese mixture

1.5 cups of sauce- 2 ½ to 3 noodles- 1/3 of cheese mixture

remaining sauce – mozzarella

Be sure to let the lasagna rest uncovered at least 20 minutes (or up to 30 minutes). This allows it to cool slightly and the layers to set up.

Nutrition

Calories: 611 | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 1271mg | Potassium: 975mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1437IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 561mg | Iron: 4mg

plated Crock Pot Lasagna with Crockpot in the back with a title

Crock Pot Lasagna in the air fryer and and plated with a title

 

plated Crock Pot Lasagna with writing

 

plated Crock Pot Lasagna with a title

 

 

Originally posted at Spend with Pennies

Easy Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers seem fancy but it’s an easy way to serve peppers! Tender bell peppers stuffed with a zesty ground beef, sausage, rice, and tomato filling. Top it all with cheese and bake until bubbly. 

Serve these with a fresh salad and some crusty bread (for sopping up any sauce).

Stuffed Peppers in clear glass baking dish

Ingredients

Stuffed Bell Peppers are easy to make and everyone loves them!

  • MEAT We fill these with a mixture of beef and sausage but you can use one or the other (or even ground turkey if you prefer)
  • RICE I use long grain white rice but I do sometimes replace the rice with Cauliflower Rice.
  • SAUCE Use your fave marinara sauce or pasta sauce. Add in some herbs (fresh if you’ve got them) and onions. If you like a little heat, stir in some chili flakes.

Peppers for Stuffed Peppers

While I used green peppers in this recipe, any color bell pepper (red/yellow/orange) will work just fine. The peppers do have different flavors so it can depend on your personal taste preference.

  • Green peppers are a bit zestier and we love the flavor with the filling mixture.
  • If you like sweeter peppers, red, yellow, or orange are great options.

Stuffed Pepper recipe ingredients in a pot

How to make Stuffed Peppers

My friends often ask me how to make stuffed bell peppers and my response is always the same – it’s so easy! While these may look difficult, if you follow these easy steps, you will have perfect stuffed peppers every time!

  1. Brown meat, onion, and garlic (per recipe below). Add tomato sauce, rice and seasonings and cook until rice is tender.
  2. While the filling is cooking, prepare your peppers by simmering 5 minutes to soften or even bake them in the oven for 15 minutes if you’d like.
  3. Fill peppers with pasta sauce, meat and rice mixture. Top with cheese and bake until bubbly!

I usually cut my peppers across the top but you can also cut them top to bottom to make smaller portions (like in these Mexican Stuffed Peppers).

Do You Have to Pre-cook the Peppers Before Stuffing Them?  No you don’t have to precook the peppers, but they do stay quite crisp if you don’t pre-cook them. I think they’re better if you pre-cook them a bit.

Stuffed Peppers in baking dish with tomato sauce

How Long to Cook Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers should be cooked at about 350°F for about 45 minutes. Be sure to cover with foil during the initial 30-35 minutes to ensure they do not dry out. Uncover and top with cheese and bake for the remaining 10 minutes or so until brown and bubbly.

Great Sides

This dish goes well with a fresh salad and bread. Here are some favorites:

Stuffed Pepper being lifted out of baking dish

Make Ahead & Leftovers

Stuffed peppers can be frozen and they are a great make-ahead meal!

To Freeze Stuffed Peppers prepare and bake as directed below. They can be frozen individually or together in a baking dish. To re-heat, simply thaw in the fridge overnight and bake in a 350°F oven until heated through.

Stuffed Pepper being lifted out of baking dish

Stuffed Peppers

Tender bell peppers stuffed with a zesty beef and rice filling with tomato sauce are baked until bubbly.
Course Beef, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 385
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 6 bell peppers
  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • ½ pound Italian sausage
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can small diced tomatoes 14 ½ ounces
  • ½ cup white rice uncooked
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 ½ cups marinara sauce divided
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Cut the tops off the peppers (reserve the tops), remove seeds and membranes and discard. Chop tops of the peppers to add to the filling.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook peppers 5 minutes. Remove and drain well.
  • In a large skillet, brown beef, sausage, onion & garlic over medium high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat. 
  • Stir in the diced tomatoes with juice, rice, 1 ¼ cup water, diced pepper tops, Worcestershire sauce, and Italian seasoning.
  • Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover. Cook 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender. You can add more water if needed. Stir in ½ cup marinara sauce.
  • Place 1 ½ cups of marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Fill each pepper with the rice mixture. Spoon remaining marinara sauce over peppers.
  • Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes. Remove foil, baste peppers with any sauce in the bottom. Top with cheddar and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and peppers are tender.

Video

Notes

If you firmer/tender-crisp peppers, skip the boiling step and bake as directed.

Nutrition

Calories: 385 | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 922mg | Potassium: 933mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 4255IU | Vitamin C: 166.8mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 3.7mg

 

 

Stuffed Peppers with a title

Originally posted at Spend with Pennies

Air Fryer Meatloaf

Air fryer meatloaf is so juicy and cooks in a fraction of the time and clean up is a breeze.

This meatloaf contains a mixture of meat & seasonings and its topped with a delicious zesty topping!

sliced Air Fryer Meatloaf

Why Make Meatloaf in the Air Fryer

A classic meatloaf is a favorite meal and we love this air fryer version for a quick weeknight dinner.

  • this can baked in about half of the time compared to an oven recipe.
  • the fat drips away into the pan so the meat doesn’t cook in the fat.
  • this makes 2 smaller meatloaves so they’re easier to handle (and you get more of the crispy edges)
  • cleanup is a breeze (I have the Cosori 5.8QT XL and a quick rinse and it goes into the dishwasher

No Air Fryer? No problem!

ingredients to make Air Fryer Meatloaf

Ingredients

MEAT We use lean ground beef (80/20), however, a combination of ground beef and ground turkey or pork can work just as well.

VEGGIES Finely diced bell pepper, onions, parsley, and garlic add flavor.

BINDER & SEASONINGS Breadcrumbs are mixed together with milk and egg yolk, Parmesan cheese, and a handful of Italian seasoning.

Ingredient Info

The topping in this recipe contains chili sauce (which is not spicy) and ketchup and it’s my favorite part of meatloaf.

If you’ve never had chili sauce, it is like a very zesty tangy ketchup with tons of flavor. It’s amazing combined with BBQ sauce and put on burgers and ribs.

process of making Air Fryer Meatloaf

How to Make Air Fryer Meatloaf

Air fryer meatloaf is a super quick and easy way to put a delicious meal on the table, and it takes just a few easy steps!

  1. Mix all of the ingredients, shape them into two equally-sized loaves (per the recipe below).
  2. Place meatloaves in the air fryer basket & cook for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add topping and cook an additional 15 minutes or until the meatloaf reaches 165°F.

Remove meatloaves from the air fryer & allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing.

close up of Air Fryer Meatloaf in the air fryer

Recipe Tips

  • Don’t overmix the meat, mix just until combined.
  • Preheat the air fryer before adding the meatloaf.
  • Air Fryers can vary so be sure to use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meatloaf and ensure it reaches 165° F.
  • Check the meatloaf early to ensure it doesn’t overcook. Add more time as needed.
  • Rest the meatloaf before slicing so it doesn’t fall apart.
  • Keep leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and reheat in the air fryer or the microwave.

Air Fryer Faves

Did your family love this Air Fryer Meatloaf? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

sliced Air Fryer Meatloaf

Air Fryer Meatloaf

Juicy & tender, this Air Fryer Meatloaf is easy to make and full of flavor.
Course Air Fryer, Beef, Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rest Time 5 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 340
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • ½ green bell pepper finely diced
  • cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup onion* finely diced, see note
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Topping

Instructions

  • Preheat air fryer to 350°F.
  • Mix all meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl just until combined.
  • Divide the mixture into 2 and shape into small meatloaves, about 5″ long by 2″ wide.
  • Cook in the air fryer for 20 minutes.
  • Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl. Add topping and cook an additional 5-7 minutes or until meatloaf reaches 165°F.
  • Rest 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

For a milder onion flavor, fry the onion in 1 tablespoon butter until tender. Cool completely before adding.

Don’t overmix the meat, mix just until combined.

Preheat the air fryer before adding the meatloaf.

Air Fryers can vary so be sure to use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meatloaf and ensure it reaches 165° F.

Check the meatloaf early to ensure it doesn’t overcook. Add more time as needed.

Rest the meatloaf before slicing so it doesn’t fall apart.

Nutrition

Calories: 340 | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 709mg | Potassium: 542mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 445IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 4mg
close up of Air Fryer Meatloaf with writing
Air Fryer Meatloaf in the air fryer and sliced with a title
sliced Air Fryer Meatloaf with a title
close up of Air Fryer Meatloaf with a title

Originally posted at Spend with Pennies

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo

This Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo can be enjoyed as a main dish or a side dish. It is comforting and creamy, with the perfect amount of garlic and parmesan! 

A serving bowl of creamy orzo. There is a wooden spoon in the pasta and the pasta is mixed in a creamy white sauce with fresh thyme leaves. There are fresh thyme leaves and a couple of forks laying next to the bowl.

Super Easy Orzo Recipe

This one pot recipe can be on your table in less than 15 minutes, which is exactly the type of recipe I need for those busy school nights.

You all know how I feel about carbs (YES PLEASE!). Normally I’m touting different bread recipes, like our herbed focaccia bread because…hello, bread is straight from heaven! But pasta recipes are a close second when it comes to the glorious-ness of carbs.

This creamy orzo recipe is simply sublime! (more…)

READ: Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo

Originally posted at Oh Sweet Basil

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