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

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Looking for a healthier pizza option that still tastes great? Try using Whole Wheat Pizza Dough! This is a healthier version of my original pizza dough recipe but uses whole wheat flour for a protein and fiber boost. Delicious used with my BBQ Chicken Pizza, Taco Pizza or Classic Margherita.

whole wheat pizza dough ball in a glass bowl

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough | A Healthier Alternative

While I love a classic pizza dough, sometimes its nice to change it up and go for a healthy alternative. Whole Wheat Pizza Dough is just that!

The main difference between Whole Wheat Pizza Dough and Regular Pizza Dough is that the whole wheat version uses a combination of whole wheat flour and bread flour whereas the regular pizza dough simply uses bread flour. Whole wheat flour adds more dietary fiber and protein and the bread flour adds that extra gluten to create that chew that all pizza crust has.

The biggest complaint people have about a whole wheat pizza crust is the taste and texture being off (read: gross). Whole wheat pizza crusts made entirely with whole wheat flour are going to be heavier and taste a little different. It’s the exact reason why I only use 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour and make up the difference with bread flour. Using two kinds of flour is the key to delicious whole wheat pizza dough.

Main Ingredients Needed

You are going to need a lot of the same ingredients you’d use with classic pizza crust for this whole wheat pizza dough. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Warm Water, Yeast + Honey – these three come together to create the perfect environment for yeast to activate.
  • Olive Oil – you could also use canola oil here. The main difference is the taste.
  • Salt – to season the dough and add some flavor.
  • Whole Wheat Flour – this flour is a whole-grain product which means it contains more dietary fiber than regular flour. This is a much healthier option that helps with digestion and gut health but, don’t worry, this dough still has a killer texture and taste.
  • Bread Flour – this flour specifically has more gluten in it, yielding a chewier crust. In a pinch, you can also use all-purpose flour, but you just need to knead the dough a little longer. King Arthur Flour is my favorite bread flour.

A Note About Whole Wheat Flour

You’ll probably notice a lot of similarities between this recipe and my original pizza dough recipe. They are essentially the same, but I use less overall flour in this recipe. Why? Because whole wheat flour soaks up more water because it’s a whole grain. It’s heavier, too, so you don’t need as much overall flour. It’s also another reason why I don’t recommend using ALL whole wheat flour for your pizza dough.

Can I Use All Whole Wheat Flour?

For best results, I recommend using a combination of bread and whole wheat flour.

While you absolutely CAN use 100% whole wheat flour for this recipe, you will use about 1/4-1/2 cup less overall flour than the recipe states, simply because it’s a heavier flour and it will soak up more of the moisture in the dough (like I mentioned above). You might want to consider also adding in an extra tablespoon of olive oil to help with the texture of your dough as well.

How to Make Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

For full details on how to make whole wheat pizza dough, see the recipe card down below 🙂

1. Proof Yeast

In a large mixing bowl, preferably that of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir yeast and honey into warm water. Sit until bubbles form and the mixture starts to foam. This tells you that the yeast is alive and kicking.

What if my yeast didn’t bloom?

If the yeast didn’t bloom (bubble or foam up) this means that your yeast is dead. This could be because it was old or because the water was too hot. To fix this, toss the yeast mixture down the drain and start again (preferably with fresh yeast and warm water).

2. Create the Dough

Pour in salt, olive oil, and all the whole wheat flour and mix. Once that flour is incorporated, start adding bread flour in bit by bit until you get the pizza dough to the consistency you want: slightly tacky, but when you touch it, it doesn’t stick to your hands.

3. Knead

Once you reach this stage, knead on low for 6 minutes. The dough should be smooth and easy to work with. And the bowl should be mostly clean! {*This is the point when you could freeze your dough!)

4. Rise + Use as Desired

Lightly grease the bowl & the dough so it doesn’t dry out, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.

Once pizza dough has risen, you can use as desired.

whole wheat pizza dough on a bread hook

Can I Freeze Whole Wheat Pizza Dough?

Yes, you can freeze this whole wheat pizza dough recipe! Here’s how to do it:

Freezing Instructions

Simply follow the directions all the way stopping after you knead the dough. Divide into portions, place into freezer bags, seal, removing all air, and freeze for up to three months.

How to Defrost Pizza Dough

Remove from the freezer and place the frozen dough in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it defrost, then rise until it has doubled in size. This process can take anywhere between 3-6 hours, depending on how warm or cold your kitchen is. Once dough has risen, use as desired.

Can I Grill This Dough?

The beauty of this whole wheat dough is that you can use it however you use regular pizza dough. So, long story short, yes, you can grill this dough. Here’s my how-to on how to grill pizza!

pepperoni pizza made with whole wheat crust

Try These Pizzas with Whole Wheat Pizza Dough!

So if you’re looking for a new healthier pizza dough to try, try this one! I promise it won’t dissapoint 🙂

The printable recipe card is below, enjoy!

whole wheat pizza dough ball in a glass bowl

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Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

This Whole Wheat Pizza Dough is a healthier version of my original pizza dough recipe. Use with any recipe that calls for pizza dough!
Course Breads
Cuisine Italian
Keyword whole wheat pizza dough
Prep Time 16 minutes
Rise Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 16 minutes
Servings 2 medium 12″ pizzas
Calories 788kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups bread flour give or take 1/2 cup, depending on heat and humidity

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, stir yeast and honey into warm water. Sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbles form and the mixture starts to foam. This tells you that the yeast is alive and kicking.
    yeast proofing in a glass bowl with honey and warm water
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, pour in salt and all of the whole wheat flour and mix.
    dry ingredients in a stand mixer bowl
  • Pour in olive oil and yeast mixture until well incorporated with the whole wheat flour.
    adding olive oil to stand mixer bowl
  • Once that flour is incorporated, start adding bread flour in bit by bit until you get the pizza dough to the consistency you want: slightly tacky, but when you touch it, it doesn’t stick to your hands.
    adding bread flour to the stand mixer bowl
  • Once you reach this stage, knead on low for 6 minutes. The dough should be smooth and easy to work with. And the bowl should be mostly clean!*
    whole wheat pizza dough on a bread hook
  • Lightly grease the bowl & the dough so it doesn’t dry out, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
    whole wheat pizza dough ball in a glass bowl
  • Once the pizza dough has risen, you can use it as desired.**
    whole wheat pizza dough spread out on a baking sheet

Notes

*This is the point when you could freeze your dough!! Divide into portions, place into freezer bags, seal removing all air, and freeze. To use, remove from freezer and let sit out to get to room temperature and double in size; 6-8 hours. Then use as you’d like.

**Pizza dough bakes for 9-10 minutes at 500 degrees. Alternatively, you can bake at 425 degrees for a longer period of time.

Nutrition

Calories: 788kcal | Carbohydrates: 136g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 1180mg | Potassium: 540mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 4mg

The post Whole Wheat Pizza Dough appeared first on Lauren’s Latest.

Originally posted at Laurens Latest

Minestrone Soup

This flavorful classic Minestrone Soup recipe is warm, satisfying, and packed full of nutrition. Perfect for the colder months and even more perfect in a homemade bread bowl.

ladling minestrone soup out of pot

What is Minestrone Soup?

Minestrone Soup is a hearty Italian soup that includes vegetables, broth, and pasta (or rice). It’s one of those great soups that are delicious, vegetarian, and packed full of nutrition. I personally love the stuff and could eat the entire pot. It’s warm, satisfying and one bowl will fill you up! Like lots of other dishes, the longer it cooks the better it tastes. I’d recommend lightly simmering this soup for as long as you can and then 10 minutes before serving, put in the pasta to cook OR just cook it separately and serve it alongside. Top the whole dish with some parmesan cheese and crusty bread and that’s dinner!

Main Ingredients Needed

Overall, Minestrone Soup is a pretty healthy meal! If you don’t like certain vegetables in the recipe then you can omit them or substitute them for other ones. Here’s what you need:

  • Olive Oil – this is used to saute the veggies that need a little more cooking time than the rest.
  • Onion, Carrots + Celery – these three form the base of this soup. Lots of vitamins and minerals here.
  • Chicken Broth – use a high-quality chicken broth for the best results. If you are looking to keep this recipe vegetarian, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
  • Dark Kidney Beans + Garbanzo Beans – rinsed and drained. I used these to add in some protein to make this meal more filling.
  • Tomato Sauce + Diced Tomatoes – these are added to help make and flavor the broth.
  • Cabbage – if you don’t like cabbage then substitute it for zucchini. Zucchini is a pretty traditional ingredient for Minestrone–I didn’t have any on hand but feel free to add it in.
  • Basil, Oregano, Salt + Pepper – don’t forget the salt and pepper when it comes to the seasonings.
  • Short Cut Pasta – I used mini shells but you could use whatever short cut pasta you have, or even use rice or couscous!
beans in colander getting poured into minestrone soup

Variations

I am a firm believer that you should use ingredients that you have on hand or ingredients that you like. Because of this I encourage my reader’s to make variations to my recipes if they want to. Here are a couple ideas for Minestrone Soup:

  • Add Meat: I made a meatless soup but you can easily add in ground beef, chicken, Italian sausage or another type of protein.
  • More Vegetables to Use: you could sub out any of the vegetables listed about to make this soup your own. Some ideas include: spinach, potatoes, corn, zucchini, kale, green beans, peas, butternut squash, or collard greans.
  • Flavor Enhancing Ingredients: this could be anything from adding garlic to adding lemon juice/zest. There are a lot of variations out there so go crazy and experiment away.

How to Make Minestrone Soup

For full details on how to make Minestrone Soup, see the recipe card down below 🙂

Saute Veggies

In a large pot, sauté onions, carrots and celery in olive oil over medium heat until slightly softened (the rest of the cooking will continue later in the recipe)

Add Broth + Other Ingredients

Stir in broth, beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, seasonings and cabbage.

Simmer + Cook Pasta

Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes. The longer it cooks the better the flavor becomes. 10 minutes before serving, pour in pasta to cook or boil it separately.

Top with Parmesan

Serve with parmesan cheese and good quality crusty bread.

close up of minestrone soup

Storing Minestrone Soup

Any leftover Minestrone Soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. If the soup seems too thick after storing it, just add some more broth when you are heating it back up in the microwave or on the stove top.

Freezing Instructions

Because this is a broth-based soup it freezes beautifully! Cool completely then simply store in a freezer-safe container, leaving an inch or two of space at the top to account for expansion, for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the fridge overnight then heat over the stovetop.

close up of minestrone soup

More Italian Soups to Try!

If you liked this Minestrone Soup you are bound to like my other Italian soup recipes!

The printable recipe card is down below, enjoy 🙂

ladling minestrone soup out of pot

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Minestrone Soup

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This flavorful classic Minestrone Soup recipe is warm, satisfying, and packed full of nutrition. Perfect for the colder months!
Course Dinner, Soup
Cuisine Italian
Keyword minestrone soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 242kcal
Author Lauren

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 large carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs celery washed and chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 15 oz dark kidney beans 1 can, rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz garbanzo beans 1 can, rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz tomato sauce 1 can
  • 14.5 oz diced tomatoes 1 can
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano or marjoram
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup short cut pasta such as shells

Instructions

  • In a large pot, sauté onions, carrots, and celery in butter and oil over medium heat for 7-10 minutes.
    sauteed vegetables in big pot
  • Stir in water, chicken broth, beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, seasonings, and cabbage.
    cabbage and spices in minestrone
  • Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes. 10 minutes before serving, pour in pasta to cook or boil it separately.
    adding pasta to soup
  • Serve with parmesan cheese and good quality crusty bread.
    ladling minestrone soup out of pot

Nutrition

Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 949mg | Potassium: 888mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 905IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 5mg

The post Minestrone Soup appeared first on Lauren’s Latest.

Originally posted at Laurens Latest

Bruschetta Chicken

This delicious Bruschetta Chicken Recipe is a simple, fast and healthy dinner! Made with chicken cutlets and topped with a tomato basil topping inspired by my bruschetta. I love this recipe and know you will, too!

tomato bruschetta topping on chicken

Bruschetta Chicken | A Favorite Dinner

This Bruschetta Chicken made its way around the web when I first posted it last week for dinner. Lots of people were sharing the picture because they were THAT excited about this ever-popular recipe. Now, all you lovely readers can actually share the prettier pictures with accompanying recipe to boot!

Main Ingredients Needed

This recipe is a relatively healthy one that only requires minimal (but flavorful!) ingredients.

  • Roma Tomatoes – fresh and slightly tangy, Roma tomatoes are the perfect type for bruschetta chicken.
  • Garlic + Fresh Basil – garlic and basil to complement the tomatoes.
  • Chicken – simple cooked chicken for a bright and fresh meal.
  • Balsamic Glaze – I love to top this meal with a balsamic glaze, it perfectly rounds out the flavors in this Italian-inspired dish.

Variations

This Bruschetta Chicken recipe is a simple one, but don’t let that deter you from customizing it for a little more flavor. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Parmesan Cheese: feel free to top this dish with parmesan cheese.
  • Red Onions: these can be added to the bruschetta to add some punch.
  • Italian Seasoning: try adding this to the chicken while it cooks. More herbs equals more flavor.
bruschetta chicken on white plate

How to make Bruschetta Chicken

For full details, including increments, see the recipe card down below!

Step 1: Make the Bruschetta Topping

Dice the tomatoes and add them to a large bowl. Add in the minced garlic, fresh basil, salt and pepper. Stir to coat and then set aside.

Step 2: Brown the Chicken

Blot chicken with paper towels and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and preheat over medium heat. Cook 4-5 minutes per side until its well browned and registers at 165 degrees F.

Step 3: Drizzle with Balsamic Glaze

Once the chicken is fully cooked, top with your bruschetta topping, drizzle with balsamic glaze and enjoy!

tomato bruschetta topping on chicken

How to Serve Bruschetta Chicken

Here are some traditional items to serve with this meal:

Low Carb Options

Or if you are sticking to a low carb diet, here are some tasty alternatives:

  • zucchini noodles
  • cauliflower rice
  • asparagus

More Recipe to Try!

And that’s it! Bruschetta Chicken, a simple 30 minute meal perfect for those busy weeknights.

The printable recipe card is down below, save/print/bookmark this page 🙂

tomato bruschetta topping on chicken

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Bruschetta Chicken

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This delicious Bruschetta Chicken Recipe is a simple, fast and healthy dinner! Made with chicken cutlets and topped with a tomato basil topping
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword bruschetta chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 4 serving
Author Lauren

Ingredients

for the bruschetta topping-

  • 4 roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 small clove garlic grated
  • 10 basil leaves chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 chicken cutlets

Instructions

  • Dice the tomatoes and add them to a large bowl. Add in the minced garlic, fresh basil, salt and pepper. Stir to coat and then set aside.
    diced tomatoes, garlic and basil in glass bowl
  • Blot chicken with paper towels and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and preheat over medium heat. Cook 4-5 minutes per side until its well browned and registers at 165 degrees F.
  • Once the chicken is fully cooked, top with your bruschetta topping, drizzle with balsamic glaze and enjoy!
    bruschetta chicken on white plate

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

Originally posted at Laurens Latest

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

This is the best Italian wedding soup I’ve ever made! It is packed with homemade meatballs, loads of veggies and fresh herbs. And it’s done in about half an hour!

We are including instructions for making this soup in the slow cooker and Instant Pot too! You can choose the cooking method that works best for you and your schedule.

Why Italian Wedding Soup?

Did you know I used to work for Jet Blue? Yup. Totally worked from home before that was even a thing answering a bazillion calls clear through the night at times and occasionally getting screamed at and not once was it deserved. 

I know, you’re tempted to not believe me, but here’s an example:

A huge hurricane all 2009 style was hitting and flights were grounded everywhere. A woman had booked a vacay to an island right in the path and was INFURIATED we had cancelled her flight. As she was screaming at me that this was unprofessional because a ticket is a contract she suddenly got the idea that we should rebook her like other airlines do if a flight is cancelled. I tried to explain that all airlines weren’t flying because of the hurricane at which point she used some colorful language to demand a private plane. 

I couldn’t even respond at that point. 

It. Was. A. Hurricane.

Now before you get all worked up that I’m telling a story instead of teaching to cook, this has a purpose. 

A bowl of Italian wedding soup. A spoon is in the soup and it is packed with meatballs, carrots and spinach.

Before we could work we had to do a training for several weeks until midnight every night at the call center a good 45 minutes away. When we got there it was dinnertime, and if we were lucky a little cafe had an Italian wedding soup that was so good!

I’ve dreamed of it ever since, but it has taken me years to create the recipe and this is it! 100% exactly as I remember it. 

Ingredients for Italian Wedding Soup

We love to make our own meatballs for this recipe, but if you want to cut out that step, you can totally buy frozen chicken meatballs at the grocery store. If you buy your meatballs, skip to the ingredients list for just the soup.

Meatballs

  • Ground Turkey (or chicken)
  • Italian Sausage
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Fresh Parmesan
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Garlic
  • Egg
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper

For the Soup

  • Olive Oil
  • Yellow Onion
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Chicken Broth
  • Acini di Pepe
  • Baby Spinach
  • Fresh Dill
  • Fresh Parmesan

All measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card below.

A bowl of Italian Wedding soup with a spoon in it. The soup is packed with colorful vegetables and meatballs. The bright green spinach brightens up the soup.

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

Again, if you’re buying meatballs pre-made, skip to the soup instructions. Let’s start with making the homemade meatballs:

For the Meatballs

  • Combine the meats, breadcrumbs, parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic and egg in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Form into mini meatballs (about 1/2″ diameter).
    • PRO TIP: We use a very small cookie scoop. Don’t fill it full all the way. The smaller the better.
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook the meatballs in batches until they are browned on the outside and they are cooked through.
  • Remove from the pot and set them aside.

Browning the meatballs adds so much flavor! Don’t skip this step!

For the Soup

  • Heat more oil and add the veggies and thyme. Then add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  • Add the pasta and meatballs and lower the temperature to a simmer. Cook long enough to cook the pasta.
  • Toss in the spinach and cook for about 1 minute.
  • Garnish servings with fresh dill, and more thyme and parmesan.
Detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post.

What to Eat with Italian Wedding Soup

I can’t sit down with a bowl of soup unless there is some bread for dipping. Here are a few of my favorites:

If you’re not into dipping bread in soup, then we can’t be friends! Haha! Ok, jk…we can be friends, but I don’t understand you! Make a sweet quick bread to eat with it:

A bowl of Italian Wedding soup with a spoon in it. The soup is packed with meatballs and carrots and spinach.

How Long Will Italian Wedding Soup Keep?

Refrigerate in a container with a tight fitting lid for up to 5 days.

What is Acini di Pepe?

Acini di Pepe is a form of pasta that is very small.

What is a Substitute For Acini di Pepe Pasta?

If you can’t find acini di pepe, you can use another small shaped pasta such as orzo, pastina or small stars.

Can You Freeze Soups With Pasta in Them?

Soups containing pasta do not hold up very well in the freezer. Pasta tends to absorb the liquids and gets mushy when frozen.

You can freeze this soup without the pasta and then heat it up on the stove and add the pasta before serving.

 

One of my favorite things is trying to copycat a recipe that I’ve had somewhere and fallen in love with. I love to test and test different combinations and flavors until I get it just right. That’s how this Italian wedding soup came to be! It is so flavorful and easy!

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A bowl of Italian wedding soup. A spoon is in the soup and it is packed with meatballs, carrots and spinach.

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Italian Wedding Soup

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Course 50 of the Best Easy Soup Recipes for Families
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 348kcal

Ingredients

Meatballs *See Note

  • 3/4 Pound Turkey ground, or chicken
  • 1/2 Pound Italian sausage casings removed
  • 1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs White
  • 1/3 Cup Parmesan freshly grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 3 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Egg large
  • Kosher salt
  • Black Pepper freshly ground

For the Soup

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil extra-virgin, divided
  • 1 Cup Yellow Onion chopped
  • 2 Carrots medium, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 Cup Celery chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Thyme freshly chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 8 Cups Chicken Broth low sodium
  • 1 Cup acini di pepe
  • 4 Cups Baby Spinach
  • 1 teaspoon Dill freshly chopped, for garnish
  • 1/3 Cup Parmesan freshly grated, for serving

Instructions

For the meatballs

  • In a large bowl, stir ground meats, bread crumbs, Parmesan, seasoning, garlic, and egg until combined. Season with salt, pepper. Form into meatballs approximately 1/2″ in diameter.
  • In a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Cook meatballs in batches, until outsides are golden and insides are cooked through. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.

For the soup

  • Heat remaining oil and then add onion, carrots, celery, and thyme. Cook until fragrant about, 3 to 4 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a rapid boil. Add pasta and meatballs and lower to a simmer. Simmer until the pasta is cooked, 5 to 7 minutes. Add in the spinach and cook, stirring occasionally until wilted, about 1 minute more.
  • Garnish each bowl with dill, thyme and more Parmesan.

Notes

Note: you can buy chicken meatballs in the freezer section at some stores.

This soup will keep for 3-5 days in the refrigerator.

 

INSTANT POT: Brown the meatballs in batches in saute mode then cook them all on high for 3-5 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients except the pasta and spinach cook on high for 3 more minutes. Remove lid and add pasta and cook a final 3 min , stir in spinach and allow to sit for up to five minutes before serving to wilt the spinach.

SLOW COOKER: Cook the meatballs on the stove top as stated in the instruction. Add all the ingredients (except the pasta and spinach) to a crockpot on low for 5 hours or high for 2-3 hours. Add the pasta for the last hour and the spinach for the last 10 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 1323mg | Potassium: 544mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 4139IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 3mg

A bowl of Italian wedding soup. A spoon is in the soup and it is packed with meatballs, carrots and spinach.

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READ: Italian Wedding Soup

Originally posted at Oh Sweet Basil

Margherita Pizza

A perfectly crispy and chewy crust that is topped with a homemade tomato sauce, melty mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, a sprinkling of sea salt, and a drizzle of olive oil. This is the ultimate Margherita Pizza recipe! Crack out that Pizza Dough and try this delicious classic!

baked margherita pizza on cutting board

Ever since we moved out of NYC, Gordon and I have been dying to eat some amazing pizza. Since Margherita Pizza was our favorite, its the one we’ve been trying to perfect first and I’m so excited to be sharing this recipe with you today. New York knows they make pizza well and there are SO many pizzerias that have great pies. Our favorite pizzeria in the city was steps away from our last apartment and mama, was it good. So, we’ve been using our memories and tastebuds as a guide and gotten as close to the original as one can at home. I hope you come to love this recipe and become master pizza makers in the process.

But First, What is Margherita Pizza?

Margherita Pizza is not to be confused with a margarita…as in the drink. Two totally different things! The name Margherita actually comes from Italian royalty, technically Margherita of Savoy, the Queen of Italy. Word on the street is she was tired of the French food she was being served on a trip to Naples, so the most famous pizza maker of the time in Naples, was then asked to make her a pizza. And thus the Margherita Pizza was born.

There is more to the story, but that’s basically all you need to know.

hand holding can of san marzano tomatoes

Main Ingredients Needed

Here’s everything you’ll need to make Margherita Pizza. Because this is a such a simple recipe with very few ingredients, the quality of those ingredients is what is most important.

For the Sauce

While I tried making this recipe with just the San Marzano Tomatoes, I found adding a few simple ingredients to help bring out that tomato flavor was best.

  • San Marzano Tomatoes – I chose to use San Marzano Tomatoes for their authentic quality and taste (you can read all about it here). This is the brand I used and have loved them!
  • Olive Oil – to make the sauce a little saucier and to add some silkiness.
  • Garlic – for flavor.
  • Sugar – to cut the acidity from the tomatoes.
  • Salt + Pepper – season to taste!

Toppings

A Margherita Pizza always will have fresh basil and fresh mozzarella.

  • Fresh Basil Leaves – these are placed right on top of everything else (whole or sliced)! They add a fresh quality to the dish.
  • Fresh Mozzarella Cheese – Cut into thin slices or broken into pieces to place on the pizza. BelGioioso is the brand I used and is widely available.
  • Sea Salt + Olive Oil – these are optional finishing toppings for the baked pizza. While they are optional, I’d highly recommend them!

Variations

Margherita Pizza is so so so good all on it’s own, but if you are looking to spice this recipe up, feel free to use some of these ideas:

  • Smoked Mozzarella: this is seriously some yummy stuff that elevates the whole dish.
  • Herby Pizza Dough: consider adding Italian Seasoning (a mix of herbs) to your pizza dough, that way, even the crust is packed with flavor.
  • Grill Your Pizza: have you ever tried grilling pizza before? Let me tell you it’s life-changing. Luckily for you, I have a whole how-to on grilled pizza.
diced fresh mozzarella cheese on paper towels

How to Make Margherita Pizza

For full details on how to make Margherita Pizza, see the recipe card down below 🙂

Step 1: Preheat Oven and Pizza Stone

Move the oven rack to the very bottom of the oven. Remove any extra racks from the oven. Add pizza stone to the bottom rack and preheat the oven to as hot as it will go: usually 500-525 degrees F. Once the oven is preheated, keep the stone in there for an extra 30 minutes to ensure it is hot.

Step 2: Make the Sauce

Empty a can of tomatoes into the bowl of a food processor. Add olive oil, garlic, sugar, and salt. Pulse until mostly smooth, but still has a texture with a few small chunks.

A Note About This Fresh Pizza Sauce

The recipe for the fresh sauce makes plenty of sauce…more than you’ll need for this recipe. Store extras in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to two months.

spreading margherita pizza sauce onto pizza dough

Step 3: Prep Mozzarella and Basil

Cut mozzarella into small cubes. Press between paper towels to remove any extra moisture. Set aside. Pick fresh basil leaves off stems and set aside or chop into smaller pieces.

Step 5: Form Your Pizzas

Stretch and roll pizza dough out to be 4 individual pizzas, or 2-12 inch pizzas. You want the crust to be about 1/4 inch straight across, with an optional thicker edge. It may take a few tries to get your crust perfect. Too thin and you’ll have a hard time getting the bottom crispy, especially if there is too much sauce.

Transferring that Pizza onto the Hot Stone

Use extra flour and cornmeal to keep the dough from sticking to pizza peel/cutting board/plate/whatever you’re using to transfer the pizza directly onto the hot stone. Before you start adding the pizza toppings, shake the pizza peel gently to ensure the dough moves easily back and forth. If it’s stuck, add more flour and/or cornmeal underneath so it slides easily. Here is a great pizza peel that works perfectly.

unbaked margherita pizza on plate

Step 6: Bake

Add a thin layer of pizza sauce to the dough (less is more). Again, you’ll have to test this out to see what you like best and how it bakes up for you with your oven and pizza stone.

Top with fresh mozzarella and transfer to the hot pizza stone. Bake until bottom crust is browned and crispy and cheese is hot and bubbly. For us, that was 7 minutes exactly.

Step 7: Cool, Garnish and Serve!

Remove hot pizza off the stone and onto a cutting board. Top with fresh basil, a small little drizzle of olive oil, and a light sprinkling of sea salt. I used Maldon Sea Salt Flakes and they really did such a nice job! Do not use table salt..it won’t give you the same taste or effect. Cut and serve immediately.

cut margherita pizza on cutting board

While I still miss the classic Margherita Pizza slices I used to get weekly from the corner pizzeria shop in NYC, this is a close second. Use my directions to make some of the best homemade pizza ever.

Helpful Tools for Homemade Pizza

Pizza Stone. Take your pizza to the next level with a pizza stone! If you want that delicious crispy bottom you find at pizzerias, a pizza stone is the way to do it. This is the one I recommend. If you don’t have a pizza stone or don’t want to invest in one, consider getting large tiles from the hardware store. They work just the same. Upside down cookie sheets will also work in a pinch, but not in the same way because they don’t hold their heat quite as well as a thicker stone would.

Pizza Peel. This will make transferring pizza to the hot stone so much easier! Yes, you can absolutely get by without it, but one you have it you’ll wonder why you didn’t get one sooner. This is the one I recommend. Alternately, use a large, flat plate dusted with cornmeal for easy transferring. Once the pizza is baked, use a large spatula to remove to a cutting board.

Pizza Cutter. This obviously makes cutting pizza so much easier. Again, you don’t HAVE to get one to have success. It’s just nice to have. This is the one I recommend. Alternately, use a knife or kitchen shears.

More Italian Dishes to Try!

Be sure to check out these other Italian dishes too!

The printable recipe card is down below! Save it because it’s a good one 🙂

baked margherita pizza on cutting board

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Margherita Pizza

Homemade pizza crust topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, fresh basil, sea salt and olive oil. This is the ultimate Margherita Pizza recipe!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword margherita pizza, margherita pizza recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 547kcal

Ingredients

For the Sauce*

  • 28 oz can San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the Pizza

  • 12 fresh basil leaves whole or chopped
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella cut into cubes
  • coarse sea salt + olive oil

Instructions

  • Move oven rack to the bottom of the oven. Remove any extra racks from the oven. Add pizza stone to the bottom rack and preheat oven to 525 degrees or as high as it will go. Once oven is preheated, keep stone in there an extra 30 minutes to ensure it is hot.

Make the Sauce

  • To make the sauce, empty can of tomatoes into the bowl of a food processor. Add olive oil, garlic, sugar and salt. Pulse until mostly smooth, but still has texture with a few small chunks.
    pouring margherita pizza sauce into bowl
  • Cut mozzarella into small cubes. Press between paper towels to remove any extra moisture. Set aside. Pick fresh basil leaves off stems and set aside or chop into smaller pieces.
    diced fresh mozzarella cheese on paper towels

Form the Pizzas

  • Stretch pizza dough out to be 4 individual pizzas, or 2-12 inch pizzas. You want the crust to be about 1/4 inch straight across, with an optional thicker edge. It may take a few tries to get your crust perfect. Too thin and you’ll have a hard time getting the bottom crispy, especially if there is too much sauce. Use extra flour and cornmeal to keep dough from sticking to pizza peel/cutting board/plate/whatever you’re using to transfer the pizza directly onto the hot stone.

    Before you start adding the pizza toppings, shake the pizza peel gently to ensure the dough moves easily back and forth. If it’s stuck, add more flour and/or cornmeal underneath so it slides easily.

    risen pizza dough in bowl
  • Add a thin layer of pizza sauce to the dough (less is more).
    spreading margherita pizza sauce onto pizza dough

Bake

  • Top with fresh mozzarella and transfer to the hot pizza stone. Bake 7 minutes or until bottom crust is browned and crispy and cheese is hot and bubbly.
    unbaked margherita pizza on plate
  • Remove hot pizza off the stone and onto a cutting board. Top with fresh basil, a small little drizzle of olive oil and a light sprinkling of salt. Cut and serve.
    baked margherita pizza on cutting board

Notes

*The recipe for the fresh sauce makes plenty of sauce…more than you’ll need for this recipe. Store extras in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to two months.

*If your oven only goes to 500 degrees, you’ll want to bake your pizza for a few extra minutes to make sure the bottom gets plenty crusty. Of course check the progress as you go since every oven is different.

*If your crust it too thin, it won’t get very crispy because of the sauce and moisture in the cheese. It’s better to err on the side of thicker than thinner.

Nutrition

Calories: 547kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 1438mg | Potassium: 631mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 873IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 357mg | Iron: 6mg

The post Margherita Pizza appeared first on Lauren’s Latest.

Originally posted at Laurens Latest