Category Archives: Italian

Sausage Stuffed ‘Shrooms

I feel like winter holidays need a sausage dish; whether it be sausage stuffing or sausage balls, it’s just a festive comfort food. This year I made something different and I’m so glad I did! I made around 50 of them, and there was not a single one leftover.

Begin with whole Bella mushrooms and rinse well.

Remove the stems and save them for dicing.

Spray a baking dish (or 2!) with non-stick spray and place your mushrooms hole side up.

Warm a tablespoon of EVOO in a sauce pan and combine your diced stems, 1 chopped onion, and 1lb of Italian sausage. I used mild, but sweet or spicy would be delicious as well. Cook until sausage is fully browned. Add in 1 minced garlic clove and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Remove from heat.

Let cool completely.

Stir in 1C herb stuffing mix, 1/3C Monterey Jack cheese, 3tbl mayo, and 1/2tsp black pepper.

Fill your mushroom caps. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, top with fresh parsley and serve!

Note: These can be prepared the night before.🙌🏼

Adapted From – Spicy Southern Kitchen

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Creamy Sundried Tomato & Mushroom Chicken

This may be the ultimate comfort food without the guilt.I made it last night and am still thinking about it — so, SO good!! It tastes like it must be loaded with butter and heavy cream, but guess what? It’s not!!🎊

Combine 2tbl flour, 2tbl grated parm, 1tsp salt, and cracked pepper.

Slice 2 chicken breasts horizontally and dredge them through your mixture.

Rinse 2 cups of sliced baby bellas and drain an 8.5oz jar of Italian sliced sundried tomatoes (save the oil).

Warm half of the reserved oil into a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add in your chicken for 5-6 minutes on each side until it’s browned and cooked through.

Remove and place on a warm plate.

Pour the rest of your tomato oil into the saucepan. Now add 2tbl of minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds (until fragrant). Add your mushrooms and sundried tomatoes and cook until mushrooms soften.

Turn your heat down to low. Add in 12oz of evaporated milk. I used reduced fat, however I think fat free would be fine as well. Stir in a couple of teaspoons of Italian seasoning and cracked salt & pepper to taste.

Combine 2tbl milk and 1tbl cornstarch.

Once the sauce is simmering, quickly stir in your cornstarch mixture. Once it thickens, add in 1/3C shredded Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese melts.

Now add back in your chicken and top with fresh basil.

Serve over pasta, rice, quinoa, veggies, or anything really. Top with more shredded Parmesan and cracked pepper. Try not to have seconds (or thirds!)!😃

Adapted from – Cafe Delites

Classic Chicken Parmesan

We love comfort food in my house and this ranks right up there with all things warm and cheesy. It’s so simple, anyone can do it.

Begin with a couple of large chicken breasts and slice them horizontally. Make an assembly line of 1C of flour, 3 beaten eggs, and 2C Italian style Panko bread crumbs.

Salt and pepper your chicken and dredge them through the flour (pressing the flour in tightly), then the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs. Lay them onto a plate and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

Now I like to prepare my homemade marinara that is super easy and about a million times better than the store bought variety. That recipe is also on this blog. If you are short on time, the jar variety is just fine.

Warm a few tablespoons of EVOO over medium heat in a sauce pan and add in the chicken. Cook 4-6 minutes per side until the chicken is cooked through.

Transfer the chicken into a prepared baking dish. Slice fresh mozzarella onto each piece.

Set oven to broil and cook until cheese is melted and bubbling.

Prepare the pasta of your choice – I like angel hair with this dish but anything is fine. Lay a spoonful of marinara on top and some shredded Parmesan cheese.

Now place a piece of chicken on top with more marinara, cheese, and parsley. Serve with garlic bread and a Caesar salad. Enjoy!

Meatball, Spinach, & Tortellini Soup

I love soup in the cooler months. We don’t have many of those here, so I like to make the most of “soup season” while we can. This is one of my favorites and talk about quick and easy! It’s very hearty so even big appetites will fill up, especially if you add a mixed green salad and a crusty bread. Voila, dinner is served!

Begin by warming a tablespoon of EVOO over medium heat in a large, deep pot or Dutch oven. Sauté a medium onion until soft (about 5 minutes) and then add in a teaspoon of minced garlic and cook for an additional minute. 

Now add in 2 cups beef bone broth, 28oz can undrained diced tomatoes, 8oz can of tomato sauce, 1/2tsp salt, and 1/2tsp of oregano. 

Add in 20-25 frozen, Italian style mini meatballs and let simmer for 15 minutes. 

Now add in 3-4 cups of pre-cooked, refrigerated tortellini. They only need to cook for a couple of minutes to become al dente. 

Stir in 2 big handfuls of baby spinach. Once the spinach wilts, remove from heat. 

This last step is optional but ’tis the season for a little indulgence so go ahead! Add 1/3C heavy cream (everything is better with heavy cream!). This freezes beautifully, so make a big batch and enjoy more than once!😋

Inspired By – Spicy Southern Kitchen

Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna

We made this on a whim tonight and boy, it did not disappoint. I love a good veggie meal, and this will most certainly be added into my rotation.🙌🏼

Begin by dicing an onion and slicing 1/2lb of baby bella mushrooms. Measure out 3 cups of fresh spinach and set aside.

Warm 3tbl EVOO over medium heat and sauté a yellow onion plus a teaspoon of minced garlic together for about 3 minutes (until onions soften). Now toss in your sliced mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes. Salt and pepper to your flavor preference. 

Add in 2tbl of flour and stir quickly for 1 minute. Now add 1/4C vegetable broth and stir to combine. Now add in another 2.5C vegetable broth slowly. Add 3/4C milk and bring your pot to a simmer. Simmer for 10-12 minutes.

Add in your spinach and continue cooking for 5 more minutes. 

Add 1.5C good shredded Parmesan. Stir until the cheese melts. 

Cook Lasagna noodles according to package minus 2 minutes. Spoon a thin amount of sauce into baking dish and layer 3 noodles. Top with mushroom mixture and top with more shredded Parmesan. Repeat twice, ending with a layer of mixture topped with cheese. 

Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes until it’s hot and bubbly. Enjoy!!

Adapted From: Life As A Strawberry

Eggplant Parmesan


Tip of the day: Eggplant is another veggie that many folks seem to avoid. The most common complaint is that they taste bitter. Well, the simple secret to bringing out their wonderful flavor without a trace of bitterness is salt. Peel and slice your eggplant. Arrange a layer of slices in the bottom of your colander and salt HEAVILY on both sides. Now stack the remaining slices on top of each other ~ now you only need to heavily salt the top (see what I did there?!). Let those beauties sit in the colander in their salt rub for a good 30-45 minutes. Now rinse well, dry, and they are ready for your grill, oven or pan.🍆🍆🍆
Aside from eggplant lasagna, eggplant parmesan is one of my favorite dishes. It’s a bit labor intensive, but so worth it!! Once you have prepared your eggplant slices, coat each in beaten egg then Italian style breadcrumbs. I place 4-5 slices at a time in EVOO warmed to a medium heat. They take about 3 minutes per side depending on thickness. Once all of the slices have been lightly fried and placed on a paper towel lined plate, prepare your marinara as follows:

This is how golden I like mine. (I have a freezer meal business and this is a top seller. This pic is from a meal prep.)

One pot of homemade marinara (or you can use a store bought jar if you like) plus 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes and 2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce. 

Layer your eggplant in a baking dish, top with marinara, then mozzarella and parmesan. Repeat. 


Finish with a healthy amount of cheese.


Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until hot and bubbly. Enjoy!

Adapted from: EatingWellSpendingLess

Eggplant Lasagna

We LOVE eggplant at my house. One of my 2 year old’s favorite things besides Eggplant Parmesan is my Eggplant Lasagna. This low carb meal can be served meatless or with the ground meat of your choice. Essentially the eggplant replaces the pasta, and the flavor goes through the roof!!The easiest way to slice the eggplant is with a mandolin, and I use the largest setting (1/4 inch). (Peel them first!)

Warm a couple tablespoons of EVOO in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Sauté salted eggplant slices for a couple of minutes on each side until they soften. I only do a couple at a time and then place on a paper towel lined plate. Once you finish sautéing all of your eggplant, prepare the sauce of your choice. Construct just like lasagna:

Eggplant Slices ~ Ricotta ~ Sauce ~ Mozzarella ~ Shredded Parmesan ~ Repeat

Finish with a layer of eggplant topped with cheese.😋

Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for about an hour until browned and bubbly.☺️

We grow lots of eggplants. Most of the veggies we use come from our garden during the summer months including the eggplants I use in my freezer meals. So much fun!


Look how beautifully the eggplant slices replace boring ole lasagna noodles.


Fresh from the oven. It’s impossible not to have seconds. 🍆🍆🍆

Meatball Subs

One of my favorite indulgences (besides a great burger) is a meatball sub. These are so easy and delicious. Perfect for a game day or Sunday feast. 
Meatball Subs:
Place 1.5lbs of ground sirloin in a large mixing bowl. Create a well in the center and add:

1 egg, beaten

3 handfuls of Italian breadcrumbs

1 finely chopped medium onion

4 cloves minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (this can be omitted if your are cooking for kids or folks who don’t like spicy meatballs)

2 teaspoons Worcestershire 

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 

1/4 cup Parmesan 

Salt & pepper
Mix together with your hands but don’t over mix. Divide into 4 parts and then divide each quarter into 3 meatballs, so that you end up with 12 meatballs. 

Place on nonstick baking sheet and roast in a 450 degree oven for 12 minutes. 

Warm marinara sauce in a medium saucepan (homemade is best but store bought also works). Place meatballs in sauce and coat on all sides.


Slice some good Italian sub rolls almost in half. Later your meatballs, extra sauce, and sliced provolone inside your roll. Place sandwiches on a baking sheet and warm until cheese is melted and bubbly. 


Adapted from: Rachael Ray

Homemade Marinara

When I first decided I wanted to up my cooking game for my family, I knew I wanted to cut out store bought sauces. However, it’s actually one of the later things that I started doing. I assumed it would be super labor intensive and require more money at the grocery store. Neither of those sounded appealing. Boy was I wrong. Not only was it super easy, most of the ingredients were already in my pantry. And the difference it made in my meals…..wow. I guarantee once you start making your own sauces, you won’t be able to return to those over processed, over salted shelf varieties! A sauce most folks buy for everything from spaghetti to pizza is marinara. This can be modified based on what’s in your kitchen, but here is the basic structure:

Melt 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons EVOO in a medium saucepan. Add in a small diced onion and a bit of minced garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes or so until onion is translucent.

Stir in: 28oz can crushed tomatoes, 8 oz can tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 2 bay leaves, small handfuls of chopped fresh parsley and basil. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 2+ hours. Remove bay leaves and enjoy!!