Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup

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Enjoy all the comfort of lasagna in this light and easy to make sausage, mushroom, spinach Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup topped with melted mozzarella cheese.

Enjoy all the comfort of lasagna in this light and easy to make sausage, mushroom, spinach Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup topped with melted mozzarella cheese.

We are a family of pasta lovers. If dinner is made with pasta and a good sauce, chances are my entire family will devour it. We also love a good lasagna, but sometimes traditional lasagna is a heavy meal. I’m always looking for delicious meals I can toss in the slow cooker to have ready for all of us when we walk in the door after a long day of school and work. You can say that my slow cooker dinners have become somewhat of a tradition in our family. The four of us have always prized quality dinner time together, but I also feel like I get bonus points if I can prep something before I leave in the morning and have very little to do when we all get home before we sit around the table and talk about each others day.

Enjoy all the comfort of lasagna in this light and easy to make sausage, mushroom, spinach Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup topped with melted mozzarella cheese.This recipe starts with some ground pork, lots of seasonings, red onion, and mushroom. If you have a favorite spicy Italian sausage you like to use, you can certainly use that in lieu of the pork and the seasonings. You can also lighten this meal up by using ground turkey. The possibilities are endless!

Enjoy all the comfort of lasagna in this light and easy to make sausage, mushroom, spinach Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup topped with melted mozzarella cheese.

You brown the meat with the onions and mushrooms on the stove and then transfer it to your slow cooker. You don’t want to lose all of that wonderful flavor in the pan, so add some chicken broth and heat it up to release every spec of flavor from that pan. Now you’re ready to transfer that super flavorful chicken broth on over to the slow cooker. Now all you need is a delicious chunky pasta sauce to add before you can head out of the house to start your day. Just pour the entire bottle into the slow cooker and let all of those flavors combine while you go out and enjoy the day.

Enjoy all the comfort of lasagna in this light and easy to make sausage, mushroom, spinach Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup topped with melted mozzarella cheese.About a half an hour before you’re ready to eat, make sure the heat is set to high and add a big handful of spinach, broken up lasagna noodles, and a bit of heavy cream. Doesn’t it look amazing?

Enjoy all the comfort of lasagna in this light and easy to make sausage, mushroom, spinach Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup topped with melted mozzarella cheese.Top that soup with some fresh mozzarella and now the family can sit around the table and enjoy your time honored tradition of giving each other your undivided attention at the dinner table. Not your family tradition? Well, its never too late to start!

Enjoy all the comfort of lasagna in this light and easy to make sausage, mushroom, spinach Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup topped with melted mozzarella cheese.

Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Enjoy all the comfort of lasagna in this light and easy to make sausage, mushroom, spinach Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup topped with melted mozzarella cheese.
Author:
Recipe type: main dish
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (23 ounce) jar Pasta Sauce
  • handful raw spinach
  • 3-5 lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
top with:
  • freshly grated mozzarella (whole milk recommended) and minced basil or parsley
Instructions
  1. In large saute pan, brown pork with spices over medium high heat. After it just begins to brown, add onion, stir, and allow to cook for several minutes. Add the mushrooms, stir, and allow to brown. When the sausage is nicely brown, crumbles, and begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, transfer everything to your slow cooker.
  2. Add chicken broth to saute pan and heat on high to release all that goodness that stuck to the pan. Transfer this to the slow cooker.
  3. Add the entire jar of pasta sauce.
  4. Cook soup on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 1-3 hours.
  5. minutes before serving, add spinach, lasagna noodle pieces, and heavy cream. Allow to cook until the noodles are al dente. To serve, top with mozzarella and minced herbs.

Enjoy all the comfort of lasagna in this light and easy to make sausage, mushroom, spinach Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup topped with melted mozzarella cheese.
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Meatball Parmesan

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Classico Riserva. All opinions are 100% mine.

Few dinners compare to the saucy cheesy goodness of Meatball Parmesan. Its the perfect comfort food your family will love served over pasta or on a bun. Few dinners compare to the saucy cheesy goodness of Meatball Parmesan. Its the perfect comfort food your family will love served over pasta or on a bun. My family loves to eat. I’m one of those lucky moms who has kids that not only will eat (most of) what I serve for dinner, but my kids aren’t even ten years old yet and can usually tell you the type and quality of the ingredients I’ve used. They make me proud. Good old fashioned spaghetti is a regular visitor to our dinner table, but I wanted to make something better. Something cheesier. Something saucier. Few dinners compare to the saucy cheesy goodness of Meatball Parmesan. Its the perfect comfort food your family will love served over pasta or on a bun. This meal started out with some giant meatballs. I made them using ground beef and pork along with some herbs, egg, bread crumbs, and parmesan. I browned them while doing my best to keep their round shape. Then, I removed them from the pan and sauteed up a red onion to ensure every last delicious bit of cooked meatball was released from the pan and locked into the flavor of the onions. All this needed was a delicious sauce and loads of melted mozzarella. Few dinners compare to the saucy cheesy goodness of Meatball Parmesan. Its the perfect comfort food your family will love served over pasta or on a bun. Lucky for me, I had some Classico Riserva Pasta Sauce, the newest addition to the Classico line of pasta sauces. I grew up eating Classico, and was so happy to see this new line of sauce that’s made with no artificial ingredients or added sugar.  Plus, the flavors were unlike any I had ever enjoyed. I was asked to develop a custom recipe featuring Classico Riserva as one of the brand’s “Sauce Sommeliers”. Do you know what a sommelier is? I had to look it up! A sommelier, or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food pairing. The role is much more specialized and informed than that of a wine waiter in fine dining today.  Well, I was pretty flattered that the brand trusted me with such high expectations! This sauce is different than any sauce I’ve had, and experiencing the sauces’ quality ingredients and creative elements when you open the bottle really are similar to that of opening a premium bottle of wine. Because this is a brand new product, the brand is introducing the “Open up a Bottle of the Good Stuff” campaign to celebrate the launch. Few dinners compare to the saucy cheesy goodness of Meatball Parmesan. Its the perfect comfort food your family will love served over pasta or on a bun. If your family eats pasta as often as mine does, I highly recommend trying this sauce. Classico Riserva is available in five varieties including: Marinara, Eggplant & Artichoke, Roasted Garlic, Arrabbiata and Puttanesca. Classico Riserva’s vine-ripened tomatoes are picked at the peak of sweetness and are perfectly balanced with herbs and spices, extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, then slowly simmered to perfection. They really do have exceptional taste that will help elevate any meal. Few dinners compare to the saucy cheesy goodness of Meatball Parmesan. Its the perfect comfort food your family will love served over pasta or on a bun. I smothered those browned meatballs in that sauce and allowed them to simmer for a good 20 minutes to allow them to finish cooking all the way through and absorb all those incredible flavors. Don’t be fooled – the meatballs aren’t the main ingredient in this recipe. Its definitely the sauce! Few dinners compare to the saucy cheesy goodness of Meatball Parmesan. Its the perfect comfort food your family will love served over pasta or on a bun. Ooey gooey cheese – I’m salivating. YUM! Few dinners compare to the saucy cheesy goodness of Meatball Parmesan. Its the perfect comfort food your family will love served over pasta or on a bun. Just look how gorgeous that sauce looks? I know you want this. Aren’t you happy you know what you’re making for dinner now?  Enjoy!!! Few dinners compare to the saucy cheesy goodness of Meatball Parmesan. Its the perfect comfort food your family will love served over pasta or on a bun.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Meatball Parmesan
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Few dinners compare to the saucy cheesy goodness of Meatball Parmesan. Its the perfect comfort food your family will love served over pasta or on a bun.
Author:
Recipe type: main dish
Yields: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup parmasan, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • small handful basil and/or Italian parsley leaves, minced
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 (24 ounce jars) classico sauce
  • 8-10 ounces fresh whole milk mozzarella, sliced
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine meat, parmesan, garlic, basil and/or parsley, bread crumbs, seasonings, and eggs. Mix well but try not to overwork the meat.
  2. Using a large 12" oven safe skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Use hands to shape large palm sized meatballs and gently set in hot oil. Cook all meatballs until crispy golden brown for 2-3 minutes per side (you will have to gently rotate each meatball several times). When the surface of each meatball has a fair amount of cooked exterior, set aside on plate.
  3. Add the onion to the hot oil and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan. The moisture from the oven should allow all that wonderful flavor stuck to the pan to release. Once the onion has slightly browned, return meatballs to pan. Cover with sauce. Allow sauce to come to a simmer and then reduce heat to the lowest point that still allows a gentle simmer. Let the meatballs cook in the sauce, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  4. While the meatballs are cooking on the stove, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. Place the mozzarella in a single layer on top of the meatballs. Place in preheated oven and allow to cook for about 5 minutes until the cheese is melted through.
  6. Garnish with additional basil and/or parsley. Serve atop pasta or with a bun to make an awesome meatball sub.

And just for my readers, I’m giving away a chance to win this new pasta sauce in the form of VIP coupons.  All you need to do is submit a recipe idea and how you would use Riserva to elevate your recipes in the comment section of this blog post… Learn more at www.classico.com.

Visit Sponsors Site

Few dinners compare to the saucy cheesy goodness of Meatball Parmesan. Its the perfect comfort food your family will love served over pasta or on a bun.
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Pesto Cheese Bombs

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Ooey gooey melty Pesto Cheese Bombs with marinara sauce are super easy to make and will please any crowd. Make this appetizer for your next game day party!

Ooey gooey melty Pesto Cheese Bombs with marinara sauce are super easy to make and will please any crowd. Make this appetizer for your next game day party!

I love me some bread and melted cheese. In fact, I think cheesy bread deserves its own food group, much like bacon does. Refrigerated biscuit dough is one of those staples everyone should have in their refrigerator. If not to use it for its intended use, biscuits that is, that dough should always be available for that emergency batch of Granny’s Monkey Bread that everyone loves to wake up to.

Ooey gooey melty Pesto Cheese Bombs with marinara sauce are super easy to make and will please any crowd. Make this appetizer for your next game day party!

These cheese bombs are a thing of beauty. First of all, it doesn’t get much easier than cutting up some string cheese, and if you’re a mom you most certainly already have cheese sticks in your refrigerator. To make the pull apart, all you need to do is wrap some dough around the cheese. BOOM. Done. But wait. You know they could be oh so much better with a little something extra.

Ooey gooey melty Pesto Cheese Bombs with marinara sauce are super easy to make and will please any crowd. Make this appetizer for your next game day party!

Enter the pesto. Don’t fret – you can totally buy a tub of store bought pesto. Not a problem. Me? I just happen to have some of my homemade macadamia gouda pesto (aka highly addictive green crack) in the refrigerator that was just begging to be used in an application like this.

Ooey gooey melty Pesto Cheese Bombs with marinara sauce are super easy to make and will please any crowd. Make this appetizer for your next game day party!

I decided to use the springform pan with a dish in the middle perfectly sized for some warm marinara. I greased the sides so the dough wouldn’t stick and then lined the bottom with parchment. Be sure to place a piece of foil on the rack below because this will ooze in the naughtiest of ways during the cooking process.

Ooey gooey melty Pesto Cheese Bombs with marinara sauce are super easy to make and will please any crowd. Make this appetizer for your next game day party!

Here’s a little before and after action to show you how much they expand during the cooking process.

Ooey gooey melty Pesto Cheese Bombs with marinara sauce are super easy to make and will please any crowd. Make this appetizer for your next game day party!

The result? A super easy to make gooey appetizer that everyone will love. Not sure how long to cook it?  The sign they they are perfectly done is when the cheese starts to ooze out. Oh yeah.

Ooey gooey melty Pesto Cheese Bombs with marinara sauce are super easy to make and will please any crowd. Make this appetizer for your next game day party!

Pretty good use of the left over pesto, wouldn’t you say?  Enjoy!!!

Watch me make these naughty treats below:

Ooey gooey melty Pesto Cheese Bombs with marinara sauce are super easy to make and will please any crowd. Make this appetizer for your next game day party!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Pesto Cheese Bombs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ooey gooey melty Pesto Cheese Bombs with marinara sauce are super easy to make and will please any crowd. Make this appetizer for your next game day party!
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Yields: 16 cheese bombs
Ingredients
  • 1 (16 ounce) package premade biscuit dough
  • 4 mozzarella string cheese sticks
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • butter for greasing
  • 1 cup marinara sauce, warmed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a ramekin or ceramic bowl in the center of a springform pan and grease the inside edges of the pan as well as the outside of the bowl to prevent sticking.
  2. Split each biscuit into two by dividing the layers, totaling 16 rounds of dough. Cut each of the cheese sticks into quarters. Wrap each chunk of cheese in the biscuit dough and seal edges to create a ball.
  3. Add pesto to a small bowl and roll each ball of dough in the pesto to coat. Add to the pan in a ring shape and cover with any remaining pesto. Bake with a layer of foil under the pan to catch any grease that might leak out for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and some melted cheese is visible.
  4. Add warmed marinara to the center dish for dipping. Serve hot.

 

Ooey gooey melty Pesto Cheese Bombs with marinara sauce are super easy to make and will please any crowd. Make this appetizer for your next game day party!
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Spinach Artichoke Fondue Dip

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Unlike warm cheesy dips made with cream cheese or mayonnaise, this Spinach Artichoke Fondue Dip is made with Gruyere, Parmesan, and mozzarella.

Unlike warm cheesy dips made with cream cheese or mayonnaise, this Spinach Artichoke Fondue Dip is made with Gruyere, Parmesan, and mozzarella.

Last month I went to an ugly sweater Christmas party. My friends, Malcolm & Elissa, not only throw a great party, but they put out an awesome spread. My husband and I got to the party right when it started because we’re fuddy duddies and can’t stay up late, but that allowed me to be there as the kitchen prep was happening. I made a batch of my brown butter brownies to share and was waiting for oven space to finish them off. You see, I doubled the recipe but used the same size pan and just could not get them to set. Gooey brown butter brownies still taste pretty damn good, but you can imagine that party goers might not be too inclined to grab a brownie if they can’t actually pick it up. Note to self: if doubling the batch, increase the size of the pan.

Unlike warm cheesy dips made with cream cheese or mayonnaise, this Spinach Artichoke Fondue Dip is made with Gruyere, Parmesan, and mozzarella.

Anyway, while waiting for my turn in the hot oven, Elissa pulled out the most delicious looking spinach artichoke dip. This warm cheesy dip is a staple on any good recipe blog and I had yet to make it. The first thing she said when she described it was that she hated cheesy dips full of cream cheese and mayonnaise and that this one had neither. I was intrigued so I had to try several, okay – many, bites to see what she was talking about because, well, you can’t be certain if you only try one or two bites, right?

Unlike warm cheesy dips made with cream cheese or mayonnaise, this Spinach Artichoke Fondue Dip is made with Gruyere, Parmesan, and mozzarella.

She was right! The flavors were subtle and sophisticated. It was more like a fondue than a greasy dip. The gruyere and parmesan gave it that hearty and robust flavor while the mozzarella gave it that ooey gooey cheesiness you want in a warm dip. The fact that she made the crusty bread bowls to go along with the dip didn’t hurt either. You can certainly bake this dip in a dish and serve it alongside chips, but we all know bread is best.

Unlike warm cheesy dips made with cream cheese or mayonnaise, this Spinach Artichoke Fondue Dip is made with Gruyere, Parmesan, and mozzarella.

recipe from http://www.itsnoteasyeatinggreen.com/

Spinach Artichoke Fondue Dip
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Unlike warm cheesy dips made with cream cheese or mayonnaise, this Spinach Artichoke Fondue Dip is made with Gruyere, Parmesan, and mozzarella.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Yields: about 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 1/2 cups lowfat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 2 ounce Gruyere Cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 2 ounce Parmesan Cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 pound frozen spinach, thawed with all the liquid squeezed out
  • 1-14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained (not marinated or packed in oil)
  • 4 ounces mozzarella, shredded
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat and add flour. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the flour just starts to change color and turn fragrant, about five minutes. Do not let the flour brown.
  2. Add the garlic and cook until very fragrant, about 30 seconds longer.
  3. Combine milk and half and half in a measuring cup and add about a 1/2 cup at a time to the flour mixture, whisking after each addition until smooth. Reduce heat to medium-low and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Add the Gruyere, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir until the cheese has just melted, then remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Working over a bowl or the sink, squeeze the liquid out of the spinach. Chop the artichokes fine and then fold both the spinach and the artichokes into the sauce.
  5. Pour the sauce into an oven safe baking dish (or multiple dishes) or a hollowed out bread bowl. Top with the shredded mozzarella.
  6. Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for about 30 minutes until the edges are bubbly and the cheese on the top is dark golden brown. Serve with bread cubes or chips.

Unlike warm cheesy dips made with cream cheese or mayonnaise, this Spinach Artichoke Fondue Dip is made with Gruyere, Parmesan, and mozzarella.
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Double Cheesy Stuffed Meatball Sliders

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Celebrate the magic of mealtime with these easy-to-make Double Cheesy Stuffed Meatball Sliders that the entire family will love.

Celebrate the magic of mealtime with these easy-to-make Double Cheesy Stuffed Meatball Sliders that the entire family will love.

Dinner time is a special time that often gets overlooked in today’s fast paced world. It is a time where you can sit down with your family over a delicious and healthy meal, and chat with one another about their days. Mealtime at the dinner table is something that our family holds sacred. I can’t tell you how many meals I ate while growing up in front of the TV. Now that I’m an adult, one of my biggest pet peeves is seeing kids with their eyes glued to a tablet during family meal time. When we go out to eat, I can’t believe how many parents shove electronics in front of their kids’ faces just so they’ll be quiet instead of engaging with them and enjoying their company. Now that I have kids of my own, I view family dinner as bonding time for all of us. We make each other laugh, talk about out day, and share stories. We created this dinner time ritual where each of us says something we like or shares a good memory about each person at the table, including ourselves. We do this every Friday night before movie night and its become something my kids look forward to every single week.

Celebrate the magic of mealtime with these easy-to-make Double Cheesy Stuffed Meatball Sliders that the entire family will love.

I like to be creative in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my go-to standby dinners. We usually have breakfast for dinner at least once a week, and spaghetti with meat sauce is a quick and easy favorite too. For this dinner, I wanted to make something that was easy that I knew my family would love. The meatballs were extra easy to throw together because I used onion dip mix along with some dried basil and oregano to flavor the meat. Easy! To make it extra fun, I stuffed a chunk of mozzarella inside each meatball.

Celebrate the magic of mealtime with these easy-to-make Double Cheesy Stuffed Meatball Sliders that the entire family will love.

Some of the cheese oozes out when you cook the meatballs. No matter, because it all gets put back into the sliders, and enough usually stays inside to give you a melty gooey treat.

Celebrate the magic of mealtime with these easy-to-make Double Cheesy Stuffed Meatball Sliders that the entire family will love.

Next comes the assembly process. My pantry is never without a supply of spaghetti sauce. I like to use heat-and-serve rolls. They’re already cooked when you buy them, but they’re meant for you to finish them off in the oven when you get home. I split each roll open and set the tops aside. Then I covered them with my stuffed meatballs. Next, I poured the entire jar of sauce over the meatballs. Then I topped with the remaining mozzarella because one can never have enough melty ooey gooey cheese. Finally, I put the tops of the rolls back on and baked in the hot oven until the rolls were golden brown and the cheese was melted.

Celebrate the magic of mealtime with these easy-to-make Double Cheesy Stuffed Meatball Sliders that the entire family will love.

This was definitely a dinner that my entire family enjoyed. My son loved it so much that he finished the kale salad I served alongside just so he could have seconds on the meatball sliders!

Celebrate the magic of mealtime with these easy-to-make Double Cheesy Stuffed Meatball Sliders that the entire family will love.

Stuffed Meatball Sliders
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Celebrate the magic of mealtime with these easy-to-make Double Cheesy Stuffed Meatball Sliders that the entire family will love.
Author:
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 (1.15 ounce) packet onion dip mix
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 16 ounces mozzarella, divided
  • 1 (14 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • rolls (heat and serve work best)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine beef, pork, onion dip mix, and dried herbs in bowl. Mix with hands.
  3. Cut half of the mozzarella into cubes. Grate the other half for later use. Wrap meat around cubes of mozzarella to form meatballs, ensuring that the cheese is fully covered. Space evenly on baking sheet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until dark brown.
  5. Cut rolls in half and put the bottoms in a baking dish. Add the meatballs, followed by the spaghetti sauce, then top with the remaining grated cheese and the tops of the rolls. Cook in 400 degree oven until the rolls have browned and the cheese is fully melted. Enjoy!

Celebrate the magic of mealtime with these easy-to-make Double Cheesy Stuffed Meatball Sliders that the entire family will love.

 

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Perfect Chicken Parmesan

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I made the most Perfect Chicken Parmesan that's full of flavor, only takes minutes to cook up for a quick and easy dinner, and is the best comfort food!

I made the most Perfect Chicken Parmesan that’s full of flavor, only takes minutes to cook up for a quick and easy dinner, and is the best comfort food!

I made the most Perfect Chicken Parmesan that's full of flavor, only takes minutes to cook up for a quick and easy dinner, and is the best comfort food!

This post was made possible by my all time favorite pasta sauce – Mezzetta!

I’m super excited for two reasons: 1) I made chicken parm for dinner. If you’ve ever had chicken parm, you’d know that’s a reason to celebrate. 2) I found a new favorite pasta sauce. Yay!

I made the most Perfect Chicken Parmesan that's full of flavor, only takes minutes to cook up for a quick and easy dinner, and is the best comfort food!

Have you ever heard of Mezzetta?  I hadn’t until I brought it home last night. I always look at labels when I buy my food. Do you know that there are still pasta sauces on the shelves out there that have high fructose corn syrup in them? Yuck. When I looked at the label on this sauce, I was so pleased to find that not only does it not have anything nasty like HFCS or even sugar, but its non GMO, there’s no tomato paste, and made in Napa Valley.  I was actually really excited to try it, and thought chicken parmesan would honor it well.

I made the most Perfect Chicken Parmesan that's full of flavor, only takes minutes to cook up for a quick and easy dinner, and is the best comfort food!

I usually don’t post photos of raw meat because, well, it never looks very appetizing. I did, however, want to show you my meat tenderizer. You want your chicken to be thin for several reasons. First, when you pound it with a mallet or roll it with a rolling pin, you break up the tissue and it makes it more tender. So much so that you can easily cut it with the side of your fork. I prefer to pound my meat over rolling it because its fun. Second, you want your meat to be of uniform thickness so that it cooks evenly. And third, the thinner the meat, the faster it cooks, and during school and sports season, we all need meals that can be cooked quickly.

I made the most Perfect Chicken Parmesan that's full of flavor, only takes minutes to cook up for a quick and easy dinner, and is the best comfort food!

I always choose to put my crumb mixture in a rectangular dish that’s the exact size of the chicken breast. It makes coating the chicken oh-so-easy.  Below, you can see how beautiful the breasts cook up after just a few minutes in the frying pan. I apologize for not having any photos of the crumb coating or frying process – working with raw chicken and egg doesn’t pair too well with holding a nice camera. Don’t worry… there are lots more photos below once I washed my hands and cracked open that jar of sauce.

I made the most Perfect Chicken Parmesan that's full of flavor, only takes minutes to cook up for a quick and easy dinner, and is the best comfort food!

So, I was pretty confident that I was going to love this pasta sauce just by the ingredients, but as soon as I opened up the jar and poured it onto the chicken, I was so pleased. You know I get excited about food. Much more than the average Joe, I’m sure you’d agree. But I really can’t remember the last time I was excited about a pasta sauce.

I made the most Perfect Chicken Parmesan that's full of flavor, only takes minutes to cook up for a quick and easy dinner, and is the best comfort food!

You can just see the high quality ingredients in the sauce. This is the kind of product that I am so thrilled to buy and will even make a separate trip to the store for if I run out. Soooo good.

I made the most Perfect Chicken Parmesan that's full of flavor, only takes minutes to cook up for a quick and easy dinner, and is the best comfort food!

Fun little fact: I made four chicken breasts but didn’t want to cram all of them in for the photo, so I pretended that I only had three to make my photos look prettier. As soon as I was done taking my photos, I rearranged them and all four breasts actually fit perfectly in my 11×17 dish. If you’re wondering, I cook on stone. No particular reason except that I really like the way it cooks.  Anyway, to finish off your chicken parm, all you need to do is top those crispy seasoned chicken breasts with a healthy portion of that amazing sauce and then top that with some slices of fresh mozzarella along with some grated parmesan. Finish the whole thing off in the oven to get the cheese all nice and melty.

I made the most Perfect Chicken Parmesan that's full of flavor, only takes minutes to cook up for a quick and easy dinner, and is the best comfort food!

I served my chicken parm up with some basil pasta that I tossed in some of the reserved pasta sauce. My husband agreed that it was the best pasta sauce he had ever eaten, and the kids really loved this meal too. If you’ve never made chicken parmesan, or its been far too long since the last time that you have, then this is the recipe you need to try!

I made the most Perfect Chicken Parmesan that's full of flavor, only takes minutes to cook up for a quick and easy dinner, and is the best comfort food!

4.4 from 5 reviews
Perfect Chicken Parmesan
 
Prep time
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I made the most Perfect Chicken Parmesan that's full of flavor, only takes minutes to cook up for a quick and easy dinner, and is the best comfort food!
Author:
Recipe type: main dish
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts (skinless)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup olive oil*
  • 1 (25 ounce) jar pasta sauce
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Using a large plastic bag or plastic wrap, cover chicken and flatten to half inch thickness using a meat pounder or a rolling pin.
  3. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of chicken.
  4. Add flour to bowl. Add beaten egg to another bowl. Combine bread crumbs with 1/2 cup parmesan (reserving the other half for later) along with the basil and oregano in a dish large enough for the chicken breasts.
  5. Heat oil in a very large skillet over medium high heat.
  6. Dredge chicken in flour, then coat with egg, then cover with bread crumb mixture. Press coating onto chicken to get as much as possible to stick. When the oil is very hot, just below the point where it begins to smoke, add your coated chicken. Continue with the remaining chicken breasts.
  7. Cook each breast until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and transfer to baking dish.
  8. Cover each breast with Mezzetta Napa Valley Homemade pasta sauce as well as a couple slices of mozzarella and the remaining parmesan cheese. You may reserve some of the sauce to serve with pasta on the side, if desired.
  9. Cook in preheated oven until cheese has melted, about 5-10 minutes.
Notes
* I used a combination of olive oil with avocado oil because it tolerates high temperatures better

 

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Lunch Box Pizzas

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Take a break from the norm and make that midday meal interesting and delicious for both you and your kids with these Lunch Box Pizzas.

Take a break from the norm and make that midday meal interesting and delicious for both you and your kids with these Lunch Box Pizzas.

Take a break from the norm and make that midday meal interesting and delicious for both you and your kids with these Lunch Box Pizzas.

My kids get real sick and tired of PB&J, so I like to keep things interesting for them. One food that my kids absolutely love is pizza. For that matter, so do their dad and I. To give them a fun shape, I decided to use mini tart pans. Plus, when they’re all the exact same size, it minimizes the fighting over who gets the bigger pizza.

Take a break from the norm and make that midday meal interesting and delicious for both you and your kids with these Lunch Box Pizzas.

I love making homemade pizza dough with the kids, but we don’t always have the time or the best planning, so pre-made store bought pizza dough works just fine. Just divide it evenly between 8 of the mini tart pans and press the dough flat against the bottom and up the sides. It likes to stretch back into place so I usually press it over the edge a bit to keep it from moving.

Take a break from the norm and make that midday meal interesting and delicious for both you and your kids with these Lunch Box Pizzas.

No matter how old your kids are, they’ll love spreading the sauce. There’s something soothing about it.

Take a break from the norm and make that midday meal interesting and delicious for both you and your kids with these Lunch Box Pizzas.

I learned this little trick when we used to make individual personalized pizzas at my kids’ co-op preschool: If you chop the veggies up so small that they can’t really feel the chunks, you can usually get them to eat some that they otherwise wouldn’t. I’ve tricked many children into eating all sorts of veggies and they always ended up liking them. You can, of course, just stick to cheese and pepperoni, but where’s the fun in that?

Take a break from the norm and make that midday meal interesting and delicious for both you and your kids with these Lunch Box Pizzas.

I always put the pepperoni on top of the veggies. I do this for three reasons: 1) it hides the veggies and 2) the grease seeps into the veggies making them oh so delicious and 3) I prefer crispy pepperoni.

Take a break from the norm and make that midday meal interesting and delicious for both you and your kids with these Lunch Box Pizzas.

And you always gotta top with more cheese. Always.

Take a break from the norm and make that midday meal interesting and delicious for both you and your kids with these Lunch Box Pizzas.

Aren’t the finished pizzas so delicious looking? YUM!

Take a break from the norm and make that midday meal interesting and delicious for both you and your kids with these Lunch Box Pizzas.

You can see that they easily pop out of the tart mold. If you put a lot of veggies on like I did, you may have to give them a few more minutes without the mold in the oven to crisp up the bottom.

Take a break from the norm and make that midday meal interesting and delicious for both you and your kids with these Lunch Box Pizzas.

The result is a perfectly shaped mini pizza that is perfect for anyone’s lunch.

Take a break from the norm and make that midday meal interesting and delicious for both you and your kids with these Lunch Box Pizzas.

Lunch Box Pizzas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Take a break from the norm and make that midday meal interesting and delicious for both you and your kids with these Lunch Box Pizzas.
Author:
Recipe type: main dish
Yields: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 package pizza dough (or make your own)
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar pizza sauce
  • 16 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • optional ingredients: pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, peppers, onions, etc.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Using 6-8 mini tart pans, divide dough evenly and press against bottom and sides.
  3. Spoon a couple tablespoons into each pan and spread evenly.
  4. Top with shredded cheese. Add additional toppings if desired.
  5. Bake on bottom rack 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Once removed from oven, remove from tart pan. If bottom needs to be more crisp, place on aluminum foil on bottom rack for a few more minutes.

 

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Caprese Burgers

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These amazing Caprese Burgers have everything a mouthwatering burger should have - homemade basil garlic aioli, roasted tomatoes, and balsamic reduction.

These amazing Caprese Burgers have everything a mouthwatering burger should have – homemade basil garlic aioli, roasted tomatoes, and balsamic reduction.

These amazing Caprese Burgers have everything a mouthwatering burger should have - homemade basil garlic aioli, roasted tomatoes, and balsamic reduction. 

What can I say?  I had a craving. Caprese salad is something that I crave. A lot. Come summer time, there is rarely a day where I won’t have some version of it. There’s something about the combination of fresh tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, vibrant basil, and tangy balsamic vinegar that makes my mouth sing.These amazing Caprese Burgers have everything a mouthwatering burger should have - homemade basil garlic aioli, roasted tomatoes, and balsamic reduction.

I knew I wanted to make a caprese burger, but I wanted it to be extraordinary. Instead of just using fresh tomatoes, I roasted them with garlic. Instead of using fresh basil, I whipped up a batch of homemade basil garlic aioli that packed quite a punch. I smothered that grass fed patty with a thick slice of real melted mozzarella. I drizzled some balsamic reduction (aka tastebud heaven) over the whole thing.  And I wrapped it up in my failed attempt at homemade focaccia focaccia flatbread.  It was GOOD.

These amazing Caprese Burgers have everything a mouthwatering burger should have - homemade basil garlic aioli, roasted tomatoes, and balsamic reduction.

Caprese Burgers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These amazing Caprese Burgers have everything a mouthwatering burger should have - homemade basil garlic aioli, roasted tomatoes, and balsamic reduction.
Author:
Recipe type: main dish
Yields: 6 burgers
Ingredients
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (grass fed)
  • salt & pepper
  • 6 thick slices mozzarella
  • basil garlic aioli
  • buns or focaccia flatbread
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Drizzle tomatoes and garlic with olive oil. Roast in oven until slightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
  2. While the tomatoes and garlic are roasting, add balsamic vinegar to pot and heat on medium low until the vinegar reduces to a thick syrup, about 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat your grill to high. Form meat into six 1/4 pound patties. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Cook on the grill over high heat, about 8-10 minutes each side. Allow mozzarella to melt on burger during last 4-5 minutes of cooking.
  4. Assemble the burger by covering the patty with the roasted tomatoes and drizzling about a teaspoon of balsamic reduction on top. Serve on buns or focaccia flatbread slathered with a thick layer of basil garlic aioli.

 

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Italian Cheese Bombs

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These Italian Cheese Bombs take only minutes to prepare using premade biscuit dough and the ooey gooey cheese and salami will be everyone’s favorite.

These Italian Cheese Bombs take only minutes to prepare using premade biscuit dough and the ooey gooey cheese and salami will be everyone's favorite.

I gotta admit, these naughty little savory treats get a 10 out of 10 in my book because they a) taste really good and b) are freakin’ easy to make. That’s a win-win combination right there. These wonderful cheese bombs filled with cured Italian sandwich meat and melted mozzarella originated all because I had a tube of biscuit dough in my refrigerator that had to be used up. You see, I won’t use premade biscuit dough to make biscuits because I prefer to make my own homemade flaky buttermilk biscuits and because, well, its boring when you can use that dough for so many other things. I was originally going to use the biscuit dough to make some of my ever so popular granny’s monkey bread, but it just never happened. As I was trying to figure out what to do with the dough, I was looking at the leftover mozzarella I had after making my cheesy chicken Mediterranean pasta bake, and was also shocked to see that the salami I had in the deli drawer hadn’t been consumed by my salami monsters (aka husband and kids). And so it began…

These Italian Cheese Bombs take only minutes to prepare using premade biscuit dough and the ooey gooey cheese and salami will be everyone's favorite.

I use the Trader Joe’s biscuit dough which is one of those fat tubes that has 8 biscuits. I split each biscuit in half which created 16 flat disks. I used a small block of mozzarella but you can just as easily cut up string cheese, because what household in America with kids ages 4-10 doesn’t have string cheese at the ready at all times? Very few, I imagine. I quartered each slice of salami so that it would fit nicely in the ball – a whole round slice would have created to much work to wrap around, plus I was already planning on looking like a pig when I inhaled these cheese bombs, and didn’t need people to watch me saw through a large piece of salami while I was at it.

These Italian Cheese Bombs take only minutes to prepare using premade biscuit dough and the ooey gooey cheese and salami will be everyone's favorite.

They really only took about 5 minutes to prepare and cooked up so beautifully!

These Italian Cheese Bombs take only minutes to prepare using premade biscuit dough and the ooey gooey cheese and salami will be everyone's favorite.

Now get ready, this is the best part. You grab ahold of when when its still super hot but just cool enough to touch without burning your fingers. Give it a gentle squeeze and pull [that’s what he said – sorry, couldn’t resist].

These Italian Cheese Bombs take only minutes to prepare using premade biscuit dough and the ooey gooey cheese and salami will be everyone's favorite.

So. Damn. Delicious. Doesn’t it look tasty? I’m pretty darn proud of my 8-year-old daughter for taking the photos. Not to shabby considering she had to hold a Nikon D700 DLSR with a battery pack and a heavy macro lens, all while toggling the manual focus point. Not only is she already starting to be a great cook, but her photography skills rock too!

These Italian Cheese Bombs take only minutes to prepare using premade biscuit dough and the ooey gooey cheese and salami will be everyone's favorite.

Be sure to check out the video below of me making these delectable cheese bombs!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Italian Cheese Bombs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These Italian Cheese Bombs take only minutes to prepare using premade biscuit dough and the ooey gooey cheese and salami will be everyone's favorite.
Author:
Recipe type: side, appetizer
Yields: 16 cheese bombs
Ingredients
  • 1 (16 ounce) tube biscuit dough
  • 6 ounces part skim, low moisture mozzarella (can substitute cheese sticks)
  • 16 slices (about 2 ounces) salami (I used a little under half of a 5 ounce package)
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup dried Italian seasoning
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. If package has 8 biscuits, split each biscuit in half to make 16 flat disks. Divide cheese into 16 equal portions. Cut each piece of salami up into 4 pieces.
  3. One biscuit at a time, add chunk of cheese and 4 pieces of salami on dough and then wrap ends around to create a ball. Be sure to fully seal.
  4. Add olive oil to a shallow cup. Add parmesan and seasoning to another shallow cup.
  5. Once all the balls have formed, dip each ball in the olive oil and then roll the top in the parmesan seasoning mixture. Place on a baking sheet with the parmesan seasoning side up.
  6. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 10-15. Serve immediately so the cheese is nice and melty.

 

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Cheesy Chicken Mediterranean Pasta Bake

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Cheesy Chicken Mediterranean Pasta Bake is an easy to make flavorful one dish dinner full of tons of tasty ingredients that your entire family will love.

Cheesy Chicken Mediterranean Pasta Bake is an easy to make flavorful one dish dinner full of tons of tasty ingredients that your entire family will love.

I’m going to put a disclaimer at the beginning of this post: I overcooked this super tasty and delicious cheesy chicken Mediterranean pasta bake. It was still really good and I’ve had many cravings for it since, but the entire inspiration for making it in the first place was because I wanted a photo of me lifting a square out of the casserole dish and you would see nothing but cheesy goodness stretching from the lifted piece to the pan. Well, this is what happened. I took it out of the oven and it was perfect. Perfect, I tell you. Super ooey gooey on top. I thought it was too hot for the photos, so I figured I’d give it a minute or two to cool, and then I would snap my final photos. In typical Krissy fashion, I got distracted with the 20 other things I had going on at the moment and it cooled too much. No problem, right? Just heat it up again and the cheese will once again be all melty. That *may* have been true, but this time I let it go too long in the oven and I just never reached the ultimate melt-y-ness again. You’re just going to have to believe me in knowing that this pasta bake was outstanding and I plan to make it again and again.

Cheesy Chicken Mediterranean Pasta Bake is an easy to make flavorful one dish dinner full of tons of tasty ingredients that your entire family will love.

I threw TONS of ingredients into this dinner. Part of my rational was that each thing would taste great. The other part of my thinking was that I had some food in my refrigerator that needed to be used up. Fun fact – about half of what I make is created as a last ditch effort to clean out the abundance of food lying in waiting in the refrigerator. The fact that I over buy combined with my disdain of wasting food means lots of home cooked meals in our house. You start by tossing together what is basically a huge gorgeous salad that’s made of shredded chicken which I had on hand because I had just made a slow cooker whole chicken, spinach, feta cheese, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and sun dried tomatoes that were packed in oil. I should have, at this point, made that salad look all pretty and created a separate blog post just for that because it really was that good on its own.

Cheesy Chicken Mediterranean Pasta Bake is an easy to make flavorful one dish dinner full of tons of tasty ingredients that your entire family will love.

Next step was to roast the shallots and cherry tomatoes in the oven. Instead of using olive oil for this step, I poured in some of the oil from the sun dried tomatoes. Yum.

Cheesy Chicken Mediterranean Pasta Bake is an easy to make flavorful one dish dinner full of tons of tasty ingredients that your entire family will love.

Then comes the assembly portion. When I used to make lasagna as a kid, I would use the noodles that you had to boil and then lay flat. They always ended up sticking to themselves and it was basically a form of torture for my growing brain. Thank god no boil noodles exist. Just throw them in right out of the box. I always put a thin layer of cheese under the noodles. If this was a saucy lasagna, the sauce would have gone underneath, but this is a pasta bake and not a lasagna and I was totally winging it.

Cheesy Chicken Mediterranean Pasta Bake is an easy to make flavorful one dish dinner full of tons of tasty ingredients that your entire family will love.

Then, dump a layer of that awesome salad that had been tossed with your warm cherry tomatoes and shallots.

Cheesy Chicken Mediterranean Pasta Bake is an easy to make flavorful one dish dinner full of tons of tasty ingredients that your entire family will love.

Add some glorious shredded mozzarella because I did, after all, name this “cheesy” chicken Mediterranean pasta bake.

Cheesy Chicken Mediterranean Pasta Bake is an easy to make flavorful one dish dinner full of tons of tasty ingredients that your entire family will love.

Then repeat, repeat, repeat until you’re done. Now, keep in mind that raw spinach is going to stack your pasta bake high but it will deflate to about half the size. Nothing to be concerned about. I just wanted to let you know. If you want to make a really big pasta and cram twice as much into your casserole dish, you’re going to have to wilt the spinach first so that the final outcome will be the same size as when you assemble it.

Cheesy Chicken Mediterranean Pasta Bake is an easy to make flavorful one dish dinner full of tons of tasty ingredients that your entire family will love.

Oh man, this one dish dinner was so flavorful. It was packed full of everything a meal needs: lean protein, lots of veggies, carbs, and cheese!

Cheesy Chicken Mediterranean Pasta Bake is an easy to make flavorful one dish dinner full of tons of tasty ingredients that your entire family will love.

Cheesy Chicken Mediterranean Pasta Bake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Cheesy Chicken Mediterranean Pasta Bake is an easy to make flavorful one dish dinner full of tons of tasty ingredients that your entire family will love.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Yields: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 6 ounces crumbled feta (I found some at Trader Joe's with Mediterranean herbs)
  • 4 cups baby spinach, leaves torn
  • 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes marinated in oil, drained and chopped
  • 12 ready to cook lasagna noodles (about 8 ounces)
  • 16 ounces mozzarella, shredded
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Add tomatoes and sliced shallot to casserole baking dish and drizzle with oil from sun dried tomatoes. Bake in preheated oven until tomatoes split and shallots begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
  2. In large bowl, combine chicken, feta, spinach, artichoke hearts, olives, sun dried tomatoes, and cooked shallots and cherry tomatoes. Toss to combine.
  3. Add a small amount of the mozzarella to the bottom of the casserole dish. Top with three of the noodles. Top with 1/3 of the chicken mixture and 1/4 of the mozzarella. Continue to layer with noodles, 1/3 chicken mixture, 1/4 mozzarella. Top with three remaining noodles and remaining cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and either refrigerate for a later dinner or cook at this point.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for 40 minutes until noodles are soft. Garnish with ribbons of basil.

 

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