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.

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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.
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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
Total time
 
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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Warm Cheddar Jalapeno Olives

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Impress your guests with this easy to make yet insanely delicious two-bite spicy Warm Cheddar Jalapeno Olives appetizer.

Impress your guests with this easy to make yet insanely delicious two-bite spicy Warm Cheddar Jalapeno Olives appetizer.

This post is sponsored by Mezzetta but the content and opinions are my own.

From now until January 2nd, its all about the holidays. And when I think about the holidays I think about family, friends, and FOOD! One of my favorite things to eat this time of year are fabulous appetizers and all the different holiday parties. This appetizer, my friends, is going to knock your socks off. Who woulda thought wrapping a spicy stuffed green olive in delectable cheese pastry would be so incredibly delicious? Pure genius, I tell you.

Impress your guests with this easy to make yet insanely delicious two-bite spicy Warm Cheddar Jalapeno Olives appetizer.

This recipe starts with the olives. Not just any olive. They need to be darn good olives. Mezzetta is actually one of my favorite brands. They have been family owned since 1935. The fourth generation of the Mezzetta family is continuing their commitment to bring their customers the highest quality foods available. They source the finest fresh produce from the sun-drenched soils of California, Italy, Spain, France, and Greece and prepare them according to their Italian family recipes at their state-of-the-art production facility in the Napa Valley. As soon as I saw the spicy jalapeno stuffed olives, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.

Impress your guests with this easy to make yet insanely delicious two-bite spicy Warm Cheddar Jalapeno Olives appetizer.

Guess what? Mezzetta is hosting a Holiday Memories Sweepstakes where the Grand Prize is Instant Print Digital Camera plus a Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket including Mezzetta Olives, Olive Spoon, Cutting Board, Olive Bowl, Cocktail Napkins and Recipe Card. There are ten Runner Up Prizes that include an Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket including Mezzetta Olives, Olive Spoon, Cutting Board, Olive Bowl, Cocktail Napkins and Recipe Card. I am totally putting my name in the hat to win those prizes!

 

Impress your guests with this easy to make yet insanely delicious two-bite spicy Warm Cheddar Jalapeno Olives appetizer.

This recipe starts by drying your olives. The pastry won’t stick well if its wet, so pat those babies dry. I like to pulse the dough mixture in the food processor so that its evenly mixed. Its similar to pie dough with the added goodness of sharp cheddar and parmesan, but its not as fragile, so its really hard to mess this one up folks.

Impress your guests with this easy to make yet insanely delicious two-bite spicy Warm Cheddar Jalapeno Olives appetizer.

Then, you divide the dough evenly between all of your stuffed olives and you wrap them up in cute little balls. Bake them in a hot oven and the wonderful smells that flow out of your oven will make your mouth water.

Impress your guests with this easy to make yet insanely delicious two-bite spicy Warm Cheddar Jalapeno Olives appetizer.

Seriously, if you think these look good, they taste about a million times better. Did you know that I didn’t even like olives until I was pregnant with my oldest child? Now I’m basically overwhelmed with nostalgia every time I enjoy a delicious olive because it makes me think back to those days. Am I the only one who has a special memory tied with every type of food out there?

Impress your guests with this easy to make yet insanely delicious two-bite spicy Warm Cheddar Jalapeno Olives appetizer.

Whether you’re looking for a new easy-to-make two bite appetizer to serve at a party or you just have a craving for something spicy and delicious, I guarantee you will absolutely love these wrapped olives!

Impress your guests with this easy to make yet insanely delicious two-bite spicy Warm Cheddar Jalapeno Olives appetizer.

Warm Cheddar Jalapeno Olives
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Impress your guests with this easy to make yet insanely delicious two-bite spicy Warm Cheddar Jalapeno Olives appetizer.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Yields: 2 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1 (10 ounce) jar Mezzetta jalapeno stuffed olives
  • 4 ounces (about 1 cup) sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) parmesan, shredded
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 4 tablespoons (half a stick) butter, softened
Instructions
  1. Drain olives. Reserve liquid if you'd like to make a spicy dirty martini, otherwise discard. Lay olives out on a towel and then use a separate towel or paper towel to give them a gentle squeeze to dry them off.
  2. Use a food processor to pulse cheeses with flour and spices. I used the processor to shred the cheese too. Add the softened butter and pulse to combine.
  3. Transfer the dough mixture to a bowl and squeeze together. Add one teaspoon of water at a time to dough, then use hands to mix together. Continue to add water and mix until dough forms a ball without crumbling. Be careful not to add too much water (I probably added about 4 teaspoons).
  4. Divide the dough evenly so that you have the same amount for each olive (the amount of dough worked out perfectly for my 25 olives). Smash each portion of dough in between your hands to form a flat disk and then use that flattened dough to fully wrap your olive.
  5. At this point, you can freeze them for later, or you can cook them up.
  6. Set wrapped olives on a nonstick or parchment lined baking sheet and bake in preheated 400 degree F oven until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Serve them hot and watch them disappear!

Impress your guests with this easy to make yet insanely delicious two-bite spicy Warm Cheddar Jalapeno Olives appetizer.

 

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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
Cook time
Total time
 
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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Mini Salmon Asparagus Frittatas

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Mini Salmon Asparagus Frittatas are a delicious and protein filled healthy meal that can be served for breakfast, brunch, at a party, or a snack on the go.

Mini Salmon Asparagus Frittatas are a delicious and protein filled healthy meal that can be served for breakfast, brunch, at a party, or a snack on the go.

I just completed a healthy eating challenge. Did I do as well as I had hope or achieved the results I wanted? No. Partly because I spent a week in Hawaii during that six week challenge and my rule that I can eat whatever I want when on vacation took priority over the healthy eating challenge rules. Also, because of this love affair I have with all food, telling me to not eat certain foods is like telling me not to see the guy I’m totally and utterly obsessed with – a moth to a flame is what I am. So, I shall start again to try and shed this layer of insulation I’ve lovingly built over the winter months.

Mini Salmon Asparagus Frittatas are a delicious and protein filled healthy meal that can be served for breakfast, brunch, at a party, or a snack on the go.

While I was focused on eating healthy, I certainly did start some good habits and eat some delicious healthy foods. For instance, I’m still hooked on my chocolate protein smoothies every morning. I also love making this cheesy chicken Mediterranean pasta, but now I use whole wheat and increase the spinach even more.

Mini Salmon Asparagus Frittatas are a delicious and protein filled healthy meal that can be served for breakfast, brunch, at a party, or a snack on the go.

This challenge also got me hooked on eating frittatas. I add lowfat cottage cheese to all my frittatas. It makes them nice a fluffy, but also beefs up the protein. I also like making frittatas because I bring them into work.  I love eating eggs as a source of protein but hard boiled eggs just get kinda old after awhile. Frittatas reheat nicely (I wouldn’t dare reheat scrambled eggs in the microwave but for some reason frittatas work fine in my mind). These mini frittatas are especially great because I just throw however many I think I’ll want in some tupperware and I actually found them to be great cold. I usually reserved them for my last “meal” of the day because of the low/no carb/sugar factor.  Sheesh, when I plan ahead and make things like this, I really do stand a chance at maintaining my good habits!

Mini Salmon Asparagus Frittatas are a delicious and protein filled healthy meal that can be served for breakfast, brunch, at a party, or a snack on the go.

I made both mini-mini frittatas and regular-mini frittatas just because I wanted to see which turned out better. I definitely preferred the ones in the regular sized muffin tins, but I think the mini muffin tins would be perfect for serving these up as an appetizer at a bridal or baby shower.

Mini Salmon Asparagus Frittatas are a delicious and protein filled healthy meal that can be served for breakfast, brunch, at a party, or a snack on the go.

The salmon I used was my very own hot smoked salmon which is delicious, but if you don’t have a smoker, you can buy it at the store or even use canned or leftover salmon from dinner.

Mini Salmon Asparagus Frittatas are a delicious and protein filled healthy meal that can be served for breakfast, brunch, at a party, or a snack on the go.

Combining the salmon with the asparagus was a no brainer. They go together like peanut butter and jelly, coffee and donuts, bacon and jalapeno. The perfect match. So, if you’re looking for the perfect healthy breakfast or snack, you should definitely give these a try!

Mini Salmon Asparagus Frittatas are a delicious and protein filled healthy meal that can be served for breakfast, brunch, at a party, or a snack on the go.

Mini Salmon Asparagus Frittatas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Mini Salmon Asparagus Frittatas are a delicious and protein filled healthy meal that can be served for breakfast, brunch, at a party, or a snack on the go.
Author:
Recipe type: breakfast, brunch, snack
Yields: 24 mini frittatas
Ingredients
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup small curd cottage cheese
  • 1/2 pound (about 1 cup) hot smoked salmon (salmon should be cold, hot smoked refers to cooking process)
  • 1 pound skinny asparagus, chopped into small pieces with bottom third of stem discarded
  • 6 green onions, whites and first part of greens sliced thin
  • 1 cup parmesan, grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare muffin tins by heavily greasing with butter or olive oil spray (you will need a total of 24 regular size or 48 mini muffin size).
  2. Combine eggs and cottage cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the whisk attachment on, beat on medium high speed for 5 minutes.
  3. While the eggs are beating, prepare a pot of boiling salted water. Once boiling, add asparagus for only one minute to blanch, then transfer asparagus pieces to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain.
  4. Combine whipped egg mixture, salmon, asparagus, and green onions. Use a large spoon to transfer even amounts of mixture to muffin tin(s). Using a spoon works better than pouring because the solids settle on the bottom and the spoon allows you to ensure the best proportion of solids to liquid.
  5. Top with parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake in preheated oven (20-25min for large muffin tins, 10-15min for mini). If needed, allow to sit in muffin pan for a few extra minutes to lift out.

 

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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 Scalloped Potatoes

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These Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes are so tender and flavorful, they make the perfect side dish at dinner and even taste great leftover or for breakfast!

These Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes are so tender and flavorful, they make the perfect side dish at dinner and even taste great leftover or for breakfast!

I have so many great memories of my youth. As you might imagine based on my food obsession, some of those memories pertain to food. One of my not-so-great memories pertains to scalloped potatoes. I remember the wonderful smell as they cooked, and the hopeful feeling that they would taste great as I waited for them to come out of the oven. But I also remember the disappointment as I lifted the potatoes out of a thin liquid bath and took a crunchy starchy bite. YUCK.

These Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes are so tender and flavorful, they make the perfect side dish at dinner and even taste great leftover or for breakfast!

You see, my mom can be a pretty darn good cook. She still makes the best all butter pie crust I’ve ever had. But scalloped potatoes? Fail. She’s the kind of cook who either very loosely follows a recipe or doesn’t fallow one at all. I’m not sure why we couldn’t successfully pull off scalloped potatoes during my entire youth despite countless attempts, but I am thrilled to say that I have replaced those crunchy potato memories with the best scalloped potatoes I’ve ever had in my life, and I’m going to share the secret with you.

These Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes are so tender and flavorful, they make the perfect side dish at dinner and even taste great leftover or for breakfast!

First, its important to slice the potatoes thin and make them uniform. My cutting skills aren’t quite on par with that task so I used my mandolin. I highly recommend you follow the same technique or use the slicer on your food processor. The great flavor comes from all the ingredients I chose in addition to the cooking method. Onion and garlic – yeah, those always go well with potatoes. Buttermilk, heavy cream and butter – another no brainer. Cheddar, gruyere, and parmasan – I knocked it out of the park with that combo. Cooking everything in a cast iron skillet and then in a super hot oven – oh yeah, now we’re talking. Don’t be deceived by the golden brown color. I was so afraid of burning them (more for the sake of the blog photos than us having to eat them) that I probably took them out of the oven a minute or two prematurely. I had put a fork in some potatoes to test them and they fell apart, but I really should have tasted them. Still, a far cry from the crunchy potatoes of my youth, but not as soft as when I heated them up for leftovers. Learn from my mistakes, friends. Bottom line – these potatoes are outstanding and you will love them.

These Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes are so tender and flavorful, they make the perfect side dish at dinner and even taste great leftover or for breakfast!

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes are so tender and flavorful, they make the perfect side dish at dinner and even taste great leftover or for breakfast!
Author:
Recipe type: side dish
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 small onion (or half of a medium), minced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used a cheddar gruyere blend)
  • 2-3 pounds russet potatoes (about 3 potatoes), peeled and sliced thin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.
  2. Heat an oven safe skillet over medium high heat. Add some (less than half) of the butter and the onions to the pan. Let cook until they start to brown, while stirring only occasionally, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Add half of the potatoes and toss with the onions and garlic to evenly coat, then spread them out. Sprinkle with a hefty pinch of salt, half of the remaining cut up butter, half of the shredded cheese, and pepper to taste.
  4. Arrange the remaining potatoes on top. Sprinkle with another hefty pinch of salt as well as some freshly ground pepper to taste.
  5. Mix the heavy cream and buttermilk together and pour it over the potatoes. Top with nutmeg and allow to simmer for 3 minutes. Dot the potatoes with the remaining cut-up butter.
  6. Mix the remaining shredded cheese with the parmesan and spread this cheese blend over the hot potatoes.
  7. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Be sure to check if they are done by tasting a potato, not just by poking it with a fork. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

 

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Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread

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Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

I regularly enjoy wine and definitely consider myself a wine enthusiast, but more like your typical every day American who just knows a delicious wine when she tastes it. I don’t have a sophisticated palate to tell you if there are notes of grapefruit or how long it must have been aged in an oak barrel, but I certainly appreciate drinking wine and know a good one from a bad one. I picked up this bottle of Estancia Pinot Noir and it immediately became one of my favorites. That’s pretty impressive, because you know I’m a total food snob after all, right? The brand’s mantra is “Handcrafted with great purpose.” Now that’s what I’m talking about.

Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

I selected their Pinot Noir because I live in the Pacific Northwest and we love Pinot Noir up here. Pinot Noir is great for dishes with earthy flavors made with ingredients like mushrooms, herbs and potatoes. The flavors taste great with reds like Pinot Noir, which are light-bodied but full of savory depth. Entertaining means appetizers, so I decided to make a delicious earthy flatbread and let me tell you – these paired so well together!

Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

This recipe starts with basic pizza dough. Now you can go all out and do the right thing by making your own homemade pizza dough, or you can just buy some pre-made stuff at the store. I promise I won’t tell anyone. You just need to roll it out as flat and as thin as you can and cook the rectangles on a screaming hot pizza stone for a few minutes. Its pretty fun to see how puffy it gets, but its even more fun to smash the air out of it. Trust me.

Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

I used dehydrated mushrooms instead of fresh. Why did you do that, Krissy? Well let me tell you. First, I already had them in my pantry, and you know I like to pretend I’m on Chopped and entertain the delicious possibilities I can create. Second, you re-hydrate these babies with boiling water and then I took that flavored mushroom-y water to make a garlic parmesan wild mushroom sauce. Oh yeah. Third, dehydrated mushrooms are just cheaper, and less expensive mushrooms means even more money for WINE!

Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

So what you do is barely cook the rectangles and then squeeze the air out. Then you make this wonderful sauce to spread on top of the flatbread.

Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

Then you mix up the potatoes and mushrooms, cook them up a bit in butter because butter is good, toss them with rosemary and more cheese because cheese is good, then you put it on the flatbread and bake it some more until its all melted and delicious.

Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

Just look how pretty that turned out! Honestly, this flatbread is quite delicious, but when you pair it with a bottle of this wine, it is over-the-top-gimme-some-more good.

Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

Good food with good friends allows you to enjoy every moment, so inspire your table tonight and entertain!

Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Wild Mushroom & Rosemary Potato Flatbread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Discover the art of entertaining by pairing a bold Estancia Pinot Noir with a delicious Wild Mushroom Rosemary Potato Flatbread appetizer.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Yields: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces pizza dough (homemade is best but you can buy prepackaged)
  • 2 (0.88 ounce) packages mixed wild dried mushrooms (I used a combination of porcini, shiitake, and oyster)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, minced and divided
  • 2 cups parmesan, grated and divided
  • 4 small potatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven or grill with a pizza stone to 450 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pizza dough to the largest thinnest rectangle you can make without the dough separating. Use a pizza cutter to divide the dough into four quarters. Place two of the dough pieces on the hot stone and cook for 5 minutes. They will puff up during cooking. Remove from oven and set aside with the side that was touching the stone facing up. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Rinse the mushrooms in warm water and then cover them with one cup of boiling water and a lid. Allow to steep in the hot water at least 10 minutes.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook the garlic until golden brown, about 2 minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic. Add the tablespoon of flour and allow to cook for a couple minutes while stirring. Add the steeping liquid from the mushrooms and 1 tablespoon of the minced rosemary and whisk together. Remove from heat and stir in half of the grated parmesan.
  4. In a large bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil with thinly sliced potatoes and rehydrated mushrooms.
  5. In a large heavy bottom melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over high heat. Spread potato mushroom mixture to cover entire pan and allow to cook until the potatoes and mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook for another 5 minutes. Return cooked potatoes and mushrooms to bowl and mix with remaining rosemary, remaining parmesan, salt and pepper.
  6. Evenly spread the garlic mixture over each piece of flatbread and then top with mushroom potato mixture.
  7. Heat in preheated 350 degree oven until bread gets golden brown and cheese has melted, about 15-20 minutes.
  8. Slice and serve with an Estancia Pinot Noir for the perfect entertaining appetizer.

 

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Winter Minestrone

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Homemade Winter Minestrone is a healthy and hearty winter soup full of cold weather favorites like kale, squash, beans, bacon, pasta, and savory beef broth.

Winter Minestrone| Self Proclaimed Foodie

This is one of my favorite soups. In my opinion, soup is best enjoyed during the cold winter months. A lot of people ask how I can stand the rainy winter months here in Portland. This is how I can handle the dark skies and lack of vitamin D: First, the holidays get me all the way through the beginning of the year. Not only am I usually to busy with all the holidays bring, but I just love everything about Halloween all the way through New Years. I’m talking about FFF: the food, the festivities, and family. Then, once the crocus start breaking through the ground in mid February, I have hope that Spring will soon be here and that means endless colorful bulbs, beautiful flowering trees, allergy attacks, and longer days. Yes, by spring time I welcome the allergies because that at least means something is once again growing. The most difficult time of year, however, is from January 2 until those crocus start blooming. The weather is cold, the sky is grey, the ground is always wet, and I’m as pale as a ghost. Enter: warm and welcoming Winter Minestrone soup. This soup has everything you could possibly want in a cold weather hearty soup and it is so freaking delicious, especially if you make it with your own homemade roasted beef broth. And being the foodie that I am, I actually had every single ingredient on hand when I wanted to make this soup without having to make a separate trip to the store. Score!

Winter Minestrone| Self Proclaimed Foodie

Winter Minestrone
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Homemade Winter Minestrone is a healthy and hearty winter soup full of cold weather favorites like kale, squash, beans, bacon, pasta, and savory beef brot
Author:
Recipe type: main dish, soup
Yields: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces bacon ends and pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped small
  • 3 medium sized carrots, peeled and chopped small
  • 2 medium celery stalks with leaves, chopped small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups beef stock (homemade beef stock is far and away the best)
  • 1 small winter squash (I used carnival) (about 1 1/2 cups) *
  • 2 cups kale, cut into small pieces
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • 14 ounce can canellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup tiny uncooked pasta
  • salt and pepper, as desired
  • additional grated parmesan for serving
Instructions
  1. In a heavy bottom stockpot over medium high heat, cook the bacon pieces until crispy. Remove all but about 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add beef stock, squash, kale, rosemary, bay leaf, parmesan rind, as well as 2 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low so that soup remains at a mellow simmer. Cook for 30-60 minutes.
  3. Remove parmesan rind, bay leaf and rosemary sprig. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Prior to serving, add beans and pasta and continue cooking until pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can add the beans but cook the pasta separately, adding cooked pasta to individual servings. If not consuming all of the soup in one meal, do not add pasta until ready to serve.
  5. Serve with a crispy hot bread and top with freshly grated parmesan.
Notes
* Its okay to use frozen cubed squash. If using fresh, roast in 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes so that its slightly tender and easy to peel, then cut into small cubes.

 

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Gourmet Tuna Casserole

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This Gourmet Tuna Casserole has the same feel good comforts as the stuff you ate as a kid, but the cream of portobello and English peas make it gourmet.

Gourmet Tuna Casserole | Self Proclaimed Foodie

Tuna casserole is one of my go-to standard easy dinners. The version we ate as kids grossed me out because we used campbell’s cream of mushroom. Sorry in advance if you love that stuff, but the little black cubes of mushrooms always grossed me out. I think Trader Joes’ Cream of Portobello is outstanding and really takes your standard tuna casserole to the next level.  Use fresh English peas in lieu of frozen peas. Why? They just taste better, in my opinion. They have a nice little pop to them.  I’m picky about my tuna too.  Go figure, right?  I use two cans of tuna in this recipe and like to use one packed in olive oil and one packed in water. I’m weird like that.

Gourmet Tuna Casserole | Self Proclaimed Foodie

I totally struggled to find a way to photograph tuna casserole. I mean, how do you do it?  I dunno.  And if you’re wondering, my baking dish isn’t dirty, its just a very well seasoned and well loved piece of stoneware and I love it.

Gourmet Tuna Casserole | Self Proclaimed Foodie

Gourmet Tuna Casserole
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Gourmet Tuna Casserole has the same feel good comforts as the stuff you ate as a kid, but the cream of portobello and English peas make it gourmet.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Yields: 4
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces pasta*
  • 10 ounces fresh English peas
  • 33 ounces (three boxes) Trader Joe's Condensed Cream of Portabella Mushroom Soup
  • 2 (5 ounce) cans albacore tuna, drained **
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Boil pasta in large pot of salted water. About a minute before the pasta is cooked to al dente, add the peas. Drain and set aside.
  3. In 11x17 inch casserole dish, combine mushroom soup and drained tuna. Stir in pasta and peas.
  4. Combine bread crumbs, parmesan, and parsley. Spread evenly over top of casserole. Cover dish with foil. Cook in preheated oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove foil, set oven to broil, and cook another 5 minutes to allow top to slightly brown.
Notes
*I used orecchiette
** I use one can in olive oil with salt and one can packed in water with half salt

 

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