Cheesy chicken pasta with tangy and sweet sundried tomatoes.. this is pretty much my new favorite Italian dish!
I’ve been sitting here trying to figure out how to tell you about this pasta, but it’s just so hard. It’s just so hard because it’s just so good! I mean, just look at the ingredients. What’s not to love? Cheese, chicken, tomatoes, pasta, half and half… simple, flavorful ingredients that always taste good–well, now they taste great together!
Truly, this pasta is the whole shebang… the whole package… everything you could ever love or want or need–and more! Besides being filled with delicious ingredients, it’s SO easy to make that it’s almost foolproof. If you can boil water you can make this delicious dish. I promise! Please make this creamy, cheesy, carby delight today. You won’t regret it! :)
one year ago: Chocolate Baked Oatmeal
two years ago: Club Soda Waffles
three years ago: Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
four years ago: Salsas for Cinco de Mayo
Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes
from Julia’s Album
- 3-4 ounces sundried tomatoes, either packed in oil or dried like the ones from Trader Joe’s, chopped
- 2 tablespoons oil [drained from tomatoes or extra virgin olive oil + some Italian seasoning]
- 1 pound chicken, sliced into thin, bite-sized pieces
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
- 8 ounces small-medium pasta [I used campanelle, but rotini or penne would be great]
- 1 tablespoon dried basil [or more fresh basil]
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2-1 cup reserved pasta water
If using sundried tomatoes in oil, drain oil and use 2 tablespoons for the first step. If not, disregard and use extra virgin olive oil plus a bit of Italian seasoning.
Set a large pot of water to boil for pasta and prepare according to package directions, reserving about 1 cup cooking water when finished.
In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, heat oil until glistening. Add chicken, then season with paprika on top side. Cook for one minute, then flip and season the other side with paprika. Reduce heat to medium-low and add tomatoes and garlic. Continue cooking for about 3-4 minutes until chicken is nearly fully cooked. Add half and half to the skillet and bring to a gentle boil. Then stir in cheese, continuing to stir until all cheese melts.
By this point, the pasta should be about done. Drain pasta, reserving about 1 cup of cooking water.
Add about 1/2 cup of pasta water to chicken and sauce mixture in the skillet. Stir to incorporate, then season with basil and red pepper flakes. Taste and add more seasoning if desired, then fold in cooked pasta. Stir together well and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, then serve and enjoy!
Need a fun twist on regular lasagna? Try this zucchini and yellow squash stuffed variety! It’s easy and cheesy and full of all kinds of yum.
I don’t know about you but I know that zucchini and yellow squash are going to start invading my life in the next couple of months. I don’t know tons of people in Nashville with gardens [no offense Southerners, but midwest gardens>southern gardens ANY DAY. Same goes for farmer’s markets but that’s a whole ‘nother story.]. Back in the days of Indiana living, we knew tons of people with gardens and I could hardly go anywhere without being given zucchini and squash for free. Even at the farmer’s market. It was like, buy 1 get 24820 free. No joke. So I’ve got to start getting my recipes ready NOW. Even though I’m in the south, I know squash season is a-comin’.
I actually made these Zucchini and Yellow Squash Lasagna Rollups LAST summer but never got around to sharing them. Oh well, here they come! I know I’ll be making them several times throughout the summer. I don’t usually mind turning on my oven on a hot day if I know something tasty will come out of it. These lasagna rollups are quite a treat, and are so fun to eat. They use three kinds of cheese [creamy ricotta, sharp Parmesan, and mild mozzarella] so there’s something for everyone! For me, they’re a great way to use up yellow squash too. It’s not my favorite by itself, but when paired with something else I can handle it. Especially if there’s cheese! :) I hope you enjoy this great meatless meal!
one year ago: White Chocolate Snack Mix
two years ago: Pork Chops with Quinoa, Kale, and Blood Orange
three years ago: Best Burrito Bowls Ever
four years ago: Sausage Apple Egg Strata
Zucchini and Yellow Squash Lasagna Rollups
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium zucchini, grated and squeezed dry
- 1 medium yellow squash, grated and squeezed dry
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- freshly ground black pepper
- 8 lasagna noodles, cooked and cooled
- 1/2-1 cup mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan and spread about 1 cup of sauce in bottom of pan.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add zucchini and squash and saute for 4-5 minutes until soft. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds until fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes.
Then, in a large bowl, stir together ricotta, Parmesan, egg, and pepper. Fold in veggies until combined.
Lay the lasagna noodles down on a clean countertop, patting dry with a dish towel as needed. Spread 1/3 cup of veggie mixture over the entire surface of the noodle. Gently roll and place seam-side down in the prepared pan. Repeat until all noodles and veggie mixture are gone.
Divide remaining sauce over top of lasagna rollups, then sprinkle with cheese.
Cover dish with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes, until heated through and cheese on top is melted.
Skinny lasagna… lot of flavor with a few substitutions to make a classic dish just a little healthier for the new year!
Lasagna is one of my favorite meals of all time! My mom’s lasagna is my go-to dish, but when Red Gold [an Indiana company… gotta support my home state, ya know!] contacted me to ask if I wanted to participate in their Lasagna Party this month I jumped at the chance. Lasagna is so good, how could I say no?!? :) The Red Gold Simple Gourmet Lasagna Party runs through February 3rd on their Facebook page. Be sure to enter for a chance to win one of 750 aprons or 6 gourmet lasagna party prizes [that include a Le Creuset Lasagna pan! How fun!]. The fabulous folks at Red Gold sent me a fun package with a selection of canned tomatoes, lasagna noodles, a Laura’s Beef coupon and apron, and some recipes to try out.
I made this lasagna a couple weekends ago, on a Saturday morning before I did a long run. Psssssst! Did I tell you guys that I’m marathon training?!? #5, in Nashville! Woohoo. :) It’ll be fun to do a marathon in my new city! Anyways, this lasagna was SO delicious. Using Italian seasoning, as simple as it sounds, along with tomatoes that have already been seasoned with basil, garlic, and oregano, made this dish SO flavorful. My only beef [ha ha ha] with this lasagna recipe was that it used a whole pound of lasagna noodles. I usually use just half a pound, so I thought it was very noodle-y and there was no way this would all fit in my pan. So I used two! [Ben’s idea. What a smartypants.] This lasagna was SO flavorful and delicious. PLUS it was really easy to make this sauce with just canned tomatoes and seasoning. I’ll definitely be using that trick more often. One less step to yummy lasagna! Hope you enjoy, and don’t forget to enter the contest! :)
one year ago: Broccoli Stuffed Loaded Potato Skins with Avocado Cream
two years ago: Lemon Cranberry Muffins
three years ago: Preparing Black Beans in the Oven
four years ago: Triple Chocolate Oat Cookies
- 1/2 cup water
- 28 ounces Red Gold crushed tomatoes
- 2 – 14.5 ounce cans Red Gold diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, & oregano
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning – I used ~2 tablespoons of Gourmet Gardens Italian Herbs + 1 tablespoon crushed garlic instead
- 1 pound Laura’s Lean Beef or ground turkey
- 16 ounce traditional lasagna noodles, uncooked
- 15 ounces low fat cottage cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to boil to cook the lasagna noodles to al dente. Meanwhile, in a skillet, brown ground beef or turkey. Cook noodles according to package instructions, then drain. Drain grease from meat when done.
In a large bowl, combine water, tomatoes, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Stir in cooked meat.
In a 9×13 baking dish, spread out 1 1/2 cups sauce. Top with 1/3 of noodles, overlapped. Top with 1/2 of the cottage cheese, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese, and 1 cup sauce. Repeat, then finish with remaining 1/3 of noodles and the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 60-90 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
I used an oval dish that usually can be subbed with a 9×13 pan but I had way too much so I made a mini lasagna in a 9×5 loaf pan. As I was typing up this recipe, I noticed that the original recipe does not call for cooking the noodles–just placing them in the pan uncooked. So you could try that too–probably cooking it for about 90 minutes instead of the 1 hour I did.
Next time I make this I will probably only use 8 ounces noodles. We felt it was too noodle-y but I usually only make lasagna with 1/2 a box of noodles so that’s just what we are used to.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary lasagna kit from Red Gold with all the tomatoes for this recipe, lasagna noodles, a Laura’s Lean Beef apron, a coupon for Laura’s Lean Beef, and 6 recipes. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own.
A decadent, ooey gooey baked macaroni and cheese that is perfect for your Christmas table or for a cozy weeknight at home. It can even be prepped earlier in the week and baked later! A tried and true family favorite!
If I had to choose one last meal, this macaroni and cheese would be it. I know there’s lots of other good meals out there, but mac and cheese is HARD to beat. And if it’s your last meal, then the healthier choices don’t matter very much, do they? :) Sorry, didn’t mean to get into a philosophical mood there. It just sorta happened. And I suggest that this macaroni and cheese just “sorta” happens in your world soon. It’s simply the best!
My mom’s been making it for years, and it’s really the ultimate mac and cheese. It’s baked, so it has those crispy edges that we all know and love, but unlike some other baked pasta dishes, the middle has lots of ooey gooey cheesy goodness. There’s really no other way to describe it besides ultimate, divine, incredible, and utterly amazing! You can be somewhat flexible with the cheese that you use–using some cheddar and some parmesan is a must, but other than that, anything goes! American, colby, an Italian blend, gouda… If it’s cheese, it should be good!
I always serve this pasta with a big green salad or another veggie side. As you can tell it was summertime when I took these pictures at my parents’ house, but we enjoy this pasta year round. It would be a great addition to your Christmas table, too. It’s a great side dish since it’s SO rich. We easily get at least 12 servings. Enjoy!!
one year ago: Cranberry-Pistachio Citrus Butter Cookies
two years ago: Streuseled Cran-Apple Sweet Potato Casserole
four years ago: Sweet Potato Soup
Art Smith's Macaroni and Cheese
from Art Smith’s Back to the Table
- 1 pound pasta – elbow macaroni or penne recommended
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups milk, warmed
- 4 cups cheese, shredded – definitely use half cheddar + something else of your choice [he suggests American, but just go with what you feel like – Italian blend, colby, gouda, etc.]
- freshly ground black pepper
- hot pepper sauce [I use Frank’s]
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions, then drain.
Meanwhile, grease a large casserole dish [a 9×13 pan works, as does any 4 quart casserole dish] and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Gradually whisk in the milk. The milk doesn’t have to be hot but it shouldn’t be cold either. Room temperature or gently heated in the microwave is perfect!
Bring sauce to a simmer, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in half of the cheese. Season to taste with pepper and hot sauce.
Spread a third of the pasta over the bottom of the casserole dish. Top with half of the reserved cheese and a third of the sauce. Repeat: a third of the pasta, remaining cheese, and a third of the sauce. Repeat: remaining pasta, remaining sauce. Top with parmesan cheese and bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.
- Tent pasta with aluminum foil after about 20 minutes if top is browning too much.
- This recipe can be prepared in advanced, covered, and refrigerated for up to 3 days before baking. Just bring to room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking, or place pan in a cold oven and let oven heat up with the dish. From the refrigerator, you’ll have to bake it at least 40-45 minutes to heat through but use your best judgment.
- Leftovers freeze well.
Linked up with Weekend Potluck.
A creamy, veggie-filled pasta dish that comes together quickly with lots of pantry ingredients.
Does anyone else watch Guy’s Grocery Games on Food Network? Ever since we moved to Nashville and got a DVR [yes, I know these have been around forever but we didn’t get one til a year ago. We are way behind technology-wise.] I have been obsessed with recording episodes of cooking and HGTV shows. Because I can, and because they’re good tv shows to watch while blogging or reading magazines or something. I never watch and only watch tv. I need to be doing something else in the process, so I need somewhat mindless shows that aren’t totally trashy. Does that make sense? This one, if you haven’t seen it, requires chefs to dash around a grocery store in search of ingredients for an assigned meal/category of food, and then COOK their meal… but there’s always a twist or challenge. I never in a million years would want to be on Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen, or any of those other cooking shows… but if I had to choose a cooking competition show to be on, this would be it. It’s relatively tame, Guy seems nice, and hello! Grocery stores are my favorite place to browse. Is that weird? Ha. Anyways, on a recent episode of triple G, one of the judges said that pasta dishes aren’t supposed to be light. She thought they needed to be heavy, or at least, hearty to be a true pasta dish. I have to say I disagree with that. There’s a place for heavy, hearty dishes like baked pasta or lasagna [take a look in my archives, I have tons of recipes like that!] but sometimes lighter pasta dishes totally hit the spot. Maybe they aren’t traditional but I love ’em.
This pasta dish is exactly the kind I love–full of flavor and interesting things, but still relatively light. It uses cream cheese and Parmesan cheese but also a lot of tomatoes, onions, and spinach to balance everything out. You can make this pasta in a pretty short amount of time, using mostly pantry ingredients, so it’s great for weeknights. The sauce can be made while the pasta cooks, so it really doesn’t take more time to make than a box of mac ‘n cheese. So what if it’s not this big, hearty meal? Isn’t that what sides are for? :) To make this more of a one dish meal, I think some sliced grilled chicken, shrimp, or even some canned white beans would be great additions. I’ll have to try that next time! Enjoy!
one year ago: Flourless Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Sauce
two years ago: Pumpkin Cornbread
three years ago: Honey Whole Wheat English Muffins
four years ago: Pumpkin Pasta Sauce, aka “Pumpfredo”
Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta
from Budget Bytes
- 1/2 pound small pasta like penne
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 15 ounces diced tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- pinch red pepper flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 ounces cream cheese, cubed
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4-5 ounces fresh spinach [frozen spinach that has been thawed and drained should also work too]
Prepare pasta [al dente] according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened about 7 minutes. Then add garlic and cook for 30 seconds or so until fragrant. Add tomatoes [undrained], oregano, basil, red pepper, and black pepper and stir to combine. Add tomato paste and 1/2 cup water to skillet, stirring until tomato paste has dissolved. Reduce heat to low and add cream cheese cubes one by one, stirring until incorporated. Then add the Parmesan cheese gradually, stirring until it is creamy.
When pasta is done, drain and add to the sauce. Top with spinach, cover, and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes until spinach wilts. Stir in and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve immediately.