Zucchini and Yellow Squash Lasagna Rollups

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.

Zucchini and Yellow Squash Lasagna Rollups | thepajamachef.com

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’.

Zucchini and Yellow Squash Lasagna Rollups | thepajamachef.comI 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

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 50 minutes
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from Skinnytaste

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

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.

Cheesy Taco Muffins

Easy cheesy taco muffins! Served with salsa, these are a treat for a meal or party.

Cheesy Taco Muffins | thepajamachef.com

You can put anything in a muffin tin and I’ll eat it. Muffins, check. Cupcakes, check. Meatloaf, check. Quiche, check. Cornbread, check. French toast, check. Want me to keep going? Probably not. Mini foods are so fun, aren’t they? As you could probably infer… these Cheesy Taco Muffins are fun, delicious, and one of my favorite things to eat! They’re basically a portable taco. What’s not to love about that?! :)

Cheesy Taco Muffins | thepajamachef.com

The name “muffins” is kind of a misnomer. Yes, they’re shaped like muffins, but they are more than just a quick snack. They’re a delightful appetizer or meal, made out of cornmeal and tomatoes and cheese and leftover taco meat. These muffins are so simple and so tasty–and addictive! Enjoy!

Cheesy Taco Muffins | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Grapefruit Arugula Salad 
two years ago: Herb, Tomato, and Cheese Crackers
three years ago: Smoky Fried Chickpeas
four years ago: Pantry Pasta for Two

Cheesy Taco Muffins

  • Servings: 20-24 muffins
  • Time: 35 minutes
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from Food Lust People Love

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 – 10 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked taco meat [leftovers are great for this//about 8 ounces]
  • 8 ounces shredded cheese – cheddar, monterey jack, or taco/Mexican cheese
  • salsa, for serving

Directions:

Grease two muffin tins with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, and baking soda. In a large bowl, stir together sour cream, tomatoes, eggs, and oil. Add dry ingredients into the wet and stir until just combined. Fold in almost all of the taco meat and cheese, reserving a little bit of each for topping.

Divide batter between muffin cups, then top with reserved meat and cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool for a few minutes before serving. Can be enjoyed warm or cold, with salsa on the side.

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart

This tart is full of hearty butternut squash and mushrooms, and of course has some cheese and bacon on top for extra deliciousness! 

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart | thepajamachef.com

Tarts and quiche are some of my favorite foods! They’re fancier than a regular frittata but almost as easy. The thing is… I like to fill them with things like butternut squash, zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus, and the like. All veggies that while Ben tolerates, he doesn’t really like. Soooo when I know I’ll have an evening to myself, this is just the sort of dish I like to make. Cooking for one only has to be a bore if you let it! Though, I must say, I don’t cook for one very often these days so when I do it’s kind of a novelty. But back to this tart!

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart | thepajamachef.comA slice of this tart is pretty much the best thing ever. Though it has a lot of steps, the work goes quickly and when it’s done, you get to eat! :) I used the crust the recipe suggested, and it’s pretty basic with the twist of using olive oil for the fat and seasoning just with salt and pepper. You could certainly use your favorite tart/pie crust though. This crust was super flavorful and once it was topped with the filling it was just perfect! I loved that the cheese was spread out throughout the tart, not just on top, but next time I will probably mix together all the veggies and the bacon with the eggs, and top with cheese for simplicity’s sake.

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart | thepajamachef.com

I enjoyed this tart for dinner, but the leftovers were equally fabulous for breakfast and lunch, so make it anytime you please! Enjoy! :)

one year ago: Oatmeal Fudge Bars
two years ago: Lemon Pasta Salad
three years ago: Pineapple-Apricot Teriyaki Chicken
four years ago: Sweet and Tangy Pork Chops with Pineapple

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 30-40 minutes
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from Cooking Light

Ingredients:

for crust

  • 5.6 ounces all-purpose flour [about 1 cup + 2 tablespoons]
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
for filling
  • 3 cups cubed and peeled butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup diced onions
  • 2/3 cup [2.5 ounces] swiss or Gruyère cheese, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 ounces pancetta or 2 strips bacon, chopped
  • 5 ounces sliced mushrooms [shiitake is preferred but any will work]
  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken stock

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9 or 10 inch pie pan coated with cooking spray. Begin by making the crust.

In a food processor, combine flour, salt, pepper, and baking powder and pulse until combined. In a measuring cup, whisk together oil and water. With processor running, slowly pour in oil mixture. Process until dough is just barely crumbly. Press dough into an even layer on bottom and sides of pie pan. Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Next, make filling. Place butternut squash into food processor [no need to clean first!] and pulse for about 1 minute to finely chop squash.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan. When hot, saute squash and onion for 7-9 minutes, stirring constantly.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together 1/3 cup cheese, eggs, and pepper. When squash is cooked, fold in with egg mixture. Evenly spread over pre-cooked crust, then return to oven for 9 minutes.

Using the same skillet as before, set over medium-high heat, cook pancetta or bacon until it starts to brown [about 1 minute for pancetta, more for bacon]. Add oil if necessary. Add mushrooms and reduce heat to medium, then saute for 5-6 minutes until browned. Season with pepper to taste, then add wine/stock and turn heat to high. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes until liquid cooks down.

Spread mushroom mixture over egg mixture, then top with remaining cheese. Return to oven and bake for 4-5 minutes until cheese melts. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

These make-ahead freezer breakfast burritos are the key to Ben’s heart! They’re full of potatoes, sausage, and cheesy eggs and taste great!

Freezer Breakfast Burritos | thepajamachef.com

Ben’s always excited when eggs go on sale because he knows that means it’s time for me to make another batch of freezer breakfast burritos for him! He absolutely loves these things, and I have to admit–I do too. :) They’re great to keep in the freezer for busy mornings. Since Ben has started teaching, we’re on a slightly different [read: early] schedule. I love sending him off to work with a good breakfast, even though that sounds so 1950s housewife. :) But what I don’t love is waking up at 5:20 to make him that breakfast. Enter freezer breakfast burritos! There when you need ’em!

Freezer Breakfast Burritos | thepajamachef.com

I have to admit that I’ve been making these burritos off and on for years. When we lived in Indiana, Ben worked 10 minutes from home and he’d often take his breakfast to work so he could use as much of his morning for other things, like sleeping in and working out. Now he usually eats them at home before I get up. Works for me either way!

Freezer Breakfast Burritos | thepajamachef.com

One of the greatest things about these burritos is that they are super customizable. I’ve made them with bacon instead of sausage, and occasionally I’ll sneak some veggies in there with the eggs like peppers, onion, or spinach. Spinach was not his fave addition to these burritos but I liked it! :) I’ve even done a Mexican version, with black beans and salsa instead of sausage, and taco seasoning instead of fresh herbs. No matter how you make ’em, these are a great addition to your freezer. Ben’s even been known to take them for lunch occasionally.

Freezer Breakfast Burritos | thepajamachef.com

The recipe below reflects the amounts I usually use when making these burritos–1 egg per tortilla, 1/2 pound sausage and 1 cup cheese per 10 tortillas. Though you can buy large burrito-size tortillas, I make mine with fajita size tortillas because that’s a better serving size for us. I think there’s about 1/2 cup filling in each burrito but you could certainly adjust the recipe to make bigger burritos if you have more of an appetite. :) These are a great breakfast alone, or can also be served with a piece of fruit or some yogurt. Enjoy!

one year ago: Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
two years ago: Asian Peanut Veggie Dip
three years ago: Avocado Egg Salad
four years ago: African Peanut Pineapple Stew

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

  • Servings: 10
  • Time: 30 minutes
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound breakfast sausage
  • 1 cup potatoes, shredded [from 1 large or 2 small russet potatoes]
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed chopped fresh herbs, of choice – parsley, cilantro, dill, oregano, etc. – I usually use a combination or about 1 tablespoon [total] dried herbs
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 10 flour tortillas – I usually use fajita size but burrito size would work too–you may just need more filling
  • 4-6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sriracha sauce, optional

Directions:

In a skillet set over medium heat, brown sausage and discard almost all the grease. Return sausage to pan. Add potatoes and cook on low heat for 3-5 minutes, until translucent, then set aside.

Crack all the eggs in a medium bowl, then whisk in herbs and pepper. Add to another skillet set over medium-low heat, cooking until just set. It’s okay if the eggs are a little runnier than you might normally eat them since they will be cooked again in the microwave later.

Assemble the burritos by dividing the sausage and potato mixture between the tortillas, then topping with eggs and a little cheese. This should be about 1/2 cup filling per burrito. Drizzle some Sriracha over the cheese if desired, then roll burritos. Wrap in a piece of foil or Saran wrap, then place in a freezer safe gallon size ziptop bag. Freeze for up to 2 months, if they last that long! When ready to eat, remove wrapping and heat in a paper towel for 90 seconds-2 minutes. Eat immediately.

Cheesy Molasses Chicken with Mushrooms and Homemade Rice a Roni Mix

This cheesy chicken and mushroom dinner is perfect for company, but also for a nice weeknight dinner for your family. It’s also nice to have some of this Rice a Roni mix in the pantry for an easy side dish too!

Cheesy Molasses Chicken with Mushrooms and Homemade Rice a Roni Mix | thepajamachef.com

Two recipes in one day! Whoa there, this is crazy! So last fall I read Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist and that book just makes me want to COOK! And eat, but that’s no surprise. It’s a collection of essays knit together thematically around the idea of food, community, friendship, and growth. Though it’s written from a Christian perspective it’s really not in your face Christianity, if you get my drift, and it’s just a lovely book. Being a librarian I pretty much ALWAYS check books out to read from the library prior to purchasing them, and I think this one is good enough to go on  my to-purchase [read: Christmas/birthday present] list. Though I made this dinner just for Ben and myself, it’s truly a company-worthy meal. Though it’s weeknight-doable, the flavors are rich, intoxicating, and delicious. It feels like a fancy escape from the week, even if only at the dinner table.

Cheesy Molasses Chicken with Mushrooms and Homemade Rice a Roni Mix | thepajamachef.com

As I sit here thinking about what I just wrote, I wonder… why do we consider things to be “company-worthy meals” or not? At the root of it definitely is our innately human desire to put on our best face for everyone and to receive compliments/praise/glory/affirmation of how great we are. Somewhere in there is a desire to treat others well. And why shouldn’t we do that for our families on a regular Tuesday? I know people are busier than ever but I still think regular family dinners–even if it’s just you and your husband–are so important. They don’t have to be fancy. In the same vein, “company meals” don’t need to be fancy either–they just need to be made with love, like this meal. This chicken dish only took about 40 minutes to put together, and much of that is baking time. Using a few pantry ingredients, some mushrooms, and cheese, it looks so special! And the homemade Rice a Roni mix is awesome too! Hope you give it a try–and check out this book. :) Enjoy!

one year ago: Flourless Peanut-Chocolate Cookies
two years ago: Buffalo Pretzels 
three years ago: Camp Tecumseh Baked Oatmeal
four years ago: Crispy Honey Ginger Chicken

Cheesy Molasses Chicken with Mushrooms

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 40 minutes
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Ingredients:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 thin boneless skinless chicken breasts [I cut one large 16 ounce chicken breast into 4 smaller cutlets]
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • dried tarragon
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced [I used shiitake but regular white mushrooms would be fine too]
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced or shredded swiss cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with a bit of olive oil. Season one side of each chicken breast with pepper and tarragon, then sear chicken for a minute on the seasoned side. Flip to the other side, season, and cook for a minute. Remove chicken to an oven safe baking dish.

In the same skillet, add more olive oil if necessary and reduce heat to medium. Cook mushrooms and onion for about 5 minutes, until soft, then add garlic. Cook another 30 seconds until fragrant. Season with more pepper and tarragon. Add water, vinegar, and molasses and bring to a boil, letting most of the excess liquid cook off, about 3-4 minutes. Spoon mushrooms, onions, and sauce overtop chicken.

Cook for 10-20 minutes or until fully cooked. When chicken is almost done, top with cheese and return to oven until cheese melts.

Serve with homemade Rice a Roni [below].

Homemade Rice a Roni Mix

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 25 minutes
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from Fabulously Frugal

Ingredients:

for mix

  • 2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 1 cup small pieces of angel hair, vermicelli, or thin spaghetti, broken into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 6 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder OR 3 tablespoons poultry seasoning [original recipe called for the former but I didn’t have any so I improvised]
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

for preparation

  • 2 tablespoons butter or oil
  • 1 cup of rice a roni mix [above]
  • 2 1/4 cups water or chicken broth

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a large airtight jar or plastic storage container. Breaking apart the noodles was probably the most difficult part. I found it easiest to break just a few at a time, while the measuring cup was in a taller bowl. I used maybe 1/3 of a 16 ounce box of pasta. Orzo or another small pasta would be a good substitute I think.

To make the rice, heat 2 tablespoons of butter or oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add 1 cup rice a roni mix and stir. Cook, constantly stirring, for about a minute until pasta begins to turn golden brown. Add water and bring to a boil, then prepare as you would rice–reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes until water is absorbed.