Archive of ‘Italian’ category

Tortellini Marinara and Zucchini Bake

You’re gonna enjoy this Italian, layered, vegetarian baked casserole, with cheese tortellini, marinara sauce, zucchini, onions and baby spinach, topped with mozzarella cheese! It’s a flavorful, meatless (you won’t miss it), lightened up dinner, (under 400 calories), for the win!
Tortellini Marinara and Zucchini Bake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I found this recipe last Fall on the Weight Watchers website, thought it sounded good, and decided to give it a try.  I tweaked the recipe a bit, to serve 4 instead of 8, added a couple ingredients and changed the cooking method.  The casserole is baked, but if you prefer, instructions for using a slow cooker (and frozen tortellini) are available below, in the printable recipe notes.

We enjoyed our meal very much (lots of Italian flavor in the marinara sauce, cheese tortellini, and yummy fresh veggies in this meal!), and wanted to share the recipe with you. Here’s how to make this dish:

Diced fresh zucchini and chopped onions are cooked in olive oil on medium high heat for about 5 minutes (the veggies will be very lightly browned).  Minced garlic is added to the skillet, stirred in, and cooked for another minute.

Zucchini, onion and garlic cooked for tortellini sauce

Fresh baby spinach leaves, 1 cup of marinara sauce, and seasonings are added to the skillet. Ingredients are stirred well.  The spinach can be added in small batches… it looks like a LOT of spinach going in the skillet, but it will definitely wilt down!  The skillet is covered, and mixture is simmered for 2-3 minutes, until the spinach has fully wilted.  At this point, additional salt and pepper can be added, to suit your taste.

Fresh spinach is added to zucchini marinara sauce to wilt down

I used a 2 quart casserole dish for the casserole (for 4 servings).  To assemble this meal, build it in layers.  Spoon 1/2 cup of marinara sauce over bottom of dish.  Add HALF of the cooked cheese tortellini to cover the sauce (photo shows only half of the sauce covered). Top tortellini with HALF of the veggie mixture.

Layer of tortellini added to baking dish, then zucchini and spinach sauceAdd the rest of the tortellini to top of the veggies.  Top with the rest of the veggie mixture. For the final layer, pour 1/2 cup of reserved marinara sauce over top of veggies, then sprinkle with grated mozzarella  and Parmesan cheese.

Tortellini with marinara, veggies, and grated cheese on top, ready to bake

Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil (try not to let the foil touch the top of the cheese, if possible).  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Remove casserole from oven. Here’s what the casserole looked like when ready to serve. Looks pretty good, huh? Smells good, too!

Tortellini,marinara, and zucchini baked casserole out of oven

All that’s left to do is grab a big spoon or spatula, and serve this delicious pasta dish up, while hot!

Tortellini and zucchini baked casserole in white serving bowl

Cheese tortellini, marinara sauce and zucchini, in white serving bowl

Hope you will consider trying this tasty, filling Italian pasta and vegetable dish (don’t think you’ll even miss not having meat in it).  You might also want to check out my recipe for Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce.  Have a wonderful day!

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Recipe Adapted From: https://cmx.weightwatchers.com/nui/explore/details2/WWRECIPE:59ce95dd03c03049fd3f55db

Tortellini Marinara and Zucchini Bake
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 
Enjoy this Weight Watchers Italian (vegetarian) casserole, with cheese tortellini, marinara sauce, zucchini, and baby spinach, topped with mozzarella cheese!
Category: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories Per Serving: 385 kcal
Author: JB@ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 3 zucchini (uncooked, small)
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups marinara sauce , divided (store bought)
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups cheese tortellini (without sauce-cooked and drained)
  • 1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese , shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (+ additional for garnish, if desired)
Instructions
  1. Cook tortellini according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. TIP: I found it easy (and a timesaver) to cook the tortellini at the same time the zucchini/sauce mixture was cooking.

  2. Heat olive oil in large skillet on medium high heat.  Add diced zucchini and chopped onions, stir often, and cook on medium high heat for about 5 minutes (the veggies will be very lightly browned).  Add the minced garlic to the skillet, stir to combine, and cook for another minute (be careful to stir and not let the garlic burn, or it will taste bitter).

  3. Add baby spinach leaves, 1 cup (reserve the rest) of marinara sauce, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the skillet. Stir well, to combine. TIP: The spinach can be added in small batches... it looks like a LOT of spinach going in the skillet, but it will definitely wilt down!  Once it has wilted, add more to skillet. Once all spinach has been added, cover the skillet, and simmer on low heat for 2-3 minutes, until the spinach has fully wilted.  At this point, additional salt and pepper can be added, to suit your taste.

  4. Layer the casserole this way:  Spoon 1/2 cup of the reserved marinara sauce over bottom of dish.  Add HALF of the cooked/drained tortellini on top of the sauce. Cover the tortellini with HALF of the veggie/sauce mixture. Cover that with the rest of the tortellini.  Cover that with the rest of the veggie mixture. Pour remaining 1/2 cup of marinara sauce over top of veggies, then sprinkle with grated mozzarella  and Parmesan cheese.

  5. Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil (try not to let the foil touch the top of the cheese, if possible).  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Remove casserole from oven. Serve, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

TIP: If desired, recipe can be made using FROZEN tortellini (packaged without sauce) in a SLOW COOKER, following same process as detailed above (except for pre-cooking the tortellini). Tortellini can be layered in while still frozen. Casserole should be cooked on LOW (covered) until tortellini are tender and fully heated through, (approximately 5 hours). I have not personally tried this, but Weight Watchers recipe utilized this cooking method.

Nutrition Facts
Tortellini Marinara and Zucchini Bake
Amount Per Serving (1 serving (1½ cups))
Calories 385 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 43mg 14%
Sodium 1357mg 57%
Potassium 988mg 28%
Total Carbohydrates 49g 16%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Sugars 12g
Protein 22g 44%
Vitamin A 75.8%
Vitamin C 54.2%
Calcium 36.8%
Iron 26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Long pin for tortellini marinara and zucchini bake

Creamy Italian Sausage Gnocchi

If you’re looking for a flavorful, 30 minute, one pot, comfort food dinner to serve your family or friends, then you’ll love this satisfying and filling Creamy Italian Sausage Gnocchi, with baby spinach, tomatoes and mozzarella!
Creamy Italian Sausage Gnocchi, with spinach, tomatoes and mozzarella!

I love gnocchi, those cute little Italian potato “dumplings”, usually found in the pasta section of the grocery store.  Have you tried them?  I first tried them in soup at a local restaurant, loved them, and went home to make my own Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup. Since then I’ve also used them to make Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi… yum! So when I discovered THIS recipe on Pinterest recently, I just KNEW it would be good! It most certainly WAS!

The recipe is incredibly EASY to make, and tastes amazing!  This meal fills you up, and is so creamy and packed with Italian flavor!  Here’s how easy it is to make, all in ONE PAN, in about 30 minutes!:

Place Italian sausage, diced onion, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a large skillet (I used a cast iron skillet). Cook on medium high heat, until sausage has browned, stirring often. If there is any grease left in skillet, simply remove and discard.

Sausage, onion, and garlic cooking in black skillet

Browned Italian sausage and onion in cast iron skillet

Add gnocchi (straight from the package), canned diced tomatoes, and whipping cream to the sausage in skillet. Carefully stir to combine ingredients.

Cream and diced tomatoes added to skillet with gnocchi

Tomatoes and cream added to gnocchi in skillet

Add handfuls of fresh baby spinach to the skillet. Stir and let spinach wilt just a bit in the hot liquid. If necessary, add spinach in batches (I added mine in two batches).  Cook mixture on low for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until the spinach has fully wilted down, the sauce has reduced in volume a bit, and the gnocchi is cooked and hot.

Fresh spinach added to cast iron skillet and creamy sauce

Spinach wilted into cast iron skillet with potato gnocchi

Add the grated mozzarella cheese to the skillet; stir well, to fully incorporate cheese into the sauce and it melts.

Mozzarella cheese added to skillet with creamy sausage gnocchi

Cheese stringing from creamy sausage gnocchi on wooden spoon

That’s it!  See how easy this is to make?  I sprinkled a tiny bit more Mozzarella cheese on top before serving it up into individual bowls, because, you know… cheeeeeese!

Gnocchi in cast iron skillet with wooden spoon

Single serving sausage gnocchi in white bowl

This was such an easy, delicious dish to prepare!  My husband and I really enjoyed it (and we’re looking forward to the leftovers, too)! Hope you will consider trying this recipe out… it tastes wonderful! Have a great day!

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Recipe Source: Alli at https://tornadoughalli.com/2018/01/one-pot-creamy-sausage-gnocchi/

Creamy Italian Sausage Gnocchi
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

If you're looking for a flavorful, 30 minute, one pot, comfort food dinner, you'll love Creamy Italian Sausage Gnocchi, with spinach, tomatoes and mozzarella! 

Category: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories Per Serving: 559 kcal
Author: JB at The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Italian sausage *can substitute 3 links with casings removed
  • 1 brown onion , diced
  • 2 cloves garlic . minced
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 16 ounces gnocchi
  • 3 cups spinach , fresh
  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese , grated
Instructions
  1. Place Italian sausage, diced onion, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a large skillet. Cook on medium high heat, until sausage has browned, stirring often. Drain and discard any grease accumulated in skillet.

  2. Add gnocchi, canned diced tomatoes, and whipping cream to the skillet. Carefully stir to combine ingredients. Add handfuls of fresh baby spinach to the skillet. Stir and let spinach wilt just a bit in the hot liquid. If necessary, add spinach in batches (I added mine in two batches).  Cook mixture on low for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until the spinach has fully wilted down and the gnocchi is cooked.

  3. Add the grated mozzarella cheese to the skillet; stir well, to fully incorporate cheese into the sauce and it melts. Once cheese is fully melted, serve the dish! May garnish with additional grated cheese, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Gnocchi does not have to be precooked before adding it to dish.

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Italian Sausage Gnocchi
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 559 Calories from Fat 351
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39g 60%
Saturated Fat 18g 90%
Cholesterol 112mg 37%
Sodium 1338mg 56%
Potassium 352mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 32g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 1g
Protein 19g 38%
Vitamin A 39.6%
Vitamin C 9.2%
Calcium 17.4%
Iron 24.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!

Long pin for creamy Italian sausage gnocchi

Garlic Parmesan Pasta and Shrimp

Pan-seared shrimp and fettucine pasta are paired with a creamy garlic Parmesan sauce in this easy to prepare, absolutely DELICIOUS Italian-inspired dinner. It’s creamy, absolutely delicious… and ready in 30 minutes!
Garlic Parmesan Pasta and Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Pan-seared shrimp and fettucine noodles are paired with a creamy garlic Parmesan sauce in this easy to prepare pasta dinner.

I found the recipe for the pasta sauce on Pinterest, and it was fairly similar to the sauce I usually make, so I decided to mak it. I added pan-seared shrimp, for a bit of protein and all around flavor! Once you’ve quickly pan-cooked the shrimp, the rest of the dish is cooked in one pan on the stove top. And guess what? It’s scrumptious! Here’s how easy it is to make this dish:

Shrimp are peeled and de-veined, seasoned lightly with salt and pepper, then pan seared on both sides in a bit of olive oil in a large skillet (on medium heat) until done (3-5 minutes). Set the shrimp aside and cover.

Garlic Parmesan Pasta and Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Olive oil is heated on medium-high in a large skillet. The minced garlic is added to the hot oil, and cooked for about a minute, stirring often to prevent burning.  Butter, chicken broth and milk is then added and whisked together while the butter melts.

Garlic Parmesan Pasta and Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Uncooked fettucine is then added to the sauce (I used my fresh homemade pasta, made from scratch). Salt and pepper are added; season to taste. Stir in the noodles and simmer (on medium-low heat) until the pasta has completely cooked through (this will take about 15-18 minutes for commercially prepared pasta).  Stir mixture occasionally while it cooks!

Once pasta is cooked through, add the fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Stir well, to combine.  If you find the sauce has thickened too much, simply add a touch more milk until it’s the thickness you desire.

Garlic Parmesan Pasta and Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add the cooked shrimp to the skillet, and cook only until shrimp are heated through.

Garlic Parmesan Pasta and Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Sprinkle fresh or dried parsley on top of dish before serving, and serve immediately, while hot!

Garlic Parmesan Pasta and Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Pan-seared shrimp and fettucine noodles are paired with a creamy garlic Parmesan sauce in this easy to prepare pasta dinner.

Garlic Parmesan Pasta and Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Pan-seared shrimp and fettucine noodles are paired with a creamy garlic Parmesan sauce in this easy to prepare pasta dinner.

The sauce is very creamy, with a wonderful garlic and Parmesan flavor, and the pan-seared shrimp adds delicious flavor AND protein to this dish!  We really enjoyed it; I hope you will give this dish a try!

Garlic Parmesan Pasta and Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pasta recipe adapted from: http://damndelicious.net/2014/10/11/one-pot-garlic-parmesan-pasta

Garlic Parmesan Pasta and Shrimp
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Pan-seared shrimp and fettucine noodles are paired with a creamy garlic Parmesan sauce in this easy to prepare pasta dinner.
Category: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories Per Serving: 506 kcal
Author: JB at The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
For Shrimp:
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound large shrimp , peeled, de-veined (lightly seasoned with salt/pepper)
For Pasta and Sauce:
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup milk (or more, if needed to thin out sauce later)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt/Pepper , to taste
  • 8 ounces uncooked fettucine pasta
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped fresh or dried parsley flakes (approx. 1 T. for garnish, if desired)
Instructions
  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in large skillet on medium heat. When oil is hot, add shrimp. Cook on both sides until done (approx 4-5 minutes total time). Transfer shrimp from skillet when done. Cover/keep warm.
  2. To make pasta sauce, heat olive oil on medium-high in a large skillet. Add minced garlic to hot oil; cook for about a minute, stirring often to prevent burning. Add butter, chicken broth and milk; whisk together while butter melts. Season sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Stir in the UNCOOKED noodles and simmer (on medium-low heat) until the pasta has completely cooked through (this will take about 15-18 minutes for commercially prepared pasta). Stir mixture occasionally while it cooks!
  4. Once pasta is cooked through, add fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Stir well, to combine. If you find the sauce has thickened too much, simply add a touch more milk until it's the thickness you desire. Add the cooked shrimp to the skillet, stir to combine, and cook only until shrimp are heated through. Garnish hot pasta with a sprinkle of fresh or dried parsley before serving, and serve hot!
Nutrition Facts
Garlic Parmesan Pasta and Shrimp
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 506 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 356mg 119%
Sodium 1497mg 62%
Potassium 437mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates 45g 15%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 36g 72%
Vitamin A 7.6%
Vitamin C 17.5%
Calcium 34.6%
Iron 21.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Garlic Parmesan Pasta and Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Pan-seared shrimp and fettucine noodles are paired with a creamy garlic Parmesan sauce in this easy to prepare pasta dinner.

BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizza

If you enjoy thin-crust pizza, chances are you will LOVE this BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizza!  That’s right… the crust is a baked flour tortilla! Tender chunks of chicken, sweet and spicy  BBQ sauce, red onions, cilantro and cheeses combine to make this one amazing tasting dish!BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizza / The Grateful Girl Cooks! You're gonna LOVE this BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizza! Chicken, BBQ sauce, red onion, cilantro and cheese on a baked flour tortilla make a yummy thin crust pizza!

I had an idea to try using a flour tortilla and make a pizza out of it.  I also knew I wanted to make a BBQ sauce based pizza with chicken, red onion, etc. I didn’t have a recipe to work off of, but made it up as I went along… and it turned out ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! I’m not kidding, we LOVED this pizza! Who knew?

I started by baking medium sized flour tortillas at 350 degrees on the middle rack of my oven until they were fairly crisp all over. This took about 10 minutes (I flipped each one over halfway through baking to ensure each tortilla was crisp all over (especially the middle).  I then put them under the broiler for 1 minute to slightly brown (keeping them on the middle rack not too close to broiler).

BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizza / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once they were crisp, I spread each tortilla with BBQ sauce (about 1½ to 2 Tablespoons sauce per tortilla). Spread the sauce to within an inch of the edge of the tortilla. This is the sauce I used (it tastes fantastic).

BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizza / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Thin slices of cooked chicken and red onion slices were placed on top of the BBQ sauce. I used leftover cooked chicken breast (thighs would also be fantastic).

BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizza / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I added grated Mozzarella cheese and some sharp cheddar cheese to pizzas, then topped with a few cilantro leaves.

BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizza / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The pizzas were placed on a large baking sheet (middle rack), then baked in a 350 degree oven for 5-6 minutes, until cheese had melted.

BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizza / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I slid the pizzas off of the baking sheet, and sliced each one into 4 pieces with a pizza cutter, then we gobbled them up like little piggies because they were sooooo good! The slices hold their shape easily if the tortillas are crisp before baking.  Go ahead… grab a slice!

BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizza / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The slightly sweet and spicy taste of the BBQ sauce lends itself well to chicken, red onions and cilantro.  My husband and I were both completely thrilled with the taste of this crazy tortilla pizza!

I really hope you will consider trying this simple recipe… for me it was ridiculously easy and super quick to make, due in part to leftover cooked chicken and extra flour tortillas!  I can hardly wait to make these again for a quick dinner!

BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizza / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizza
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
Chicken, BBQ sauce, red onion, cheese and cilantro combine on a baked flour tortilla to make this delicious thin crust pizza!
Category: Entree
Servings: 2 servings
Calories Per Serving: 484 kcal
Author: JB at The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 2 medium flour tortillas
  • 3-4 Tablespoons BBQ sauce , divided
  • 1 large COOKED chicken breast , seasoned with salt/pepper, cut in thin slices, divided
  • thin slices red onion (as many as desired)
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese , divided
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese , divided
  • 1/4 cup (approximately a handful) cilantro leaves, divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake flour tortillas on middle rack of oven until fairly crisp all over (approx 10 min) Flip over halfway through baking to ensure each tortilla is crisp all over (especially the middle). Put them under broiler for 1 minute to slightly brown (keeping them on the middle rack not too close to heating element).
  2. Once crisp, remove from oven. Spread each tortilla with BBQ sauce to about an inch from the edge (about 1½-2 Tablespoons sauce per tortilla, or more if desired). Add thin slices of cooked chicken and red onion slices, add grated Mozzarella and cheddar cheese, then sprinkle with a few cilantro leaves.
  3. Place pizzas on a large baking sheet on middle rack of oven; bake at 350 degrees for 5-6 minutes, until cheese has melted. Remove from heat, and cut into slices. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

May substitute two cooked chicken thighs thinly sliced, for chicken breast.

Nutrition Facts
BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizza
Amount Per Serving (1 pizza)
Calories 484 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 37%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 96mg 32%
Sodium 1085mg 45%
Potassium 397mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates 28g 9%
Sugars 10g
Protein 36g 72%
Vitamin A 16.4%
Vitamin C 1.5%
Calcium 65.7%
Iron 9.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizza / The Grateful Girl Cooks! You're gonna LOVE this BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizza! Chicken, BBQ sauce, red onion, cilantro and cheese on a baked flour tortilla make a yummy thin crust pizza!

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine

A few days ago our oldest son popped in for a visit, and ended up staying to have dinner with us. I made this yummy, quick recipe for Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine, and we enjoyed it very much!Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The recipe is one I’ve had for years and years, but do not know the original source, since only the recipe was written down on a little 3×5 card.  I’ve made a few changes to the recipe over the years to suit my taste buds, and let me tell you… it is good!

The basic recipe is actually quite simple… cook bacon, cook pasta, cook a few simple fresh ingredients, combine and serve in about 20 minutes! It tastes wonderful, too!  Here’s how you make this dish:

In a skillet, cook bacon pieces until crisp. Transfer bacon pieces to paper towel to absorb grease.. Drain bacon drippings, BUT LEAVE 1 TABLESPOON BACON DRIPPINGS IN SKILLET (sorry for the slightly blurry photo). **Tip: While bacon is cooking, bring water for pasta to boiling, then cook in separate pot**.

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Add chopped onion, tomato, basil and crispy cooked bacon pieces to reserved Tablespoon of bacon drippings in skillet. The photo below is before I added the cooked bacon. (I used a variety of colored tomatoes, but any fresh tomatoes will be perfectly fine!). Cook 3-4 minutes until onion is tender, and tomatoes have begun to break down. Add minced garlic and a couple Tablespoons of starchy water from the pasta that is cooking. Stir well, to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated completely through on medium heat.

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Heat lightly salted water in large pot for pasta. When boiling, add pasta, and cook according to package directions. (Note:  I did this while cooking the bacon and sauce to save time).  I made the fettucine from scratch with my little pasta machine earlier in the day just for fun!  Isn’t it beautiful?  I used it in this meal (because I find it relaxing to make homemade pasta), but absolutely recommend using store bought pasta for the easiest way to make this dish!

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When pasta is finished cooking, drain and add pasta to skillet with the sauce. Gently toss with tongs, to thoroughly coat the pasta with sauce. Cook until heated through, adding an additional touch of water if necessary to thin the sauce to cover.

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place pasta and sauce onto serving dishes, then garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of dried or fresh parsley. Serve, and enjoy!

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

We really enjoyed this pasta dish with a simple mixed green salad on the side.  The recipe, as written, makes 3 main course servings or 4-5 small side servings.

As I write this blog today, my heart is broken over the Hurricane Harvey destruction and horrific flooding occurring in Texas and Louisiana this week. We are continuing to pray for our fellow citizens impacted by this event, and are hopeful God will meet their needs physically, emotionally and spiritually during and after this tragedy. He is “a very present help in times of trouble”.

Have a good day, friends. May you know God’s unconditional love, no matter what you are going through!

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Original Recipe Source: unknown (recipe handwritten on a 3×5 card many years ago)

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
Category: Main Course
Servings: 3 main or 4 side
Author: JB at The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces fettucine noodles
  • 3 slices raw bacon , cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons starchy pasta water
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
  • Dried parsley (for garnish)
Instructions
  1. Heat lightly salted water in large pot. When boiling, add pasta, and cook according to package directions. (I did this at same time I was cooking bacon and sauce).
  2. In a skillet, cook bacon pieces until crisp. Transfer bacon pieces to paper towel to absorb grease. Drain grease from skillet, BUT LEAVE 1 TABLESPOON BACON GREASE IN SKILLET.
  3. Add chopped onion, tomato, basil and bacon pieces to bacon drippings in skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes until onion is tender, and tomatoes have begun to break down. Add minced garlic and a couple Tablespoons of water from the pasta that is cooking. Stir well, to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated completely through on medium heat.
  4. When pasta is finished cooking, drain and add pasta to skillet with the sauce. Gently toss to coat the pasta with the sauce. Heat until hot throughout. Place pasta and sauce onto serving plates, and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of dried parsley. Serve, and enjoy!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

 

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Shrimp Scampi

Large shrimp cooked with olive oil, butter, lemon juice and lots of garlic, and served with pasta… does that sound good to you? If it does, then you will LOVE this recipe for Shrimp Scampi!Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Easy and delicious... this meal is ready in under 30 minutes!
Did you know that in the United States we have “National Shrimp Scampi Day”? It is celebrated each year on April 29th. Who knew?  I recently found this recipe from celebrity chef Ina Garten and decided to try it with some shrimp I had pulled out of our freezer. I’d made shrimp scampi many times before, using a different recipe, but decided this one was the winning ticket, so I wanted to share on my blog! It is light… and DELICIOUS!!!! Did I mention that it’s really easy to make?  Here’s how:

Place a little bit of vegetable oil into a large pot of boiling water.  Add the pasta and 1 Tablespoon salt. Cook per package instructions. While pasta is cooking, cook the shrimp.

Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

To prepare the shrimp, melt butter and olive oil in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring often to prevent the garlic from burning.

Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add shrimp, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ground black pepper to the skillet.

Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Cook, stirring often (and cooking both sides), for a total of about 5 minutes, until the shrimp turn pink in color.

Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add chopped parsley, lemon zest, lemon slices, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. Stir well, to fully combine ingredients. (sorry photo is a bit blurry… must have been in a hurry to eat!)

Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

By now the pasta should be done cooking. Drain cooked pasta, then place back into the pot.  Add the shrimp and sauce to the pasta.  Mix ingredients well, so that pasta is coated with sauce. Serve while hot… and enjoy the wonderful flavors of this classic Italian dish! The recipe as written makes 3 large servings or 4 slightly smaller servings.

Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Easy and delicious... this meal is ready in under 30 minutes!

Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Easy and delicious... this meal is ready in under 30 minutes!

The shrimp tastes wonderful, due in part to the freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest, plus the flavorful minced garlic! I have a hunch you will absolutely LOVE this meal!  My husband and I had the leftovers the next day for lunch, and they tasted just as good as the night before!  Hope you will consider giving this recipe a try… it’s quick, easy and so incredibly good!

Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/linguine-with-shrimp-scampi-recipe3-1916619

Shrimp Scampi
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Category: Entree
Servings: 3 servings
Calories Per Serving: 652 kcal
Author: JB at The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon Vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt (divided)
  • 1/2 pound linguini or spaghetti
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • Tablespoons olive oil
  • Tablespoons minced garlic (approx 4 large cloves)
  • 1 pound large shrimp , peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Grated zest from 1/2 large lemon
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (approx. 2-3 lemons)
  • 1/4 lemon , thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Place a teaspoon of vegetable oil and teaspoon of salt into a large pot of boiling water. Add the pasta. Cook per package instructions. While pasta is cooking, cook the shrimp.

  2. To prepare shrimp, melt butter and olive oil in large skillet on medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring often to prevent the garlic from burning.
  3. Add shrimp; season with 1 teaspoon salt, and ground black pepper to the skillet. Cook, stirring often (and cooking both sides), for a total of about 5 minutes, until the shrimp turn pink in color. Remove skillet from the heat. Add chopped parsley, lemon juice, lemon slices, lemon zest, and the red pepper flakes. Stir well, to fully combine ingredients.

  4. By now the pasta should be done cooking. Drain pasta, then place pasta back into the pot. Add the shrimp and sauce to the pasta right away. Toss ingredients well, so that pasta is coated with sauce. Serve hot, and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Shrimp Scampi
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 652 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 40%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 411mg 137%
Sodium 2060mg 86%
Potassium 382mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates 61g 20%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 3g
Protein 41g 82%
Vitamin A 18.7%
Vitamin C 38.3%
Calcium 25.5%
Iron 26.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

If you like chicken and broccoli, you will LOVE these Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells! Such a “comfort food” dish… with cheesy Alfredo sauce coating the chicken and broccoli inside jumbo sized pasta shells! Yum!Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

There are so many ways to enjoy stuffed pasta shells, and this recipe caught my attention.  How can you go wrong with pasta, chicken, broccoli, AND cheesy Alfredo sauce?  We really enjoyed this fairly simple to prepare dinner.   We also enjoyed finishing off the leftovers the next day!  Here’s how to make these delicious stuffed shells:

Prepare the jumbo pasta shells by cooking according to the package directions. Cook until the pasta is al dente, then drain and place pasta shells on a large baking sheet to cool, separating them so they don’t stick together while cooling. Set aside.

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
While pasta is cooking/cooling, prepare the Alfredo sauce by combining butter, garlic, heavy whipping cream and milk in a pan on medium heat. Stir together ingredients and bring them to a low simmer (do NOT boil).  Place the egg yolks in a small bowl, beat until blended, then temper the eggs (this slowly raises the temperature of the egg yolks to prevent them from scrambling when they hit the simmering hot Alfredo sauce). To temper the eggs, add a spoonful of the hot Alfredo sauce to the egg yolks, whisking the mixture as you add. Repeat the process with several more spoonfuls, one at a time, whisking each spoonful into the eggs. Once you have done this, slowly drizzle the egg yolk mixture into the Alfredo sauce, whisking as you add.  Stir mixture well to combine, then remove pan from the heat.

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

After pan has been removed from heat, stir in 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.  Season to taste, with salt and black pepper. Set aside.

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a large mixing bowl, combine shredded/chopped chicken, chopped steamed broccoli and 1/2 cup of the Alfredo sauce. Stir to combine.

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

To assemble: Place a couple spoonfuls of Alfredo sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 cake pan.  Place a large spoonful of the chicken/broccoli mixture into each pasta shell.  Place filled shells on top of sauce in pan.  Divide remaining sauce over the tops of the pasta shells, then sprinkle with the rest of the mozzarella cheese (1/2 cup).

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Bake, uncovered in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. When done, the cheese sauce will be bubbling up around the shells, and cheese will be melted on top of shells. Remove pan to a wire rack, and let pasta shells cool for a minute before serving.

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place pasta shells onto individual serving plates and spoon some of the remaining Alfredo sauce over the top.  Sprinkle with dried parsley flakes, if desired… and enjoy this delicious meal!

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I hope you enjoy trying this stuffed shell recipe. My husband and I really appreciated the leftovers, as well (just as good the second time around).  Have a wonderful day, and strive to be kind. It’s so simple to do… and can really encourage or make an impact on someone who might be hurting.  May God bless you.

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From: http://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/chicken-broccoli-alfredo-stuffed-shells/

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Chicken and broccoli bake inside jumbo pasta shells atop a delicious creamy Alfredo sauce.
Category: Entree
Servings: 4 servings
Author: JB at The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 1 (12 ounce) box of jumbo pasta shells
  • 3 cups cooked chicken , chopped (rotisserie chicken works well)
  • cups chopped/steamed broccoli
For Alfredo Sauce:
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large egg yolks , beaten
  • Salt and black pepper , to taste
Garnish:
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Mozzarella Cheese
  • Dried parsley flakes
Instructions
  1. Prepare pasta shells according to package directions until pasta is al dente; drain and place pasta shells on baking sheet to cool, separating them so they don't stick together.
  2. While pasta is cooling, prepare Alfredo sauce by combining butter, garlic, heavy whipping cream and milk in a pan set on medium heat. Stir ingredients and bring them to a low simmer (do NOT boil). Place egg yolks in a bowl, beat until blended, then temper the eggs (this slowly raises the temp. of the egg yolks to prevent them from scrambling when they hit the simmering Alfredo sauce). To temper eggs, add a spoonful of the hot Alfredo sauce to the egg yolks, whisking as you add. Repeat process with 3-4 more spoonfuls, one at a time, whisking while adding. Slowly drizzle egg yolk mixture into the Alfredo sauce, whisking as you add. Whisk mixture well; remove pan from heat.
  3. Add 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Stir. Add salt and pepper; season to taste.
  4. In mixing bowl, combine chicken, cooked broccoli and 1/2 cup Alfredo sauce. Stir. Place a couple spoonfuls of Alfredo sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 cake pan. Place a large spoonful of the chicken/broccoli mixture into each shell. Place filled shells on top of sauce in pan.
  5. Spoon remaining sauce over the top of the shells; sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake (uncovered) at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. When done, the cheese sauce will be bubbling, and cheese will be melted on top. Remove pan to wire rack; let shells cool a minute before serving. Transfer shells to individual serving plates and spoon remaining Alfredo sauce over the top. Garnish with dried parsley flakes. Serve and enjoy!

Here’s another to pin on your Pinterest boards!Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta And Spinach Bake

This EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta and Spinach Bake may not be the poster child for “Good-Looking” meals, but what it lacks in looks, it makes up for in TASTE! This meatless pasta dish, with three Italian cheeses, tastes wonderful, and is incredibly easy to prepare!EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta and Spinach Bake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I came up with this simple recipe one day while brainstorming what to make for dinner. After taking stock of what I had in my refrigerator and pantry, I decided to make this recipe using what I already had in the house. The results? A really good, SIMPLE to prepare meal!  Since I was creating a meal off the top of my head, I didn’t document the process too well with photos.  So these photos are just to give you an idea… trust me, the meal tastes a LOT better than it looks in these pictures.

The recipe is very straightforward.  Penne pasta is cooked and drained, then spaghetti sauce (flavor/variety of your choice-homemade or store-bought), three cheeses (mozzarella, Parmesan and ricotta), garlic powder and fresh chopped spinach  are added and mixed together.  The pasta is then placed into a 9×13 pan that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray.

EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta And Spinach Bake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The pasta is then topped with additional mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta And Spinach Bake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pasta is baked (covered with aluminum foil) for 20 minutes, then foil is removed and continues baking for 5 more minutes (uncovered). That’s it!  Serve the pasta hot… and enjoy! It may not be the most “appetizing” looking photo I’ve ever taken, but it really is GOOD!

EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta And Spinach Bake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you will give this recipe a try! It is filling, filled with flavor, and is a cinch to prepare!  The leftovers were good, too!

EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta And Spinach Bake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta And Spinach Bake
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Penne Pasta is baked with spaghetti sauce, three cheeses, and fresh spinach in this easy, tasty, and filling casserole.
Category: Casserole
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 -6 servings
Calories Per Serving: 391 kcal
Author: JB at The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 3/4 pound penne pasta
  • 16 ounces Marinara sauce (approx. - homemade or use a jar of sauce-need enough for 4 servings)
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • cups chopped fresh spinach
  • Additional Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese for topping casserole (approx.1/4 cup each)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Place pasta in large mixing bowl.
  3. Add spaghetti sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan and ricotta cheeses, fresh chopped spinach, plus garlic powder. Stir into pasta until ingredients are fully coated and combined.
  4. Pour pasta into prepared 9x13 pan. Add additional mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses to top.
  5. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove pan from oven and serve pasta immediately.
Recipe Notes

Number of servings will depend on the size portion you serve.

Nutrition Facts
EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta And Spinach Bake
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 391 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 38mg 13%
Sodium 800mg 33%
Potassium 472mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 48g 16%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 5g
Protein 21g 42%
Vitamin A 27.7%
Vitamin C 9%
Calcium 35.7%
Iron 11.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta and Spinach Bake / The Grateful Girl Cooks! EASY to prepare, delicious and filling, this simple casserole features 3 Italian cheeses!

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Easy Meatballs for Spaghetti

I typically use Italian sausage when I prepare spaghetti and sauce, but occasionally we really enjoy our pasta with a fire roasted garlic marinara sauce and these Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti!Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Sometimes Spaghetti and Meatballs really hits the spot! It’s completely easy to make 10-12 delicious Italian-seasoned meatballs using only one pound of hamburger meat and a few other readily available ingredients. I’ve been making meatballs for spaghetti this way for many, many years, and enjoy the minimal prep time involved!  You can even make a double batch of the meatballs and freeze them to use for another meal, which can save you precious time!  Here’s how easy it is to prepare them:

In medium sized bowl, combine ground beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, diced onion, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well, to combine ingredients.

Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Using your (clean) hands, grab a portion of the meat mixture and form it into a ball, rolling it between your hands.  The ones I made were about 2 inches wide, so I was able to get 10 fairly good-sized meatballs out of one pound of meat. If you make ’em just a tad smaller, you should be able to make 12 or more meatballs. Set meatballs (once formed) onto a plate or wax paper.

Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Heat 1 Tablespoon oil (vegetable or olive) in a large non-stick skillet.  Heat on medium heat until oil and skillet are hot (but not smoking).  Add meatballs. They should sizzle as the hit the skillet.  Cook until brown on bottom, then carefully turn over. Continue to cook until all sides are brown (meatballs do NOT have to be completely cooked through – they will finish cooking in the sauce later).

Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
In a separate large saucepan, heat up spaghetti sauce (whatever kind of sauce you have on hand, whether it’s homemade or a purchased jar, just make sure you have enough sauce for 4 servings)!  Heat the sauce on medium-low. Carefully add the meatballs to the sauce. Spoon sauce over the top of each meatball. Let the meatballs and sauce continue to cook (uncovered) on medium-low for about 30 minutes, occasionally spooning more sauce over the meatballs as they cook.

Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When meatballs are about halfway through cooking time, cook spaghetti noodles in separate pan, according to package directions. Drain pasta.  When they are done (and pasta is finished cooking), remove meatballs from spaghetti sauce (keep warm). Mix cooked, drained noodles with the hot spaghetti sauce.  Serve the pasta onto individual plates or into bowls. Spoon any leftover sauce onto pasta.  Top each serving with 2-3 meatballs.  Garnish with some finely grated Parmesan cheese, and serve!

Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

This really is an economical and delicious classic meal, in which you can end up with 4 healthy sized portions using only one pound of ground beef!  Our oldest son popped in for a visit the day after I made this meal, and he enjoyed a big plate of leftover spaghetti and meatballs for lunch!  Yay for leftovers! Hope you’ll give these easy to prepare meatballs a try!

Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Easy Meatballs for Spaghetti
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Category: Entree
Servings: 4 servings
Author: JB at The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Spaghetti noodles (enough for 4 servings)
  • Prepared Spaghetti Sauce (enough for 4 servings)
  • Additional finely grated Parmesan cheese , for garnish
Instructions
  1. In medium sized bowl, combine ground beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, diced onion, and finely grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well to combine ingredients.
  2. Using your (clean) hands, grab a portion of the meat mixture and form it into a ball, rolling it between your hands. The ones I made were about 2 inches wide, so I was able to get 10 meatballs out of the pound of meat. If you make 'em just a tad smaller, you should be able to make 12 or more meatballs. Set meatballs (once formed) onto a plate or wax paper.
  3. Heat 1 Tablespoon oil (vegetable or olive) in a large non-stick skillet. Heat on medium heat until oil and skillet are hot (but not smoking). Add meatballs. They should sizzle as the hit the skillet. Cook until brown on bottom, then carefully turn over. Continue to cook until all sides are brown (meatballs do NOT have to be completely cooked through - they will finish cooking in the sauce later).
  4. In a separate large saucepan, heat up your spaghetti sauce (whatever kind of sauce you have on hand, whether it's homemade or a purchased jar, just make sure you have enough sauce for 4 servings! Heat the sauce on medium-low. Carefully add the meatballs to the sauce. Spoon sauce over the top of each meatball. Let the meatballs and sauce continue to cook on medium-low for about 30 minutes, occasionally spooning more sauce over the meatballs as they cook.
  5. When meatballs are halfway through cooking time, cook spaghetti noodles in separate pan, according to package directions. Drain. When done, remove meatballs from spaghetti sauce (keep warm). Mix cooked, drained noodles with the hot spaghetti sauce. Serve up the pasta onto individual plates or into bowls. Spoon any leftover sauce onto pasta. Top each serving with 2-3 meatballs. Garnish with some finely grated Parmesan cheese, and serve!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

 

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Chicken and Asparagus Risotto

I recently made Chicken And Asparagus Risotto for our dinner. And let me tell you… it tasted GOOD. Lip-smackin’ GOOD. Creamy Arborio rice, chicken breast, Parmesan cheese, asparagus and mushrooms all come together in this flavor-filled, delicious meal! We loved it!Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I couldn’t get enough of this risotto! Even the leftovers for lunch the next day were wonderful! Did you know that risotto is made with Arborio rice, which is shorter and fatter than most grains of rice?  Arborio rice is almost exclusively used to make risotto, which is a Northern Italian classic dish of rice which has been cooked in broth or stock with other ingredients to a creamy consistency.  It is one of the most common ways of cooking rice, and let me tell you, risotto is DELICIOUS!

The recipe is pretty straightforward. If you do the prep work right at the beginning, then it is a breeze to put together.  I used some baked chicken leftovers, which also saved me some prep time!  Here’s how to make this delicious meal:

Do prep work first.  1)  Remove the woody ends of the asparagus and discard. Cut stalks into 2 inch pieces.  Place asparagus pieces into 1 inch of simmering water in skillet, and cook on medium high heat until asparagus is fork-tender, adding more water, if needed (about 10 minutes). Drain.  2) While cooking asparagus, in separate pan lightly sauté sliced mushrooms in 2 teaspoons butter until tender.  3) Cut and cook chicken into small bite sized pieces (boil, broil, grill OR use rotisserie chicken or  leftovers – I used leftover chicken from my recipe for Homemade Shake And Bake Chicken). See NOTES section of printable recipe for a quick way to cook chicken for this recipe.  Set aside cooked asparagus, mushrooms and chicken pieces.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Melt butter and olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add Arborio rice to onions; stir frequently and cook until rice begins to turn a light golden brown color.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add white wine. Let liquid come to a boil, then cook until it has been absorbed into rice.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pour 1 cup of chicken stock (or broth) into pan. Stir frequently, and keep heat at a medium simmer.  Continue cooking until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, then add 1/4 cup more of the broth, stirring well.  Continue this process (rice absorbs liquid, add 1/4 cup more liquid) until all the broth is gone.  This will take between 20 and 25 minutes. (By adding the broth a little bit at a time then cooking until it has been absorbed, it allows the rice to get really creamy. Don’t rush this step!)

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

After you’ve added the last portion of broth, but just before it is fully absorbed, add the cooked asparagus and mushrooms to the pan.  Continue cooking, letting liquid finish being absorbed into rice. When finished, rice should be creamy and tender.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Remove pan from the heat.  Add cooked chicken to rice.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese to rice. Stir to combine all ingredients.  Taste, and lightly season with salt and pepper.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Make sure everything is warm, then dish up and serve onto individual plates or bowls.  Garnish with finely grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh chives (or parsley), if desired.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Enjoy the flavors of creamy rice, chunks of chicken, Parmesan cheese, and the wonderful fresh asparagus in this dish. It truly tastes wonderful!  Sure hope you will consider trying this recipe. Have a great day!

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Adapted From: http://www.thegratefulgirlcooks.com/mushroom-risotto-with-pan-seared-shrimp/

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
Creamy risotto with chicken, asparagus, Parmesan cheese and mushrooms is a delicious and filling "all in one" main dish!
Category: Entree
Servings: 3 -4 servings
Calories Per Serving: 539 kcal
Author: JB at The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
For Add-ins:
  • 6-8 asparagus stalks (woody ends discarded, cut into 2 inch pieces), cooked until crisp-tender.
  • 2 pre-cooked lightly seasoned chicken breasts (baked, boiled, grilled,rotisserie), cut in 1-2" cubes.
  • 8 oz. package sliced mushrooms , (sautéed in 2 teaspoons butter)
For risotto:
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1 cup Arborio rice (no substitutes)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • cups chicken stock (or broth)
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and Pepper , to taste
For garnish:
  • Additional Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh chives , sliced thin (may substitute chopped parsley, if desired)
Instructions
Do prep work first:
  1. Remove woody ends of the asparagus and discard. Cut remaining stalks into 2 inch pieces. Place asparagus pieces into 1 inch of simmering water in skillet, and cook on medium high heat until asparagus is fork-tender (about 10 minutes). Drain.
  2. While cooking asparagus, in separate pan lightly sauté sliced mushrooms in 2 teaspoons butter until tender.
  3. Cut and cook chicken into small bite sized pieces (boil, broil, grill OR use rotisserie chicken or leftovers. Set aside asparagus, mushrooms and cooked chicken.
To Prepare Risotto:
  1. Melt olive oil and butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add Arborio rice to onions; stir constantly and cook until rice turns a light golden brown color. Add white wine. Let the liquid come to a boil, then cook until it has been absorbed into rice.
  2. Pour 1 cup of chicken stock (or broth) into pan. Stir frequently, and keep heat at a medium simmer. Continue cooking until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, then add 1/4 cup more broth, stirring well. Continue this process (rice absorbs liquid, add 1/4 cup more liquid) until all broth is gone. This will take between 20 and 25 minutes. (By adding the broth a little bit at a time then cooking until it has been absorbed, it allows the rice to get really creamy. Don't rush this step!)
  3. After you've added the last portion of broth, but just before it's fully absorbed, add cooked asparagus and mushrooms and stir. Continue cooking, letting liquid finish being absorbed into rice. When finished, rice should be tender.
  4. Remove pan from the heat. Add cooked chicken to rice. Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese to rice. Stir to combine all ingredients. Taste, and lightly season with salt and pepper.
  5. Make sure everything is warm, then serve onto individual plates or bowls. Garnish with additional finely grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh chives (or parsley), if desired. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

If you do not have pre-cooked or leftover chicken, a quick way to get this done is to cut chicken breast into cubes, lightly season with salt and pepper, then quickly cook in a hot skillet (with a Tablespoon of olive oil) on medium-high heat. Will only take a few minutes.

Nutrition Facts
Chicken and Asparagus Risotto
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 539 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 32%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 72mg 24%
Sodium 623mg 26%
Potassium 729mg 21%
Total Carbohydrates 52g 17%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 6g
Protein 29g 58%
Vitamin A 10.7%
Vitamin C 7.8%
Calcium 23%
Iron 20.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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