Lasagna Rolls

Lasagna is the perfect dish for any holiday. My mom makes the absolute best lasagna. She made it for every holiday. We all loved it and would enjoy it for weeks later. She’d have leftovers and then a whole tray in the freezer for another night. It is the ultimate comfort meal.

I love lasagna, but I’m not a big fan of making it. It always looks a little messy when I make it. I would prefer to make a tray of stuffed shells, baked ziti or lasagna rolls! It looks better and I like that it has less ricotta cheese.

I love spinach in my lasagna rolls because I love veggies. If I put spinach, I don’t serve meat with it. If I leave the spinach out, I serve it with a side of meatballs or meat sauce. Either way lasagna rolls are delicious and comforting and presents beautifully.

Of course double the recipe for a bigger crowd or to put one tray in the freezer for a later date.

A basic marinara sauce should be made first. You can find the recipe here. 👇🏼

Marinara Sauce

If you decide to leave the spinach out and do meat sauce, you can find the recipe here👇🏼

Meat Sauce

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Lasagna Rolls

Ingredients

  • Marinara sauce
  • 10 oz package of frozen spinach(optional)
  • 1 box of lasagna noodles
  • 32 oz container of ricotta cheese
  • 2/3 cup of grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Boil a large pot of salted water and cook noodles per directions on box. Drain and set aside to dry.
  3. Put about 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.
  4. In a mixing bowl combine the spinach, ricotta, pecorino, and egg.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Lay the noodles out flat and spread about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture evenly on the noodle.
  7. Roll and place seam side down in baking dish.
  8. Cover with sauce and sprinkle with with some more pecorino Romano cheese.
  9. Cover tightly with foil.
  10. Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Enjoy!

Other pasta dishes that are perfect to feed a crowd…

Baked Ziti with Sausage

Rigatoni with Roasted Eggplant and Ricotta

Ravioli with Crushed Tomato Sauce

Orecchiette with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes

 

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Baked Ziti with Sausage

This recipe is all about me! 😊 When I’m having a “hungry” day and want to eat a comforting meal, this is what I make. It feels like a holiday meal, but I make this all throughout the year. There is usually enough leftover for dinner another night. Don’t let the name fool you. It is not your typical baked ziti with tons of ricotta cheese(not that there’s anything wrong with that!) It’s a vodka sauce, but light. Not too creamy and heavy. Just perfect.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

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Baked Ziti with Sausage

Ingredients

  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3/4 of a red onion, diced small
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of vodka
  • 2 cans(28 oz. each) of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream(you can use half and half to keep it lighter)
  • 1 pound of pasta(I always use Ziti Rigati with the lines to catch the sauce)
  • 10 ounces of baby spinach
  • 12 ounces of chicken sausages(I buy organic chicken and kale and it is yummy, but any Italian sausage will do)
  • 1/4 cup of grated Pecorino Romano

Directions

Sausages:

  1. Preheat oven to bake 425
  2. Bake sausages for about 20 minutes or until brown and cooked completely.
  3. Put aside for now.

Sauce:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and remove from the heat.
  4. Add the vodka, then return the skillet to the heat. Cook until almost evaporated. About 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and oregano. Cook on low for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the cream and cook another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Pasta:

  1. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente according to package.
  3. Add spinach and cook until just wilted.
  4. Drain and return pasta and spinach to the pot.

Combine:

  1. Slice the sausage in half and then cut into small pieces about 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Add about 1/2 of the tomato sauce, sausages, and grated cheese. Toss to coat.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and put all contents in a shallow baking dish. Depending on the size of the baking dish you may want to divide it into 2 separate baking dishes. This is great if you want to freeze one for another night or bring it to a friend’s house.

Bake:

  1. Top with a little more sauce and grated cheese.
  2. Bake until browned and edges are crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

I love pasta!  If you’re not feeling this dish here are several others that are delicious also!

Sunday Dinner

Orecchiette with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes

Ravioli with Crushed Tomato Sauce

Bowties with Broccoli

 

 

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

I make this for me and my husband. It is so healthy and comforting and smells delicious when it’s slow cooking. It’s a perfect meal served with a loaf of crusty bread. This is a great opportunity to use the leftover ham from Thanksgiving. If I don’t use ham, I’ll add small potatoes instead. Either way, it tastes delicious. As it slow cooks all the little bits of ham fall off the bone.

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Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of dried green split peas, rinsed
  • 4 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 of an onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A handful of chopped Italian parsley
  •  1 bay leaf
  • 1 ham hock OR ham pieces diced OR 5 small potatoes diced
  • 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Place all the ingredients in your slow cooker in the order they are listed.
  2. Cook on high for 3 hours.
  3. Carefully remove and discard the bone. Stir.
  4. Place on high for one more hour.

Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you”ll love…

Shhh.. it’s a secret

Slow Cooker Blizzard Soup

Grandma’s Stuffing

Thanksgiving stuffing is special to most people because it is what they grew up on. It is what makes them think of Thanksgiving. Some people serve it on the side and call it dressing. Others stuff it in the cavity of the turkey and call it stuffing. We call it stuffing but serve it on the side of the turkey. Oh, and it doesn’t have any bread in it! So, we are all confused! 🤷🏻‍♀️

This stuffing is extra special. It is special because it is THAT good, but it is also special because my Grandma was a special lady. She started this tradition and made it every year. Then my mom and aunt did the same and now my sisters, cousins and I are also following in those footsteps. Honestly, it can be served without the turkey and we would all be happy. None of our Thanksgiving’s are complete without it.

If there is one recipe you follow of mine, let it be this one.

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving with full bellies and lots of leftovers.

I’m thankful for the women in my family that set the traditions that made the holidays feel so special. I hope I can do the same for my family.

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Grandma's Stuffing

Ingredients

  • 4-5 pounds of ground beef(not lean)
  • 2-3 cups of white rice, uncooked
  • 4 packages of baby bella mushrooms (8 oz. each)
  • 10 stalks of celery, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped into small pieces
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • a big bunch of Italian parsley, chopped
  • at least 12 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions


This should be made the day before Thanksgiving.  

  1. In a medium pot cook the rice according to the directions on the box. Use chicken broth in place of the water. 
  2. When the rice is finished cooking, set aside.
  3.  In a large skillet heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the celery and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender. Set aside when done.
  4. In a medium pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook down until all of their juices are gone and the mushrooms are browned. Set aside when done.    
  5. In a large skillet, add the beef. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until there is no longer any pink left. Drain the fat and set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, add the beef. Then add the rice and combine. 
  7. Add the rest of the veggies and the parsley. Season with more salt and pepper. Stir until combined. 
  8. Cover tightly and store in the fridge.
  9. I would recommend taking it out of the fridge about an hour before baking. That will cut down on the cooking time. 
  10. Preheat the oven to bake 425.
  11. Place the stuffing in 2 separate baking dishes so that there is a thin layer of stuffing. That will also cut down on the cooking time.   
  12. Pour about a cup of chicken broth in each baking dish. You want enough to moisten it, but not too much that it is soupy. 
  13. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake until heated.
  14. Every half hour or so, remove from the oven, stir and add chicken broth as needed. 
  15. Season with salt and pepper if needed and enjoy!


Other Thanksgiving dishes that you’ll want to add to your table…

Mashed Potatoes

“Crowd Pleasing” Rice Pudding

Butternut Squash Soup

Colonial Pumpkin Pie

Apple Cake🍎

 

Beef and Bean Burritos

I have been making these burritos for years. When I know I have a busy night ahead of me, I prep them in the morning and heat just before dinner. They are easy, filling, and delicious! The picture doesn’t do them any justice. I’m sorry for my photography skills! But your welcome for this family friendly recipe!

burritos 2

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Beef and Bean Burritos

Ingredients

  • 1/2 of an onion chopped
  • olive oil
  • 3 pounds of lean ground beef
  • 2 cans(15 oz. each) of re-fried beans
    • I use the re-fried black beans because I love them. You can use whichever type that you prefer.
  • 1 jar of your favorite salsa
    • I highly recommend using homemade salsa for this recipe. It is easy and takes the burritos to a whole other level.
  • A block of Queso Fresco (Mexican Crumbling Cheese) or any shredded Mexican cheese you prefer.
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8-10 flour tortillas
  • OPTIONAL:  sour cream and cilantro

Directions

  1. If making homemade salsa prepare that first.
  2. If using the block of crumbling cheese, crumble that now in a medium bowl so it is ready when needed.
  3. In a large skillet, saute the onion in olive oil until tender.
  4. Add the beef. Season with salt and pepper. Brown until done.
  5. Drain and return to the skillet.
  6. Add the beans and stir.
  7. Add 1/2 cup of the salsa to the meat mixture and stir.
  8. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese and stir.
  9. Cook on low for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  10. Set aside.
  11. Warm the tortillas 5 at a time in the microwave. Put on a plate and lay a slightly dampened paper towel on top. Microwave in 30-second bursts until they are warmed through.
  12. Lightly butter a baking dish.
  13. Place 2 large spoonfuls of the meat mixture in the middle of each tortilla.
  14.  Roll them up and place seam side down in the baking dish.
  15.  Top with the remaining salsa and cheese.
  16. Cover with foil.
  17. At this point you can either put it in the fridge for when you are closer to dinner time or bake right away. (Bake at 350 degrees until warm and bubbly.)
  18. Top with sour cream and chopped cilantro if you would like. Serve with your favorite chips and extra salsa!


If you liked this you will love:

Mita’s Slow Cooker Chicken

Chicken Tostadas

Holy Guacamole

Stuffed Bread

 

Mini Tortellini, Sausage and Spinach

I found these little bitty mini pesto filled tortellini at Trader Joe’s. They do not have to be refrigerated since they are not filled with cheese. So, they’ve been hanging out in my pantry waiting to be used. After writing up the spinach tortellini soup recipe, I have been on a tortellini kick! I think I have to stop eating tortellini…

Or not.

This is another super easy, delicious dinner.  Perfect for a weeknight when you are rushing around.

 

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Mini Tortellini, Sausage, and Spinach

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of Italian Sausage, out of the casing
  • 1/2 of an onion, chopped small
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2(28 oz) cans of crushed tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 big handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 bag of Trader Joe’s pesto filled tortellini or any tortellini you prefer
    • Optional:  1/4 cup of half and half or heavy cream
  • Pecorino Romano cheese

Directions

  1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Cook tortellini per directions on bag. Drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet brown the sausage.
  4. Then add the onion and cook with the sausage until the onion is tender.
  5. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  6. Add the crushed tomatoes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Stir and bring to a simmer.
  9. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  10. Add the spinach and stir until wilted.
  11. If using half and half or cream stir that in now.
  12. Put all the cooked tortellini in the sauce and combine.
  13. Top with grated pecorino romano and ENJOY!


If you enjoyed this recipe, you have to try these…

Spinach Tortellini Soup

Baked Ziti with Sausage

Orecchiette with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes

Stuffed Bread

This is the meal you bring out when you really need to Feed the Fam.

It’s a hearty meal for big eaters. It’s great to serve as an appetizer for a big crowd or as a casual meal on game day!

Stuffed Bread is budget friendly, filling and simple!

When my kids were both still in diapers I would call my Aunt June for simple family recipes that were affordable. She always had the best recipes and I still use a bunch of them. This is one she suggested and it is still one of my family favorites.

I always make this with a quick crushed tomato sauce.  You can use any sauce of your choice, but this one is super easy and delicious.

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Stuffed Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 hearty loaf of Italian bread
  • 2 pounds of lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup of grated cheese(pecorino romano or parmesan)
  • 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Prepare your crushed tomato sauce or sauce of your choice…
  2. Preheat the oven to 400.
  3. Slice the Italian bread in half lengthwise.
  4. Take out the insides to make room for the meat mixture. Place the bread on a large pan.
  5. In a large skillet brown the beef.
  6. Drain the fat. Place in a medium bowl.
  7. Add the grated cheese, season with salt and pepper, and mix.
  8. In the same skillet, saute the onions until they brown and soften.
  9. Fill one side of the bread with as much meat mixture as you can.
  10. Top with the mozzarella and onions.
  11. Drizzle the top with your sauce.
  12. Carefully place the other side of the bread on top and wrap the whole loaf in aluminum foil.
  13. Bake for about 20 minutes or until heated through.
  14. Slice into individual servings and serve with tomato sauce.

Enjoy!

If you like this recipe, you’ll like these…

Mom’s Meatloaf

Mita’s Slow Cooker Chicken

Meat Sauce

Sausage and Peppers

Slow Cooker Blizzard Soup