I kept seeing this dish on Pinterest and was dying to try it, but I convinced myself it looked too complicated and time-consuming. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I honestly think in some ways it’s easier than the regular lasagna casserole.
The main benefit of this recipe is that you can freeze the leftovers, or you can freeze the rolls before putting them into the oven. Either way, they turn out great and you get the coveted two meals out of one cooking session.
The other benefit may be just me being picky, but when I’ve made lasagna in the past, the edges get so crispy that they’re hard to chew. That might be a personal problem with my cooking method, but with these I did not have that issue.
The main thing to pay attention to is letting the noodles dry after boiling. This takes a little patience, but luckily I had the time to spare this past weekend!
- 1/2 box of lasagna noodles, boiled
- 15 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1 pkg. frozen spinach, thawed
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
Boil noodles according to package directions. Allow noodles to dry completely by spreading them out on cookie sheets or wax paper.
Meanwhile, mix ricotta cheese and thawed spinach.
Pour one cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish. Reserve the rest for topping.
Once noodles have dried, spread ricotta/spinach mixture across. Roll up like a fruit roll-up! Place in bottom of casserole dish, making sure the noodle rolls aren’t touching. Top with remaining tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 350 covered with foil for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts.
After a chaotic weekend in downtown Jacksonville for the GA/FL football game, there was nothing I wanted more than comfort food! My aunt told me about this recipe in an email, and I thought it would be the perfect thing for dinner.
It’s an interesting take on the traditional fettuccine alfredo and originally comes from one of Ruth Reichl’s books. I wrote about her memoir, Tender at the Bone a few weeks ago and have since read Garlic and Sapphires about her time as the New York Times food critic. Both were enjoyable reads, and as I mentioned here come with recipes in each chapter. I changed the recipe slightly and added spinach into the mix.
- 1 box fettuccine
- juice from one lemon
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup) melted
- 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
- 1/2 package fresh spinach (optional)
- Parmesan cheese, as desired
Melt butter in a skillet. Add lemon juice and heavy cream. Remove from heat, but keep warm.
Prepare pasta al dente. Stir in cream mixture. Add reserved pasta water, a little at a time, until sauce is thinned.
Stir in spinach until leaves wilt. Top with Parmesan.
This is a great, vegetarian casserole that is good even to people who like meat! My boyfriend said he refused to eat just that, and asked me to make chicken on the side. I bought a couple of chicken fingers at the grocery store to go with it, and he didn’t even eat them. Not only that, he didn’t even remember they were there because he said this casserole was so good.
I found it on Budget Savvy Diva’s website, which I used when I started couponing. She has a ton of advice, and a few delicious recipes. I don’t know if I consider this to be the most budget-friendly recipe I’ve ever come across because it involves so many ingredients, but most of them are already in your pantry.
Honestly, I would make this dish for company it was so good. It also took less than 30 minutes from start to finish, so if you’re short on time, but want to fill up, this is perfect!
- 1 box pasta (preferably penne, shell, or something short)
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 (10 oz.) package frozen spinach, water squeezed out
- 1 can artichoke hearts
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/2 cup Parmesan
- 1 Tbs. lemon juice, plus a little lemon zest
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup mozzarella
Preheat oven to 425.
Boil pasta al dente according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.
Saute onion about 8 minutes in olive oil. Add garlic and continue sauteing for 1 minute.
Meanwhile, combine sour cream, cream cheese, Parmesan, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup mozzarella.
Once onion and garlic are done, stir into pasta.
Stir pasta into sour cream mixture. Stir in spinach and drained artichoke hearts. Stir in 1/4 cup reserved pasta water. Place all ingredients in a greased 13X9 casserole dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes (cheese will start to brown.)
This is the last of the food I prepared this past weekend! I wanted to make some seafood for my friends because it’s so fresh here at the beach. As I’ve said in a previous post, my friends are into being healthy (like sometimes exercising on vacation healthy) so I wanted to be sure to accommodate that while preparing something rich and delicious.
Shrimp pasta is probably my all-time favorite food. That being said, it’s not exactly the healthiest. I love this recipe because it keeps the creamy flavor I love, while being low on calories. The key is the vegetable broth used as the base of the sauce. That way the sauce coats the pasta while maintaining a creamy texture. This recipe also has a smaller portion of the cream-based products, contributing to the healthy factor. The best part is that the flavor isn’t sacrificed at all!
The recipe comes from The Realistic Nutritionist, and features recipes complete with calorie counts. This is under 500 calories (even if you eat more than the serving size!)
- 1 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1 lb. pasta
- 3 cups fresh spinach
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 5 oz. light cream cheese
- 1/4 cup light cream
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/3 cup Parmesan
- 2 Tbs. butter, divided
Boil pasta according to package directions and set aside.
In a saucepan, melt 1 Tbs. butter over medium high heat. Saute onions two minutes until soft. Add garlic and continue to saute three minutes. Lower heat to medium and add vegetable broth, cream cheese, light cream, and white wine. Cook about six minutes until sauce begins to thicken. Stir in Parmesan and let simmer a few more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat shrimp in 1 Tbs. butter. Cook until done. Remove from heat and add to cream sauce. Saute spinach about three minutes in the same pan until wilted. Add spinach to sauce.
Stir together sauce, pasta and serve!
A few years ago, my sister went to study abroad in Italy. When she came back, all she could talk about was how great the wine was, and gnocchi. I decided to try it and was blown away by how delicious the potato pasta bites were. They were everything I’ve ever looked for in a pasta dish. Something about the softness of the dough is what gets me. I know that buying the packaged kind isn’t nearly as good as making it myself, or better yet, visiting Italy, but it is still amazing.
I originally found this recipe at the authentic Italian website, Manu’s Menu, and made a couple of changes. To save time, I did not make my own pasta sauce, but the website does give you instructions for that. This takes about seven minutes to put together, so it is the perfect weeknight meal!
- 1 package gnocchi
- 1/2 jar tomato sauce (any kind you like!)
- a few slices fresh mozzarella
- 4 Tbs. Parmesan, divided
Boil gnocchi according to package directions. Drain. Stir in tomato sauce. Stir in 2 Tbs. Parmesan. Pour into individual ramekins (or into a small baking dish.) Top with sliced mozzarella. Top with 1 Tbs. Parmesan per ramekin.
Broil in oven 10 minutes, until bubbly and golden on top. Enjoy!
Serving size: 2 people
Before going into the oven!
Best easy casserole ever! I’ve probably made it 50 times. So creamy, and preparation takes about 10 minutes, max. It speaks for itself. Enjoy!
- 1 lb. spaghetti, cooked al dente
- 2-3 cups cooked chicken
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 small can mushroom stems and pieces
- 1 cup shredded cheese
Mix all ingredients together except cheese in a casserole dish. Top casserole with cheese. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
This is one of the first recipes I mastered in college. It made me feel like quite the chef- so I gave it a special name. I remember I needed to get the wine for the recipe, but I wasn’t 21 yet, so I had to get someone else to get it for me because I needed it for the recipe! It’s one of those trusty recipes that takes minutes and will never fail to satisfy.
- 1 lb. large shrimp
- 1 cup white zinfandel
- 1 lb. fettuccine
- 1/4 cup butter
- 4 Tbs. minced garlic
- 2 cups whipping cream
Steam shrimp in wine 3-5 minutes. Cook noodles in water.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt butter and saute garlic until golden. Add salt and whipping cream until the consistency of a thick sauce. Add a little wine. Spoon sauce over noodles and arrange shrimp on each plate. Garnish with Parmesan.
I’ve been on such a pasta kick lately. OK, maybe I’ve been on it my whole life. There are just so many variations to pasta, and I love experimenting with it! I’ve done cream sauces on the skillet before, but this one is super simple. The chicken is good on its own too! I may even make it again for tacos or something like that. When I was making this, I was wondering how the ingredients were going to come together, but it turned out perfectly. Another keeper according to the boyfriend (not that he complains much considering he never has to cook…)
This recipe comes from this blog, but I modified it a lot because I’m only cooking for two. Also, I can’t have too much dairy so I use less cream sauce in my dishes. Click on the link to get the ingredient list for 4 people, or if you want it to have extra sauce!
- 8-10 oz. bow-tie pasta
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup Parmesan (plus more for topping)
- 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 5 strips bacon (the recipe called for 1 lb. but I just can’t do that to myself…)
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 bottle Lawry’s mesquite marinade with lime juice
About 6-7 hours before serving, place chicken and Lawry’s marinade in a slow cooker. Let cook on the low setting 6-7 hours. Remove chicken from crock pot and shred with a fork. Set aside.
Place bacon strips in oven and bake at 400 degrees 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Once bacon is finished, crumble. Don’t skimp- bacon is absolutely essential to this dish. And life in general.
Meanwhile, while bacon is cooking, prepare pasta al dente!
Melt butter in skillet. Add garlic and saute 2-3 minutes. Add whipping cream, Parmesan and pepper. Whisk ingredients about 4 minutes. Add bacon and stir.
Place pasta in a bowl. Add sauce. Add chicken. Stir. Yum.
This recipe title could be considered deceptively simple. Usually when I hear the word “casserole” I think, throw everything into a casserole dish and bake on 350. At most I have to pre-cook the chicken. This is not one of those recipes, but it is very much worth the trouble! I got it from the Dutch cooking site Kayotic Kitchen, where they claim that this is a creamy, but non-greasy version of an American dish. This is a very hearty meal so make sure your belly is hungry!
- 1 lb. pasta (I used linguine tonight)
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1/2 large onion, minced
- 7 oz. mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
- 4-5 slices bacon
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar
- butter or oil
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare onions and mushrooms. Fry bacon in skillet. Drain bacon grease on a paper towel, but do not clean skillet. Salt and pepper chicken, put a little butter (about 1 Tbs.) then brown chicken in pan. Place chicken in casserole dish.
In same skillet, saute onions for about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to saute about 1 minute. Add bacon and wine. Add soup. Stir together.
Pour soup mixture over chicken. Place in oven and bake at 350 about 30 minutes, until bubbly!
Meanwhile, while chicken is baking, boil pasta. Drain and pour chicken mixture over pasta. Garnish with parsley or more bacon! Enjoy!
Veggies in the skillet! Pictured: onions, mushrooms, bacon and wine!
Finished product! Nom nom nom
Who doesn’t love a great pasta dish? Lately I’ve been on quite the pesto kick, but soon I will be testing out some tomato sauce dishes with our fresh grown tomatoes! This dish is more about using up some leftover ingredients, and it also has the added benefit of being healthy-ish (it does have bacon…) When the friend brought over the eggplant the other day, he also gave us some arugula, so after a few arugula salads I decided to take it to the next level and try a pesto! I’d never bought pine nuts before, and I know they’re a little pricey, but you only need a small amount, so try to get them from a place that lets you measure the nuts you need. This was probably my best pesto so far! So give this amazingly easy recipe a try!
- 8 cups (6 oz) arugula
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1 lb. pasta- your choice! (I used fettuccine tonight)
- fresh ricotta cheese
- crumbled bacon
Using a large food processor, combine arugula, basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic and salt. Add olive oil slowly until blended. Cook pasta until al dente (according to package directions.) Once cooked, drain and toss with pesto. Serve with a dollop of ricotta cheese and as much bacon as you want!
Note: For the healthy version, omit the bacon and use a very small amount of ricotta. It will still be delicious!