One Pot Garlic Butter Chicken Orzo.

This one pot garlic butter chicken orzo is a super simple weeknight meal that is ridiculously delicious. Golden chicken thighs, buttery orzo, all cooked together until tender and juicy. Top with fresh herbs and enjoy a delightful meal! Throw everything into one pot tonight for dinner!  This is the chicken dinner that you need right […]

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This one pot garlic butter chicken orzo is a super simple weeknight meal that is ridiculously delicious. Golden chicken thighs, buttery orzo, all cooked together until tender and juicy. Top with fresh herbs and enjoy a delightful meal!

Throw everything into one pot tonight for dinner! 

one pot garlic butter chicken orzo

This is the chicken dinner that you need right now. Easy to throw together, all made in one pot, tastes buttery and heavenly and so flavorful. It’s a hit all around. Juicy chicken thighs cooked with tender toasted orzo is the comfort food that hits the spot. 

If you haven’t noticed, we adore orzo in this house. We make a lot of it! My parmesan orzo is a highly requested side dish but if I have an option to make the entire dish together in one pot… I’m game. 

one pot garlic butter chicken orzo

And this is a GOOD one pot recipe. We’re not throwing raw vegetables in there or anything and just hoping they turn out. We’re searing the chicken until golden and delicious, toasting the orzo with all the flavor bits, then adding stock and cooking it all until tender and juicy and ridiculously flavorful.

I.love.it. 

searing chicken thighs

My garlic butter shrimp and orzo is hugely popular. After making it over and over again, I figured that we’d try it with chicken one night. We LOVED it. We prefer chicken thighs for this because they are so juicy and cook quickly. The method is almost foolproof. But you can try with small pieces of chicken breast and judge the doneness by taking the internal temperature. It’s super simple. This is the meat thermometer I have and it’s the best.

The best part about orzo is that it’s nearly as versatile as rice. It can be made into a baked pasta, served as a side dish, made into a cold pasta salad – the options are endless. It does all the things and is one of my kitchen all-stars for sure. 

chicken thighs and orzo

This is how I do it! The garlic butter chicken and orzo is actually quite easy and doesn’t require a ton of ingredients. I do like to serve some sort of roasted vegetable on the side. I’m sure it will come as no surprise that I do my parmesan roasted broccoli more often than not. Shocking, I know. 

one pot garlic butter chicken orzo

To start, I season the heck out of the chicken – salt and pepper all over. Then I brown it in a cast iron or ceramic pan until very golden. After it’s seared on both sides, I transfer it to a plate. 

There is usually a good amount of butter (and now chicken flavor bits) left in the skillet, so I stir the orzo right into it. YES! Pour the uncooked, dry orzo into the pan. Stir in the garlic too. I toast this and toss it for a few minutes until it gets golden and very fragrant. Then I add in the stock!

Once the stock is in the pan, I nestle the chicken back in with the orzo. I bring it to a boil, reduce it to a simmer then cover and let it cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Just until the orzo has absorbed all the liquid and the chicken is cooked through.

Finally, I toss the mixture with a bit more melted butter and sprinkle on some fresh parsley. Parmesan too, of course. (more…)

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Weeknight Spicy Brown Butter Pasta.

A weeknight favorite: say hello to this spicy brown butter pasta! The tiny shells hold all the savory brown butter flavor, and the pasta is tossed with lots of garlic, chili flakes, crispy sage and parmesan. A dream in a bowl that tastes cozy and comforting. Another day, another pasta! In this case, a super […]

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A weeknight favorite: say hello to this spicy brown butter pasta! The tiny shells hold all the savory brown butter flavor, and the pasta is tossed with lots of garlic, chili flakes, crispy sage and parmesan. A dream in a bowl that tastes cozy and comforting.

Another day, another pasta!

30 minute spicy brown butter pasta

In this case, a super easy weeknight pasta that you can make for yourself when you need a simple, comforting meal. 

Easy, flavorful, minimal ingredients, tons of parm and crispy sage. Super garlicky, with a hint of heat too.

Yep – I am here for it. 

30 minute spicy brown butter pasta

Oh this pot right here! This skillet of brown butter with crispy sage is not only the epitome of fall, but one of my favorite things in all the land.

WHY is this so delicious? I could drizzle this on vegetables or well, almost anything. And I can’t get enough.

30 minute spicy brown butter pasta

This is SO my kind of meal. It’s the one I make after a super busy day, maybe when Eddie is working late or has one of the kids somewhere and the baby is in bed. Serious comfort food, right here. 

It’s a so-good-you-eat-it-right-out-of-the-skillet meal.

I mean, just LOOK at those puddles of brown butter in the shells?! And the brown caramelized bits all over the pasta?!

30 minute spicy brown butter pasta

Here’s how I do it! It’s embarrassingly easy, by the way. 

I cook my pasta the regular old way. Salted boiling water! Any cut of noodle works. I love these little shells because the brown butter pools in them and it’s just a huge burst of flavor. 

While the pasta cooks, I brown my butter. Just my favorite thing to do over here, of course. I live for brown butter. You can see step-by-step exactly how I make it here, or even over on instagram

Once the butter just starts to brown, I throw in my garlic, sage and crushed red pepper. It only needs to cook for a minute or so! This creates a delicious brown butter sauce – sort of like my garlic sauce – that makes the silky, buttery coating for our pasta. Simple and delicious.

Next, I toss in the pasta. I coat it super well and serve with LOTS of parmesan cheese. Taste and season. Then serve. (more…)

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Pumpkin Vodka Pasta with Spicy Breadcrumbs.

This pumpkin vodka pasta is a serious hug in a bowl. A silky smooth and rich sauce coats every noodle, then is topped with crispy sage, parmesan cheese and spicy breadcrumbs. Absolute heaven of a dinner! I’ve got the coziest bowl of pumpkin pasta for you today! This bowl contains a beautiful thing: pasta tossed […]

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This pumpkin vodka pasta is a serious hug in a bowl. A silky smooth and rich sauce coats every noodle, then is topped with crispy sage, parmesan cheese and spicy breadcrumbs. Absolute heaven of a dinner!

I’ve got the coziest bowl of pumpkin pasta for you today!

pumpkin vodka pasta with spicy breadcrumbs

This bowl contains a beautiful thing: pasta tossed in my homemade vodka sauce with pumpkin, topped with crispy sage, spicy breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. It absolutely screams fall and is fabulous to make once it starts to get chilly out.

It’s also really easy! So that’s a bonus. 

A hug in a bowl that’s simple to make. SIGN  ME UP.

pumpkin vodka sauce base

One of my favorite meals of all time is my vodka pasta with rosemary breadcrumbs. Oh my gosh. I could eat it every week. Seriously, it is so super delicious! 

The sauce is simple. It’s silky and smooth and rich – it coats the pasta beautifully. 

Now for years I’ve wanted to experiment with pumpkin vodka sauce so here we are. As if it couldn’t get any better?!

pumpkin vodka pasta

I make my classic vodka sauce which uses a base of garlic, shallots and tomato paste. YES. The tomato paste is key here. I saute it with the garlic and shallots and let it caramelize in the pan. It adds so much depth of flavor to the sauce and makes it super silky. The texture and feel of this sauce on the spoon is amazing.

Next, I stir in some pumpkin puree! This only adds to our super smooth sauce. It’s delish. 

pumpkin vodka pasta with spicy breadcrumbs

The kicker is that you want to add a little bit of spice. Pumpkin is fairly neutral when it comes to flavor – the spice is what allows it to shine. I like to do this in the form of nutmeg or even allspice. I avoid cinnamon, but the tiniest pinch of ground cloves would probably be okay. Nutmeg is my number one choice! 

Starchy pasta water is an important ingredient here as it helps bring the sauce together. So does vodka and heavy cream. The sauce ends up being so silky smooth and perfect for coating just about any noodle. 

pumpkin vodka pasta with spicy breadcrumbs

To go with the pasta, I crisp up some sage on the side. Heat a skillet with butter, once it begins to brown, toss in your sage. It gets crisp in a few minutes. The flavor is unreal and it is the perfect complement to the hint of pumpkin in the pasta. It also works with the parmesan, of course. 

I use that same skillet and make a few spicy breadcrumbs. Add them to the skillet with some butter and crushed red pepper. Toast until golden and crunchy and absolutely deeeelish. These are good enough to eat with a spoon – and even better sprinkled on the sauce-coated pasta. They add the crunchy bits that everyone loves so much. 

Then pour it all in a bowl and serve with lots of parmesan. The perfect noodle coated in a decadent sauce. It’s a dream meal everyday.

(more…)

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Baked Oatmeal.

This pumpkin cheesecake baked oatmeal is an autumn dream! It’s chewy and textured, stuffed with maple mascarpone cheese and topped with toasted pecans. Tastes like absolute heaven! Otherwise known as the best fall breakfast ever. EVER! Oh my gosh. I cannot say enough amazing things about these baked pumpkin cheesecake oats. I realize they don’t […]

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This pumpkin cheesecake baked oatmeal is an autumn dream! It’s chewy and textured, stuffed with maple mascarpone cheese and topped with toasted pecans. Tastes like absolute heaven!

Otherwise known as the best fall breakfast ever. EVER!

pumpkin cheesecake baked oatmeal

Oh my gosh.

I cannot say enough amazing things about these baked pumpkin cheesecake oats.

pumpkin oats

I realize they don’t look that special. And yes, I already rave about my pumpkin pie steel cut oatmeal. But this… this takes all the (oatmeal) cake. The steel cut oats are a creamy, hot bowl of pumpkin pie oats. This baked version is chewy and can be served warm, room temperature or even cold. It’s not creamy.

And I say “oatmeal cake” because I use my traditional baked oatmeal recipe for this – yes, that one! – and I’ve called it oatmeal cake for years. It is super chewy and decadent for oatmeal. And it tastes like a delicious oatmeal cake!

pumpkin oats with mascarpone cheese

This is like that, but with pumpkin. And a mascarpone cheese swirl. And toasted pecans. Plus, allll the cinnamon. Maybe even a drizzle of cream. 

This

is

unreal. 

I need you to make it this weekend! 

pumpkin cheesecake baked oatmeal

Baked oatmeal is one of my favorite things to make. It’s perfect for brunch, for a big family, for meal prepping for the week, pretty much anything. I love how well it reheats. You can top it with just about anything: seasonal fruit, nuts, seeds, nut butter, coconut – options are endless! It really is so customizable and delicious.

I love the texture and chew of baked oatmeal. I’ve seen many blended baked oat recipes on instagram and while they do look good, I prefer a heartier, chewy texture to my baked oatmeal. I want it to have that texture, especially when I’m making a large batch of it. 

And it’s hard to believe that I haven’t made a pumpkin version yet, but here we are. So this is what I do!

pumpkin cheesecake baked oatmeal

I add a scoop of pumpkin to my baked oatmeal recipe along with some pumpkin spice. I am notorious for loving pumpkin but NOT loving the spice that goes along with it. So I add what I find to be minimal spice. If you love the “spice” part of pumpkin, go ahead and add an extra teaspoon or so of spice.

Then, I stir together some softened mascarpone cheese with honey. Or maple syrup. Or brown sugar! Basically, whatever sweetener you have on hand, and just a small touch of it. This makes our cheesecake flavor. You could use regular softened cream cheese too, I just love mascarpone. 

I dollop the mascarpone cheese right on top of the oatmeal. When it bakes, it sinks down into the oats. It is PERFECT. 

Finally, I add a little cinnamon on top. A big handful of toasted pecans. I scoop and serve, then add a little drizzle of cream. Optional of course, but really takes it over the top.  (more…)

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Fire-Roasted Black Bean Tortilla Soup.

This cheesy, fire-roasted black bean tortilla soup is my favorite vegetarian version of the classic! This soup is thickened by corn tortillas, made rich by melty cheesy and filled with tender black beans. The toppings are the best part! My inner fall-freak is super excited that we officially hit the new season in just a […]

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This cheesy, fire-roasted black bean tortilla soup is my favorite vegetarian version of the classic! This soup is thickened by corn tortillas, made rich by melty cheesy and filled with tender black beans. The toppings are the best part!

My inner fall-freak is super excited that we officially hit the new season in just a few days. 

fire-roasted black bean tortilla soup

What better way to celebrate than with SOUP?

Extra cheesy, fire roasty black bean tortilla soup to be exact. A long title but you don’t NEED to say all those words. I just threw them there so you could fully anticipate the deliciousness of what is to come in this bowl. 

tortilla soup base with chopped tortillas

Because, here’s the thing. 

I LOVE this tortilla soup recipe. The soup is actually thickened by corn tortillas, which give it a creamy, silky, rich texture without any cream, roux or slurry. It’s awesome! Of course, I stir in cheese for that classic tortilla soup flavor, and that adds to the richness. But the creamy texture of this soup cannot be beat.

tortilla soup base with cheese

I’ve done many versions of this soup, especially using chicken. I often make it after Thanksgiving too with leftover turkey. I have been dying to try a vegetarian version, so today I’m showing you how I make it with black beans.

Yes, just black beans in our tortilla soup and I can’t even explain how wonderful and satisfying this is. It’s perfect for taco night or a great soup to make for work lunches. 

tortilla soup with black beans

The base of this soup is amazing. The way it glides off your spoon makes it feel like a cream-based, heavy soup. And while there is cheese stirred into it, it is not thick and heavy whatsoever. It’s smooth and rich but feels like at the same time. It’s perfect!

The beans given it even more satiety and make this the perfect bowl when you need comfort food or one of those “good” meals. 

fire-roasted black bean tortilla soup

It’s very filling and of course, my favorite part – it can handle allllll the toppings! You can add whatever you want on top, obviously.

We always crush tortilla chips on our tortilla soup and for this version, I like to use a thicker corn chip. We love the Trader Joe’s elote corn chips – they are similar to a slightly spicy frito. They are very thick and crunchy, which adds incredible texture to the soup. 

fire-roasted black bean tortilla soup

I also like a lot of fresh garnishes: think sliced green onion, chives, fresh cilantro and some spritzes of fresh lime juice. This adds SO much flavor to the bowl that I can’t go without it.

And finally, a little sprinkle of cheese on top! Yes, we have melty cheese IN the soup, but a sprinkle of crumbly cotija or queso fresco really takes this over the top. 

fire-roasted black bean tortilla soup

This is going to be in heavy rotation as it gets chillier here and I could not be more excited. Another great one to add to the lineup! (more…)

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Pesto Bucatini Pie.

This pesto pasta pie is super delicious, satisfying and fun to eat! Bucatini is mixed with a cheesy filling and your favorite pesto and then baked until it comes together with the crunchiest outside. Serve alongside a salad and enjoy! Now this is a pie that I can get behind! This pesto bucatini pie is […]

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This pesto pasta pie is super delicious, satisfying and fun to eat! Bucatini is mixed with a cheesy filling and your favorite pesto and then baked until it comes together with the crunchiest outside. Serve alongside a salad and enjoy!

Now this is a pie that I can get behind!

pesto pasta pie

This pesto bucatini pie is super delicious and easy to make. A savory pasta baked into a pan with fresh pesto and cheese, until the top is super crunchy and crispy and the inside is rich, tender and melty. 

So.super.delicious. 

ingredients for fresh basil

Um hi, yes I’m back with another pasta pie!

I’ve made two in the last decade which seems like, well, quite a few for putting pasta in pie. It’s not like an everyday thing, you know?

Yet here I am with another version so, let’s just go with it.

A pesto version!

bucatini and pesto

It’s the last full week of summer here and my herbs are still going strong. I know it won’t last much longer so I am looking for all the ways to use up my basil. I will definitely make pesto and freeze it in batches, but in the meantime I’m taking some of these last summer flavors and incorporating them into our dinners. 

Like this! Pesto pasta pie. Music to my ears.

pesto pasta pie in a pan

I’ve made a mini meatball bucatini pie and a cacio e pepe pie – both of which are outstandingly delicious. They are decadent and wonderful, also kind of fancy but not hard to make. They are a good family meal because they can feed multiple people when served with a big greens salad and/or roasted broccoli

Plus, a pasta pie is super satisfying. Life major comfort food. 

pesto pasta pie

This is not difficult to make! The key is using a springform pan. I highly suggest place a piece of foil around the bottom of your pan *just in case* you have any pasta pie spillage, but I will tell you in all my years of making these, I’ve never had it leak out the bottom. 

To make it, cook the pasta first. I love bucatini because it’s such a thick noodle. You can use another cut of pasta here, but I find that long noodles work best. 

The filling is pretty basic: milk, cheese, eggs, pesto. Yes, you can also use a store-bought pesto here too if you have a good one. 

Everything goes into the pan! The filling and the pasta, mixed together and pressed into the springform pan. It’s that easy! 

pesto pasta pie

I like to dollop more pesto on top of the pie before baking. Then bake and the end result is this super crunchy, crisp top. And sides!

Oh yes, the crunchy sides and topping may be my favorite part. Think of the most delicious crisp cheese that burns onto your pan or skillet when cooking – that is what the top and sides taste like. Amazing!  (more…)

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Weeknight Baked Turkey Tacos.

Everyone adores these baked ground turkey tacos! These are perfect to make on a busy weeknight and so delicious. Cheesy, warm and topped with lettuce, avocado and pico de gallo, they are great for a family meal. This is our family’s most favorite taco recipe at the moment. They’re crunchy, cheesy and loaded with all […]

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Everyone adores these baked ground turkey tacos! These are perfect to make on a busy weeknight and so delicious. Cheesy, warm and topped with lettuce, avocado and pico de gallo, they are great for a family meal.

This is our family’s most favorite taco recipe at the moment.

weeknight baked turkey tacos

They’re crunchy, cheesy and loaded with all the good toppings.

taco shells stuffed with ground turkey

Tacos have changed a bit in our house! Much to my excitement, one of Max’s current favorite foods happens to be tacos. It makes me so happy and honestly… shocked. 

It’s not just any tacos though. And it’s not a version of a street taco or anything fancy.  

It’s that classic hard shell taco, which I find hilarious because it had been YEARS since I bought hard corn shells. Years. It’s basically the kind of taco I ate as a kid. 

He really loves tortilla chips and I’m not sure when, but he had a taco in a hard corn shell and put cheese, salsa and lettuce on it and was thrilled. Now he asks for them almost every single week. We even ate them the night before school as our special dinner.

ground turkey tacos with cheese

I make these many different ways, but this is the no-fuss version that happens often when we’re busy during the week. Especially now with school back in session, our weekdays are packed. I want dinner to be easy, delicious and something that everyone looks forward to.

These tacos are ALWAYS a winner. Everyone gets excited at the thought of them.

cheesy ground turkey taco

I have many turkey taco recipes here on the blog. And I have our favorite weeknight ground beef tacos too.

I almost exclusively use ground turkey for our tacos, but of course that is interchangeable with ground beef. Use whichever you have or love. I brown the ground turkey and add my own taco seasoning. It’s something that I make so often that I don’t even measure it anymore – but it is a bit smoky and not very cumin heavy. We enjoy it so much and use the seasoning mix any time we make nachos or taco salads too. 

quick pico de gallo

Once the ground turkey is ready, I stuff the shells. The kids love to help with this part too. This is what I’ve found: now that we have five solid eaters in this house, it’s great to make a big baking dish full of these tacos. It’s simple, easy and gets the job done. Plus, everything gets warm and melty and tastes so good together!

(P.S. can I just say that it’s crazy that we have FIVE eaters in this house? I seriously feel like it was just Eddie and I a few weeks ago, and I was cooking whatever, whenever I wanted and we ate whatever, whenever we wanted. My mind is blown!) 

weeknight baked turkey tacos

So, back to the tacos. I line up the shells in a 9×13 baking dish. This works best for our family but if you are feeding fewer people, use an 8×8 or 9×9 dish. Regardless of size, the taco shells won’t fit perfectly in dish. That’s okay! Just make them work and don’t smash them.

The delicious secret is to add some cheese to the bottom of the hard shell. This makes everything extra cheesy. I love to use chihuahua cheese (I find it at my local grocery store) because it melts perfectly. You can also use cheddar. Sprinkle in some cheese, then top with a few spoonfuls of the seasoned ground turkey. There is no right or wrong here, no way to overfill or underfill. Fill them as much as you wish, based on the toppings you want to add on.

weeknight baked turkey tacos

Of course, the next step is to add another little sprinkle of cheese. Cheese on both ends please! Then I add shredded lettuce. My kids love lettuce for some reason. They don’t really eat salad, but they ask for lettuce on their burgers and lettuce on their tacos! I am not complaining. 

Next comes a salsa or in this case, my quick homemade pico. This is Eddie’s favorite part of any taco-ish meal that we have, so I always make it. We use it for topping and use it as a chunky salsa too. I make it a few hours ahead of time if possible and it gets better as it sits in the fridge. I also throw in some avocado if I have it.

Then I bake ‘em. 400 degrees for 10 or 15 minutes, just until everything is crisp, warm, melty and marrying together in flavor. 

weeknight baked turkey tacos

Baking these in a dish like this makes them so incredibly easy to serve, especially to kids. This way we can all sit and eat at one time, as opposed to them eating one taco, then asking for help with another and so on. It’s convenient, delicious and also a great way to utilize the leftovers!

If we happen to have leftovers for this meal, I will wrap the tacos up in foil and store them in the fridge. A quick reheat in the oven makes them taste brand new.  (more…)

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Cozy Chicken and Stars Soup.

This cozy chicken and stars soup is the ultimate comfort meal. Rich broth, tender chicken and pasta stars mixed with vegetables, lemon and parmesan cheese. This is the most wonderful lovely dinner! It’s officially soup season! We’re kicking things off with this cozy chicken and stars soup: a classic, traditional bowl of comfort food that […]

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This cozy chicken and stars soup is the ultimate comfort meal. Rich broth, tender chicken and pasta stars mixed with vegetables, lemon and parmesan cheese. This is the most wonderful lovely dinner!

It’s officially soup season!

chicken and stars soup

We’re kicking things off with this cozy chicken and stars soup: a classic, traditional bowl of comfort food that everyone loves. Chicken noodle soup made with mini pasta stars, a spritz of fresh lemon, parmesan and herbs. 

This is super delicious and crave worthy. 

stelline pasta stars

Can we talk about how adorable these little pasta stars are? I could make all the things with these (I’m thinking my homemade spaghettios, for sure) and according to the kids, they make mealtime more fun. I couldn’t agree more. 

My favorite thing about this fun pasta shape is how it transforms the soup. We love traditional chicken noodle soup – who doesn’t?! The big soft egg noodles, bites of carrot and chicken, it’s fabulous. 

carrots, celery and chicken

But when you use a tiny cut of pasta like this stelline, everything is bite-sized. It reminds me of eating a chopped salad where you get a taste of everything in one bite! Which is my favorite thing and the best way to eat salads and soup. 

The small cut of pasta also makes the soup feel heartier. Even though it’s a brothy soup, it feels richer and more hearty since the ingredients are small enough to fit on one spoon. It’s basically perfect. 

chicken and stars soup

I based this recipe on my chicken and orzo soup which is also one of our all-time favorites. The recipe includes a splash of fresh lemon juice, a parmesan rind and fresh herbs like parsley. These things make all the difference!

They make the soup taste elevated and fancy, even though it’s really pretty simple.

chicken and stars soup

And not only is it simple, but it is easy too.

If I’m making this on a weeknight, I’ll often use a rotisserie chicken for ease. It’s my go-to hack during busy weeks and I usually have one in the fridge for recipes just like this. As long as you use a good quality stock, add the lemon, parmesan, herbs and vegetables, this soup will be packed with flavor. 

chicken and stars soup

If you’d like to make it ahead of time or store leftovers, I suggest cooking the pasta separately and storing the soup base and pasta separately as well. It’s as easy as that. Then when it’s time to eat, you combine the pasta and broth.  (more…)

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Cheesy Weeknight Tortellini Skillet.

This cheesy tortellini skillet is one of our favorite weeknight meals. Especially good for back-to-school season, this skillet has a quick marinara meat sauce, cheese tortellini, fresh mozzarella and tons of basil. Baked until melty – it’s perfect.  Dinner is going to be sooooo delicious tonight.  It’s official back-to-school time for us so I am […]

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This cheesy tortellini skillet is one of our favorite weeknight meals. Especially good for back-to-school season, this skillet has a quick marinara meat sauce, cheese tortellini, fresh mozzarella and tons of basil. Baked until melty – it’s perfect. 

Dinner is going to be sooooo delicious tonight. 

cheesy weeknight tortellini skillet

It’s official back-to-school time for us so I am breaking out my menu plan and adding in all of our favorite easy weeknight meals. This is a newer one that I am so excited to share with you – everyone in this house ate it right up.

cheesy weeknight tortellini skillet

It’s easy. 

Customizable! 

Super delicious. 

And cheesy. You know we can’t go wrong there. 

Baked cheesy (and beefy!) ravioli is where it’s at. I love to make a dinner that EVERYONE is excited about. This is the kind of dinner that you look forward to all day. The one that tastes like home, is everyone’s favorite and occasionally… eaten up so there are no leftovers!

I mean, sad about the leftovers but a huge win when everyone loves it so much. 

ground beef and marinara

It’s pretty darn simple and semi-homemade with a jar of marinara. Here’s how I do it!

ground beef, marinara, tortellini

To start, I brown ground beef or turkey in an oven-safe skillet. We’re going to throw the whole skillet in the oven, so just start it right in that pan. I season it a bit more with salt, pepper, garlic, basil and oregano. 

Then I throw in a jar of my favorite marinara! We love Rao’s and I have a ton in my pantry. I’d say we go through two jars or every single week. 

I also cook some tortellini! I like to do a cheese or spinach tortellini for this recipe. You can use whatever flavor you love or whatever you have on hand. Cheese is my number one though. It just goes perfectly. 

cheesy weeknight tortellini skillet

The tortellini cooks fast, so while it’s a pain that you need to cook it ahead of time, it only takes about three minutes once the water is boiling. Once it’s down, I drain it and throw it in the pan with the meat sauce.

Next, I top everything with some torn fresh mozzarella. Oh yum. 

Finally – bake it! Place the skillet in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or so, just until the cheese melts and everything is warm and melty. Top it with tons of fresh basil and serve it. 

cheesy weeknight tortellini skillet

This is SUCH a huge hit. It reminds me a lot of my burrata baked ravioli dish from last year, and we adore that. So I’m always looking for similar dishes that everyone may love.

The best part is that this is very customizable depending on what you have, love or your preferences. You can stir in some spinach like I do with my ravioli. You could add extra veggies, a spicier marinara, use an impossible meat variety or even switch up the cheese. And of course – the tortellini flavor is up to you. 

cheesy weeknight tortellini skillet

We can’t get enough.

This is the perfect weeknight meal for us during the school year. It’s incredibly cozy and comforting, easy to throw together and feeds a crowd. I pair with a big house salad and it’s incredibly satisfying. If you really want to take things over the top, add in some of my best garlic bread from Everyday Dinners.

cheesy weeknight tortellini skillet

ENJOY. (more…)

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Easy Avocado Pesto Pasta.

We love this avocado pesto pasta! The pesto is made with basil, toasted pine nuts, ripe avocado, pecorino romano and a hint of lemon. It is so summery and delicious, and absolutely wonderful tossed with hot pasta. We live for pesto in our house! This avocado pesto pasta is the perfect weeknight meal – whether […]

The post Easy Avocado Pesto Pasta. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

We love this avocado pesto pasta! The pesto is made with basil, toasted pine nuts, ripe avocado, pecorino romano and a hint of lemon. It is so summery and delicious, and absolutely wonderful tossed with hot pasta.

We live for pesto in our house!

avocado pesto pasta

This avocado pesto pasta is the perfect weeknight meal – whether it’s your main dish or side dish. The avocado pesto is so incredibly creamy and coats the hot bucatini until you have green silky strands of pasta. Tastes wonderfully nutty, cheesy, creamy, refreshing and like a big bite of summer.

That’s the best kind of meal.

making avocado pesto

I didn’t grow up eating pesto as a kid and it took me quite a while to get into it. These days, I have my kids completely obsessed with pesto – any and all versions. Max eats it on rotini, Emilia loves to make it with me and Jordan is just venturing into his pesto pasta obsession. 

It’s one of Eddie’s favorite side dishes and something I will throw together when I only have a few minutes. It’s just so super simple but packs so much flavor.

avocado pesto in a food processor

During the warmer months, I like to have pesto in the fridge. Any variety!

We use it for garlic bread, spread it on chicken or steak, toss it in pasta like this or even use it as a dip or drizzle for grilled vegetables. It’s so incredibly versatile and reminds me of sunshine and those light, refreshing dinners on the patio. 

bucatini topped with pesto in a pot

This recipe combines a mix of my classic basil pesto with perfectly ripe avocados. I’ve done an avocado pesto before, with this steak and corn. It is very similar except that one uses asiago for a sharper punch. 

When I make pesto, I love to go heavy on the toast pine nuts. They bring out my favorite flavor. I also like a lot of garlic and parmesan along with just a pinch of crushed red pepper for heat.  

bucatini pesto in a pot

Adding avocado to this pesto makes it extra creamy. It’s richer and hugs the pasta more than usual, thanks to the smooth avocado. I also just absolutely love the flavor. It does not a have a heavy avocado taste.

Eddie doesn’t love avocado, but in the pesto it doesn’t bother him at all. In fact, he had no idea this was filled with avocado until I told him… AFTER the meal of course. 

avocado pesto pasta

I love this as the main meal in summer. Top it with lots of cheese, fresh basil leaves and a little spritz of lemon. It is such summer perfection.

avocado pesto pasta

One of simplest pleasures right now is a plate of pesto pasta, a chilled glass of white wine, some light music and a summer sunset. It doesn’t get better! (more…)

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