Pasta with Sausage and Peppers

Pasta with sausage and peppers is an easy dinner idea that is filling, flavorful, and makes great leftovers for lunch the next day!

The post Pasta with Sausage and Peppers appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Simple pasta dinners are kind of my specialty and this easy pasta with sausage and peppers is definitely one of my favorites. It’s a super quick meal, the leftovers are great for lunch the next day (or the next *few* days), and it’s surprisingly hearty for just how simple it is. So the next time you need a quick dinner fix, give this pasta with sausage and peppers a try. I think you’re going to love it!

Close up of a skillet full of pasta with sausage and peppers.

What’s in Pasta with Sausage and Peppers

One of the main reasons that I love this recipe is that it’s incredibly simple. The Italian sausage is already chock-full of herbs and spices, so you don’t have to add a whole lot more to the skillet to make everything flavorful. Here’s all you’ll need to make this awesome pasta dish:

  • Italian Sausage: makes this dish hearty and adds TONS of flavor to the meal.
  • Onion and Bell Peppers: these vegetables add color, texture, and a slight sweetness to the meal, which perfectly balances the rich sausage and spicy red pepper.
  • Seasonings: I kept the seasonings simple since the sausage will add so much flavor. All you need is some fresh garlic, basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper. But you could totally use an Italian seasoning blend in place of the individual herbs.
  • Pasta: I like to use penne pasta for this dish because the shape pairs well with the size of the sausage and peppers, and the ribbed texture helps grab onto the sauce.
  • Jarred Pasta Sauce: Using a store-bought sauce keeps this recipe incredibly simple and the ingredient list short. It’s a shortcut worth taking, IMHO!
  • Feta: a little sprinkle of feta cheese on top adds one last pop of flavor that really takes this dish to the next level! If you don’t have feta, a little grated Parmesan would also be awesome. ;)

What Kind of Sausage to Use

I think Italian sausage pairs best with this recipe and sweet, hot, or mild Italian sausage will all work fine. I prefer to use sausage in links so I can slice it into medallions, but you could also use loose Italian sausage if that’s what’s available.

If you prefer a chicken sausage to pork, you could definitely use that, just make sure it’s seasoned similarly to Italian sausage. You may also need to add a little extra fat to the skillet to make up for the fat that renders out of the pork sausage.

What Kind of Sauce to Use

I seriously love this dish with literally any kind of jarred pasta sauce, and for that reason I usually just reach for the most generic and inexpensive red sauce available. This time around I used Kroger’s Tomato + Basil tomato sauce. Nothing fancy, but still good, and definitely inexpensive! If you want to make your own sauce, you can try our simple Weeknight Pasta Sauce recipe (minus the ground beef).

Overhead view of a bowl full of pasta with sausage and peppers.
Overhead view of a bowl full of pasta with sausage and peppers.
Print

Pasta with Sausage and Peppers

Pasta with sausage and peppers is an easy dinner idea that is filling, flavorful, and makes great leftovers for lunch the next day!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $7.56 recipe / $1.89 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 517kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 Italian sausage links (about ½ lb.) $2.40
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • 1 yellow onion $0.37
  • 1 24oz. jar pasta sauce $1.67
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 lb. penne pasta $0.67
  • 1 oz. feta, crumbled $0.69
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional) $0.10

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet over medium. Add the cooking oil and sausage links to the skillet and cook the sausage for a few minutes on each side, or until well browned (it does not need to be cooked through at this point).
  • Remove the sausage to a clean cutting board and slice the sausage into medallions. Return the sausage to the skillet and continue to cook until the sausage is cooked through and browned on the cut sides. Remove the sausage to a clean plate.
  • Meanwhile, slice the bell pepper and onion into thin strips. Add the sliced onion and bell pepper to the skillet after removing the sausage. Stir and cook the vegetables over medium heat, just until they begin to soften slightly.
  • Add the sausage back to the skillet along with the pasta sauce, basil, oregano, and red pepper to the skillet. Stir everything to combine and heat through.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until tender (about 7 minutes). Drain the pasta in a colander, then add it to the skillet and stir to combine with the sauce.
  • Top the skillet with crumbled feta and chopped parsley (if desired), then serve.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 517kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 1310mg | Fiber: 6g
Side view of pasta with sausage and peppers in the skillet.

How to Make Pasta with sausage – Step by Step Photos

Cooked sausage links in a skillet.

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add two Italian sausage links (about ½ lb. total) to the skillet and cook on each side until well browned. The sausage will not be cooked through at this point, but that’s okay.

Sliced sausage on a cutting board.

Remove the partially cooked sausage to a cutting board and slice them into ¼-½ inch wide medallions.

Fully cooked sliced sausage in the skillet.

Return the sliced sausage to the skillet and continue cooking over medium heat until the sausage is browned on the cut sides. Remove the cooked sausage to a clean bowl.

Sliced bell pepper and yellow onion on a cutting board.

Meanwhile, slice one red bell pepper and one yellow onion into ¼-inch wide strips.

Cooked peppers and onions in the skillet.

Add the sliced peppers and onions to the skillet with the remaining fat from the sausage. Continue to cook over medium heat until the peppers and onions just begin to soften. The moisture from the vegetables will help lift the browned bits from the sausage off the bottom of the skillet.

Sauce and seasoning being added to the skillet.

Add the cooked sausage back to the skillet along with one 24 oz. jar of pasta sauce, ½ tsp dried basil, ½ tsp dried oregano, and ¼ tsp crushed red pepper. Stir everything to combine and heat through.

Adding cooked penne to the skillet.

Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add ½ lb. penne pasta and continue to boil until tender (about 7 minutes). Drain the penne in a colander, then add it to the skillet with the sauce. Stir to combine.

Feta being sprinkled over top of the skillet.

Sprinkle a small amount of crumbled feta (about 1 oz.) and a little chopped parsley (if desired) over top just before serving.

Overhead view of a skillet with sausage and peppers being stirred with a wooden spoon.

Enjoy!

The post Pasta with Sausage and Peppers appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Spinach Tortellini Skillet

Spinach Tortellini Skillet is an easy and hearty dinner recipe that comes together quickly and will make you want to come back for seconds!

The post Spinach Tortellini Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’ve really been digging cheese tortellini lately because it’s as easy as plain pasta, but it’s just a bit more hearty (thanks to that cheese filling), so it instantly makes any pasta dish feel more substantial, even without adding meat. Last week I made this super easy Spinach Tortellini Skillet, which is a riff on one of our most popular recipes, Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta. This tortellini version is a bit easier (no chopping onion!) and a little more filling. I hope you enjoy!

Overhead view of Spinach Tortellini in the skillet garnished with Grated Parmesan.

What’s in This Tortellini SKillet

This recipe is incredibly simple, which makes it the perfect easy weeknight dinner. It’s got cheesy tortellini that we toss in a homemade creamy tomato sauce, and a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach thrown in for color, texture, and nutrients. The only ingredients you need to make this delicious pasta skillet are:

  • Herbs and spices: We kept the sauce pretty simple as far as seasonings go, with just some fresh garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, and freshly cracked pepper.
  • Diced tomatoes: We opted for petite diced tomatoes here to keep the sauce from being too chunky. You could also use fire-roasted diced tomatoes for more flavor!
  • Cream cheese: This instantly gives the tomato sauce a thick and creamy texture which coats the tortellini beautifully.
  • Cheese tortellini: We used frozen cheese tortellini, which cooks quickly (about 3 min.), but you can use whatever flavor or type of tortellini you prefer.
  • Parmesan cheese: A little Parmesan cheese at the end really helps boost the umami flavor in the skillet, and adds a little extra richness to the sauce.
  • Fresh spinach: A few handfuls of fresh spinach thrown into the sauce gives this dish a beautiful dose of color and a little extra veggie power.

What Else Can I Add?

I think this dish is pretty hearty as-is, but if you want to add some meat you have several options. You could brown some Italian Sausage in the skillet before the garlic and incorporate it into the sauce, you could top the skillet with some sliced seared chicken breast, or you could even add some garlic butter shrimp!

If you like your food spicy, definitely add a pinch or two of crushed red pepper to the tomato sauce for a little kick. And if you want this to be EXTRA indulgent, try topping it with some mozzarella and baking it in the oven until melted! 😮

What to Serve with This Tortellini Skillet

GARLIC BREAD. This recipe is just begging for some buttery, crispy, homemade garlic bread! And if you’re like me, you already have some stashed in your freezer ready to bake on a moment’s notice. ;) And if you want some extra veggies with this meal, you can use any leftover spinach you might have to make a simple side salad. Or make some easy roasted broccoli to serve on the side!

How are the LEftovers?

Fan-freaking-tastic, IMHO! The sauce does get a little thick with time in the refrigerator, but that does not impede on the cozy, cheesy goodness of this dish. The microwave is going to be your best bet for reheating the leftovers as it will reheat quickly without losing too much moisture. Make sure to keep the dish partially covered to hold in the steam, and stir occasionally to help it reheat evenly.

Overhead view of a bowl full of spinach tortellini with a fork in the side.
Overhead view of a bowl full of spinach tortellini with a fork in the side.
Print

Spinach Tortellini Skillet

Spinach Tortellini Skillet is an easy and hearty dinner recipe that comes together quickly and will make you want to come back for seconds!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $9.11 recipe / $2.78 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 648kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.13
  • 1 28oz. can petite diced tomatoes $1.69
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked pepper $0.02
  • 4 oz. cream cheese $1.10
  • 19 oz. frozen cheese tortellini $4.79
  • 2 cups fresh spinach $0.60
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan $0.36

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and add it to a large skillet with the olive oil. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or just until it becomes fragrant.
  • Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), basil, oregano, and pepper to the skillet. Stir to combine and continue to cook and stir until the tomatoes are hot.
  • Cut the cream cheese into chunks, then add it to the hot tomato sauce in the skillet. Continue to cook and stir until the cream cheese has melted into the tomatoes and created a smooth and creamy sauce (use a whisk, if needed).
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the tortellini. Once boiling, add the tortellini and continue to boil for about three minutes, or until they are all floating (make sure to check the package instructions for the recommended cook time). Drain the tortellini in a colander.
  • While the tortellini is draining, roughly chop the spinach into bite-sized pieces. Add the chopped spinach to the sauce in the skillet and stir to combine, allowing the heat to wilt the spinach.
  • Add the drained tortellini to the skillet and stir to combine with the sauce.
  • Sprinkle the Parmesan over top and stir to combine. Give the tortellini a taste and adjust any salt or seasonings to your liking. Serve hot and enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 648kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 27g | Sodium: 1057mg | Fiber: 9g
Close up side view of spinach tortellini skillet with a wooden spoon.

How to Make Spinach Tortellini Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Minced garlic being sauteed in olive oil.

Mince four cloves of garlic, then add them to a large skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or just until the garlic becomes fragrant.

Diced tomatoes and herbs added to the skillet.

Add one 28oz. can of petite diced tomatoes to the skillet (with the juices), along with ½ tsp dried basil, ½ tsp dried oregano, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Stir the ingredients together and continue to heat over medium, stirring occasionally.

cream cheese added to the skillet in chunks.

Once the tomatoes are hot, cut 4 oz. of cream cheese into chunks, then add it to the skillet.

Thick and creamy tomato sauce in the skillet.

Continue to cook and stir the sauce over medium heat until the cream cheese has melted in and created a smooth and creamy sauce. You can use a whisk, if needed, to help the cream cheese melt into the sauce well.

Cooked tortellini in a pot with a pasta fork lifting some.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add 19oz. frozen cheese tortellini. Allow the tortellini to boil for about 3 minutes, or until it’s all floating (check the package directions for recommended cooking time). Drain the tortellini in a colander.

Fresh spinach added to the sauce in the skillet.

While the tortellini is draining, roughly chop about 2 cups of fresh spinach into bite-sized pieces. Add the chopped spinach to the sauce in the skillet and stir it in, allowing the heat to wilt the spinach.

Drained tortellini added to the skillet.

Add the drained tortellini to the skillet and stir to combine with the sauce.

Grated Parmesan being sprinkled over the skillet.

Sprinkle about ¼ cup Grated or shredded Parmesan over top, then stir to combine.

Finished spinach tortellini skillet.

Give the tortellini one final taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking! We found that between the canned tomatoes, cream cheese, and Parmesan, no additional salt was needed for our taste buds. A pinch or two of crushed red pepper would also be awesome!

Close up overhead view of a bowl full of Spinach Tortellini.

The post Spinach Tortellini Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

White Bean Scampi with Linguine

This white bean scampi served over whole-wheat linguine provides a high-fiber, vegetarian alternative to shrimp scampi. White Bean Scampi with Linguine This vegetarian entrée channels all the flavors of a classic shrimp scampi but leans on mild, creamy cannellini beans, a naturally fat-free protein packed with fiber to keep you fuller longer. White wine and […]

The post White Bean Scampi with Linguine appeared first on Skinnytaste.

This white bean scampi served over whole-wheat linguine provides a high-fiber, vegetarian alternative to shrimp scampi.

White Bean Scampi with Linguine
White Bean Scampi with Linguine

This vegetarian entrée channels all the flavors of a classic shrimp scampi but leans on mild, creamy cannellini beans, a naturally fat-free protein packed with fiber to keep you fuller longer. White wine and fresh lemon juice bring brightness, while cherry tomatoes and spinach lend pops of color. For more scampi recipes, try my Shrimp Scampi Zoodles, Grilled Shrimp Scampi Skewers, and Shrimp Scampi Foil Packets.

(more…)

The post White Bean Scampi with Linguine appeared first on Skinnytaste.

Creamy Tortellini Soup

This Creamy Tortellini Soup features a rich tomato broth, hearty cheese tortellini, a medley of vegetables and tons of comfort in one bowl!

The post Creamy Tortellini Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

We’re still deep into cozy soup season, so I’m enjoying my pasta soup style this evening in this super creamy tortellini soup. It’s got a rich and creamy tomato-based broth, hearty cheese tortellini to sink your teeth into, a medley of veggies, and everything you’re going to want on a chilly winter night. Plus, the leftovers are awesome, so come lunchtime tomorrow, you’ll be really glad you made it. ;)

Overhead view of a bowl full of tortellini soup with a spoon lifting a bite.

What’s in Tortellini Soup

This soup, at its core, is super basic, but the ingredients add up to big flavor and a hearty bowl that will keep you full. Here’s a quick rundown of the ingredients in this delicious tortellini soup:

  • Vegetables: This soup starts like many other soups with a mirepoix (onion, celery, and carrot) plus a little garlic for good measure.
  • Tomatoes: I’ve added two tomato products to this soup, tomato paste and crushed tomatoes. The tomato paste helps thicken the broth and gives a deep tomatoey flavor, while the crushed tomatoes give the soup volume and a little more texture.
  • Vegetable Broth: Vegetable broth gives this soup volume and dimension to the flavor.
  • Italian Seasoning: I kept the seasoning simple here by using an Italian seasoning blend instead of using several individual spices. If you don’t have Italian seasoning, you can substitute it with a mix of basil and oregano.
  • Cheese Tortellini: The star of the show! I used a bag of frozen small cheese tortellini to give the soup extra belly-filling power. You can use just about any flavor of tortellini you’d like for this soup.
  • Heavy Cream: A splash of heavy cream makes the broth extra lush, but you can skip it if you’d like! I love adding the cream because it makes the soup taste like a really rich tomato soup.
  • Spinach: I finished the tortellini soup off with a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach to give the soup balance and a little more color. You can skip the spinach or add some frozen chopped spinach in its place if you wish.

Buying Tortellini

Tortellini is one of the most expensive ingredients in this soup, so make sure you’re shopping wisely! In most major grocery stores you’ll be able to find tortellini in three places: with dry pasta, in the freezer section (near frozen bread), and with fresh pasta in the dairy case. I find that the frozen tortellini is usually the best price, and you can even use half the amount of tortellini in this recipe if you need to reduce the cost further. If using dry tortellini, you’ll need to boil the tortellini in the soup slightly longer and you may need to add extra water.

What Else Can I Add?

Italian sausage makes a great addition to this soup if you want something a little more meaty, or you could even sauté some bacon in the pot before the vegetables for even more richness. Want to make it extra cheesy? Sprinkle some grated or shredded Parmesan on top of each bowl just before serving.

How to Store Tortellini Soup

After cooking, divide the tortellini soup into single-serving portions and refrigerate until ready to eat. For longer storage, you can transfer the containers to the freezer after they’re fully chilled. To reheat, microwave on high until the soup is heated through, or reheat in a saucepot over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

Overhead view of a ladle full of creamy tortellini soup hovering over the pot.
Overhead view of a bowl of creamy tortellini soup with a spoon in the side.
Print

Creamy Tortellini Soup

This Creamy Tortellini Soup features a rich tomato broth, hearty cheese tortellini, a medley of vegetables and tons of comfort in one bowl!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine American
Total Cost $10.69 recipe / $1.34 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 1.5 cups each
Calories 355kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.37
  • 2 carrots $0.29
  • 2 stalks celery $0.22
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.26
  • 4 Tbsp tomato paste $0.36
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes $1.69
  • 1.5 tsp Italian seasoning $0.15
  • 4 cups vegetable broth $0.52
  • 19 oz. cheese tortellini (frozen) $4.79
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream $0.82
  • 4 oz. fresh spinach $1.20
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.04
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Dice the onion, carrot, and celery. Mince the garlic. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to a large soup pot along with the olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions soften (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the tomato paste and continue to stir and cook over medium heat for about three minutes more.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and vegetable broth to the pot. Stir to combine and dissolve any tomato paste off the bottom of the pot.
  • Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the soup up to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the frozen tortellini to the soup and boil for about 3 minutes, or the recommended time on the package needed to cook the tortellini.
  • Turn the heat off. Stir the heavy cream into the soup. Stir the fresh spinach into the soup until wilted.
  • Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste (we added about ¾ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper).

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 1209mg | Fiber: 6g
Close up side view of a bowl of creamy tortellini soup garnished with Parmesan.

How to Make Tortellini Soup – Step By Step Photos

Diced vegetables in the soup pot.

Dice one yellow onion, two carrots, and two stalks of celery. Mince four cloves of garlic. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to a large soup pot along with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onions have softened.

tomato paste added to the soup pot.

Add four tablespoons of tomato paste to the pot and continue to sauté with the vegetables for about three minutes more.

Crushed tomatoes and herbs in the pot, broth pouring in the side.

Add one 28oz. can of crushed tomatoes, 1.5 tsp Italian seasoning blend, and 4 cups vegetable broth to the pot. Stir to combine and dissolve any tomato paste off the bottom of the pot.

Simmered soup in the pot.

Turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the soup to come up to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Tortellini added to the soup.

Add one 19oz. package of frozen cheese tortellini to the soup and continue to boil for 3 minutes, or as long as needed according to the package directions to cook the tortellini.

Heavy cream being stirred into the soup.

Turn the heat off and stir ½ cup heavy cream into the soup (optional).

Fresh spinach added to the soup.

Add about four large handfuls of fresh spinach to the soup, then stir it in and allow the spinach to wilt.

Finished soup in the pot being stirred.

Give the soup a taste and adjust the salt or other seasonings to your liking (we added ¾ tsp salt and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper).

Overhead view of the finished pot of creamy tortellini soup garnished with Parmesan and pepper.

I like my tortellini soup garnished with a light sprinkle of Parmesan and some freshly grated black pepper. 😋

Overhead view of a bowl of creamy tortellini soup with a spoon in the side.

The post Creamy Tortellini Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli is a classic, budget-friendly Italian soup that combines beans, pasta, vegetables, and a flavorful tomato-based broth.

The post Pasta e Fagioli appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’re looking for a super cozy and hearty soup to get you through ’til spring, you’ve got to try this Pasta e Fagioli for dinner tonight. I was lucky enough to eat Pasta e Fagioli for the first time in Italy, and it was so good—I wanted to lick the bowl clean after finishing the last spoonful! I’ve tweaked my own version over the years, combining techniques from both traditional Italian versions and Americanized ones, finally arriving at a soup that is easy to prepare, insanely nostalgic, and comforting.

Large bowl of pasta e fagioli soup in a white bowl with a black spoon and topped with a torn piece of bread and surrounded by other ingredients like more bread, uncooked pasta, and a decorative blue and white napkin.

What is Pasta e Fagioli?

Pasta e Fagioli (pronounced “paa·stuh ee faa·jow·lee”), also called “Pasta Fazool” in Italian-American slang, simply means “pasta and beans.” This lesser-known Italian staple feels indulgent thanks to a whisper of bacon and a handful of pasta, but since the soup is mostly vegetables and beans, it’s a dinner worthy of a second helping without a second thought. Pasta e Fagioli is made with…

  • Cannellini beans (But any white bean will work!)
  • Small-shaped pasta (most often ditalini or acini di pepe)
  • Tomato broth enhanced with smoky pork
  • Fresh herbs (typically rosemary or thyme)
  • Aromatic vegetables (onions, carrots, and celery)
  • Parmesan cheese and fresh Italian parsley

budget tips

I made some modifications to traditional versions of Pasta e Fagioli over the years in order to suit my tastes—and now, to make it more budget-friendly. 

  • Most recipes use pancetta as the pork element. Since it’s harder to find in most U.S. grocery stores and tends to be more pricey, we opted for bacon.
  • We used grated parmesan, the most cost-conscious option, but reaching for shredded parmesan—or the real thing! —will take this soup to the next level.
  • While rosemary is the most common herb used in this type of soup, I think it’s a really overwhelming flavor even in small amounts. I prefer to use oregano since I always have it on hand.

Weeknight shortcuts 

Pasta e Fagioli is a pretty straightforward recipe as it is, but here are a few shortcuts you can take to make it come together in 30 minutes :

  • Skip the herbs, spices, oil, and crushed tomatoes, and grab a jar of pre-made marinara or another tomato-based pasta sauce. (Since most store-bought sauces are sold in 24-25 oz. jars, you can make up the remaining 3-4oz of liquid called for in the recipe with an equal amount of water or broth.)
  • Use a Mirepoix-Style frozen vegetable blend to cut down on prep time.

How to store pasta e Fagioli leftovers

If you plan to meal-prep or freeze this recipe, cook the pasta separately. Nevertheless, we found the ditalini we used did not soak up too much liquid or turn to mush—even after 4 days in the fridge! The broth will thicken over time, so if you want the leftovers to be more “soupy,” add a ¼ cup of water and a pinch of salt when reheating.

How to serve pasta e fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli is best topped with lots of chopped parsley, fresh-cracked black pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Round out the meal with a Simple Side Salad and, most importantly, some bread to help soak up every drop! It doesn’t matter what kind — anything from some super-simple Homemade Garlic Bread, a from-scratch bread recipe like our No-Knead Foccacia, Ciabatta, or Easy Soda Bread to a store-bought loaf — just make sure to serve it with bread!

Side view of a white serving bowl filled with Pasta e Fagioli topped with parsley, parmesean cheese, bacon crumbles and crusty Irish Soda Bread.
Dutch oven filled with finished Pasta e Fagioli soup topped with chopped parsley and parmesan cheese, with a ladle tucked into the right side of the soup.
Print

Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli is a classic, budget-friendly Italian soup that combines beans, pasta, vegetables, and a flavorful tomato-based broth.
Course Dinner, Soup
Cuisine Italian
Total Cost $6.71 RECIPE / $1.12 SERVING
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 1.5 cups
Calories 248kcal
Cost $6.71 RECIPE / $1.12 SERVING

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. bacon, sliced $1.20
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.13
  • 1 onion, finely diced $0.37
  • 2 carrots, finely diced $0.29
  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced $0.32
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced $0.32
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes $0.04
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 1 15oz. can cannelinni beans $0.89
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes $1.69
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups vegetable broth* $0.24
  • 1 cup ditalini (uncooked)** $0.39
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese $0.36
  • 1/4 cup Flat-leaf Italian parsley, roughly chopped $0.35

Instructions

  • Chop the bacon into smaller pieces and place them in a large pot with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Fry on medium heat until the bacon is brown and crispy (around 10 minutes).
  • While the bacon is frying, finely dice the onion, carrots, and celery; and mince the garlic.
  • Remove half of the cooked bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving behind the rest of the meat and any rendered fat in the pot.
  • Add the finely diced onions, carrots, celery, minced garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the pot. Saute the vegetables on medium-high heat until they are softened (around 6 minutes).
  • Add the white beans, canned tomatoes (with juices), water, and vegetable broth to the pot. Stir everything to combine, then bring the soup up to a boil. Once boiling, let it cook for another 5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.
  • Add the pasta to the soup and cook, uncovered, according to the package directions, stirring frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. If the broth has reduced too much (the pasta will absorb a lot of the flavorful broth as it cooks), add another ½ cup of water, taste it, and adjust the seasonings again if needed.
  • Serve Pasta e Fagioli in bowls topped with the reserved bacon, chopped parsley, grated parmesa cheese, fresh-cracked black pepper, , and a side of warm, crusty bread.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*We use Better Than Bouillon to make our broth. If you use a low-sodium broth, you may need to add more salt to your taste.
**If you plan to keep leftovers or freeze this soup for later, cook the pasta in a separate pot according to package directions and skip Step 6. (Split the pasta between bowls and spoon over the soup to serve.)

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 744mg | Fiber: 2g
Close up of a ladle full of cooked pasta e fagioli soup and a large pot full of more soup in the background.

How to Make Pasta E Fagioli – Step by Step Photos

Small slices of bacon frying in the bottom of a large dutch oven.

Slice 4 ounces of bacon (1/4 of a regular-size package) into smaller pieces and place in a large pot or dutch oven along with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Fry the bacon on medium heat until it is brown and crispy (around 10 minutes). While the bacon is frying, finely diced 1 onion, 2 carrots, and 3 celery stalks; and mince 4 cloves of garlic.

A large dutch oven filled halfway with uncooked diced onions, diced carrots, diced celery with cooked bacon slices underneath and piles of dried red pepper, minced garlic and dried oregano, salt and pepper on top.

Remove half of the cooked bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside for serving. Leave behind the rest of the meat and any extra fat in the pot. Add the diced onions, carrots, celery, minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the pot. Saute the vegetables on medium-high heat until they are softened (around 6 minutes). 

A large pot half filled with sauteed vegetables, uncooked white beans and crushed tomatoes, and a hand overhead pouring vegetable broth into the pot with a liquid measuring cup.

Add a 15 oz. can of white beans (drained and rinsed), a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes (with juices), 1 1/2 cups of water, and 2 cups of vegetable broth to the pot. Stir everything to combine, increasing the heat (if needed) to bring the soup up to a boil.

Large pot filled with pasta e fagioli soup simmering to cook before adding the final ingredients.

Once boiling, let the soup cook for another 5 minutes until the vegetables have softened and the broth has cooked enough to lose the “canned” taste from the tomatoes.

Hand pouring uncooked ditalini into a pot of simmering pasta e fagioli soup.

Add 1 cup of small-shaped pasta (ditalini) to the soup and cook, uncovered, according to the package directions (approx. 7 minutes), stirring frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Skip this step if you plan to keep leftovers or freeze this soup for later. Instead, cook the pasta in a separate pot according to package directions.

A close up shot of a wooden spoon raised above a cooked pot of pasta e fagioli soup.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the grated parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. If the broth has reduced too much (the pasta will absorb a lot of the flavorful broth as it cooks), add another ½ cup of water, taste it, and adjust the seasonings again if needed.

A large pot filled with cooked pasta e fagioli soup with a wooden spoon on the right side of the pot, and a hand tossing in grated parmesan cheese and chopped parsley sitting on top of the soup inside the pot.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the grated parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

Finished Pasta e Fagioli soup with a wooden spoon sticking out of the top right side of the pot.

If the broth has reduced too much (the pasta will absorb a lot of the flavorful broth as it cooks), add another ½ cup of water, taste it, and adjust the seasonings again if needed.

Side view of a bowl of pasta e fagioli soup topped with bacon, parsley and parmesan cheese with a black soup spoon and a torn piece of bread on the side.

Serve the soup in bowls topped with more chopped parsley, grated parmesan, fresh-cracked black pepper, reserved bacon pieces, and a side of warm, crusty bread. Buon appetito!

More Cozy Soup Recipes

Three bowls of rosemary garlic white bean soup with different toppings (pesto, croutons, Parmesan).

Easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup

4.79 from 119 votes
A spoonful of homemade Zuppa Toscana ready to be eaten.

Zuppa Toscana

4.85 from 132 votes
Close up overhead view of a bowl of chicken noodle soup.

Chicken Noodle Soup

4.91 from 154 votes

The post Pasta e Fagioli appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe is a mouthwatering pasta dish that uses four ingredients, comes together in twenty minutes, and feeds your entire household.

The post Cacio e Pepe appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Cacio e Pepe is my go-to recipe on those days that my to-do list has more items on it than there are hours in the day. This cheese and pepper pasta is the ultimate quick, delicious, and budget-friendly dinner. My foolproof Cacio e Pepe recipe has four ingredients: spaghetti, parmesan, black pepper, and butter. Bonus: It comes together in under 20 minutes and can feed your entire household.

Overhead shot of finished Cacio e Pepe in a pan with tongs in it.

What Does Cacio e Pepe Mean?

Cacio e Pepe is Italian for Cheese and Pepper Pasta. This iconic Roman dish was created by shepherds who traveled light and couldn’t carry a bunch of ingredients to feed themselves. So they needed their meals to be filling but easy to execute; all reasons this dish is a smash hit, especially if you’ve got kids. I’m not saying kids are sheep. Sheep listen and don’t talk back. Shepherds had it easy. #truthtopower #momlife

Ingredients for Cacio e Peppe

Traditionally Cacio e Pepe is made with:

  • Pecorino Romano
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • TonnarelliI

While I’m all about coarsely ground black pepper, to keep things easy and within budget, I use grated parmesan, a little butter, and spaghetti. So, no, this is not a traditional Cacio e Pepe recipe. Don’t come at me, purists.

I’m just trying to make life easier for folks that don’t have time to grind black peppercorns in a mortar. And while I know butter is a near sin in some parts of Italy (the North), it helps stabilize the cheese sauce for those people that just want to get dinner on the table without a bunch of fuss. Feel free to smash peppercorns, omit the butter, and work that pasta and cheese to your heart’s content.

What Pasta Can I Use For Cacio e Pepe?

Cacio E Pepe’s creamy, peppery cheese sauce requires a long noodle with some texture and toothiness, so it can cling to it without overpowering it. While tonnarelli is the traditional pasta used in this recipe, spaghetti or bucatini works just as great. Steer clear of linguine and angel hair which will fall apart quickly and become a gummy mess.

Overhead shot of finished Cacio e Pepe on a plate with a fork in it.

How To Make Cacio e Pepe

With just a handful of ingredients and one pan, Cacio E Pepe looks deceptively simple to make. However, if you want a creamy sauce, there are two things you need to make sure you do:

  1. When boiling your pasta, use a smaller pan and less water. This concentrates the amount of starch in the water, which will help your ingredients combine smoothly to create a velvety sauce.
  2. When you’re ready to make your sauce, cook on low heat; otherwise, your cheese will glop and get stringy. It’s ok if your sauce steams, but if you see it start to bubble, take the pan off the heat to cool things down quickly.

How long can you store leftover Cacio e Pepe?

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days. Then, reheat leftovers in a pan set over medium heat. To loosen the sauce, add a tablespoon or two of pasta water to the pan (or plain water if you didn’t reserve pasta water). Stir constantly until the pasta is steaming.

Why You Keep Pasta Water

Pasta water is liquid gold when creating a sauce, especially a cheese sauce. As spaghetti boils, it releases starch into the water. That starch has incredible binding power and not only helps pull together a sauce, but it also helps the sauce bind to the pasta.

  • Try substituting pasta water for milk the next time you make boxed mac and cheese, and watch the magic happen.
  • Try freezing your pasta water in ice cube trays and tossing a cube in when making a pan sauce, beans, or soups.
  • Or melt the cube and use it instead of plain water when making bread, as the starch in the water will help the bread rise.
Side shot of finished Cacio e Pepe in a pan with tongs in it.

Can you Make Cacio e Pepe Ahead Of Time?

Most people will say you can’t make Cacio e Pepe ahead of time. Those people have never worked in a restaurant kitchen. To make your Cacio e Pepe up to a day ahead you will need to par-cook the pasta and the sauce.

For the pasta:

  • Cook the pasta for half the time recommended on the package. Drain the pasta, reserving about a cup of the pasta water.
  • Refrigerate the pasta water in an airtight container and spread the pasta on a sheet pan. Allow it to cool.
  • Once cool, toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil per pound of pasta. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours in an airtight container 

For the sauce:

  • Dissolve 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into a cup of water. Add it to a small pan and bring it to a simmer, constantly stirring, until it thickens into a syrup. Allow the syrup to cool.
  • Then add the cheese, pepper, and butter to a blender. Pulse to combine the ingredients.
  • Next pour in the cooled cornstarch syrup. Blend until a thick sauce forms. Store in an airtight container with a piece of plastic placed over the surface of the sauce so a skin doesn’t form.

When it’s time to cook, boil the pasta in salted water for a minute or two, until just before al dente. Drain the pasta, removing it from the pan. Then bring a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water to a simmer in the saucepan. Add the cheese sauce and stir until it loosens. Next, add the pasta. Finally, stir the pasta, adding pasta water little by little, until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.

Overhead shot of finished Cacio e Pepe in a pan with tongs in it.
Side shot of finished Cacio e Pepe on a plate with a fork in it.
Print

Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe is a mouthwatering pasta dish that uses four ingredients, comes together in twenty minutes, and feeds your entire household. Before you know it, you'll be yelling "Dinner's ready!"
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Italian
Total Cost $3.20 recipe /$0.80 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories

Ingredients

  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/2 lb dry spaghetti $0.67
  • 4 Tbsp salted butter, divided* $0.60
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper*, plus more for garnish $0.16
  • 1 cup Parmesan, grated*, plus more for garnish $1.75

Instructions

  • In a large skillet bring 6 cups of water and 3/4 teaspoons of salt to a boil. Add the dry spaghetti and cook for two minutes less than the package directions call for.
  • Reserve a cup of pasta water before draining the spaghetti. Place the spaghetti in a bowl and set it close to the stove to keep it warm.
  • In the same pan you cooked the spaghetti, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with the black pepper over medium heat. Cook until fragrant.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the pan and stir until a glossy sauce forms.
  • Turn the heat down to low and add the spaghetti to the pan. Top with the grated parmesan and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
  • Use tongs to quickly mix the parmesan, butter, spaghetti, and pepper sauce until a creamy sauce forms. Serve immediately and garnish with additional pepper and parmesan cheese.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*If using unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the sauce.
*If using finely ground black pepper (like the kind that comes pre-ground) use 1/2 teaspoon.
*Try to use fresh parmesan, which will actually melt. If you use the powdery stuff in the green bottle it will leave you with a grainy sauce.
Side shot of finished Cacio e Pepe in a pan with tongs in it.

How to Make Cacio e Pepe – Step by Step Photos

Raw spaghetti in a pan of boiling water.

In a large skillet, bring 6 cups of water and 3/4 teaspoons of salt to a boil. Add a 1/2 pound of dry spaghetti and boil for two minutes less than the package directions call for, until just before al dente.

A ladle reserves pasta water from a pan of cooked spaghetti.

Before draining the spaghetti, reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Once drained, place the spaghetti in a bowl and set it close to the stove to keep it warm.

Pasta water, butter, and pepper in a pan.

In the same skillet you used to cook the spaghetti, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper over medium heat. Simmer the pepper in the melted butter until fragrant.

Hand whisking sauce as it reduces.

Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the pan and stir until the sauce becomes glossy and thickens.

Grated parmesan and butter on top of cooked spaghetti.

Turn down the heat from medium to low. Add the spaghetti, the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and the cup of grated parmesan.

Overhead shot of finished Cacio e Pepe in a pan with tongs in it.

Over low heat, use tongs to combine the parmesan, butter, spaghetti, and black pepper sauce until a creamy cheese sauce forms. Add more pasta water to thin the sauce if necessary. If the sauce starts to simmer, take the pan off the heat.

Side shot of finished Cacio e Pepe on a plate with a fork in it.

Plate your Cacio e Pepe immediately and garnish with more grated parmesan and a few more grinds of black pepper. Try not to gobble it up so fast that you cover your cheeks with cheese sauce. (That’s mostly a note for me. I inhaled this stuff so fast, I left Beth clutching her pearls. )

The post Cacio e Pepe appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Truffle Mac and Cheese

This earthy decadent Truffle Mac and Cheese is a mushroom lover’s dream. It’s easier than you think and can be made ahead- perfect for holidays and gatherings.

This earthy decadent Truffle Mac and Cheese is a mushroom lover's dream. It's easier than you think and can be made ahead- perfect for holidays and gatherings.
This earthy decadent Truffle Mac and Cheese is a mushroom lover's dream. It's easier than you think and can be made ahead- perfect for holidays and gatherings.

One-Pot Orzo with Sausage, Spinach and Corn

You’re going to love this easy, creamy and delicious one-pot orzo made with chicken sausage, onions, spinach and corn topped with grated Parmesan. One-Pot Orzo with Sausage and Spinach This recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight because it’s quick to prepare and only requires one pot for cooking. Plus, it’s packed with flavor from […]

The post One-Pot Orzo with Sausage, Spinach and Corn appeared first on Skinnytaste.

You’re going to love this easy, creamy and delicious one-pot orzo made with chicken sausage, onions, spinach and corn topped with grated Parmesan.

Orzo with Italian Sausage, Corn and Spinach
One-Pot Orzo with Sausage and Spinach

This recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight because it’s quick to prepare and only requires one pot for cooking. Plus, it’s packed with flavor from the sausage, spinach, and corn, and the orzo adds a satisfying and creamy texture. I love one pot meals so much I wrote a whole cookbook with one pot dinners! For more one pot recipes try this one pot chicken and rice, one pot spaghetti and meat sauce and this one pot spaghetti puttanesca. I also have a section here with lots of one pot meals.

(more…)

The post One-Pot Orzo with Sausage, Spinach and Corn appeared first on Skinnytaste.

Easy Homemade Lasagna

This easy homemade lasagna recipe has layers of homemade meat sauce, tender lasagna noodles, and a rich combination of melty cheeses!

The post Easy Homemade Lasagna appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Have you seen the price of lasagna in restaurants lately? The last time I saw lasagna on a menu it was $20… per slice! Talk about sticker shock. So I knew that if I was going to get my lasagna fix, I would have to make it at home. Make no mistake, it’s a splurge whether you order it at a restaurant or make it at home because it’s chock full of meat and cheesy goodness. But at least homemade lasagna is closer to $20 for the whole pan, not per slice. 😅

Overhead view of a sliced lasagna with one slice being lifted from the pan.

The Three Main Components of Lasagna

Lasagna is the perfect trifecta of ingredients: pasta, tomatoes, and cheese. Or, more specifically, the three main components of a classic lasagna are a red meat sauce, lasagna noodles, and a mix of ricotta and other cheeses. You can swap out any of these three components to make different styles of lasagna (white lasagna, vegetarian lasagna, spinach lasagna, etc.) but the recipe we have for you today is a classic lasagna with a tomato-based meat sauce, ricotta cheese blend, and lasagna noodles.

How to Layer Lasagna

There are no hard rules when it comes to layering lasagna (don’t @ me if you disagree), but there is one method that will make your life a whole lot easier. For a stress-free lasagna, layer the lasagna in the following order:

  • Sauce first (this keeps the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the dish)
  • Lasagna noodles
  • Cheese (it’s easier to spread the cheese on top of the solid noodles than on the sauce)
  • Repeat: sauce – noodles – cheese two more times
  • Finish with sauce and more cheese

Not into layering? Try our Baked Ziti recipe! It has all the same great flavors but with an easier free-form construction.

Homemade Lasagna is so Worth It

Making homemade lasagna is not exactly a quick dinner fix. It definitely takes a little time and effort, but it’s oh-so worth it! The layers of rich seasoned red sauce, the tender noodles, and plenty of melty cheese make it the epitome of comfort food. Plus, lasagna is very freezer-friendly, so you can put in the work once and enjoy the fruits of your labor for weeks to come.

Overhead view of a full pan of lasagna.

How to Freeze Lasagna

Freeze after baking: Allow the lasagna to cool slightly, then it divide into single portions. Chill each portion in a resealable container in the refrigerator, then transfer it to the freezer for long-term storage. The lasagna will stay good in the freezer for about three months. To reheat, simply grab a slice out of the freezer and reheat it in the microwave. For best results, I suggest using the defrost mode first, then microwaving on high until heated through.

Freeze before baking: If you prefer to freeze first and bake later, simply follow the recipe below all the way through the layering step, then cover and chill the lasagna fully in the refrigerator. Once chilled, transfer to the freezer (in an air-tight container) and freeze until solid. To bake the frozen lasagna, let it thaw completely in the refrigerator for a full 24 hours first. Then bake as directed, adding an additional 10 minutes to compensate for the chilled ingredients.

Budget-Friendly Ingredient Swaps

If you’re looking to make your homemade lasagna even more budget-friendly, here are a few ingredients you can swap to bring the total price down:

  • Substitute the ricotta cheese with small curd cottage cheese (this does produce a “looser” texture to the lasagna filling.
  • Substitute half of the Italian sausage for sautéed mushrooms. You may need to add extra Italian seasoning to make up for what’s in the missing sausage.
  • Use a store-bought red sauce instead of making your own (some brands are more expensive, so make sure to comparison shop!).
  • Buy your mozzarella in large blocks to get a lower price per ounce. Freeze half for later.

What to Serve with Lasagna

You just spent all that time making your masterpiece homemade lasagna, so I suggest keeping the sides simple. You really can’t beat some homemade garlic bread and a simple side salad! Or maybe you just want a little snacky-snack appetizer to serve while the lasagna is in the oven? If that’s the case, some Bruschetta is your ticket!

Side view of a slice of lasagna being lifted out of the pan.
Side view of a slice of lasagna being lifted out of the pan.
Print

Homemade Lasagna

This easy homemade lasagna recipe has layers of homemade meat sauce, tender lasagna noodles, and a rich combination of melty cheeses!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Total Cost $14.96 recipe / $1.66 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 9
Calories 539kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Italian sausage $3.99
  • 1 yellow onion $0.37
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes $1.69
  • 3 oz. tomato paste (about 5 Tbsp) $0.45
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning $0.30
  • 2 cups whole milk ricotta $3.19
  • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend $1.25
  • 1 large egg $0.21
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper $0.02
  • 9 lasagna noodles (about ½ lb.) $0.90
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella $2.49
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional garnish) $0.10

Instructions

  • Add the Italian sausage to a deep skillet and cook over medium heat until browned. While the sausage is cooking, dice the onion and then add it to the skillet with the sausage. Continue to stir and cook until the onion has softened (about 3 minutes).
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning to the skillet and stir to combine. Partially cover the skillet with a lid, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let the sauce simmer while you prepare the other ingredients. Stir the saue occasionally as it cooks.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add the ricotta cheese, Italian cheese blend, egg, and pepper to a bowl, then stir to combine. Set the cheese mixture aside.
  • Fill a large pot with water and add ½ Tbsp salt. Bring the pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the lasagna noodles and cook just until tender (about 8 minutes). Drain the noodles in a colander.
  • Spread about 1 cup of sauce over the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole dish. Lay three lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Spread ⅓ of the cheese mixture evenly over the noodles. Repeat the layers (sauce, noodles, cheese) two more times. Finish with the remaining sauce, then top with the shredded mozzarella.
  • Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove the foil, turn the oven from bake to broil, and broil for about 5 minutes or just until the cheese gets a little brown on top. Watch the lasagna closely as it broils!
  • Top the lasagna with chopped parsley if desired. Slice the lasagna into nine (or twelve) pieces and serve!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 539kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 33g | Sodium: 796mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead view of a pan full of homemade lasagna

How to Make Lasagna – Step by Step Photos

Browned sausage and onions in a deep skillet.

Start by browning 1 lb. of Italian sausage in a deep skillet. While the sausage cooks, dice a yellow onion. Add the diced onion to the sausage and continue to cook for a few minutes more, or until the onion has softened.

tomatoes and herbs added to meat and onions in the skillet.

Add one 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, ½ of a 6 oz. can of tomato paste (about 5 Tbsp), and 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning. Stir to combine.

Finished meat sauce in the skillet.

Partially cover the pan with a lid, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let the sauce simmer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Stir the sauce occasionally as it simmers.

Cheese filling ingredients in a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Next, prepare the cheese filling. Add 2 cups whole milk ricotta, 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend, 1 large egg, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper to a bowl. Stir until everything is evenly combined, then set the cheese aside.

Boiled lasagna noodles in a Dutch oven.

Fill a large pot with water and add ½ Tbsp salt. Bring the water to a boil, then add 9 lasagna noodles. Boil the noodles just until they’re tender (about 8 minutes), making sure not to overcook the noodles. Soft noodles tear easily and they will get mushy as the lasagna bakes. Drain the noodles in a colander.

Lasagna being layered into the casserole dish.

Spread about 1 cup of the meat sauce over the bottom of a large baking dish. Lay three lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Divide the cheese mixture into three portions (one for each layer of the lasagna), then spread one of the portions evenly over the three noodles.

Finished lasagna topped with shredded mozzarella.

Repeat the sauce-noodles-cheese layers two more times (for a total of three layers), then top with the rest of the meat sauce and two cups of shredded mozzarella.

Baked lasagna with the foil pulled back.

Cover the lasagna with foil and bake in the preheated 350ºF oven for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove the foil and turn the heat on to broil.

broiled lasagna topped with parsley.

Broil the lasagna for about five minutes or just until the cheese gets a little brown on top. Broilers can vary quite a bit, so watch the lasagna closely during this step! Top the baked lasagna with chopped parsley if desired.

close up overhead view of sliced lasagna in the pan.

Slice the lasagna into 9 (or 12) portions and serve! …Or chill the portions and then transfer to the freezer later (hello homemade Stouffer’s!)

Overhead view of the entire pan of lasagna.

The post Easy Homemade Lasagna appeared first on Budget Bytes.