Bolognese Stuffed Peppers.

These bolognese stuffed peppers are cheesy, saucy and a weeknight dinner dream! Seriously, these will quickly become a new favorite. They are a quick and delish way to make dinner feel special and satisfying. And if you have leftover bolognese, this will come together in MINUTES!! Bolognese is probably the #1 favorite meal made in […]

The post Bolognese Stuffed Peppers. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

These bolognese stuffed peppers are cheesy, saucy and a weeknight dinner dream!

bolognese stuffed peppers

Seriously, these will quickly become a new favorite. They are a quick and delish way to make dinner feel special and satisfying. And if you have leftover bolognese, this will come together in MINUTES!!

bolognese stuffed peppers

Bolognese is probably the #1 favorite meal made in this house. My original, AMAZING recipe is in The Pretty Dish. It’s definitely one of the most popular dishes in the book and it is so, so good.

I’ve shared a few quicker weeknight versions of it on the blog, so that’s what you’ll find below! I’m making a ground turkey version today for these peppers and it’s one that you can throw together in 30 minutes. Most bolognese recipes do taste better as they simmer and sit with time. This is no exception, but it’s still REALLY good if you stuff the peppers immediately. 

bolognese stuffed peppers

You can also make the bolognese part ahead of time. My original bolognese recipe in the book makes a large amount and I always freeze (at least!) half. That means I constantly have bolognese on hand, which makes throwing these peppers together a BREEZE. 

Oh and P.S. – I also have a vegetarian version of this bolognese right here! My lentil bolognese is equally as delicious and I have actually served it to Eddie WITHOUT HIM REALIZING there is no meat.

Yes. Let’s just say that may have been one of the greatest successes in my life. It’s true.

bolognese stuffed peppers

Now, this recipe!

Before the holidays, I saw something similar on the kitchn and was like… whoa. I always have bolognese on hand so I gotta make this. So I did!

I made a big batch of my bolognese to make lasagna for Christmas Day, and this is what I did with the leftovers. In less than a month, this alone has become a hugely requested meal in our house. Eddie loves it, wants to take versions of it for lunch – it’s just so good.

bolognese stuffed peppers

Now here’s the secret! I first shared this in my turkey taco stuffed pepper recipe last year. The key to fabulous stuffed peppers? Roast the peppers first.

YES!

Roast them first while you’re preparing the filling. This allows them to get a bit of that roasty, caramely, flavor on their own. It makes the peppers taste SO GOOD! I realize this doesn’t seem like much, but I promise it’s a game changer and many of you have raved about the outcome.

The same goes for this recipe. Roasting the peppers ahead of time is just wonderful and adds a lot to the recipe. Plus, you have the time for it – the bolognese will take about 30 minutes to come together, so you may as well do a quick roast of the peppers while you cook! 

bolognese stuffed peppers

Now I hope I’ve convinced you to try it this week!

bolognese stuffed peppers

Bolognese Stuffed Peppers

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Bolognese Stuffed Peppers

These bolognese stuffed peppers are the perfect weeknight meal! Use beef, turkey or even lentils to make the bolognese you love. So delish!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 to 6 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 4 bell peppers, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey, I like 94% lean
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 14 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup freshly grated mozzarella or provolone cheese

Instructions

  • NOTE: Remember that you can use my LENTIL BOLOGNESE recipe linked above in the post for this to be vegetarian!
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the peppers (inside and outsides) with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • While the peppers are roasting, make the bolognese.
  • Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add in the onions with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add in the garlic and mushrooms. Stir and cook for another 5 or 6 minutes, until the mushrooms soften. Add in the turkey and break it apart with a wooden spoon. Brown it, stirring and breaking it apart, until it's cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, dried basil, oregano, pepper flakes and brown sugar. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add in the wine, tomatoes and parmesan. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 15 minutes (or even longer if you wish!). You can make this ahead of time, FYI!
  • Remove the peppers from the oven. Fill the peppers with the bolognese mixture. Top with the grated cheese. Stick them back in the oven for 15 minutes until the cheese is melty. Remove and top with parmesan before serving.

Notes

inspired by the kitchn

bolognese stuffed peppers

That cheese pull though.

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Smoked Sausage and Kale Skillet Gnocchi.

This sausage kale skillet gnocchi is weeknight meal perfection!  It’s one of those meals that you can throw together quickly, it tastes amazing AND the leftovers are delicious. I mean, it doesn’t get any better than that.  This skillet starts with browning some smoked sausage and then adding in kale until it cooks down a […]

The post Smoked Sausage and Kale Skillet Gnocchi. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

This sausage kale skillet gnocchi is weeknight meal perfection! 

smoked sausage and kale gnocchi skillet

It’s one of those meals that you can throw together quickly, it tastes amazing AND the leftovers are delicious. I mean, it doesn’t get any better than that. 

preparing smoked sausage and kale gnocchi skillet

This skillet starts with browning some smoked sausage and then adding in kale until it cooks down a bit. While this happens, boil some gnocchi then add it into the pan. Throw in your parmesan and a bit of stock and oh MY.

Dinner is served.

smoked sausage and kale gnocchi skillet

I’m all about dinner but one of my goals for the new year is to perfect dinner in our house every weeknight. By that, I mean to have more of a plan, have it ready at a certain time every night and get the kids in a great routine of looking forward to dinner and enjoying it.

Growing up, dinnertime was one of my favorite parts of the day so that’s my goal!

And we’re starting with this delish gnocchi skillet. You may eat everything out of the pan before it makes it to a plate!

smoked sausage and kale gnocchi skillet

Ugh! I just can’t take how good this is.

I like to use prepared smoked turkey sausage for this recipe – as I do with all my smoked sausage recipes. It’s just my preference. But feel free to use a smoked pork sausage or any other pre-cooked sausage that you enjoy! 

When it comes to the gnocchi, I buy shelf stable and it’s just so simple. Only takes a few minutes to cook.

smoked sausage and kale gnocchi skillet

The kale is wilty and chewy and delicious flavored. The light sauce comes together with chicken stock and parmesan. It’s not an overly saucy skillet, which is exactly how I like these meals. There is enough to give it some flavor and keep the dish moist, but the ingredients are swimming in anything. 

Throwing everything in the skillet is easy and simple. And honestly, you could probably even try my sheet pan gnocchi method with these ingredients too. 

SO easy!

smoked sausage and kale gnocchi skillet

Sausage Kale Skillet Gnocchi

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Smoked Sausage and Kale Skillet Gnocchi

This sausage kale skillet gnocchi is loaded with flavor and such a delicious, simple weeknight meal. Parmesan and pepper flakes top it off!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 pound gnocchi
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 ounces precooked smoked turkey sausage, sliced into rounds
  • 1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped (you want about 4 to 6 cups)
  • ¾ cup chicken stock
  • ¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once it boils, cook the gnocchi according to the package directions.
  • While the water is boiling, Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil with the shallots and garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the sliced sausage and cook until the sausage is browned on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  • Add in the chopped kale and stir. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until it wilts a bit. Stir in the chicken stock and let it warm for a few minutes, continuing to wilt the kale.. Add the gnocchi to the pan. Stir in the parmesan cheese. Cook for a few more minutes to bring everything together. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve!
  • Leftovers of this are great - you may want to add a bit of stock if it dries out when reheating.

smoked sausage and kale gnocchi skillet
This flavor is TOPS.

The post Smoked Sausage and Kale Skillet Gnocchi. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Turkey Taco Nacho Skillet.

Hello dinner tonight! This turkey taco skillet is about to become a weeknight staple! Okay so we’re in that time of year where everything is super holiday focused and it’s all cookies and peppermint and hot cocoa and chocolate everywhere! BUT. We still have to eat dinner and I’m always searching for foods that taste […]

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Hello dinner tonight! This turkey taco skillet is about to become a weeknight staple!

turkey taco nacho skillet

Okay so we’re in that time of year where everything is super holiday focused and it’s all cookies and peppermint and hot cocoa and chocolate everywhere! BUT. We still have to eat dinner and I’m always searching for foods that taste “regular” and different this time of year!

turkey taco meat with melted cheddar

You know? Regular and different? That makes a ton of sense. Ha.

But really, I find myself craving some classic dinners these days that aren’t overly heavy. Ones that are really easy, quick weeknight dinners.

turkey tacos with shredded lettuce and pico

There are SO many things you can do with this turkey taco skillet.

It’s super versatile!

I mean, obviously, you could spoon it directly into tortillas of course. You could even spoon it on top of a sweet potato. You could throw it on top of a salad for a quick, makeshift taco salad! Really, all the things. 

turkey taco nacho skillet

BUT! My favorite thing to do with this skillet? Serve it as is with some tortilla chips on the side. Almost like a taco dip of sorts. It’s not REALLY a dip – it’s just my favorite turkey taco mix, cheese, quick pico, lettuce and guac.

However, when it’s all thrown together like this? It’s ultimate nacho perfection.

turkey taco nacho skillet

Serving this for dinner is a HUGE hit at our house. It’s fun, and while I usually reserve it for a weekend, I can’t say it hasn’t seen a Taco Tuesday rotation lately. It would also be the perfect dinner for Christmas Eve – or even New Year’s Eve. If you’re looking for something ridiculously easy, something so delicious that you can just lay back and relax after eating, this is it. 

turkey taco skillet chip dip

Don’t be freaked out by the long-looking ingredient list! It’s truly not long, but I always use my own spices to season our tacos. If you’re in a pinch or find yourself without a few of the spices called for, just grab your favorite taco seasoning and use that instead.

Of course, you can always use a store-bought pico or salsa instead too! I love making a quick pico at home because it’s so easy and fresh. And it just might be in Eddie’s top five favorite things that I make. But if you’re pressed for time or sanity, grab one. Same with the guacamole. The only thing you really need to make are the pickled onions, because they are the best.

turkey taco nacho skillet

Embarrassingly easy meals are my favorite!

turkey taco nacho skillet with guacamole

Turkey Taco Skillet

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Turkey Taco Skillet

This turkey taco skillet is one of my favorite dinners! Serve with tortilla chips, tortillas or taco shells, in sweet potatoes or on salad!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey I like 94% lean
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • pickled onions for serving
  • cotija cheese, for sprinkling
  • lime wedges for spritzing
  • tortilla chips for serving

quick pico

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes quartered
  • ½ sweet onion diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped
  • ½ lime juiced
  • pinch of salt and pepper

quick guac

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime juiced
  • pinch salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the peppers, onions and garlic with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the ground turkey, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Season it with the cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir well, continuing to break apart the meat into small crumbles. Cook until the turkey has browned. Sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of flour. Toss and stir. Stir in the chicken stock. Cook for a few minutes until the mixture thickens.
  • Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top. You can let it melt for a few minutes or even cover the skillet so it melts quicker. Top with the lettuce and pickled onions. Top with the quick pico and guac. Top with cotija cheese if you'd like. Serve with tortilla chips!
  • To make the quick pico, toss the tomatoes, onion, cilantro and lime juice together in a bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. You can make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge. It’s better as it sits.
  • To make the quick guac, mash together the avocado, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Taste and season with more lime, salt and pepper as desired.

turkey taco nacho skillet

We adore it.

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How to Make Juicy Shredded Chicken to Use…Everywhere

Learning how to shred chicken is like following a map, because like all meat, chicken forms a noticeable grain as it cooks. Separating chicken along that grain results in juicy, tender shreds that are both handy for reducing prep time and incredibly ve…

Learning how to shred chicken is like following a map, because like all meat, chicken forms a noticeable grain as it cooks. Separating chicken along that grain results in juicy, tender shreds that are both handy for reducing prep time and incredibly versatile. A container of shredded chicken is as at home in your favorite chicken salad recipe as it is in tacos, soups, casseroles, pasta dishes, and anything else that needs a boost of protein and flavor.

Using little more than your hands—or two forks—you can easily take down a pile of leftover chicken (or chicken you made specially for shredding) and stash it away in the refrigerator for a speedy weekday lunch or simple but hearty dinner.

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Rosé Coq Au Vin.

Rosé coq au vin is the star of the show today!! Oh this meal! It is too good to be true. So! My mission for December is to share a bunch of special dinner-worthy meals with you. With the holidays looking the way they are, I know that lots of you will be spending more […]

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Rosé coq au vin is the star of the show today!!

rosé coq au vin recipe

Oh this meal! It is too good to be true.

chicken marinating in rosé

So! My mission for December is to share a bunch of special dinner-worthy meals with you. With the holidays looking the way they are, I know that lots of you will be spending more time on your own, in your house, without the fun gatherings that we’re all used to and especially without all the delish holiday food.

While my go-to for Christmas is always a beef tenderloin, I’ve made a few fancy meals for this season that taste so incredible and make dinnertime feel extra special.

These meals take a bit of time and preparation, but I promise it is worth it. 100%. It can be a holiday project that you get to sit down and eat!

chicken browning in pancetta fat

First up?

Coq au vin.

But not just any coq au vin. We’re making with with rosé instead of red wine. 

I KNOW I KNOW! That may sound blasphemous to some of you, but I promise it adds a wonderful light twist. And the sauce is still incredibly rich and decadent and perfect.

Seriously. I want to dip an entire loaf of toasted sourdough in this sauce every time I make it.

rosé coq au vin recipe

While beef bourguignon is a meal I’ve made a million times, coq au vin was more off the radar. I don’t know why! It just wasn’t something I was ever drawn to for us, and I would often make the more decadent beef stew or something like that.

That is… until now.

This chicken dish is unreal. The flavor is superb! I have no other word for it.

rosé coq au vin recipe

Traditional coq au vin has you marinate chicken in wine, and then you cook that marinade down into the most delicious gravy-like sauce. The whole dish also starts with bacon, which adds another layer of flavor.

Like most stews, there are also onions and mushrooms and carrots. Of course, you can edit these vegetables based on what you love. 

One of the parts I love the most? We caramelize pearl onions until golden and sweet and fragrant and add them to the pot. Oh my gosh – it’s like eating a savory candy right in your meal. Absolutely wonderful. 

rosé coq au vin recipe

Even after marinating the chicken, the dish will still take a little over an hour or so to come together. I promise this time is worth it. It’s a meal that I enjoy making – one that brings me back to why I love cooking so much. Usually my days, weeks and months are always so go-go-go, but 2020 changed that. Of course, I still find myself rushing through cooking mostly for the reason that I’m cooking SO much (like every meal, for everyone!) but not this one. 

This is one of those meals that you want to savor making. Every step builds upon each layer of flavor. Each step is important and not one want you want overlook. And those steps make the chicken fall-apart tender, the sauce rich and silky and the vegetables melt in your mouth.

rosé coq au vin recipe

I beg of you: don’t forget the bread! Slices of toasted sourdough are essential here for dipping. Of course, you can make some potatoes or rice or something else if you feel the meal needs more substance. But it’s an indulgent meal, and one that I find is complemented perfectly by golden, buttery sourdough. The toast adds a crunch to each bite and of course – is more than perfectly for dipping and soaking up the remaining sauce. 

rosé coq au vin recipe

Heaven on earth!

rosé coq au vin recipe

Rosé Coq Au Vin

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Rosé Coq Au Vin

This rosé coq au vin is a modern twist on the classic dish made with red wine. Instead, we use light rosé for a rich, delicious base.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs and legs
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 cups rosé wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 ounces diced pancetta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1-inch rounds
  • 12 ounces cremini mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 12 ounces pearl onions, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 loaf of sourdough bread, sliced (or 6 to 8 slices)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Season the chicken all over generously with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a large bowl. Cover it with the wine and chicken stock. Add the fresh thyme into the bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Marinate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  • When you’re ready to make the dish, heat the pancetta in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Cook until crispy and the fat is rendered, about 10 minutes. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel to drain excess grease.
  • Remove the chicken from the wine (keep the wine marinade!) and pat the chicken completely dry. Add the chicken to the same pot with the fat from the pancetta and sear on all sides. You may need to do this in batches! Sear for about 3 to 4 minutes total, just until all sides are deeply golden. Remove the chicken and place it on a plate.
  • With the heat over medium-low, add the 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the onions, carrots and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms. Cook until those soften, another 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes more.
  • Deglaze the pan with the brandy, adding it and stirring, cooking for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining wine marinade from the chicken. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture reduces by half, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Add the chicken and the pancetta back to the pot. Reduce the heat to low, just so it’s barely simmering. Cover the pot and cook for 45 to 60 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary.
  • When the dish is almost finished, heat the 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet. Once melted, stir in the pearl onions with the sugar and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are caramelly, about 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the skillet and add them to the pot with the chicken.
  • In the same skillet where you cooked the onions, add the sourdough slices and toast them. If needed, you can add in another tablespoon or so of butter - or just butter the bread and toast it until golden.
  • Sprinkle the chicken dish with the chopped parsley. Serve the chicken with the sauce and vegetables, along with the bread for dipping.

Notes

adapted from ny times

This is last meal worthy.

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How I Make The Best Turkey Stock to Use On Thanksgiving!

Here’s all the secrets to my favorite turkey stock recipe! Okay… this is one of my favorite things ever! As boring as that may seem. It just makes life much more… FLAVORFUL. For the last few years, I’ve made turkey stock and it is a GAME CHANGER. No exaggeration here. The depth of flavor that […]

The post How I Make The Best Turkey Stock to Use On Thanksgiving! appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Here’s all the secrets to my favorite turkey stock recipe!

homemade turkey stock recipe

Okay… this is one of my favorite things ever! As boring as that may seem. It just makes life much more… FLAVORFUL.

homemade turkey stock recipe

For the last few years, I’ve made turkey stock and it is a GAME CHANGER. No exaggeration here. The depth of flavor that homemade stock brings to your Thanksgiving meal is INCREDIBLE. 

I use it mostly for gravy. My mom taught me how to make incredible gravy and now I can make the best gravy ever. It may even be better than hers. 

Yep.

I also use it for stuffing and anywhere else I may need a drizzle of stock or broth throughout the cooking process. If you ever wonder why certain Thanksgiving meals taste so darn good… this is probably the reason.

chopped onions, carrots, celery

These days, I can easily find high quality chicken stock. Because of that, I don’t spend the time every other week or so making my own. I do like to make it for chicken soup, but other than that, I just don’t have the time. And I find that I use a lot of stock.

caramelized vegetables in a stock pot

Thanksgiving is the one exception where I highly highly suggest taking the time to make the stock. I do it anywhere from three to four days before and store it in my fridge. I tend to use all of it while making the meal (we like a lot of gravy in this family) but if you have extra, you can use it for soup or even freeze it. Tons of options for you!

roasted wings

I find that it’s easiest to make my stock on the day that I dry brine my turkey. This is because I clean up the turkey and remove the neck and giblets and what not. As you’ll see below, I do buy turkey wings for the stock, but you can use the neck for extra flavor if you wish. Since I do it this way, I usually make the stock on Monday or Tuesday of that week. 

Prep is key!

stock with wings and vegetables

Back in the day, I used to only brown the neck and make stock. That was good, but this is even better. It does require you to buy one more thing (turkey wings!) but I promise that it is worth it.

Also note: I realize that it’s 2020 and well… it’s 2020. If you can’t find turkey wings (I’m still doing grocery delivery and pickup, so options can be slim), you can use chicken wings in a pinch. Same kind of flavor going on!

stock with onions and herbs

I’ve adapted a recipe from epicurious over the years and there are a few important things to note that make this turkey stock recipe top-notch.

Roast the wings first. This adds fantastic depth of flavor for a very rich, golden stock, The original recipe calls for chopping up the wings with a meat cleaver, but I don’t even do that. There are a few benefits if you wish to do it, but I find it’s not necessary.

While the wings roast, I brown the vegetables in a stock pot so they get extra caramelly and delicious. We’re talking that deep golden brown sear on the onions, celery and carrots. 

I salt both the wings and the vegetables while cooking them. But I don’t salt the stock until it’s done! You’ll have to taste the stock a few times at the end and season it generously. 

I find that straining the stock two or three times removes most of the bits. If you want very clear stock, you can strain it through cheesecloth a few times. I simple use a fine mesh strainer and do it twice or three times. My stock does tend to have some flavor bits left in it, but I don’t mind since I’m using it mostly for gravy! 

turkey stock cooked down

Okay so TRUST ME when I say this is how you make the big meal come together. It takes an extra step but I promise it is SO worth it. You will not regret it. And if you do it early in the week, it’s even easier! 

homemade turkey stock recipe

I promise, it’s foolproof!

homemade turkey stock recipe

Best Turkey Stock Recipe

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Homemade Turkey Stock Recipe

This is the best turkey stock recipe! Make it a few days before Thanksgiving to add incredible flavor to your holiday meal. It's fabulous.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 10 cups
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds turkey (or chicken!) wings
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, cut in half
  • 2 carrots, cut into pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into pieces
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • 2 springs fresh thyme
  • 1 handful fresh sage

Instructions

  • Note: if you want to use the neck for the stock too, I brown it with the vegetables. You can also roast it with the wings if you wish!
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the wings in a baking dish and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Brush with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes, then flip and roast again for 30 to 40 minutes more, until they are golden brown.
  • While the wings are roasting, heat the remaining oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. One hot, add in the onions, carrots and celery with a pinch of salt and pepper. Brown the vegetables until they are golden and caramelly on all sides.
  • When the wings are done, add them to the stock pot with the vegetables. Add in the parsley and thyme. Fill the pot with water - about 14 to 16 cups. Bring the stock to a boil. Reduce it to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, you can add a bit more water if a lot has evaporated. Cover and let the stock simmer for about 2 to 2.5 hours, checking on it and stirring occasionally.
  • After 2.5 hours, turn off the heat. I remove the large wings and vegetables that are still in the stock with kitchen tongs for ease. Grab a large bowl (or 2!) and begin to strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Once I finish this, I do it again 1 or 2 more times, just to remove as many bits as a I can. At this point, I taste the stock and season it with salt. You will most like use at least 1 to 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.
  • Once the stock sits, you can skim any extra fat off the top. At this point, you can let it cool (I either put it back in a (clean) pot with a lid to cool a bit or cool it down with an ice bath. Once cool enough, place immediately into the fridge!

Notes

slightly adapted from epicurious

homemade turkey stock recipe

The post How I Make The Best Turkey Stock to Use On Thanksgiving! appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Citrus Butter and Sage Roasted Turkey.

This citrus sage roasted turkey is sponsored by ALDI. We’re finishing off Thanksgiving week with the showstopper centerpiece – a citrus butter roasted turkey!  Super flavorful, roasted to perfection with crispy golden skin, this turkey cannot be beat. It’s my favorite way to prepare a turkey for any time of year, but on Thanksgiving especially, […]

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This citrus sage roasted turkey is sponsored by ALDI.

We’re finishing off Thanksgiving week with the showstopper centerpiece – a citrus butter roasted turkey! 

citrus sage roasted turkey recipe

Super flavorful, roasted to perfection with crispy golden skin, this turkey cannot be beat. It’s my favorite way to prepare a turkey for any time of year, but on Thanksgiving especially, it makes a delicious statement. To say it’s incredible wouldn’t even do it justice.

turkey rubbed with butter in a roasting pan

Gosh, 2020 is just such a weird year. Are you planning on celebrating Thanksgiving this year? I live for Thanksgiving – it’s basically my superbowl. Because I cook so much, it’s an easy meal for me to prepare and one that I also enjoy. I also LOVE cooking for family and friends. I had such high hopes this year of doing a fun Friendsgiving and then our traditional Thanksgiving, but 2020 has dashed those hopes.

Instead, we are keeping things small in our house, with just our parents who are already in our pod of people that we’ve been seeing. I am so thankful that they all live close and are still able to do this. If you’re not in the same boat, all the love to you. 

ALDI chardonnay

So, today I’m showing you how to perfect this Thanksgiving meal – by grabbing your turkey at ALDI! ALDI has frozen Butterball turkeys that you can grab and the best part is – they come in a variety of sizes. 

It’s perfect!

melting butter and orange rind

I’m super excited to partner with ALDI today to bring you the MOST delicious Citrus Butter and Sage Turkey recipe. Regardless of how you plan to spend your Thanksgiving this year – with a small group of family or virtually on zoom, or even just in a household of two – ALDI has everything you need at seriously unbeatable prices. Their products are so high quality while being incredibly affordable – which helps make this crazy 2020 Thanksgiving a breeze. 

roasted turkey in a roasting pan

I highly recommend making ALDI your one stop shop this holiday season. You can shop in store, with curbside pickup, or with Instacart, the latter being my preference. I’ve been able to find all of my ingredients, from cranberries to potatoes to pumpkin at ALDI with great success. It’s one of my favorite places! 

citrus sage roasted turkey recipe

Now the citrus sage roasted turkey!

Let’s do a quick run-down. 

To make this incredible turkey recipe the star of the show, we’re doing a dry brine of sage salt, then a cheesecloth baste of butter, wine and citrus. It may sound fancy, but I promise it’s simple. And it will be the best turkey you’ve ever tasted!

citrus sage roasted turkey recipe

This recipe is based off of my butter and wine roasted turkey. This method is honestly the BEST way of preparation. I’ve done it for years and everyone is always blown away at how beautiful the turkey looks, but also how wonderfully juicy and tender it tastes. I’m telling you, it’s foolproof! I won’t prepare my turkey any other way. 

citrus sage roasted turkey recipe

The first step is doing a dry brine. Grab the Butterball turkey from ALDI this season and let it thaw in the fridge. Make sure you leave enough time to do this – you want the turkey fully thawed at least two days before you roast it. Once the turkey is thawed and prepared, mix together kosher salt and Stonemill Ground Sage. Sprinkle it inside the turkey, under the skin, on the skin – everywhere! 

Once this is done, let the turkey sit in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours – uncovered. This is the secret to extra crispy, delicious golden skin. Trust me. 

carved citrus sage roasted turkey recipe

When it comes time to roast, the Exquisite Collection Chardonnay from ALDI is your new BFF. We’re going to infuse melted butter with citrus rind and then stir in the Chardonnay. Soak a piece of cheesecloth in the wine and butter mixture, then place it directly on the turkey and roast it. It looks kind of funky at first, but it is DIVINE. Your house will smell like the best Thanksgiving candle that could ever exist.

I mean, when we’re using this much butter and wine, the turkey MUST be incredible! 

carved citrus sage roasted turkey recipe

While the turkey roasts, we continue to baste it with the remaining citrus butter and wine mixture. This allows it to stay juicy and tender, while also providing incredible flavor for the drippings. You can use those drippings to make foolproof gravy, which is a huge hit too!

I like to let the turkey rest for 30 minutes or so. Then I carve it and serve. We also always have leftovers – which come in great use for turkey and dumplings, tortilla soup, ramen or even breakfast sandwiches.

carved citrus sage roasted turkey recipe

I cannot express enough how absolutely fabulous this turkey is. The flavor is top notch. The meat is perfectly seasoned with a bit of earthy taste from the sage. It’s juicy from the butter and chardonnay baste, with a slight hint of citrus. It’s every Thanksgiving flavor I could dream of! 

citrus sage roasted turkey recipe

Citrus Sage Roasted Turkey

Print

Citrus Butter and Sage Roasted Turkey

This citrus sage roasted turkey is cooked to perfection with a mixture of orange rind, butter, sage and dry white wine. It's delicious!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 4 hours
1 hour
Total Time 1 day 5 hours
Servings 8 to 10 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Stonemill Dried Sage
  • 1 12 pound Butterball Turkey from ALDI
  • 2 cups Exquisite Collection Chardonnay
  • 12 tablespoons butter, browned and cooled to solid room temp, for melting
  • 1 orange, the rind removed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Instructions

  • Make sure your turkey is thawed! It can take a few days to thaw a turkey (usually 1 day per 5 pounds!) so plan accordingly. You want to dry brine your turkey at least overnight, so plan for that too! I also like to make sure my fridge has space for a day or two of brining.
  • In a bowl, stir together the kosher salt and sage.
  • A day or two before making your turkey, pat it completely dry with paper towels. Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. You can place paper towels on the sheet to absorb any liquid that drips. Place the turkey on the wire rack and use the dry brine - separate the skin from the meat and rub the brine directly on the turkey breast and legs. Sprinkle some inside the cavity. Rub it all over the skin. Place the turkey uncovered (yes, uncovered!) in the fridge - make sure it's not touching anything. Doing this will result in deliciously crispy and golden skin! This can be done for 24 to 48 hours.
  • When you're ready to cook the turkey, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Take the turkey out at least 60 minutes before. You can pat it dry with paper towels if needed, but do not rinse it. Truss the legs together.
  • Place the turkey in a roasting pan, breast-side up. At this point, you can fill the cavity with stuffing if desired. If you choose not to do stuffing, you can add a mixture of fresh herbs, like sage, thyme and rosemary. Or you don’t have to do anything! Tuck the wings under the turkey.
  • Combine the 12 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan with the orange rind. Heat until melted and the butter begins to sizzle. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the Chardonnay and the melted butter with orange rind. Take a piece of cheesecloth and fold it until you have a 4-layer, 12-inch square. Submerge it in the wine and butter and let it soak for 10 minutes.
  • Rub the turkey all over with the softened butter. Remove the cheesecloth from the wine butter and barely wring it out. Cover the turkey breast with the 4 layer cheesecloth. Roast for 30 minutes. Baste the turkey with the remaining butter and wine mixture in the bowl.
  • Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. Roast the turkey for 1 hour 45 minutes or about 2 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the butter and wine in the bowl, or the drippings from the bottom of the roasting pan.
  • After 2 hours, gently remove the cheesecloth. Continue to baste the turkey liberally with the drippings or the butter and wine leftovers. Roast it for about 60 more minutes, until the temperature taken in the thigh reaches 180 degrees F.
  • Once the turkey is finished, let it rest for 30 to 60 minutes before slicing.

citrus sage roasted turkey recipe

Perfection!

The post Citrus Butter and Sage Roasted Turkey. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Creamy Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms.

This balsamic chicken and mushrooms is sponsored by Fustinis!  Oh my my, this creamy balsamic chicken and mushrooms HITS THE SPOT. This skillet chicken is versatile and delicious. Perfect for a weeknight. Serve it with potatoes or roasted vegetables or my personal favorite – toasted sourdough bread.  YES.  Today I’m partnering with Fustini’s to bring […]

The post Creamy Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

This balsamic chicken and mushrooms is sponsored by Fustinis

Oh my my, this creamy balsamic chicken and mushrooms HITS THE SPOT.

creamy balsamic chicken and mushrooms

This skillet chicken is versatile and delicious. Perfect for a weeknight. Serve it with potatoes or roasted vegetables or my personal favorite – toasted sourdough bread.  (more…)

The post Creamy Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Fuji Apple Chicken Salad with Creamy Champagne Vinaigrette.

Welcome to my lunchtime fave: the fuji apple chicken salad! Made at HOME!  I promise this will be the last fall salad! I mean, I almost promise. Yes, I share a ridiculous amount of fall salads, especially including apples, but they are just the best salad add-in. And this one is SO good.  A year […]

The post Fuji Apple Chicken Salad with Creamy Champagne Vinaigrette. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Welcome to my lunchtime fave: the fuji apple chicken salad! Made at HOME! 

fuji apple chicken salad with champagne vinaigrette

I promise this will be the last fall salad! I mean, I almost promise. Yes, I share a ridiculous amount of fall salads, especially including apples, but they are just the best salad add-in. And this one is SO good. 

homemade apple chips

A year or two ago we started getting panera once a week for lunch while working. Mostly, my kids were obsessed with different items, but I have gone through phase after phase of their salads – there are multiples that I really love!

I’ve made the strawberry poppy seed chicken salad before and I’ve made their mediterranean kale salad with quinoa too. And! I make their baja grain bowls frequently. 

toasted brown sugar pecans

Even though we’re cooking constantly here, sometimes the dishes aren’t ready for lunch (as in, they need to be photographed!) and lunch take out has added the best spark to the day. It also helps that the salads are fairly healthy, even when I do want to get a vat of broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl. As delicious as this is, it puts me in a food coma and I can’t work after!

fuji apple chicken salad with champagne vinaigrette

A long time favorite of mine has been the fuji apple chicken salad. The apple chips, gorgonzola and vinaigrette bring so much life to the salad! I’ve recreated it almost exactly here, with a few exceptions.

Fuji apple chicken salad perfection:

I made my own apple chips, which aren’t quite as crunchy as store-bought ones. You know? They are still really good! Just never as crisp. You can either make your own or grab some from the store. I use these in salads year round, that’s how much I love them.

pouring champagne vinaigrette on fuji apple chicken salad

Also, I either broil or grill some chicken thighs or breasts. It’s delicious, but not necessary. If I was going to prep these for the week ahead, I’d probably use a rotisserie chicken for ease. Or any leftover grilled chicken!

I make pickled onions instead of using raw red sliced onion in the salad. Because pickled onions are ALWAYS better! The tart, briney flavor is out of this world. You can make these ahead of time, of course. I like to keep a batch in the fridge every week.

fuji apple chicken salad with champagne vinaigrette

Finally, I made a creamy champagne vinaigrette instead of a white balsamic. I modeled this after my creamy balsamic dressing in the blueberry salad this summer (which was such a hit!) and oh my word – it is SO good. I’m pretty sure panera has their dressing bottled if you just want to buy that for an extra legit salad. But mine is super close and SO good. 

fuji apple chicken salad with champagne vinaigrette

I mean, see that texture?! Crunchy and crisp and refreshing and satisfying and hearty! Everything a salad should be.

fuji apple chicken salad with champagne vinaigrette

Print

Fuji Apple Chicken Salad

This fuji apple chicken salad is a copycat of the delicious version from panera! Topped with a creamy champagne vinaigrette - it's so good!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
For the apple chips 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

fuji apple chicken salad

  • 2 fuji apples, thinly sliced (or 1 to 2 cups apple chips)
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • pickled onions, for serving
  • 1 cup cubed or shredded chicken breast
  • 8 cups spring greens
  • ½ cup sliced grape tomatoes
  • cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • salt and pepper

creamy champagne vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • To make the apple chips, preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Thinly slice the fuji apples and place the slices in a single layer on the sheet. Bake for 1 hour, then flip the slices and bake for 1 more hour. You can do this head of time and store them at room temp in a bag or container.
  • To toast the pecans: heat the pecans in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add in the brown sugar. Toss and stir constantly, as the pecans toast and the sugar melts. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until toasty. Remove and spread on a piece of parchment paper to cool. You can leave these whole or chop them.
  • To assemble the salad, toss the greens with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Top with chopped chicken, the apple chips, toasted pecans, chicken, gorgonzola, tomatoes and dressing. Toss well and serve!

creamy champagne vinaigrette

  • Whisk together the vinegar, garlic, cream, mustard, honey and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stream in the olive oil while whisking until emulsified. Serve with your favorite salad! This dressing stays great in the fridge. Just shake or whisk it to combine before serving.

fuji apple chicken salad with champagne vinaigrette

This is heavenly.

The post Fuji Apple Chicken Salad with Creamy Champagne Vinaigrette. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette.

Here’s how to make dinner better: pretzel crusted chicken salad. Oh oh yes. !!!! This pretzel crusted chicken salad is going to make an appearance in our house at least once a week for the foreseeable future. One of my favorite chicken recipes EVER is my pretzel crusted chicken with hot honey and house sauce. […]

The post Pretzel Crusted Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Here’s how to make dinner better: pretzel crusted chicken salad.

pretzel crusted chicken salad with mustard vinaigrette

Oh oh yes. !!!! This pretzel crusted chicken salad is going to make an appearance in our house at least once a week for the foreseeable future.

pretzel crusted chicken

One of my favorite chicken recipes EVER is my pretzel crusted chicken with hot honey and house sauce. Oh my word. They chicken fingers are absolutely to die for – we love them!

I make the chicken fingers often for dinner and Eddie and I throw them on a salad. It’s seriously one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten. The chicken is so flavorful because the pretzels are so crunchy and salty, obviously! And it just adds so much more than you’d even expect.

sliced pretzel crusted chicken on cutting board

So! Here we are with an ACTUAL pretzel crusted chicken salad.

Can I make this one of my faux oktoberfest recipes?! 

It’s no secret I’m already a fan of this combo. Remember a few years ago when I made a hot pretzel panzanella with mustard dressing? Yes, actually chunks of soft pretzel in the salad, drizzled with mustardy vinaigrette.

I die just thinking about it. It’s SO GOOD.

This is like that, just different. Crunchy pretzel bites, hearty chicken, still the same briney and tangy dressing that I could practically drink! 

pretzel crusted chicken on spring greens

I’m using full chicken breasts here instead of the tenders. I like to pound them out a bit so they are even all over in size, then coat them in the pretzels and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The result is the most flavorful, tender, crunchy chicken you’ve ever had. 

You won’t be able to stop eating it!!

P.S. you can find me on instagram today showing you how to make this step-by-step.

pretzel crusted chicken salad with onions, cheese, cucumbers and apples

In celebration of all things fall, I added some extra goods to this salad. Apples, because hello! ‘Tis the season. You can chop, slice or grate them. White cheddar, because it’s delicious with the pretzel flavor. Pickled onions for tanginess, cucumbers for a refreshing crunch. 

And it’s all drizzled with a mustard vinaigrette. I make many mustard-y vinaigrettes, sometimes even multiple times per week! But this one is extra good because it complements the pretzels so well.

pouring dressing on pretzel crusted chicken salad

I used to live for a soft pretzel with yellow mustard when I was a kid. It has been about a million years since I’ve had one, so this combo is allowing me to relive all of that over again. 

pretzel crusted chicken salad with mustard vinaigrette

Crunchy pretzel chicken, creamy cheddar, crisp apples and tangy dressing. Literally makes the best pretzel crusted chicken salad ever.

pretzel crusted chicken salad with mustard vinaigrette

I am so there!

pretzel crusted chicken salad with mustard vinaigrette

Print

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Salad

This pretzel crusted chicken salad is packed with spring greens, cheddar, apples, and crunchy crispy pretzel coated chicken. It's a dream!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 3 cups mini pretzel twists, (traditional salted ones)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 to 10 cups spring greens or your favorite lettuce
  • 1 honeycrisp apple, chopped
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, chopped or grated
  • 4 baby cucumbers, sliced
  • ¼ cup pickled onions

mustard vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Note: if you haven't made the pickled onions yet, make those to start. They can sit for 45 mins at room temp while you make the rest of the salad. I highly suggest making them ahead and storing in the fridge for weekly use!
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with nonstick spray.
  • Pound the chicken breasts so they are evenly thick all over. Season the chicken breasts with the salt and pepper. Place the pretzels in a food processor and blend until mostly fine crumbs remain. Place the pretzels in a bowl. Stir in the garlic powder.
  • In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
  • Take each chicken breast and coat it in the beaten egg. Dredge it through the pretzel crumbs, pressing gently so the crumbs adhere. Place the chicken on the rack and repeat with remaining chicken. Once all the chicken is finished, spray it with avocado or olive oil spray. This is important and really helps things get crispy and golden!
  • Bake the chicken for 12 to 15 minutes. Flip it gently and spray the other side with the oil spray. Bake for another 12 to 15 minutes.
  • While the chicken is baking, assemble the salad. Place the greens in a large bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in the chopped apples, cheddar, cucumbers and pickled onions.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and slice it. Add it to the salad and drizzle on the dressing. Enjoy!

mustard vinaigrette

  • In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Continue to whisk while streaming in the olive oil. This dressing stays great in the fridge in a sealed container for about a week.

pretzel crusted chicken salad with mustard vinaigrette

Happiest sight on earth.

The post Pretzel Crusted Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.