Pesto Bucatini Pie.

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

The post Pesto Bucatini Pie. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

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

Now this is a pie that I can get behind!

pesto pasta pie

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

So.super.delicious. 

ingredients for fresh basil

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

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

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

A pesto version!

bucatini and pesto

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

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

pesto pasta pie in a pan

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

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

pesto pasta pie

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

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

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

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

pesto pasta pie

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

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

The post Pesto Bucatini Pie. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

turkey pesto meatballs and orecchiette

As long as we are a full six days before fall begins, I am allowed to sneak in one more zucchini recipe. It would be right there in my contract, had I one, above the expectation of ironed shoelaces and below that of a daily slice of chocolate …

As long as we are a full six days before fall begins, I am allowed to sneak in one more zucchini recipe. It would be right there in my contract, had I one, above the expectation of ironed shoelaces and below that of a daily slice of chocolate biscuit cake. I’d actually intended this recipe for July (and the eggplant involtini for August). But July was so hot, and August wasn’t much better; I couldn’t bring myself to publish recipes that require oven time, so I waited for a better moment to arrive. Our patience has been rewarded; this brothy, late summer-y bowl of pasta and meatballs is absolutely perfect for right now, with the kind of sunny warm days that require a morning and evening cardigan — i.e. the very best weather on this earth, full stop.

turkey and pestoready to roastzucchiniseasoned and ready to roastsheet panroastedroastedmixed

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Cheesy Sausage Pasta

Cheesy Sausage Pasta is a quick and easy meal for quick weeknight dinners. Everything cooks in one pot for fast prep and minimum clean-up!

The post Cheesy Sausage Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This Cheesy Sausage Pasta is the dish that made me fall in love with one-pot pastas all those years ago. It’s fast, easy, SUPER flavorful, and because everything cooks in one pot, there’s barely anything to clean up after dinner. WIN. The flavorful combination of smoky sausage, spicy diced tomatoes with green chiles, and creamy Monterey Jack is simple but irresistible, and it cooks in about 30 minutes. That’s a winner in my book!

Originally posted 1-23-2010, updated 9-10-2022.

Overhead view of a skillet full of cheesy sausage pasta.

What’s in Cheesy Sausage Pasta?

This recipe was inspired by an absolutely mouth-watering photo I saw on Pinterest, which was this Spicy Sausage Pasta from KevinandAmanda.com. But, of course, I made some changes to fit the ingredients I had on hand. I nixed the heavy cream in the original recipe because I figured that between the cheese and sausage, there’d be plenty of fatty goodness going on. My version ended up being rich, but not so much so that you’ll feel super weighed down. I also added fresh spinach because I have a HUGE bag in my fridge just waiting to be used up. Plus, I felt that the recipe needed a little green.

What Else Can I Add?

Some other vegetable options for this recipe are bell peppers or broccoli, both of which go great with smoked sausage. If you want to add bell peppers, dice them up and saute them with the onions in the beginning. If you want to add broccoli, cut it into very small florets and add it with the pasta so that the broccoli can simmer a little bit and soften. There are so many different ways you can take this recipe… I’m excited to hear what you come up with!

What Type of Pasta to Use

This recipe works great with any short pasta shape (bowties, penne, rotini, etc.). I originally used campanelle (my favorite frilly flower shaped pasta), but I couldn’t find any this time around so I decided to go with wide egg noodles. One note: If you are using regular pasta (not egg noodles, which are a little more delicate), you may need slightly more broth.

Can I Use a Different Cheese?

I particularly love Monterey Jack cheese for this recipe because it melts into a super creamy texture that kind of mixes into the sauce for a super creamy finish…without adding any cream. Other cheeses will also taste great, but they probably won’t have the same creamy finish. You can try cheddar, mozzarella (aim for whole milk mozzarella instead of part-skim), or even a sprinkle of crumbled feta. And remember, pre-shredded cheese won’t melt nearly as well as cheese you shred yourself! ;)

Close up side view of cheesy sausage pasta in the skillet.

Cheesy sausage pasta on a plate with a black fork, on a bamboo mat.

Cheesy Sausage Pasta

Cheesy Sausage Pasta is a quick and easy meal for quick weeknight dinners. Everything cooks in one pot for fast prep and minimum clean-up!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $7.07 recipe / $1.77 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 538kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.38
  • 7 oz. smoked sausage $1.75
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel) $1.00
  • 8 oz. wide egg noodles* $1.40
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth $0.20
  • 3 cups fresh spinach $0.85
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack $1.25
  • 1 green onion, sliced $0.20

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and slice the sausage into rounds.
  • Add the cooking oil and sausage to a large skillet and cook over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. If there is excess fat in the skillet, drain it off before moving to the next step.
  • Add the diced tomatoes with green chiles (with juices), uncooked pasta, and chicken broth. Stir until everything is evenly combined. It's okay if the broth does not fully cover the pasta.
  • Place a lid on the skillet and allow the broth to come up to a boil. When it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the pasta simmer for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Stir the pasta occasionally, replacing the lid each time.
  • Once the pasta is cooked and only a small amount of saucy liquid remains, it's time to add the spinach to the skillet. Gently stir the fresh spinach into the pasta, allowing the residual heat to wilt the spinach.
  • Once the spinach has wilted, top the pasta with Monterey Jack cheese. Place the lid back on the skillet and let the pasta heat over low until the cheese is melted and creamy.
  • Sprinkle the sliced green onions over top just before serving.

Notes

*If using regular pasta (not egg noodles), increase the broth to 2 cups.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 538kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 28g | Sodium: 956mg | Fiber: 4g

Cheesy sausage pasta on a plate with a black fork, on a bamboo mat.

How to Make Cheesy Sausage Pasta – Step By Step Photos

Diced onion and sliced sausage on a cutting board.

Dice one yellow onion and slice about 7oz. smoked sausage (half of a 14oz. link—you can freeze the rest!) into medallions.

Browned sausage in a skilet.

Add the sausage and 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and cook over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. If there’s a lot of excess fat in the skillet, drain it off before proceeding to the next step.

Sautéed onions in the skillet with sausage.

Add the onions to the skillet with the sausage and continue to sauté until the onions have softened. Allow the moisture from the onions to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.

Pasta, tomatoes, and broth added to the skillet.

Add one 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (like Rotel), 8 oz. pasta, and 1.5 cups chicken broth. If you’re using regular pasta (not egg noodles), increase to 2 cups broth.

Lid being placed on the skillet.

Stir everything together until well combined. Place a lid on the skillet and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the pasta simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally (replacing the lid each time). Make sure the broth maintains a simmer.

Cooked pasta pushed to the side of the skillet with the spatula.

While the pasta is cooking, shred about 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese and slice one green onion. When the pasta is tender and only a small amount of saucy liquid remains in the skillet, it’s time to add the spinach.

Wilted spinach stirred into the pasta.

Add about three packed cups of fresh spinach to the skillet and carefully stir until the hot pasta wilts the spinach.

Cheese being added on top of the pasta.

Add one cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese on top of the pasta. Place the lid on the skillet and let it heat over low for a few minutes, or just until the cheese is melted and creamy.

Finished pasta topped with sliced green onions.

Top the finished pasta with the sliced green onions and serve hot!

Close up overhead view of Cheesy Sausage Pasta in the skillet.

Soooo cheeessyyyy. 🤤

Try These Other One Pot Pasta Recipes:

Creamy Spinach and Sausage Pasta is an easy one pot meal for quick weeknight dinners. BudgetBytes.com

The post Cheesy Sausage Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Cacio e Pepe

This Cacio e Pepe recipe makes the perfect creamy, cozy dish of that classic Roman “cheese and pepper” pasta! There’s…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This Cacio e Pepe recipe makes the perfect creamy, cozy dish of that classic Roman “cheese and pepper” pasta!

Cacio e pepe

There’s something intoxicating about this shallow bowl of steaming pasta covered in salty, creamy sauce, black pepper and fluffy bits of Pecorino Cheese. Yes, it’s cacio e pepe, that famous Roman pasta that’s blown up in world-wide popularity. Years ago, we tasted a bowl on a trip to Rome, Italy that was so divine we never wanted it to end. Anthony Bourdain once said that cacio e pepe “could be the greatest thing in the history of the world”: and we’re inclined to agree with him. Turns out, this pasta is beyond simple to whip up at home: it’s got a short ingredient list and takes just minutes to whip up. Here’s our spin on this Italian classic!

What is cacio e pepe?

Cacio e pepe is a Roman pasta dish that translates to “cheese and pepper,” referring the simple sauce made of Pecorino Romano cheese and pepper. The sauce is made simply with hot pasta water and freshly grated cheese, which combine to form a luscious, creamy coating to the pasta noodles. According to legend, the dish was invented by shepherds who needed a simple meal with easy to carry staple ingredients. The modern Cacio e pepe was likely invented in the 1800’s, when eating pasta became popular in Rome.

Cacio e pepe

Ingredients in cacio e pepe

Restaurants in Rome each have their own version of cacio e pepe, and we’ve been lucky enough to sample quite a few (we prefer the version at Roscioli if you’re planning a trip!). Here’s what you’ll need for this spin on the classic:

  • Spaghetti or bucatini pasta: Spaghetti is most traditional. We also like bucatini (pictured), which is like hollow spaghetti
  • Pecorino Romano cheese: This sharp, salty aged cheese is what carries the flavor of cacio e pepe. There’s absolutely no substitute for it! Try to buy it in a block if you can (see below).
  • Parmesan cheese: Using this secondary, ore popular cheese helps to round out the flavors. Don’t want to buy two cheeses? Substitute more Pecorino (it’s just as authentic).
  • Butter: This extra ingredient helps the sauce to come together.
  • Black pepper: A generous helping of pepper rounds out the dish.

Tips for cooking pasta to al dente

With cacio e pepe and any Italian pasta recipe, it’s important to cook the pasta to the perfect al dente. Al dente means “to the bite” in Italian: pasta that’s tender with a firm center. Overcooked pasta turns out rubbery and unappetizing. Interestingly, it also has less nutrients and makes you less full. Here’s how to cook pasta to al dente:

  • Set your timer a few minutes before the package instructions indicate. Often, the timing on the pasta package makes overcooked pasta. Start taste testing a few minutes before the package says to.
  • Look for small white fleck at the core. You want to catch it right when there’s a small white fleck at the core, or just as it disappears. Move quickly: there’s no remedy for overcooked pasta!
Cacio e pepe recipe

How to make cacio e pepe (with a smooth sauce)

The biggest issue you’ll find with a homemade cacio e pepe recipe? The sauce comes out clumpy and globby. The sauce is made with hot pasta water, and often when you add the cheese and stir it will glob to the spoon and the pasta instead of integrating into a smooth sauce. Here are a few ways to ensure a creamy sauce:

  • Freshly grate the cheese from a block instead of buying grated. Buy blocks of Pecorino Romano and Parmesan cheese and grate them yourself. Pre-grated cheese can contain anti-caking agents and additives that can make the cheese stick together instead of incorporating into a creamy sauce.
  • Don’t drain the pasta: transfer it to the sauce using tongs. Add any pasta water that clings to the noodles right into the sauce.
  • Add additional pasta water and keep stirring. If it starts to clump, add additional pasta water and keep stirring until the cheese incorporates.
Cacio e pepe

What to serve alongside

With such a simple pasta dish, you can go either pared back or elegant: either work! Here are a few Italian-style side dishes to serve with cacio e pepe:

What do you plan to serve it with? Let us know in the comments below.

More Italian pasta recipes

Love a great Italian-style pasta? Us too! Here are a few more great pasta recipes:

This cacio e pepe recipe is…

Vegetarian.

Print
Cacio e pepe

Cacio e Pepe


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

This Cacio e Pepe recipe makes the perfect creamy, cozy dish of that classic Roman “cheese and pepper” pasta!


Ingredients

  • 12 ounces spaghetti or bucatini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese*
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese*

Instructions

  1. Bring a salted pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente (taste testing a minute or two before the package instructions indicate). Don’t drain the pasta and reserve 1 cup pasta water.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until it melts, then turn the heat to low. Add the black pepper, Pecorino Romano cheese and Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of the hot pasta water. Stir until a thick paste forms, then remove from the heat and wait until the pasta is done.
  3. Right when pasta is al dente, transfer the pasta without draining it: use tongs to transfer it into the saucepan along with any pasta water clinging to the noodles. Add an additional ½ cup of pasta water and return the heat to low. Toss the pasta with the cheesy paste until a thick sauce forms, about 2 minutes. If the cheese starts to glob up, add more pasta water and continue to stir. Top with additional grated Pecorino cheese and serve hot.

Notes

*If you can, buy blocks of Pecorino Romano and Parmesan cheese and grate them yourself. Pre-grated cheese can contain anti-caking agents and additives that can make the cheese stick together instead of incorporating into a creamy sauce.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Cacio e pepe, cacio e pepe recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

This Mediterranean pasta salad recipe is bursting with fresh flavor! Mix up a batch as an easy side dish or…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This Mediterranean pasta salad recipe is bursting with fresh flavor! Mix up a batch as an easy side dish or quick lunch.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Here’s a colorful, fresh recipe that’s ideal for summer or anytime: Mediterranean pasta salad recipe! This instantly became a favorite summer side dish with its zingy, bright flavors. Imagine: cool cucumber, juicy tomatoes and peppery arugula, mixed with chewy pasta and salty pops of feta cheese. Hearty sundried tomato gives it an even more irresistible quality to each bite. We served it at a cookout where it got rave reviews, and leftovers are equally as tasty as a lunch idea! This one quickly jumped to the top of our favorite pasta salad recipes.

Ingredients in Mediterranean pasta salad

The concept of pasta salad is an American invention. The first macaroni salad recipe was published in 1914, and it’s spawned loads of variations since then! Mediterranean pasta salad is a thoroughly American concept starring flavors inspired by the region: tomatoes, cucumber, and feta cheese. Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this Mediterranean pasta salad recipe:

  • Fusilli (spirals) or other short-cut pasta
  • Cucumber
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Red onion
  • Baby arugula
  • Feta cheese
  • Mediterranean dressing: lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, olive oil

The basic idea is simple: boil the pasta, chop the veggies, then toss with a simple Mediterranean-style dressing. It takes about 30 minutes to whip up, and it’s well worth the time.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Use any type of short cut pasta

This Mediterranean pasta salad works with any type of short-cut pasta noodle. We like it best with spirals, but it’s just as good with bowties or penne. Whatever the case, make sure to cook the pasta to al dente (see below). Here are a few other pasta shape ideas for mixing it up with this pasta salad:

  • Spirals (fusilli)
  • Bowties (farfalle)
  • Penne
  • Shells (conchiglie)
  • Orecchiette
  • Gemelli
  • Gigli
Mediterranean Pasta Salad recipe

Tips for cooking pasta to al dente

Al dente means “to the bite” in Italian: pasta that’s tender with a firm center. It’s extremely important to cook the pasta to al dente for a pasta salad: overcooked pasta turns out rubbery, soft and unappetizing. (Interestingly, it also has less nutrients and makes you less full.) Here are some tips on how to cook pasta to al dente:

  • Set your timer a few minutes before the package instructions indicate. The timing on many pasta packages indicates to cook the pasta too long. Start taste testing the pasta a few minutes before the package says to.
  • Taste test and look for small white fleck at the core. Catch it right when there’s a small white fleck at the core, or just when it disappears: then immediately drain the pasta. For pasta salad, we like to rinse the pasta in cool water until it cools down enough to make into the salad.

Make ahead and storage for Mediterranean pasta salad

This Mediterranean pasta salad recipe tastes best the day it is made, as as flavor-packed side dish. But you can also make it in advance and refrigerate until serving, or keep it refrigerated as a lunch idea to munch on throughout the week. Here are a few tips for storage:

  • Mediterranean pasta salad lasts for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. It’s ideal for making ahead or healthy lunches throughout the week.
  • Refresh the flavors before serving. Bring the salad to room temperature. Then stir in a drizzle of olive oil and a bit more crumbled feta cheese. You may or may not need an extra pinch of salt.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad

More pasta salad recipes

Love pasta salads? Us too. Try these fun pasta salad ideas:

This Mediterranean pasta salad recipe is…

Vegetarian. For vegan or plant-based, omit the feta cheese and add a bit more salt.

Print
Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Pasta Salad


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 to 6

Description

This Mediterranean pasta salad recipe is bursting with fresh flavor! Mix up a batch as an easy side dish or quick lunch.


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced into half moons (2 cups)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ¼ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 1 handful thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 cups baby arugula (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, grated (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup feta cheese crumbles (omit for vegan and add more salt)

Instructions

  1. Start a large pot of well-salted water to boil. Boil the pasta until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and run cool water over it until it’s room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the cucumber and tomatoes, chop the sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts, and slice the onion.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, and kosher salt. Then whisk in the olive oil.
  4. Once the pasta is done, add it to the large bowl of dressing and toss with the chopped vegetables. Add the feta cheese and fresh ground black pepper and stir to combine. 
  5. Taste and add more salt to taste if necessary. Serve immediately. Stores up to 5 days refrigerated (leftovers taste great; allow to come to room temperature and add a swirl more olive oil or a bit more salt as necessary).
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Pasta Salad
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Mediterranean pasta salad

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Cheesy Weeknight Tortellini Skillet.

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

The post Cheesy Weeknight Tortellini Skillet. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

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

Dinner is going to be sooooo delicious tonight. 

cheesy weeknight tortellini skillet

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

cheesy weeknight tortellini skillet

It’s easy. 

Customizable! 

Super delicious. 

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

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

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

ground beef and marinara

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

ground beef, marinara, tortellini

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

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

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

cheesy weeknight tortellini skillet

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

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

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

cheesy weeknight tortellini skillet

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

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

cheesy weeknight tortellini skillet

We can’t get enough.

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

cheesy weeknight tortellini skillet

ENJOY. (more…)

The post Cheesy Weeknight Tortellini Skillet. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Roasted Tomatoes with Burrata

When our garden is bursting with tomatoes, I make all of the tomato recipes I can because garden tomatoes are the BEST and I want to use them ALL. No tomato gets left behind:) I love making bruschetta, tomato salad, pico de gallo, caprese pasta salad, …

When our garden is bursting with tomatoes, I make all of the tomato recipes I can because garden tomatoes are the BEST and I want to use them ALL. No tomato gets left behind:) I love making bruschetta, tomato salad, pico de gallo, caprese pasta salad, and more! I am currently obsessed with Roasted Tomatoes…

One Pot Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo

Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo is a zesty one-pot meal featuring juicy chicken thighs, orzo, feta, and lemon pepper for tons of flavor!

The post One Pot Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Welcome to another episode of “How can so few ingredients make such a delicious meal?!” One-pot meals are a miracle, my friends, and this Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo is the perfect example. This dish is packed with flavor thanks to a hefty dose of lemon pepper, chicken broth, juicy chicken thighs, and a pop of feta at the end. Plus, it’s fast, easy, and barely anything to clean up afterward. :)

Originally posted 8/5/2015, updated 8/15/2022.

Overhead view of lemon pepper chicken and orzo in the skillet with a napkin and parsley on the sides.

What’s in Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo

For this skillet meal, I liberally seasoned some bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs with lemon pepper, then combined it with some orzo, chicken broth, and parsley. Everything gets cooked together in one pot so that orzo soaks up all the flavor from both the chicken thighs and the broth, and not a drop of flavor is lost. It’s so simple, yet so good. Add a quick little side salad with fresh greens and you’ve got a five-star dinner (and very few dishes to clean). Victory!

Can I Use Boneless Chicken?

I used bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs for this recipe, but you can use boneless thighs or breasts if you prefer. The chicken will cook a little faster if you use boneless and you might miss out on a little bit of the flavor that comes with bone-in chicken. Also, be aware that chicken breasts do tend to dry out faster than chicken thighs, so the end product won’t be quite as juicy.

Tips for Cooking One Pot Pasta

Getting one pot pasta meals to cook just right can take a little practice, but here are a few tips to make sure your pasta cooks evenly and all the way through without leaving too much liquid behind:

  • Use a heavy or thick-bottomed piece of cookware. Thin cookware doesn’t cook evenly and can leave some pasta undercooked and some pasta overcooked. A deep skillet or Dutch Oven will work well for this recipe.
  • Use a burner that is close in size to the bottom of your pot or pan. If the burner is a lot smaller than the width of the pan, you may have trouble getting the outside edges to cook evenly.
  • Make sure the broth is simmering the whole time. Heat settings on ranges can vary, so you may need to adjust the heat up or down slightly to maintain a simmer in the broth.

Lemon pepper chicken and orzo in a shallow bowl with a fork.

Overhead view of a pot full of lemon pepper chicken and orzo.

One Pot Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo

Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo is a zesty one-pot meal featuring juicy chicken thighs, orzo, feta, and lemon pepper for tons of flavor!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $7.54 recipe / $1.89 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 612kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs* $3.74
  • 2 Tbsp lemon pepper seasoning $0.60
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.26
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley $0.20
  • 1.5 cups orzo $1.29
  • 2 oz. feta, crumbled $1.25

Instructions

  • Blot the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel, then season both sides liberally with lemon pepper seasoning (about 2 Tbsp lemon pepper total).
  • Heat a large deep skillet over medium. Once hot, add the cooking oil. Add the seasoned chicken thighs, skin side down, and let them cook undisturbed until browned (about 6-8 minutes for bone-in skin-on thighs). Flip the chicken thighs and cook until browned on the second side. The chicken will be cooked most of the way through at this point but will finish cooking when simmered with the orzo. Remove the chicken to a clean plate.
  • While the chicken is browning, roughly chop about 1/4 bunch of parsley and mince two cloves of garlic. After removing the chicken from the skillet, turn the heat down to low, add the minced garlic, and sauté the garlic in the residual fat for about a minute.
  • Add 2 cups of chicken broth to the skillet and stir to dissolve the crispy browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 
  • Add the orzo and half of the chopped parsley. Stir to combine. Finally, return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up.
  • Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to high, and let the broth come to a full boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low. Let the skillet simmer on low for about 15 minutes, or until most of the broth has been absorbed. Make sure it’s simmering the whole time. If it stops simmering, increase the heat slightly until it just starts to simmer again.
  • After about 15 minutes the orzo should be tender and most of the broth absorbed but there will still be a little sauce in the skillet.
  • Fluff the orzo around the chicken a bit with a fork, then top with the remaining parsley and the crumbled feta. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

*I used bone-in chicken thighs with skin, but you could use boneless and skinless, if preferred.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 612kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 32g | Sodium: 715mg | Fiber: 3g

Close up side view of lemon pepper chicken and orzo in the pan.

How to Make One Pot Chicken and Orzo – Step by Step Photos

Bone-in chicken thighs seasoned with lemon pepper on a cutting board.

Start by blotting four chicken thighs dry with a paper towel. Drying them helps the seasoning stick and helps them brown better in the skillet. I used bone-in thighs with skin, but you could use boneless, skinless if desired. Just keep in mind that boneless and skinless thighs are usually a bit more expensive and will cook faster. Season both sides of each thigh liberally with lemon pepper seasoning (about 2 Tbsp total). 

Browned chicken thighs in the skillet.

Heat a large deep skillet over medium. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp cooking oil. Add the seasoned chicken thighs, skin side down, and let them cook undisturbed until browned (about 6-8 minutes for bone-in skin-on thighs). Flip the chicken thighs and cook until browned on the second side. The chicken will be cooked most of the way through at this point but will finish cooking when simmered with the orzo. Remove the chicken to a clean plate.

Garlic added to the skillet.

While the chicken is browning, roughly chop about 1/4 bunch of parsley and mince two cloves of garlic. Turn the heat down to low, add the minced garlic, and sauté the garlic in the residual fat for about a minute.

Broth being poured into the skillet.

Add 2 cups of chicken broth to the skillet and stir to dissolve the crispy browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 

Broth being whisked in the skillet to dissolve chicken drippings.

The broth will turn a deep brown color as the drippings are dissolved into the mixture.

Parsley and orzo added to the skillet.

Add about half of the chopped parsley and 1.5 cups of orzo. Stir to combine.

Chicken thighs added back to the pot.

Finally, return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to high, and let the broth come to a full boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low. Let the skillet simmer on low for about 15 minutes, or until most of the broth has been absorbed. Make sure it’s simmering the whole time. If it stops simmering, increase the heat slightly until it just starts to simmer again.

Cooked orzo and chicken in the pot.

After about 15 minutes the orzo should be tender and most of the broth absorbed but there will still be a little sauce in the skillet.

Finished lemon pepper chicken and orzo in the pan.

Fluff the orzo around the chicken a bit with a fork, then top with the remaining parsley and the crumbled feta. And that’s all it takes to make this simple Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo. I could seriously eat this orzo all day long. ALL. DAY. LONG.

Overhead view of lemon pepper chicken and orzo in a bowl.

Try These Other One Pot Chicken Recipes:

The post One Pot Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Red Pesto Tofu Pasta (Vegan)

Whip up a vegan red pesto using sun-dried tomatoes in 5 minutes. Mix it with your favorite pasta and top it with some fried marinated tofu. It is a truly delicious tofu pesto pasta that you can make in 30 minutes from start to finish. Shall we? If you …

Whip up a vegan red pesto using sun-dried tomatoes in 5 minutes. Mix it with your favorite pasta and top it with some fried marinated tofu. It is a truly delicious tofu pesto pasta that you can make in 30 minutes from start to finish. Shall we? If you love pesto, try our vegan green...

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The post Red Pesto Tofu Pasta (Vegan) appeared first on My Pure Plants.

Pesto Pasta Salad

This creamy pesto pasta salad recipe is easy and bursting with flavor! It’s the perfect easy summer side dish. What’s…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This creamy pesto pasta salad recipe is easy and bursting with flavor! It’s the perfect easy summer side dish.

Pesto Pasta Salad

What’s more a quintessential summer dish than a great pasta salad? Try this Pesto Pasta Salad recipe, which celebrates everything seasonal in summer! It features chewy bowties with pops of fresh cherry tomatoes, tangy artichokes and peppery baby arugula. Make a batch of fresh basil pesto or grab some at the store, then mix it up in to a creamy dressing to cover everything. This one was so irresistible, we couldn’t stop exclaiming how good it was after stuffing in each bite (and our 5 year old gobbled it up!).

Ingredients in this pesto pasta salad recipe

This pesto pasta salad recipe is simpler than most pasta salads because the ingredient list is short and sweet. The most important thing here? A high quality pesto. It’s best with homemade, but you can use purchased as well (see below for more). Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bowties (farfalle) or other short-cut pasta
  • Canned artichoke hearts
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sliced pepperoncini
  • Baby arugula
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Basil pesto
  • Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt
Pesto Pasta Salad

For the pesto: homemade vs storebought

This pesto pasta salad tastes the best when you make it with homemade basil pesto, with fresh summer basil! Of course, we know that’s not always possible. Here’s the thing about pesto: purchased pesto varies greatly between brands. Many purchased brands taste intensely acidic or have an odd aftertaste. Here’s what to know:

  • Homemade pesto has the best flavor! Basil Pesto is best homemade. You can also try Arugula Pesto or Kale Pesto.
  • Purchased pesto brands vary greatly in flavor: some are very acidic. We’ve experimented with lots of different brands: and they all have a different salt and acid level.
  • Squeeze packs of fresh pesto are now on the market, and some have better flavor than jars. Experiment to find one you love!

Notes on the pasta salad dressing

This pesto pasta salad has a deliciously creamy pasta salad dressing that you’ll adore, featuring both Greek yogurt, mayonnaise and pesto. We made this one creamy because we find that pesto on it own can become sticky and dry. Mixing it with a little yogurt and mayo helps it to coat the pasta better. Don’t want to use Greek yogurt? You can substitute sour cream instead.

Pesto

Use any type of short cut pasta

This pesto pasta salad works with any type of short cut pasta you have on hand! We like bowties for this one because of the look and the way that it distributes with the other ingredients. Here are some other types of short cut pasta that work well:

  • Bowties (farfalle): our favorite!
  • Spirals (fusilli)
  • Penne
  • Shells (medium-sized)
  • Orecchiette
  • Gemelli
  • Gigli

Make ahead and storage for pesto pasta salad

This pesto pasta salad is a great salad for a picnic or a barbecue! It tastes best immediately after making, but it does store well. If you make in advance and refrigerate, you may want to refresh the flavors before serving since pasta salad can lose some flavor while storing. Here’s what to know:

  • Pesto pasta salad lasts for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. It’s great for cookouts or healthy lunches throughout the week.
  • After refrigeration, make sure to refresh the flavors. Bring the salad to room temperature. Taste and see if you need to add a pinch of extra salt. If the pasta salad seems dry, add a dollop of sour cream, mayo or pesto to revive the creamy texture.
Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

More pasta salad recipes

There’s nothing like a great pasta salad for a summer event, be it a barbecue, cookout or picnic! Here are a few more pasta salad recipes we love:

This pesto pasta salad recipe is…

Vegetarian.

Print
Pesto Pasta Salad

Pesto Pasta Salad


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 5 to 6

Description

This creamy pesto pasta salad recipe is easy and bursting with flavor! It’s the perfect easy summer side dish.


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces short cut pasta (we used farfalle)
  • 14 ounce can (8.5 ounce dry weight) quartered artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • ⅓ cup sliced pepperoncini
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup basil pesto (homemade or purchased, or kale pesto or arugula pesto)
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as desired

Instructions

  1. Start a large pot of well-salted water to boil. Boil the pasta until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and run cool water over it until it’s room temperature, then shake off any extra water.
  2. Prepare the vegetables: roughly chop the artichokes and slice the tomatoes.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the pesto, Greek yogurt, mayonnaise and kosher salt. Add the drained pasta, vegetables and Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Taste and add another ¼ teaspoon salt depending on the saltiness of the pesto. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Allow to come to room temperature and if desired, add a pinch more salt. If the pasta salad seems dry, add a dollop of sour cream, mayo or pesto to revive the creamy texture.).
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Pesto pasta salad, pesto pasta salad recipe, pasta salad with pesto

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.