Quick Mediterranean Pasta Skillet

When we were first living together, my husband and I started making “clean out the veggie drawer pasta” once a week. It’s exactly what it sounds like: once a week, anything that was left in the drawer went into our dinner. Some weeks it was unexpectedly awesome – some weeks not so much. Over time, it evolved into a few different go-to dinners.

MedPastaSkillet

This variation of the pasta is my personal favorite. I’ll still make substitutions depending on what we have on hand – chicken instead of ham or peas instead of tomatoes make frequent appearances – but these are always what I hope to find in the drawer when we start prepping dinner.

MedPastaIngredients

I love how fast this comes together. I usually start my chopping right after I dump the pasta into the water and then by the time I’m ready to add the pasta to the skillet, it’s done cooking. Paired with a salad and a loaf of crusty bread, it’s an awesome, quick meal.

Quick Mediterranean Pasta Skillet

Serves: 4 Servings

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • 3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large ham steak, diced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • ⅓ cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh basil, julienned
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. of oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and ham and cook until onion is translucent and ham is browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds more, until fragrant. Add in the tomatoes and sliced olives and cook another 1-2 minutes, until the tomatoes start to give up their juice.
  3. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to combine. Add more olive oil as needed to coat. Stir in Parmesan cheese, top with basil and serve.

Kate is a home cook and new mom  from New Jersey. In addition to sharing recipes with Eat at Home readers, she blogs her cooking adventures at Kate’s Recipe Box. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading or tending to her garden.

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15 Slow Cooker Sandwiches

Sandwiches are the classic “I need to feed my family–quick!” kind of meals. But quick and easy doesn’t have to mean PBJ or BLTs night after night. There are lots of delicious things to serve between two slices of bread.  These fifteen different sandwiches you can throw into your slow cooker and forget about until dinner time are life savers for us during the summer–or any busy time of the year! There’s enough variety that even if we ate sandwiches for a week straight, we’d probably not be tired of of them.

slowcookersandwiches

The slow cooker is such a time saver. And when it’s hot–not having to heat up the kitchen is a huge bonus. And thanks to the slow cooker, you get to enjoy big, juicy flavorful sandwiches without slaving over the stove or grill for hours on hot or busy days.  That’s my kind of dinner!

 

Slow-Cooker-Hawaiian-BBQ-Chicken-SandwichesHawaiian BBQ Sandwiches

JerkChickenJerk Chicken Sandwiches

beef shwarma in the slow cookerBeef Shwarma

Slow Cooker Italian Sausage and Peppers Sub SandwichesItalian Sausage and Pepper Subs

Slow Cooker Pork and Gravy SandwichesPork and Gravy Sandwiches

ChickenBaconRanchChicken Bacon & Ranch Sandwiches

chicken philly sandwiches in the slow cookerChicken Philly Sandwiches

slow cooker beef gyrosBeef Gyros

french dip sandwiches in the slow cooker done

French Dip Sandwiches

african pulled beef sandwich doneAfrican Pulled Beef Sandwiches

pizza steak sandwiches donePizza Steak Sandwiches

bbq chicken sandwiches in slow cooker doneBBQ Chicken Sandwiches

italian beef sandwiches doneItalian Beef Sandwiches

BBQ Peach PorkBBQ Peach Pulled Pork

ChickenCordonBleu2Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwiches

 

 

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Quick and Easy Chipotle Burrito Bowls

Quick and easy Chipotle Style Chicken Burrito Bowls

 

This is one of our new family favorites.  It’s quick to make, can be made ahead of time and customizable to different tastes.

I originally created this for another site that I wrote for.  Since then, I’ve made the process a lot easier.

The main short cut is using rotisserie chicken (or other chicken you’ve cooked).  I keep cooked chicken in the freezer for quick meals like this one.  It cuts the prep time down a lot when you start with cooked chicken vs raw.

This one recipe is a compilation of several:

  • Cilantro Lime Rice
  • Black Beans
  • Corn Salsa
  • Salsa
  • Chipotle Chicken
  • Guacamole

The black beans, corn salsa, chipotle chicken and guacamole come together really quick, but making all of these homemade still takes a while.  If you work quick though, you can finish in about 30 minutes.

However, you’ve got a lot of options here.  You don’t need to make each item homemade.  Here are some ideas for speeding things up:

  • If you’re in a hurry try Minute brown rice instead of long grain.
  • Use store-bought salsa
  • Use store-bought guacamole
  • Skip one or more of the items
  • Use pre-shredded cheese (we like Monterey Jack, but cheddar is good too)

The recipes for Homemade Salsa and Guacamole are already on the site, so I won’t repeat them here.

Let’s start with the Cilantro Lime Rice.

Quick and Easy Chipotle Style Burrito Bowls

Serves: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 cups dry rice (white or brown)
  • water
  • 2 Tbs. lime juice
  • handful chopped cilantro
  • ¼ tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Cook the rice in water according to the package directions.
  2. Add 2 Tbs. lime juice, cilantro and salt to finished rice.
  3. Serve as first layer in burrito bowls.

Quick and Easy Chipotle Style Burrito Bowls

Serves: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 cans black beans, undrained
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ⅛ tsp. allspice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. sugar
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in small saucepan.
  2. Heat over medium heat.
  3. Serve in burrito bowls, tortillas or as side dish.

Quick and Easy Chipotle Style Burrito Bowls

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients
  • 16 oz frozen corn
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ½ - 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced
  • handful chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Place corn in colander and under cool water to thaw.
  2. Pour into bowl.
  3. Add remaining ingredients.
  4. Serve with burrito bowls.

Quick and Easy Chipotle Style Burrito Bowls

Serves: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
  • 2-3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
  • ¼ cup salsa
  • 2 tsp. Chipotle Chili Powder
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in microwave safe bowl.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Heat in microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring and adding time as needed until hot.

P.S. Would you like a menu of easy meals like this one, along with a color-coded grocery list all done for you?  Find your perfect Eat at Home Weekly Meal Plan here. 

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Slow Cooker Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwiches

This was almost the dinner that wasn’t. I had picked up the ingredients with the intention of making chicken Cordon Bleu for dinner – and then realized that I wouldn’t be home in enough time to do the prepping and cooking necessary. Slow cooker to the rescue!

These are obviously less fancy than “real” chicken Cordon Bleu, but the flavor profile is the same and using the slow cooker makes it immensely easier for a busy night – a win-win! We gobbled these sandwiches up.

ChickenCordonBleu2

Here’s what you’ll need:

ChickenCordonBleuSandwiches1

Slow Cooker Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwiches
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ lb. deli ham, diced
  • 8 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 2 tsp. Herbes de Provence (or a mixture of rosemary, thyme and oregano)
  • 11/2 cups honey mustard dressing, divided
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken on the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with ham and spices. Pour 1 cup of the dressing over. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4-5.
  2. Remove chicken, shred and return to the slow cooker. Stir in shreded cheese and additional dressing. Cook for an additional 15 minutes. Serve on rolls.

P.S. One of our Weekly Meal Plan members share that she saves at least 2 hours each week by using the meal plans.  She also saves a minimum of $60 each week on food!  Find out how you can become a member by clicking here.

Kate is a home cook and new mom  from New Jersey. In addition to sharing recipes with Eat at Home readers, she blogs her cooking adventures at Kate’s Recipe Box. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading or tending to her garden.

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Roasted Chicken and Vegetables Sheet Pan Supper – with ideas for lots of variations

Roasted Chicken and Vegetables Sheet Pan dinner

 

Ever since Christmas when I tried the sheet pan supper idea from Simple Bites, I’ve been making different versions.  I’ve used turkey breast, pork tenderloin, and boneless chicken breast.

I vary the seasonings, going with whatever hits my mood at the time.  And the vegetables are either what looked good in the grocery or what I’ve got handy in the fridge.  Once summer hits, I’m sure I’ll be adding in farmer’s market fare as well.

This sheet pan method is so simple.  It’s always healthy and tastes fantastic.  It doesn’t take long, but you do need about 45 minutes total.  For that reason, I don’t do this meal on our busiest nights.

For a family of 6 or more people, you’ll need either two sheet pans or one large pan.  I bought this half sheet from Nordic Ware.  Mine came from Walmart.  The one I linked is Amazon, on sale for $10 as I write this, but it says the normal price is $110, which is nuts.  I paid about $14 at Walmart.

I use this pan all the time.  Not just for these dinners, but also for baking cookies, warming bread, cooking bacon…  I’m really happy with this purchase!

Here are the ingredients I used for this Roast Chicken and Vegetable dinner:   [Read more…]

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Ham, Asparagus and Swiss Quiche + Pineapple Dump Cake – Dinner and Dessert!

Bisquick spring meal

 

We are so ready for spring!  I bet you are too.

This meal tastes like spring.  The quiche is full of ham, asparagus and Swiss cheese.  Asparagus is abundant right now and the flavor is perfect in this quiche.

The Pineapple Dump Cake couldn’t be easier to make, with three ingredients that you pour, sprinkle, slice and bake.  It’s so good!  I love recipes like this one, where the result is so much greater than the effort involved.

These recipes are perfect anytime, but especially if you need to whip up something for your family on Easter weekend.  Thanks to Bisquick and Betty Crocker mixes, they come together really quick.

And when everyone (or most of the family) is home for the Easter holiday this is a great way to keep them around the table longer by giving them dessert after the main course.

We were even able to squeeze in a walk after this meal.  It was a beautiful day!

Here’s what you’ll need to make the quiche:   [Read more…]

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Homemade Alfredo Sauce Recipe (For Chicken Alfredo Pizza or Pasta)

Homemade Alfredo Sauce

 

We’ve been loving our pizza Fridays!  I’ve shared some tips on homemade pizza making with you, an easy and fantastic sauce recipe and the pizza dough recipe that’s working for us.

Last week my kids lobbied for Chicken Alfredo Pizza.  I wanted to make homemade sauce for it, rather than using jarred Alfredo.

When I make Fettuccine Alfredo, I don’t make the sauce separate from the pasta. (Sometimes, instead of half and half, I use cooking water from the pasta pot.)  This is the best and easiest way to make homemade Fettuccine Alfredo.

But since we wanted the sauce to put on pizza, I needed to make a separate sauce.  Thankfully, it’s very easy to make and it only takes a few ingredients.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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BBQ Beef and Bean Pot Pie and Double Chocolate Pretzel Brownies – Dinner + Dessert Idea

Bisquick collage

 

Today I’ve got two recipes for you – BBQ Beef and Bean Pot Pie and Double Chocolate Pretzel Brownies.

Dinner + Dessert!

The best family times and conversations happen around the table, so why not keep everyone there longer by adding dessert too.  I guarantee they’ll hang out in the kitchen when they smell these brownies baking.

These recipes couldn’t be easier.  They use common pantry ingredients and Betty Crocker and Bisquick mixes.  I love dinners that come together quick, but give us a chance to connect as a family.

One of our favorite things to do is play games after dinner.  Brownies and games makes a plain weeknight a whole lot better.

Let’s get dinner on the table, starting with the BBQ Beef and Bean Pot Pie.  Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy meal:   [Read more…]

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How to Make Homemade Pizza Dough

Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe

 

We’ve been talking pizza here the last few weeks.  We talked about a few pizza game changers you can use to improve your homemade pizza.

And I shared our favorite homemade sauce recipe.  It’s easy and simple so that’s an added bonus.

Today I’ve got a pizza dough recipe for you to try.  This is not a quick dough to make, but it is worth the time.  I adapted this from the free Craftsy pizza making class.  Mostly, I simplified and clarified the recipe.  The original recipe calls for measuring everything on a scale.

While I’m sure using a kitchen scale will yield more consistent results, I’m resistant for a couple of reasons.  First, I don’t own a scale and I know many (probably most) of you don’t either.

And second,  I think there’s something to be said for learning to trust your own judgement when it comes to working with any type of dough.  There’s a satisfaction in making something enough that you begin to know when it needs more flour or when it could use some water.  When to leave the dough to rest a while and when to keep working it.

I’m still in the process of learning to really know my way around the pizza dough, but I am learning.

Before I share the recipe, let’s talk over a few tips.   [Read more…]

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Rustic Irish Potato and Cabbage Soup – for the slow cooker or stove top

Rustic Irish Potato and Cabbage Soup - easy and hearty

 

March came in like a lion.  For the second time this winter, we had double digit snowfall.  Since we haven’t had that much snow in 17 years, it was pretty surprising to see it twice in one season.

Needless to say, we are ready for spring to show up!

But first, there’s March.  Where we begin to crave green things and vegetables and sunshine.

This soup is definitely a winter soup, but it’s perfect for March.  It’s full of veggies.  It’s hot and hearty and perfect for refueling after an hour or two of shoveling snow.

I seasoned the soup with McCormick Bay Leaves and Thyme.  The soup comes together quickly, but the flavor is full and round and tastes like you’ve spent all day.

Part of the reason it’s easy to put together is that I chose to leave the peels on the potatoes.  That gives the soup a rustic quality and makes the prep work easier too.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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