I love pasta salad, and it’s so versatile. You basically boil some pasta, throw in some veggies, and add a dressing. Right? Well…that hasn’t worked out so well for me in the past. I just couldn’t get it quite right. Until now!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sargento. All opinions are 100% mine.
With the holidays upon us, lots of people are probably thinking of ham, turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. At least that is the traditional fare in my house. However, over the years I have heard several people say that their traditional meal includes lasagna. I have a friend who will visit her parents and her in-laws on Thanksgiving, so she has turkey, ham, etc at lunch, but for dinner, her mother-in-law prepares lasagna and some different dishes that incorporates their family’s heritage. I think that is a pretty neat idea.
Since I’ve been thinking about lasagna non-stop, I decided it was time to make it. I had homemade Italian turkey sausage in the freezer, so I decided to use that for the meat sauce, but you could use ground beef, ground turkey, or skip the meat all together. You could use roasted vegetables, as well. I added a little kale in with the meat, but just a little, and chopped very fine because my kids can spot something green in their food a mile away. When they asked what the flecks of green were, I told them they were herbs. No, I don’t advocate lying to your children, but, well, I will lie to mine if it means getting some vegetables in them. (And technically, there are herbs in there.) Of course, the most important component of lasagna, in my opinion, is the CHEESE. Mo’ cheese is mo’betta in my house.
My plan was to pick up mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan but then I saw the Sargento Chef Blends Shredded 6 Cheese Italian and I thought, YES! It’s a blend of Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan, Fontina, Romano and Asiago. Why limit myself?! I also used sliced Provolone and shredded Parmesan. What can I say, I really like cheese.
Lasagna takes some time and isn’t exactly ‘quick and easy’, but it is definitely worth it. I would also say this was Holiday worthy as well!
Lasagna with Italian Sausage
- 1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds of ground meat (I used homemade Italian turkey sausage)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- Kale, stem removed, finely chopped (desired amount, optional)
- 1 jar (approx 24 oz.) or 2 1/2 cups of your favorite spaghetti sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cups ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese if you prefer)
- 1 cup Sargento Artisan Blends Shredded Parmesan Cheese, divided
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 9-12 lasagna noodles (depending on pan size, mine held 9)
- 8 oz. Sargento Chef Blends Shredded 6 Italian Cheese
- 6 slices of Sargento Provolone (or 12 if using the Ultra Thin sliced)
- olive oil (for drizzling bottom of pan)
- Prepare meat sauce by browning ground meat on medium high heat (if not using Italian sausage, then season meat with salt and pepper, to taste) with the onion, garlic, and kale (if using). Once meat is cooked through and onions are tender, drain any fat and add the spaghetti sauce and crushed red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, egg, parsley, Italian seasoning and salt. Set aside.
- Boil lasagna noodles per instructions on box for al dente.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.
- Arrange 3 to 4 lasagna noodles in bottom of pan, side by side (mine held 3).
- Spread 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture over noodles.
- Top cheese mixture with 1/3 of the meat sauce.
- Top meat sauce with 1/4 of the Shredded 6 Cheese Italian cheese.
- Repeat steps 5-8 two more times.
- After the last layer is complete, place the 6 slices of Provolone cheese on top along with remaining Parmesan.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake until bubbly (40-45 minutes). Then remove foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbling.
- Let lasagna cool for 15-20 minutes before serving (if you can wait that long, we couldn’t!)
Recipe adapted from South Your Mouth
Look at all that cheese! Can you see why I’m a fan of Sargento Shredded Cheese? Well, not just the shredded, we use the sliced all the time too. We love Swiss, Provolone, and Cheddar on our sandwiches. If you love cheese too, then check out Sargento on Pinterest. There are lots of recipes available!
Also, Sargento currently has a recipe contest going on. Head to Sargento on Facebook to find out all the details and enter to win! You have to submit an original recipe and photo of a dish featuring a Sargento Shredded Natural Cheese variety, plus an explanation of why using real, fresh-tasting ingredients like Sargento Shredded Natural Cheese matters to you. The Facebook recipe contest winner will receive $2,000 toward kitchen supplies and ingredients for the perfect holiday meal, plus a year’s supply of Sargento Shredded Natural Cheese. Sounds good to me!
If some of you are like me and just now digging out from the snow, you may be heading to the grocery store to stock up on supplies for the game tomorrow. I may not know who’s playing, but I have my Super Bowl menu pretty much figured out – priorities.
Mac and cheese pizza. It’s a thing. I wasn’t aware it was a thing, but it is. I was casually perusing the isles of a Fresh Market grocery store with my 11 y/o daughter and mom one day, when they were giving out samples of a macaroni and cheese pizza. My daughter went nuts, b/c she is a mac n’ cheese freak. I think she would eat it everyday. She ate several samples, it was embarrassing. Finally I said in that quiet hiss that only mothers can do…’no more! We’ll make one at home!’, and that’s how macaroni and cheese pizza became ‘a thing’ in the mo’betta house.
Macaroni and Cheese Pizza (short cut version)
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- 1.5 pounds ground turkey (or ground beef)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat and cook onions until softened.
- Add garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, salt and pepper, cooking until fragrant (just a minute or two). Add ground turkey, breaking it up into small pieces. *I cooked my turkey until almost done before adding in #3, however, for traditional Cincinnati chili, ground beef (or in my case, turkey) is supposed to cook in the boiling broth.
- Stir in chicken broth, tomato sauce, and vinegar.
- Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chili is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
Two-Way Chili: Chili served on spaghetti
Three-Way Chili: Additionally topped with shredded Cheddar cheese
Four-Way Chili: Additionally topped with chopped onions
Five-Way Chili: Additionally topped with kidney beans
Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti Casserole
12 oz spaghetti *I used Barilla Plus – a higher protein pasta w/a lower glycemic index
1 (28 ounce) jars prepared spaghetti sauce
1 lb lean ground beef *I omitted & added turkey pepperoni instead
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces cream cheese *I used fat free
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated *I used a little extra 🙂
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
Cook spaghetti according to directions on packet. Drain and place cooked spaghetti in bowl. Add cream cheese, Italian Seasoning and minced garlic. Stir until cream cheese is melted and the spaghetti is thoroughly coated.
Add pepperoni to spaghetti sauce.
Lightly grease a 9×13″ pan. Spread a small amount of sauce in the bottom of the dish. Put spaghetti on top of sauce and top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.
Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.
Verdict? The end result is a warm, creamy, cheesy plate of yumminess!
I’m linking up today with Simple Living and Eating, Just Us Four; Bacon Time with Hungry, Hungry, Hypo; Six Sisters’ Stuff, Not Your Ordinary Recipes, Simply Sweet Home, Rattlebridge Farm, Miss Information, Foodie Friends Friday, Close to Home, Mommy’s Sweet Confessions, Finding Joy in My Kitchen
Orzo with Roasted Vegetables
6-8 spears of asparagus, sliced in thirds
1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced (I threw some banana peppers in there too)
1/2 red onion, diced
15-20 grape tomatoes
4 tbsp olive oil (divided)
Juice of 1-2 lemons, to taste
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1 cup orzo
2 green onions, sliced thin
1/4 cup reduced fat feta cheese
10 fresh basil leaves
Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.
Combine: lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper (to taste) and pour over orzo/vegetables.
I made Whole Wheat Beer Bread to go with it. I heart bread products. and beer. Since I have discovered the Michelob Ultra Peach flavor (and love it), I thought I’d give it a try in the bread. I also added cinnamon, to make kind of a sweet bread. It was very good. As in, I ate 1/2 a loaf in one evening good. There’s not much better than warm bread with a schmear of butta…mmmm…
So these little gems get 5 stars in my kids’ book. Guess I’ll be making them more often. Grands makes a reduced fat wheat biscuit that I’ll use next time, but couldn’t find them at my regular grocery store. (what else is new?)
I’m linking up with Finding Joy in My Kitchen