Spicy Sausage and Penne Casserole with Broccoli Breadcrumbs

Spicy Sausage and Penne Casserole with Broccoli BreadcrumbsTheKitchn, one of my favorite recipe sites featured these broccoli breadcrumbs. In looking for a good casserole to put these on, I found this Spicy Sausage and Penne Casserole. The two were made for each other. A good way to add some veggies to a casserole!

Spicy Sausage and Penne Casserole with Broccoli Breadcrumbs

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main
Servings 4 -6


  • 12 oz Box of whole wheat Penne pasta
  • 1 Package of andouille sausage thinly sliced (about 12 oz)
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 Red bell pepper chopped
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups Milk
  • 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 tsp Creole seasoning
  • A good grinding of pepper
  • 2 medium broccoli heads finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Spray a 2-quart casserole.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions; drain, rinse, and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, cook the sausage with onion and red peppers until things start to brown.
  • Put the mixture on a plate.
  • Melt butter in the same skillet over medium heat
  • Stir in flour.
  • Gradually add the milk
  • Add creole seasoning.
  • Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  • Add the cheese and stir until melted.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir in the drained pasta and sausage mixture.
  • Pour into the prepared casserole dish.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • While that's cooking, chop the broccoli and toss with olive oil.
  • Top the casserole with the broccoli and bake for another 10 minutes.


Italian Tortellini Soup

Italian Tortellini SoupFlorida doesn’t have much in the way of winter, but there are a few weeks when a nice, hearty soup makes a great dinner. This was fast to throw together and everyone ate it up. I adapted this from SparklePeople. You could use hot Italian Sausage for a spicier version.

Italian Tortellini Soup

MealsWeLike.com adapted from FoodieWife on SparkPeople
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6


  • 1 package Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage casings removed
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can 14-1/2 oz diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 package cheese and meat tortellini
  • 1 package 9 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 2 tsp minced fresh basil or 3/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese


  • Crumble sausage into a Dutch oven over medium-high heat
  • Add the onion.
  • Cook stirring now and then until meat is no longer pink.
  • Add garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes
  • Add the broth and tomatoes.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Stir in tortellini; return to a boil.
  • Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5-8 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the spinach, basil, peppers.
  • Cook 2-3 minutes longer or until spinach is wilted.
  • Serve topped with Parmesan.


Ravioli with Sautéed Butternut Squash and Thyme

Ravioli with butternut squashFrozen ravioli makes a nice start to a fast dinner. We had gotten tired of ravioli a while back since all we did was add some spaghetti sauce. This recipe is a relatively fast and easy dish that adds flavor, veggies and something different to the routine.

We used beef ravioli, though with cheese ravioli this could be a vegetarian dish. To make the cooking go a bit faster at meal time, you can dice the squash ahead of time and store in the fridge until your ready to go.

Ravioli with Sautéed Butternut Squash and Thyme

MealsWeLike.com, adapted from Women's Day
Course Main dish
Servings 4


  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium butternut squash about 1 lb, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 package ravioli
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan Cheese


  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the butternut squash.
  • Cook covered, stirring occasionally, until the squash is soft and starting to brown (10-15 min).
  • Meanwhile boil the water for the ravioli and prepare according to package directions.
  • When the squash is ready, add the garlic and thyme and cook uncovered for a couple of minutes.
  • Serve the ravioli, topping with the squash and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Chicken and mushroom pasta

Rondele cheese was on sale last week, so I was looking for a recipe that included that. This Chicken and mushroom fettucini recipe at Just the Recipe looked like a good start. We added some spinach and used whole grain spaghetti instead of fettucini. This is also a fairly fast meal, taking only about 30 minutes or so to prepare.

Chicken and mushroom pastaChicken and mushroom pasta

  • 1 box of pasta, cooked according to box directions
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
  • 5-8 ounces Borsin or Rondele cheese or other creamy herbed cheese
  • 1 package frozen spinach

While preparing the pasta, cube the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat the oil in a skillet an saute the chicken pieces over medium-high heat until cooked through and starting to brown (5-6 minutes). Remove the chicken and add the mushrooms. Turn the heat down a bit and saute the mushrooms until they have released their water and started to brown (about another 5 minutes). While that is cooking, microwave the spinach to defrost. Drain the spinach in a strainer, using a spoon to press out the water.

Add the cheese, chicken, and spinach to the mushrooms and stir to combine. Continue cooking until heated through. Serve over the pasta.



Spicy Sunflower Seed Noodles with Veggies and Chicken

Pink Parsley had this yummy sounding recipe with peanuts, to which our son is allergic. So we substituted SunButter in the recipe. I also had imagined this more like a stir fry than a salad, so we stir fried the veggies a bit and added the dressing and put it on top of soba noodles. It turned out great!
Spicy Sunflower Seed Noodles with Veggies and Chicken
adapted from Pink Parsley, adapted from Pinch of Yum, originally from Food Nouveau

For the dressing:

  • 3 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs water
  • 2 Tbs Crunchy SunButter
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 Tbs honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sugar

For the stir fry (or don’t cook it and make it a salad…)

  • 1 cup julienne yellow pepper
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 medium shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup chopped or shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 8 oz. cooked soba noodles or linguine
  • 2-3 Tbs minced fresh basil
  • 2-3 Tbs minced fresh cilantro
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

Mix all the dressing ingredients. Stir fry the veggies. Add the dressing and serve on top of the soba noodles.

Pasta with Pea Pesto and Bacon

SmittenKitchen has this great recipe for Linguine with pea pesto. Partially because I love bacon (so do you really need an excuse to add it to a recipe?), and partially because we left out the pine nuts due to allergies, I added 8oz bacon cooked an crumble. We used a 10oz package of frozen peas and penne since that’s what we had on hand. The result was an amazingly tasty dish that the kids fought us for for the leftovers for lunch the next day! Definitely a keeper.

Adapted from SmittenKitchenPea Pesto with Bacon

Linguine with Pea Pesto

  • 10-ounce package frozen peas
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced–it’s raw, so be careful about adding too much! I used a small one and could definitely taste it, I had been tempted to use more and was glad I didn’t
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 8oz bacon cooked and crumbled
  • Package pasta of your choice

Cook the pasta as directed, reserving 2 cups of the water when you drain. Meanwhile, microwave the peas until warm. Place peas, garlic, Parmesan cheese and olive oil in a food processor and blend until smooth (Now I see that the original recipe called for setting aside some peas…we didn’t, could be good though). Cook the bacon and crumble. Mix the pasta, pea pesto and bacon. Add enough of the reserved pasta water for a nice consistency–we used about 1 cup.

Blueberry pasta salad

Chicken and Blueberry Pasta saladIt’s blueberry season here and we picked a lot. We’re always looking for new ways to use them and found this yummy blueberry pasta salad recipe. It’s a great summer dish. I grilled the chicken rather than poaching. We used the Ronzoni Garden Delight pasta for color and nutrition.



IngredientsA bowl of bluberries

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 box whole-wheat pasta
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1  shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 T lime juice
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 T grated lime zestLime zest
  1. Grill the chicken and dice (or use leftover chick or cook some other way).
  2. Cook the pasta, drain and return to pot.
  3. Heat the oil in a small pan over medium high heat, and add the shallot, cooking until starting to brown. Add the broth, feta and lime juice, cooking until he cheese begins to melt.
  4. Add the diced chicken, blueberries, thyme, lime zest and feta sauce to the pasta and stir to mix everything together.