Tag Archives: italian appetizer

Mushroom Basil Polenta Cakes

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Polenta is an inexpensive, gluten-free cornmeal based Italian dish that can be prepared several ways. I chose to slice the prepared polenta and top it with sautéed mushrooms combined with fresh herbs for an appetizer.

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This recipe could also be served as a side dish with Lemon Basil Chicken or Rosemary Balsamic Pork Tenderloin.

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Ingredients (makes 15 cakes)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup baby portabella mushrooms (sliced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh Italian parsley (chopped)
  • 18 oz polenta
  • ¼ cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet.  Add the mushrooms and sauté until brown and fragrant, 5-7 minutes.

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Add the minced garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and place the mushrooms in a small bowl.  Mix in the basil and parsley.

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Slice the polenta into 15 “cakes”.

mushroom polenta cakes, polenta cakes, mushroom polenta appetizer, italian appetizer, recipes, food

Top the polenta with the mushroom mixture, then sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.

Bake in a 350° oven for 12 minutes.

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Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and serve.

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♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan Bites

Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan Bites {Little Leopard Book}

It’s always a chore when I visit my family to find something to cook that fits everyone’s culinary preferences and dietary needs.

My Mom, as I’ve mentioned before, is the pickiest eater alive.  My brother has Celiac disease, therefore maintains a strictly gluten-free diet.

Trying to find something she will eat AND he can eat is a struggle sometimes.

Luckily, my bestie called me up and told me she was having a small last-minute get-together and needed to use the ingredients she had on hand to make a few appetizers.  I gave her the idea for Chicken Parmesan Bites, then decided to make them myself because it was something I could easily make gluten-free and something my Mom would actually like!

Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan Appetizer

I served them at the holiday party I hosted at my parent’s house last week along side Buffalo Chicken Dip and Cranberry Goat Cheese Crostini’s.

My Mom ate a whole plate full, so I guess she approves!

Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan Bite Ingredients

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

  • 1 lb chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • ½ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 package (8 oz) fresh mozzarella pearls
  • 4 cups chunky tomato marinara

Begin by cutting the chicken breasts into small cubes.

Chicken Appetizer Bites

Next, combine the breadcrumbs, basil, thyme, oregano and Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Add the chicken cubes and roll in the mixture.

Remove the chicken from the seasoned breadcrumbs, top with one mozzarella pearl and skewer with a toothpick.

Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan Bites

Place into a baking dish and cover with the marinara sauce.

Chicken Parmesan Bites

Place into a 400° oven for 20-25 minutes.

Mini Chicken Parmesan Appetizer Bites

Place on a serving bowl or tray and dig in!

Mini Chicken Parmesan Appetizer

These would be great at an Italian Tapas Party with Bruschetta, Caprese Salad Wraps and Mini Cannoli’s!

Chicken Parmesan Bites

♣ Vegetarian Option: Substitute tofu for chicken.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

**Gluten-free breadcrumbs can be found at most major grocery stores.  You can also use rice Chex cereal put through a food processor to form a fine crumb mixture if gluten-free breadcrumbs are not available.

Italian Crab Cakes

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I created these delicious Italian Style Crab Cakes as a starter for dinner on Saturday night.

I replaced mayonnaise with ricotta cheese and added fresh Italian herbs for a delicious twist on this seafood favorite.

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Ingredients (makes 12 crab cakes)

  • 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh italian parsley (chopped)
  • 1/8 cup red bell pepper (minced)
  • ¼ cup red onion (minced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups lump crab meat
  • ¾ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh chives (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup garlic aioli
  • 2 lemon (sliced into wedges)
  • 1 cup mixed greens

Begin by whisking the ricotta cheese and egg together.  Next, mix in the fresh basil, parsley, bell pepper, onion and garlic.

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Add the crab meat, breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese then form into cakes.

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Heat the olive oil in a skillet then add the crab cakes and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.  Remove and serve on a bed of mixed greens, then top with garlic aioli and chives. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

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These can be served as an entree with sides like Garlic Lemon Asparagus and Cilantro Lime Rice.

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Or served as an appetizer with your favorite Italian meal, such as Chicken Parmesan or Lemon Herb Salmon.

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Either way, these delectable seafood favorites will be the hit of the night!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: Zucchini and corn can replace the crab in this recipe for a vegetarian take on the dish.

♦ Gluten Free Option: When gluten-free bread crumbs are used, this recipe is gluten-free.