Tag Archives: Italian

Sheet Pan Gnocchi with Butternut Squash & Crispy Kale

Vegan baked gnocchi is tossed with delicious fall spices, butternut squash and crispy kale for an easy, healthy, sheet pan recipe made in just 25 minutes!

Gnocchi, butternut squash and kale in bowl with wooden spoons

Butternut squash is my favorite fall vegetable! It can be turned into an appetizer with this Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Bruschetta Recipe, a taco with this Vegan Butternut Squash Taco Recipe or a soup with this Chai Spiced Butternut Squash Soup Recipe. It’s so versatile and so delicious!

A few weeks ago I had a bag of diced up butternut squash in the fridge and a package of gnocchi in the pantry, I decided to experiment putting the two together in an easy sheet pan recipe for dinner.

That dinner turned out so delicious that I turned around and made it again the next day for the blog!

The crispy kale, paired with the tender gnocchi and creamy butternut squash creates the perfect trifecta of textures. And all of the fall spices really take the flavor of this recipe over the top!

Read the full recipe here!

Bruschetta Baked Brie

This Bruschetta Baked Brie recipe combines two of the most delicious appetizers, tomato basil bruschetta and baked brie bread bowls, into the most scrumptious starter, that’s also so easy to make!

Baked Brie in a Sourdough Bread Bowl topped with Tomato Basil Bruschetta

If you love this Caramelized Pear Baked Brie Bread Bowl in the fall, this Salted Caramel Pecan Baked Brie in the winter and this Strawberry Balsamic Baked Brie Bread Bowl in the spring, then you’re going to love this Bruschetta Baked Brie Bread Bowl in the summer and throughout the year!

Inspired by the most popular recipe on the blog, Bruschetta Grilled Chicken Zoodle Bowls (4.8 MILLION views on Facebook & counting!), I combined the deliciously simple Tomato Basil Bruschetta recipe that tops the zoodle bowls, with luscious, creamy, baked brie, all snuggled in a delightfully crisp sourdough bread bowl. And let me tell you, it was amazing!

The freshness of the bruschetta, paired with the creaminess of the brie is a match made in heaven! This is the perfect appetizer for an Italian dinner or a party starter!

Read the full recipe here!

Instant Pot Beef with Tomato Basil Bruschetta

Garlic balsamic marinated sirloin is cooked in just 30 minutes in this Instant Pot Beef recipe, then topped with fresh tomato basil bruschetta for a delicious meal!

My famous Tomato Basil Bruschetta is fresh, light, made in 10 minutes and delicious on Grilled Chicken Zoodle Bowls, Burgers and Italian Beef!

Instant Pot Beef covered in Fresh Tomato Basil Bruschetta

Today’s post is sponsored by the California Beef Council!

I recently joined the brand new podcast “Feed Me!” as a featured guest on their first episode. We chatted about ways to use your slow cooker and Instant Pot in the summer, my favorite comfort food and tips and tricks for cooking with an Instant Pot.

One of my favorite things about the Instant Pot is the fact that you can sear meat directly in the Instant Pot before you pressure cook the dish, so that you’re left with only one pot to clean up after the meal!

While this Instant Pot Beef Ragu recipe is one of my favorite meals and can be eaten year-round, I wanted to try something new, light and fresh for summer, which is why I created this Instant Pot Beef with Tomato Basil Bruschetta.

Read the full recipe here!

Avocado Bruschetta

Tomato basil bruschetta is combined with creamy avocado and served atop crispy toasted baguette slices with a drizzle of balsamic reduction in this easy, flavorful avocado bruschetta recipe, made in just 10 minutes!

Avocado Tomato Bruschetta with Balsamic Reduction

My classic tomato basil bruschetta recipe is in constant rotation around my house! Whether it’s served on a toasted baguette, in a grilled chicken zoodle bowl, on a turkey burger or on top of chicken parmesan, I can’t get enough of the fresh tomato goodness!

This summer I’m adding my favorite green fruit, avocado, to the bruschetta party!

Read the full recipe here!

Grilled Caprese French Bread Pizza

Grilled Caprese French Bread Pizza will become your new favorite summer recipe! It’s topped with juicy grilled tomatoes, creamy mozzarella cheese and fresh basil pesto. Slice it into bites for an appetizer or large slices for a seriously delicious meal!

Grilled Caprese French Bread Pizza with Balsamic Glaze

Last weekend was Memorial Day weekend, which means the unofficial start of summer!  I don’t know about y’all, but I am SO excited for grilling season and all of the fresh summer produce popping up at the local farmers markets and grocery stores!

One of my favorite salads to eat during the summer is a classic caprese salad. Over the years, I’ve put several of my own twists on the salad, like this Crispy Eggplant Caprese Salad, which is always a show-stopper at dinner parties and this Quinoa Caprese Salad, a healthy side dish I always bring to picnics and BBQs during the summer!

Read the full post here!

Italian Drunken Noodles

An Italian spin on a classic Thai dish, Italian Drunken Noodles are made with wide egg noodles, tomato sauce, Italian sausage, fresh basil and peppers for an incredibly flavorful and easy dish made in just 29 minutes!

Italian Drunken Noodles Recipe in Skillet

We love easy pasta recipes around our house! From One Pot Italian Sausage Shells and Cheese to Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Penne to One Pot Buffalo Taco Spaghetti, pasta recipes made in under 45 minutes are in regular rotation on our weekly menu!

Now added to the regular rotation, Italian Drunken Noodles!

Read the full post here!

Shrimp Bruschetta Zoodle Bowls

Delicious Italian marinated grilled shrimp is topped with homemade tomato basil bruschetta and served over sautéed zucchini noodles in this healthy, Whole 30 and gluten free Shrimp Bruschetta Zoodle Bowl recipe!

Bruschetta, Grilled Shrimp and Zucchini Noodles in Bowl

With over 4.5 MILLION video views on Facebook, over 100,000 shares and 40,000 comments, it’s clear to see that these Bruschetta Grilled Chicken Zoodle Bowls are a hit!

The original inspiration for these bowls came from my Tomato Basil Bruschetta Recipe that I’ve been making for years! I wanted more ways to eat this delectable recipe, rather than just as an appetizer, so I served it over grilled chicken, on a bed of zoodles and the world took notice!

Today, I’m sharing how to make a similar bruschetta zoodle bowl, but with delicious grilled shrimp! And I’m serious when I say DELICIOUS grilled shrimp! I could eat this shrimp by itself, all day every day… and I did! I could not resist gobbling up a few grilled shrimps before putting these bowls together!

Read the full post here!

Chicken Marsala Meatballs

Classic chicken marsala is given a fun twist in this recipe for Chicken Marsala Meatballs made by cooking pork and chicken meatballs in a creamy mushroom marsala sauce!

Classic chicken marsala is given a fun twist in this recipe for Chicken Marsala Meatballs made by cooking pork and chicken meatballs in a creamy mushroom marsala sauce!

We love meatballs around our house! From Thai Peanut Turkey Meatballs served over rice, to Buffalo Honey Mustard Meatballs for gameday, to One Pot German Meatballs & Potatoes for an easy meal, there’s no shortage of meatball meals in our house!

One of my tricks for creating the perfect meatball is to combine two different meats. For this recreation of chicken marsala, I made pork and chicken meatballs. When using a lean protein like ground chicken breast, you want to combine it with a protein with a slightly higher fat content, like ground pork or beef.

Read the full post here!

Banh Mi Pizza

 Turn your favorite banh mi sandwich into a pizza with this easy and delicious Banh Mi Pizza recipe, topped with sesame ginger ground pork, fresh carrots, jalapeños, cilantro and Sriracha!

Turn your favorite banh mi sandwich into a pizza with this easy and delicious Banh Mi Pizza recipe, topped with sesame ginger ground pork, fresh carrots, jalapeños, cilantro and Sriracha!

A couple of weeks ago, I was really craving pizza, but I wanted something different. I started thinking of some of my other favorite meals that I could transform into a delicious pizza. The banh mi sandwich came to mind and I began to experiment!

On the first banh mi pizza experiment I placed the jalapenos, onions and carrots with the pork on the pizza before baking. The family consensus was that to be more true to a real banh mi sandwich, the toppings should be raw and added after the pizza was baked. I also did a little experimenting with the sauce and about 5 pizza taste-tests later, the perfect banh mi pizza was born!

Read the full post here!

Three Cheese Baked Ziti

Three cheese baked ziti with ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan is an easy 6 ingredient, 29 minute meal that is sure to become a weeknight dinner family favorite!

Three cheese baked ziti with ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan is an easy 6 ingredient, 29 minute meal that is sure to become a weeknight dinner family favorite!

This three cheese baked ziti recipe was inspired by my favorite pizza at Jimmy and Joe’s Pizzeria in Phoenix. I always order it topped with dollops of ricotta cheese and it adds this amazing layer of creaminess to the pizza.

I decided to recreate this ricotta magic on topped of baked ziti and it was amazing!

Read the full post here!

Whole30 Eggplant Roll Ups

Italian seasoned ground turkey and mushrooms fill these delicious eggplant roll ups, baked in a flavorful tomato sauce. This recipe is gluten free, dairy free and Whole30 compliant!

Italian seasoned ground turkey and mushrooms fill these delicious eggplant roll ups, baked in a flavorful tomato sauce. This recipe is gluten free, dairy free and Whole30 compliant!

Although I love all of my recipes, this might just be my favorite Whole30 recipe so far (shhh don’t tell the others!)

What can I say, I’m a sucker for Italian food. Even when I was a picky eater growing up, I always loved my Italian food! I know, the blasphemy that a food blogger used to be a picky eater!

Usually pasta and cheese are at the top of my Italian menu but I was determined to make an equally amazing Italian dish without the pasta and cheese that was Whole30 compliant.

Read the full post here!

Instant Pot Beef Ragu

Create the delicious taste and texture of a slow cooked beef ragu sauce in under an hour with this Instant Pot Beef Ragu recipe!

Create the delicious taste and texture of a slow cooked beef ragu sauce in under an hour with this Instant Pot Beef Ragu recipe!

Ever since I introduced Instant Pot Recipes on the blog earlier this year, I’ve had several requests to make an Instant Pot version of my most popular slow cooker recipe, beef ragu!

Ask and ye shall receive! I’m so excited to share this new version of one of my favorite recipes. Instant Pot Beef Ragu has all of the delicious flavor of my slow cooker version, but in a fraction of the time! Home from work after a long day and need some beef ragu in your life? No problem! Just bust out an Instant Pot and in under an hour the deliciousness of beef ragu is yours!

Read the full post here!

Gluten Free Pasta Fagioli Soup

This recipe for Pasta Fagioli soup is a delicious, gluten free copycat of the Olive Garden favorite, easily made in a slow cooker or Instant Pot!

This recipe for Pasta Fagioli soup is a delicious, gluten free copycat of the Olive Garden favorite, easily made in a slow cooker or Instant Pot!

This post contains affiliate links to products I used to make this delicious recipe!

Growing up in Oklahoma, we’d drive into “the city” AKA Oklahoma City, to go to Olive Garden on special occasions (because we fancy like that! 😉 ) and my favorite thing was their pasta fagioli soup and breadsticks.

The soup name translates to  “pasta and beans”, which means it’s usually not gluten free, but if you switch out traditional pasta for gluten free corn & quinoa pasta, you’ve got a delicious gluten free spin on a classic Italian soup!

Read the full post here!

Philly Cheesesteak Mac & Cheese

This insanely delicious Mac and Cheese recipe is a seriously scrumptious twist on the Philly Cheesesteak and it’s easily made in only 29 minutes!

This insanely delicious Mac and Cheese recipe is a seriously scrumptious twist on the Philly Cheesesteak and it's easily made in only 29 minutes!

Allow me to introduce you to the BEST MAC & CHEESE EVER! What started as an experiment almost 2 months ago, lead me to the most amazing twist on a Philly Cheesesteak ever!

Read the full post here!

Creamy Mushroom Chicken Parmesan

A decadently creamy mushroom sauce covers chicken parmesan in this quick and easy Mushroom Chicken recipe that you’ll want to make over and over!

A decadently creamy mushroom sauce covers chicken parmesan in this quick and easy Mushroom Chicken recipe that you'll want to make over and over!

I originally planned to share this recipe two weeks from now, but I could not wait any longer to share the Creamy Mushroom Chicken amazingness!

People regularly ask me what my favorite recipe on the blog is and there’s no way I could pick just ONE favorite out of over 900 recipes, but I can tell you that this one is now in the top 10!

Read the full post here!

Buffalo Cheesy Garlic Knots

Mouth watering garlic knots are filled with cheese and smothered in buffalo sauce in this delicious recipe for cheesy garlic knots, perfect as an appetizer or party snack!

Mouth watering garlic knots are filled with cheese and smothered in buffalo sauce in this delicious recipe for cheesy garlic knots, perfect as an appetizer or party snack!

Garlic knots, the delicious creation that twists up pizza dough and smothers it in garlic butter, creating one of the most delicious snacks ever!

When I lived downtown San Diego, I used to frequent a little pizza shop that sold garlic knots in a bag by the half dozen. My friends would order pizza slices at said pizza shop, I would order a dozen garlic knots and literally just eat them out of the bag, like the civilized food blogger I am 😉

Needless to say, I’ve had a long standing love affair with garlic knots and today I made them even better by filling them with cheese and smothering them in buffalo sauce, creating Buffalo Cheesy Garlic Knots, also know as THE MOST DELICIOUS SNACK EVER!

Read the full post here!

Pizza Baked Spaghetti

Toss your favorite pizza toppings, like sausage & peppers, with spaghetti & pasta sauce, then top with cheese for an easy pizza baked spaghetti recipe!

Toss your favorite pizza toppings, like sausage & peppers, with spaghetti & pasta sauce, then top with cheese for an easy pizza baked spaghetti recipe!

For a lot of families across the country, this week is back-to-school week, which means after school activities, busy schedules and the need for easy weeknight meals!

If you’re looking for new recipes to add to your weeknight menu repertoire, look no further than this pizza baked spaghetti recipe! I tossed my favorite pizza toppings, sausage and peppers with extra saucy spaghetti and topped the whole thing with lots of parmesan and mozzarella cheese for a meal that the entire family will love! The best part is, the recipe only takes 14 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to bake, which makes it an easy 29 Minute Meal for busy schedules!

Read the full post here!

Steak Crostini

Top sirloin is seasoned & sous vide, then sliced & served atop a crispy baguette with horseradish goat cheese, in this delicious steak crostini recipe!

Top sirloin is seasoned & sous vide, then sliced & served atop a crispy baguette with horseradish goat cheese in this delicious steak crostini recipe!

Today’s post is sponsored by Cox Communications & features affiliate links to some of my favorite kitchen products that helped me make this scrumptious steak crostini recipe! 

Well hello there appetizer deliciousness!

What says “welcome to the party” more than mouth-watering steak on top of creamy horseradish goat cheese with a drizzle of balsamic reduction, all on a crispy sliced baguette!

Read the full post here!

Italian Sub Pizza

All of the ingredients in a traditional Italian Sub, like salami, pepperoni & provolone, top this delicious Italian Sub Pizza Recipe, easily made in under 30 minutes in the oven or on the grill!

All of the ingredients in a traditional Italian Sub, like salami, pepperoni & provolone, top this delicious Italian Sub Pizza Recipe, easily made in under 30 minutes in the oven or on the grill!

Thanks to Dietz & Watson for sponsoring this post!

There’s nothing like pizza to gather friends and family around the table! It’s a classic Italian dish that’s easily shared and everyone loves.

Read the full post here!

Tomato Basil Bruschetta

This tomato basil bruschetta recipe is a recreation of BJ’s Restaurant favorite, it’s healthy and easy to make in only 10 minutes!

This Italian tomato basil bruschetta recipe is a recreation of BJ's Restaurant appetizer favorite, it's healthy and easy to make in only 10 minutes!

I’ve been making this tomato basil bruschetta recipe for years! I can’t say enough good things about how easy and flavorful it is!

Read the full post here!

Tomato Basil Chicken Skewers

The easiest & most delicious Tomato Basil Chicken Skewers are made with marinated chicken, cherry tomatoes & fresh basil for a healthy, gluten free meal, made on the grill!

The easiest & most delicious Tomato Basil Chicken Skewers are made with marinated chicken, cherry tomatoes & fresh basil for a healthy, gluten free meal!

Skewers are one of my favorite things to grill in the summer. They’re easy to prep ahead of time and perfect for everything from easy weeknight dinners to entertaining friends around the BBQ.

These Tomato Basil Chicken Skewers are so flavorful and so easy to make! In just 29 minutes you can give the chicken a quick marinade, skewer these babies up and toss them on the grill for a delicious meal!

Read the full post here!

Lasagna Bolognese: Two Ways

Whether you’re looking for everyday delicious or elevated gourmet, in these two recipes for lasagna bolognese, one is made in 30 minutes for weeknight dinners, while the other is a slow cooked traditional lasagna bolognese, perfect for weekend celebrations!

 

 Learn how to make a slow cooked lasagna bolognese, great for weekend celebrations, or a 30 minute lasagna bolognese, perfect for weeknight dinners!

 

For this post, I partnered up with my friends at Anolon to create delicious recipes for both easy weeknight meals and elevated weekend dinners, all using their Umber collection of cookware, including the 7.5 quart stockpot and 11 piece set of pots, pans and lids.

 

To start off, I created an easy weeknight one pot lasagna bolognese that’s made in only 30 minutes!

Read the full post here!

One Pot Shrimp Piccata Pasta

In just one pot and 20 minutes, whip up this delicious shrimp piccata pasta cooked in a scrumptious lemony, garlic, white wine sauce!

In just one pot and 20 minutes, whip up this delicious shrimp piccata pasta cooked in a scrumptious lemony, garlic, white wine sauce!

Lemon, butter, wine, garlic and capers, oh my!

Read the full post here!

Easy Breakfast Pizza

Crispy pizza crust, flavorful turkey sausage, sautéed veggies, baked eggs & parmesan cheese make up this deliciously easy breakfast pizza recipe!

Crispy pizza crust, flavorful turkey sausage, sautéed veggies, baked eggs & parmesan cheese make up this deliciously easy breakfast pizza recipe!

Is it acceptable to eat breakfast pizza for every meal?! {Please say yes, please say yes, please say yes!} Because that may or may not have happened yesterday 😉

While I love any kind of pizza, any time of day, I’ve totally become a sucker for breakfast pizzas! I’ve seen them popping up on tons of brunch menus in San Diego and I can’t help but order one every time!

Earlier this week, I decided to take this breakfast pizza trend into my own kitchen and whip up a delicious recipe to share on the blog!

Read the full post here!

Easy Italian Shrimp & Polenta

This Gluten Free Italian Shrimp & Polenta Recipe is made entirely in a rice cooker in only 29 minutes for an easy meal with very little clean up!

This Gluten Free Italian Shrimp & Polenta Recipe is made entirely in a rice cooker & steamer in only 29 minutes for an easy meal with very little clean up!

There’s nothing I love more than a one pot meal, easy prep and very little clean up. In my world, less dishes = muy bueno!

Read the full post here!

One Pot Ravioli with Creamy Pesto Sauce & Sausage

One Pot Ravioli with Creamy Pesto Sauce & Sausage is an absolutely mouth-watering recipe that is so easy to make in only 20 minutes!

One Pot Ravioli with Creamy Pesto Sauce & Sausage is an absolutely mouth watering, delicious recipe that is so easy to make in only 20 minutes!

A big ol’ pot of cheesy pasta, Italian sausage and veggies in a deliciously creamy sun dried tomato pesto sauce, does life get any better?! I don’t think so!

Read the full post here!

Heart Shaped Meatloaf

This Italian Meatloaf recipe is easy to make & so delicious! It can be made into a heart shape for Valentine’s Day, or made anytime of the year using a traditional meatloaf pan!

This Italian Meatloaf recipe is easy to make & so delicious! It can be made into a heart shape for Valentine's Day, or made anytime of the year using a traditional meatloaf pan!

If you’re looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner that’s both really delicious and captures the festive spirit of Valentine’s Day, then this Heart Shaped Italian Meatloaf is where it’s at!

This meal if perfect for boyfriends, girlfriends, hubbys, wives, kids and friends! It’s easy to make and something that everyone will love on Valentine’s Day!

Read the full post here!

Roasted Tomato Soup

Roasted cherry tomatoes, garlic and onions are pureed into a vegan and gluten free tomato soup recipe, that’s so easy to make in only 29 minutes!

Roasted cherry tomatoes, garlic and onions are pureed into a vegan and gluten free tomato soup recipe, that's so easy to make in only 29 minutes!

I love roasted cherry tomatoes! Like seriously, in love with these flavorful little bursts of sunshine! I love them on steak, in casseroles and on bruschetta!

After making Roasted Sweet Potato Soup earlier this winter, I got the idea to make Roasted Tomato Soup! Genius, right? Flavorful roasted tomatoes pureed into a warm, comforting soup, perfect for dunking your favorite grilled cheese into!

Read the full post here!

29 Minute Spaghetti Sauce

Ditch the store-bought jar for this easy spaghetti sauce recipe, made in under 30 minutes! It’s delicious, gluten free & vegan!

Ditch the store-bought jar for this easy spaghetti sauce recipe, made in under 30 minutes! It's delicious, gluten free & vegan!

I’ve been making this spaghetti sauce for years to toss with pasta, top chicken parmesan and spread over pizza, so I decided it was about time it got it’s own blog post!

Read the full post here!

Slow Cooker Chicken Ragu

This easy slow cooker recipe for Chicken Ragu takes only 10 minutes to prep, then slow cooks all day for a delicious dinner!

This easy slow cooker recipe for Chicken Ragu takes only 10 minutes to prep, then slow cooks all day for a delicious dinner!

Well hello my friends and happy new year! Welcome to the first new recipe of 2017!

Who’s totally psyched for the new year? I know I am! I’ve got some exciting new projects for the new year including a web series, “29 Minute Meals” which premieres TOMORROW on YouTube, but you can watch the trailer right here, right now!

In 2017 I’ll be posting new recipes made in 29 minutes or less, in one pot or in a crock pot on the blog every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, with new episodes of “29 Minute Meals” premiering every Wednesday on my YouTube channel! In case you weren’t counting, that’s four days of fun every single week in 2017!

Be sure to sign up for my free e-mail list and subscribe to my YouTube channel to see when new recipes and videos are posted all year long!

Read the full post here!

Naan Pizza Rolls

Mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes and basil pesto are wrapped up in garlic naan and baked into delicious pizza rolls, perfect for a party appetizer or snack!

Naan Pizza Rolls

With holiday parties in full swing, I’ve got party apps on my mind, so I partnered up with my friends at Stonefire Naan to create a recipe that’s delicious, super easy to make and perfectly festive for the holiday season!

Read the full post here!

Italian Flank Steak with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

In this delicious recipe, Italian seasoned flank steak is cooked in a cast iron skillet or sous vide, then topped with balsamic roasted cherry tomatoes!

In this delicious recipe, Italian seasoned flank steak is cooked in a cast iron skillet or sous vide, then topped with balsamic roasted cherry tomatoes.

This is one of those recipes that I’ve been planning to make for months, yet never seemed to get around to, and now that I did, I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to make it!

In my world, balsamic roasted cherry tomatoes on anything and everything is a win, ok maybe not pancakes, but maybe if I made savory herb pancakes, I think I’m on to something! Anyway, I digress, basically what I’m saying here is balsamic roasted cherry tomatoes are BAE… Before Anyone Else for those of us who literally had to google what BAE meant in the very recent past 😉

Balsamic roasted cherry tomatoes literally burst open with flavor on top of anything from Turkey Polenta Casseroles to Bruschetta to Pesto Salmon!

Read the full post here!

Spicy Sausage Mini Pizzas

Sriracha pizza sauce, jalapeños, summer sausage and jalapeño cheddar cheese top this delicious mini pizza recipe, perfect for game days and parties!

Spicy Sausage Mini Pizza Recipe

Growing up, my favorite month of the year was December because it just so happens to be my birthday month, Christmas and Hickory Farms sets up their stand in the mall, which means Beef Summer Sausage, Cheese Balls and Crackers are a totally acceptable meal for lunch, basically every day in my house!

Today I’m so excited to share my first recipe in partnership with Hickory Farms, a brand I’ve grown up with and loved my entire life!

Read the full post here!

Bruschetta Chicken Parmesan

Made in one pot, in 29 minutes, this fresh and flavorful Bruschetta Chicken Parmesan recipe is a delicious, quick and easy dinner dish!

Bruschetta Chicken Parmesan Recipe

When it comes to comfort food, I think of recipes I grew up with in Oklahoma, like biscuits and gravy, mac and cheese and my Dad’s fried chicken, but now living a healthier lifestyle in California, I’ve had to redefine comfort food.

Today, I’ve partnered up with my friends at Foster Farms to share one of my New Comfort Food favs!

New comfort food to me is incorporating some of the aspects of the old comfort food favs in new, healthier, yet still totally delicious, ways!

For example, using spaghetti squash instead of pasta in Mac & Cheese, like in this recipe for Cheesy Jalapeno Popper Spaghetti Squash, or going the other direction and using butternut squash to make the sauce in Mac & Cheese creamier with the use of less cheese, like I did in this recipe for Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese.

Read the full post here!

One Pot Italian Sausage Shells and Cheese

In one pot and under 45 minutes, prepare this Italian style Shells and Cheese recipe, filled with flavorful sausage, tomato sauce, and three cheeses!

Italian Sausage Shells and Cheese Recipe

There’s not much I love more than a big ol’ bowl of pasta, but when said bowl of pasta is made in one pot, in under an hour and it’s super cheesy and flavorful, I love it even more!

Read the full post here!

Garlic Naan Lasagna

Layers of cheese, Italian sausage marinara and garlic naan make for a delicious twist on traditional lasagna, which I like to call la-naan-a!

Naan Lasagna Recipe

 

The month of September can be quite crazy for a lot of households. Back-to-school means running kids around and quite often, it’s hard to get everyone around the dinner table. This is why I partnered up with my friends at Stonefire Naan to create a recipe that will have everyone running to the dinner table any night of the week!

This recipe is Naan lasagna, or as we lovingly refer to it at my house la-naan-a!

Read the full post here!

Mushroom Sausage One Pot Lasagna

This One Pot Lasagna Recipe is filled with mushrooms, sausage, cheese and tomatoes, and made in only 29 minutes for an easy and delicious dinner!

Mushroom Sausage One Pot Lasagna Recipe

O-M-G you guys, I’m so excited to share this recipe! It combines all of my favorite things, it’s made in 29 minutes, in one pot and it’s filled with pasta, cheese, sausage, mushrooms and a flavorful red wine tomato sauce!

Read the full post here!

Grilled Vegetable Italian Panini

Grilled vegetables, pesto and cheese are pressed into a mouthwatering vegetarian Italian Panini recipe, made in only 20 minutes!

Vegetarian Italian Panini Recipe

Six days of not posting a new recipe feels like FOREVER when you’re a food blogger, but don’t worry, I haven’t been slacking over here, I spent most of last week perfecting every square inch of the new WhitneyBond.com! So what do you think?

If you haven’t been to the beautiful new home page, you should check it out! It features consistently changing featured recipes that I have hand selected out of my personal favorites and fan favorites, below there, you’ll see the latest recipes from my kitchen, then keep scrolling down for delicious Quick & Easy Recipes, One Pot Meals, Slow Cooker Recipes and Fan Favorites!

There are also fun new sidebar features, which you can see over to the right if you’re on a desktop or laptop. If you’re on mobile or a tablet, you’ll find these side bar features at the bottom of this post! These features include a link to my latest news segment, a look at my Instagram feed, my Snapchat Snapcode and links to currently trending recipes on the blog!

Read the full post here!

Grilled Tomato & Kale Salad

Grilling tomatoes & kale puts a totally new twist on a traditional kale salad, it’s vegetarian, gluten free & perfect as a summer side dish or entree!

Grilled Tomato & Kale Salad Recipe

Since it’s summertime and all I want to do is grill everything, that’s exactly what I did this week! From Caribbean Jerk Meatballs to Korean BBQ Grilled Salmon (I seriously can’t stop eating this dish!) to this Grilled Tomato & Kale Salad recipe, it was a grilling kind of week at my house!

Read the full post here!

Pesto Smashed Potato Salad

Pesto Smashed Potato Salad Recipe

Growing up, I was never a fan of potato salad, to be fair, I wasn’t a fan of a lot of foods, blasphemy, I know, the food blogger that was a picky eater growing up, say it ain’t so, oh, but it is!

A few years after moving to California for college, I started trying new foods and recipes, and realized what I had been missing all of these years, ahem, guacamole, the green stuff, freaking delicious, fish, sushi, yes, please, but one thing I can say I’ve never really taken a liking to is potato salad. I’m guessing my aversion to mayonnaise might have a little something to do with that!

So today I’m making a potato salad that’s colorful, flavorful, sans mayonnaise and filled with tons of green goodness!

Read the full post here!

Beef Ragu Lasagna

Simple slow cooked beef ragu is layered with creamy ricotta cheese, lasagna noodles and mozzarella cheese in the most delicious lasagna recipe ever!

Beef Ragu Lasagna Recipe

Well hello everyone and happy Friday!

Just a few hours ago, I landed back home in San Diego after 4 whirlwind days in NYC!

I was meeting with PR agencies, TV corporations, publishing and tech companies, which means, yes, exciting new opportunities will be announced very soon!

In the mean time, you can check out behind-the-scenes action and sneak peeks of the exciting news on Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter!

Read the full post here!

Bruschetta Grilled Chicken Zoodle Bowls

Marinated grilled chicken is served over zucchini noodles & topped with fresh tomato bruschetta in this healthy, gluten free chicken zoodle bowl recipe!

Bruschetta Grilled Chicken Zoodle Bowl Recipe

Bowls in the food world are the equivalent to Game Of Thrones in the TV world, SO HOT RIGHT NOW!

If you google “Bowl Trend In Food” you’ll find dozens of articles about how “Bowls Are The New Plates” (yes, that’s actually the title of an article from The Wall Street Journal! 🙂 )

This is one food trend that I’m not upset about at all! You can pack a lot of healthy ingredients into a bowl, while also adding a ton of flavor to make it super yummy!

Read the full post here!

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Wellington

Kick up your meatball recipe game with Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Wellington, juicy meatballs filled with cheese, wrapped in puff pastry & baked!

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Recipe

You know the old saying “two heads are better than one”? Well, nowadays, I’d really have to agree with that!

Ever since I started dating my boyfriend Kurt, he’s given me some great recipe ideas, including this one for Meatball Wellington. And this might just be his best one yet!

Juicy, flavorful Italian sausage meatballs, filled with fresh, gooey mozzarella cheese, all wrapped up in buttery, flakey puff pastry dough, it really doesn’t get much better!

Read the full post here!

One Pot Pasta Carbonara

This One Pot Pasta Carbonara recipe contains all of the traditional carbonara ingredients, made in a new, easy way, in only one pot in 30 minutes!

One Pot Pasta Carbonara Recipe

A couple of weeks back, the boyfriend and I headed over to Flour & Barley, a new San Diego restaurant just a few blocks from my condo.

While the restaurant specializes in pizza & craft beer (hence the name!), it was their Pork Belly Carbonara that really stole the show! Don’t get me wrong, the pizza & craft beers were delicious too, but I couldn’t stop thinking about that creamy, dreamy pasta dish!

I decided to head home and put my “Bond Girl Twist” on the dish by making it a one pot meal. I’ve expressed my love of One Pot Meals various times on the blog, and it mainly goes like this, one pot = less dishes = my love!

Read the full post here!

One Pot Tuscan Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Enjoy the delicious flavors of Tuscany in this quick & easy, 30 minute, one pot recipe for Tuscan Shrimp Scampi Pasta!

One Pot Tuscan Shrimp Scampi Pasta Recipe

I love one pot meals, you love one pot meals, so guess what, today I’ve got a meal for you that requires four pots, just kidding, it’s a totally delicious, and super simple, one pot meal that I know you’re going to love!

Read the full post here!

Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs & Marinara

Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs & Marinara Recipe

If you regularly shop at Trader Joe’s, then I’m sure you have your favorite (or list of favorite) Trader Joe’s products, we all have them, my list includes their apricot stilton cheese, peanut butter granola bars and soy chorizo.

I recently found out that Kurt’s favorite item is their Mini Raviolis. Unlike most packaged raviolis that you find in the refrigerator section of the grocery store, Trader Joe’s sells theirs in the dry packaged pasta section.

The first time we ate them for dinner, I couldn’t help but thinking of Chef Boyardee cans of mini raviolis with meatballs, so I decided to recreate this childhood favorite in a slow cooker recipe that takes the dish out of the can and into a fresh, flavorful recipe that’s  easy to make and sure to be a favorite for the whole family!

Read the full post here!

One Pot Eggplant Parmesan

One Pot Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

When I mentioned that I was on a “one pot recipe kick” earlier this week, I wasn’t kidding!

Read the full post here!

Italian Turkey & Egg Breakfast Skillet

Italian Turkey Breakfast Skillet Recipe

Breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day, it also happens to be my favorite meal of the day!

The problem is, I don’t always make time to cook and eat breakfast every day.

You too? That’s kind of what I thought, so today I’m sharing a breakfast recipe that is so quick and easy to whip up, you’ll have no excuse for skipping the most important meal of the day!

Read the full post here!

Bruschetta Cheese Dip

Fresh bruschetta combined with melted, creamy cheeses makes for one delicious bruschetta cheese dip recipe, made in only 10 minutes, perfect as a party appetizer!

Bruschetta Cheese Dip Recipe

This recipe is the result of an almost accident.

When I was home over the holidays, my Dad was making cheese dip (Velvetta + Rotel, an Oklahoma staple when eating Tex-Mex!), he reached in the refrigerator to grab a tupperware container of rotel and he accidentally grabbed the tupperware of leftover bruschetta.

He realized before he actually added it to the bowl of Velvetta, but then I got an idea. What if I made an Italian version of “cheese dip” with bruschetta instead of Rotel and a combination of cream cheese and mozzarella instead of Velvetta?!

Well, I tried this bruschetta cheese dip recipe idea, and I loved it, so today I’m sharing it with you!

Read the full post here!

3 Easy Game Day Skewer Recipes

Today’s post is sponsored by my fabulous friends at Cost Plus World Market!

3 Easy Game Day Skewer Recipes

Planning to host a party for the big game in a couple of weeks? These three simple skewer recipes will make entertaining a breeze!

These skewers are quick, easy, and require no actual cooking! They can easily be prepared early and placed in the refrigerator until game time, that way, you’re ready to roll before kick off. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss any of the hilarious commercials, exciting half time performances, or exhilarating touchdowns!

Read the full post here!

Sweetpotato Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Mashed sweet potatoes and ricotta cheese make up a flavorful, creamy filling in this recipe for vegetarian stuffed shells! 

Sweet Potato and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

When brainstorming new recipe ideas for the blog, pasta is always a go-to favorite. My thought process is basically, “how can I make lasagna, manicotti or stuffed shells just a little bit different so that I can eat them over and over again?!” 😉

While I’ve posted recipes for Mediterranean Stuffed Shells, Mexican Stuffed Shells & Buffalo Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells on the blog, I’ve never posted a vegetarian stuffed shells recipe… that is until today!

Read the full post here!

Pancetta Pear Pizza

This easy pizza recipe is topped with pancetta & pears, a delicious combination of salty & sweet, perfect for dinner any night of the week!

Pancetta Pear Pizza Recipe

On my adventure to Seattle back in August, I ate at a great little pizza spot called Serious Pie on Pike Street.

Their special of the day was Pancetta Pear Pizza, it sounded delicious, so I gave it a try! And delicious it was!

Of course, I had to come home and recreate the recipe , so today I’m sharing my version of their serious-ly delicious pie!

Read the full post here!

Three Cheese Manicotti with Italian Sausage Marinara

Three cheese manicotti is stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, then covered in a delicious Italian sausage and red wine marinara sauce for a seriously scrumptious Italian meal!

Three Cheese Manicotti with Italian Sausage Marinara Recipe

Thanks to Hunt’s for sponsoring today’s post!

I am TOTALLY obsessed with this dish, that’s full of my favorite things, cheesy filled pasta, Italian sausage and rich, hearty marinara sauce!Tracking Pixel

Read the full post here!

Slow Cooker Italian Stuffed Peppers

Slow Cooker Italian Stuffed Peppers

It’s the first day of fall y’all! Time to bust out the slow cooker and start making some new fall recipe favorites!

Read the full post here!

Pesto Egg and Bacon Breakfast Sandwich

Pesto Bacon and Egg Breakfast Sandwich Recipe

My mornings usually go a little something like this, open the fridge, figure out what’s in the fridge that I can toss in with my eggs, then prepare some kind of scramble, breakfast sandwich or breakfast burrito.

On one fateful morning, I saw basil pesto sitting in the fridge and decided to dollop it on top of my morning scramble, from then on, I was hooked!

Pesto + eggs = one of the most delicious combos ever!

Read the full post here!

Caprese Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Caprese Grilled Chicken Sandwich Recipe

And today on the blog… more grilling goodness!!

For today’s recipe I’m combining one of my favorite summer salads, the caprese, with the deliciousness of a grilled chicken sandwich!

Read the full post here!

Bruschetta Turkey Burgers

This turkey burger recipe combines the delicious ingredients of bruschetta in the burger patties, as well as in the fresh bruschetta on top!

Bruschetta Turkey Burger Recipe

This past weekend kicked off the unofficial start of Summer with Memorial Day Weekend, which also means the start of grilling season… and swimsuit season!

While I’m not willing to give up a juicy delicious cheeseburger over the summer, I am totally up for slimming it down with turkey instead of beef! That’s why I partnered up with my friends at Jennie-O to create this fresh and healthy burger, perfect for getting your summer grill on while keeping in swimsuit shape!

Read the full post here!

Crispy Eggplant & Prosciutto Caprese Salad

Crispy Eggplant & Prosciutto Caprese Salad Recipe

Ever since I created the Stacked Beet Salad on Little Leopard Book in March, I’ve had the idea to create another stacked dish of sorts with Eggplant Parmesan.

I ended up with a quick and easy eggplant parm of sorts that I paired with one of my favorite salads of all time, the caprese salad.

Read the full post here!

Italian Sausage Penne & Four Cheese Tomato Sauce

Italian Sausage Penne & Four Cheese Tomato Sauce Recipe

I love pasta, and I love cheese, so making cheesy delicious pastas is kind of my thing!

From Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Penne to Cheesy Taco Baked Ziti to Mushroom Bacon Cheesy Pasta, I’ve shared many cheesy pasta dishes on LLB over the years and I’m so excited to introduce you to another deliciously cheesy recipe today!

Read the full post here!

One Pot Loaded Baked Potato Gnocchi

One Pot Loaded Baked Potato Gnocchi Recipe

I’m pretty sure that I’ve decided 2015 is going to be “The Year Of One Pot Dishes” on the blog!

I’ve been totally obsessed with creating  one pot recipes over the last couple of months, they’re quick, easy and have the obvious appeal of only one dish to wash after the meal!

Read the full post here!

Italian Slow Braised Short Ribs

Italian Slow Braised Short Ribs Recipe

I made this recipe for the first  time last Christmas with my Dad. I gave him a pasta machine for his birthday and we wanted to put it to use to make raviolis.

We decided to use Slow Braised Short Ribs for the filling, thus this recipe was born.

After a few tweaks to perfect the recipe, I re-created it at home this week to share with all of you!

Read the full post here!

Heart Shaped Pizza

This heart shaped pizza is made with a homemade deep dish crust and filled with sweet Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, three cheeses & homemade sauce.

Heart Shaped Pizza Recipe

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, if I’m going to make something heart-shaped, it’s going to be pizza, because let’s be honest, pizza is the key to my heart 😉

Read the full post here!

Slow Cooked Beef Ragu

This slow cooker beef ragu recipe has a ton of flavor with only a few, simple ingredients, it’s easy to toss in a crockpot in just a few minutes, it’s gluten free and delicious served with polenta or pappardelle pasta!

Slow Cooked Beef Ragu over Pappardelle Pasta with Parmesan Cheese

I’ve been quite excited to make this beef ragu recipe for some time now and last week it finally happened!

And O-M-G was it worth the wait! Literally top 5 recipes I’ve ever made (and that’s saying a lot since there are over 1100 recipes on the blog!)

Read the full post here!

Italian Polenta Turkey Casserole

Italian Polenta Turkey Casserole

This dish. This dish!!! Seriously, this dish y’all! 

Ok, I think you get my point, I’m obsessed with this dish! So simple, so much flavor!

But don’t take my word for it, one of my best friends came over for dinner last week and said, “this is the best thing I’ve ever eaten that you’ve made!”  Coming from someone who has eaten dozens of my recipes over the years, I took this as a huge compliment, and knew that I had a winner on my hands!

Read the full post here!

Farmers Market Vegetarian Lasagna

Farmers Market Vegetarian Lasagna

It’s a new week, which means that it’s time for another Farmers Market inspired recipe!

This week I’m sharing a delicious vegetarian lasagna, filled with tons of goodies from my local Farmers Market!

Read the full post here!

Roasted Corn and Tomato Risotto

Roasted Tomato and Corn Risotto

One of my new favorite things is my “Farmers Market Recipe of the Week”, while I’ve always been a big fan of the Farmers Market, I usually just pick up ingredients I need for already planned recipes.

Lately, I always try to pick up a couple of “random” items then turn them into a new recipe for Little Leopard Book. This helps me think outside of the box and come up with something that’s fresh, local & seasonal!

The Farmers Market Beet and Burrata Tart was my first go at the “Farmers Market Recipe of the Week” and it was a huge hit (with me and on LLB!)

Read the full post here!

Italian Enchiladas

Italian Enchiladas

On the blog, I’m always looking for ways to switch up traditional dishes.

One way I love to do this is by taking a traditional Italian dish and making it Mexican. Have you checked out my Mexican Stuffed Shells or Mexican Manticotti? Both super scrumptious and both Mexican twists on traditional Italian dishes.

Read the full post here!

Spinach Artichoke Mushroom Risotto

Spinach Artichoke Mushroom Risotto

Oh risotto, how I love thee! Creamy, cheesy, Italian goodness, what’s not to love?

Add fresh spring vegetables and I’m totally obsessed!

Read the full post here!

Gluten Free Breakfast Strata

Gluten Free Breakfast Strata

My heart pitter-patters a little faster every time I hear the words “prosciutto and parmesan” together!

The combination of these delicious Italian ingredients is an all time favorite on their own. Combine them with All But Gluten whole grain bread, fresh basil and garlic in this gluten free breakfast strata and I’m totally obsessed!

Read the full post here!

Gluten Free Mushroom Spinach Pesto Pasta

Gluten Free Mushroom Spinach Pesto Pasta

Am I the only one that goes on total food kicks on a regular basis?  For example, I’ve been putting mushrooms in everything lately, basically my prerequisite for making a dish is that I can add mushrooms to it!

Pizza, pasta, omelets, skewers, you name it, I’ve been adding mushrooms to it for the last few weeks!

Read the full post here!

Italian Turkey Sweet Potato Casserole

Italian Turkey Sweet Potato Casserole



I am so excited to share my first recipe using my brand new spiralizer!

Read the full post here!

Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms

Quinoa Stuffed Mushroom Recipe

This stuffed mushroom recipe is a delicious and healthy way to start off the New Year, they’re perfect for serving as appetizers at a New Years Eve Party and were a hit at my annual Christmas Birthday Cocktail Party!

Read the full post here!

Roasted Tomato Bolognese Sauce

Pasta with Roasted Tomato Bolognese

The amazing comfort of pasta, combined with the amazing flavor of roasted tomatoes makes for one happy tummy!

Read the full post here!

Four Cheese Stuffed Baked Rigatoni with Spinach Alfredo Sauce

Four Cheese Stuffed Baked Rigatoni Recipe

This dish is creamy, cheesy amazingness all combined in one pan that will take you straight to delicious-town!

Read the full post here!

Sweet Potato Ravioli

Sweet Potato Ravioli

A few weeks back I hosted an Italian Vegetarian Girls Night Dinner.  Each girl was assigned a dish, either appetizer or dessert, and I was in charge of the main course. I debated for a while about what I wanted to make then decided on a fall inspired sweet potato filled homemade ravioli with a basil brown butter sauce.

Read the full post here!

Mini Polenta Pizzas with Roasted Tomatoes and Bacon

Sun Dried Tomato Basil Mini Polenta Pizzas

Going “Glutenless in August” has also left me “Pizza-less in August”!

Since we’ve already established my obsession with pizza (see: Prosciutto Arugula Thin Crust Pizza, Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza and Roasted Vegetable Vegan Pizza, to name a few) you can see how this could be a problem for me!

Gluten Free Polenta Pizzas with Roasted Tomatoes and Bacon

Last week I was really craving pizza so I did what any good food blogger would do, I placed all of the delicious components of pizza on top of polenta in little ramekins to form mini polenta pizzas!

Sun Dried Tomato Mini Polenta Pizzas

While the texture isn’t the same as traditional pizza, the flavor sure is!

As I dug my fork into one of these little pizza delights, the pesto seeped into the creamy polenta, giving it amazing flavor, while the roasted tomatoes give it a burst of freshness, topped with creamy mozzarella and crispy bacon, this dish is packed with so many amazing flavors, it was really hard to put my fork down!

Mini Polenta Pizza Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 18 oz polenta
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomato pesto
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 400°.  Place the tomatoes and garlic on a baking sheet covered with foil bent into a basket shape.  Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar, then top with the black pepper and fresh basil.

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Bruschetta Recipe

Place into the oven for 25 minutes.

While the tomatoes are roasting, cook the bacon until crispy.

Place the polenta in the bottom of 6 soufflé ramekins.

Gluten Free Mini Polenta Pizzas

Top with the pesto.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Polenta Pizzas

Then the roasted tomatoes and garlic.

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Polenta Pizzas

Add the mozzarella cheese.

Mini Roasted Tomato Mozzarella Pizzas

Top with the crispy bacon.

Individual Tomato Bacon Polenta Pizzas

Place into the 400° oven for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Individual Gluten Free Polenta Pizzas

Top with the sun dried tomatoes and garnish with additional basil.

Sun Dried Tomato Basil Bacon Polenta Pizzas

Sometimes a random craving will lead to a beautiful new discovery. This dish is definitely one delightful discovery!

Sun Dried Tomato Mozzarella Polenta Pizzas

I ate two of these for dinner, but one would be great as a starter or hors d’oeuvre at a dinner party!

The presentation is beautiful and they look as if they’re “high maintenance pies” but really they’re very quick and easy to prepare!

♣ Vegetarian Option: Omit the bacon to make this recipe vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten free.

Mini Polenta Pizzas with Roasted Tomatoes and Bacon

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 mini pizzas

Mini Polenta Pizzas with Roasted Tomatoes and Bacon

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp Enzo Basil Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 18 oz polenta
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomato pesto
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Place the tomatoes and garlic on a baking sheet covered with foil bent into a basket shape.
  3. Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar, then top with the black pepper and fresh basil.
  4. Place into the oven for 25 minutes.
  5. While the tomatoes are roasting, cook the bacon until crispy.
  6. Place the polenta in the bottom of 6 soufflé ramekins.
  7. Top with the pesto, roasted tomatoes and garlic.
  8. Add the mozzarella cheese, then the crispy bacon.
  9. Place into the 400° oven for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  10. Top with the sun dried tomatoes and garnish with additional basil.
https://whitneybond.com/mini-polenta-pizzas-with-roasted-tomatoes-and-bacon/

Italian Meatloaf

Italian Meatloaf

Sometimes the best dinners are the un-planned ones, the ones that come in times of  “staring in the refrigerator panic”!

Italian Style Meatloaf

My plans to make dinner for my friend Evelyn and I on Monday night went awry when I realized the chicken I was going to use to make stuffed chicken had gone bad!

Never fear, the Little Leopard Book fridge was fully stocked so there had to be something in there I could make! I had a pound of extra ground beef left over from the Loaded Calzone I made the night before, extra homemade tomato basil marinara and plenty of Italian cheeses, so Italian Meatloaf it was!

Italian Meatloaf Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1/2 red onion (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Place the first 10 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Italian Meatloaf Recipe

Mix to combine then press into a loaf pan.

Italian Meatloaf Recipe

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the oven, drain any juices and spread the marinara sauce onto the meatloaf.

Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Italian Meatloaf with Homemade Marinara

Slice and serve!  I gobbled this dish up with an extra side of homemade marinara for dipping… because it’s just that good!

Italian Meatloaf with Homemade Marinara

♣ Vegetarian Option: Substitute a sleeve of veggie crumbles for the ground beef.

♦ Gluten Free Option:  Use gluten-free breadcrumbs to make this dish gluten-free.

Italian Meatloaf

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Italian Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 1/2 red onion (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. Place the first 10 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Mix to combine then press into a loaf pan.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes.
  5. Remove the meatloaf from the oven, drain any juices and spread the marinara sauce onto the meatloaf.
  6. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
https://whitneybond.com/italian-meatloaf/

Grilled Portobello Caprese Sandwich

Grilled Portobello Caprese Pesto Sandwich

This is the first in a series of upcoming sandwich recipes I’ll be posting in conjunction with Mezzetta’s “Make That Sandwich” Contest.

Gluten Free Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sandwich

The lovely folks over at Mezzetta reached out to me about entering the contest a couple of weeks ago. I was very excited when I received their e-mail because I’ve been using their products for years and love their pepperoncini’s, olives and sliced jalapeños! I then found out that there was a $25,000 prize for the winner. Let me tell you, being a full time food blogger, the thought of winning $25,000 sounds pretty amazing right now!

I immediately started brainstorming and came up with a different sandwich for each of their categories: hot, cold and vegetarian.  This is my vegetarian sandwich!

Grilled Portobello Caprese Sandwich

While I usually love a couple slices of delicious bread to hold my sandwich together, I decided to go totally vegetarian and totally gluten free with this Portobello Caprese Sandwich.

Two hearty portobello mushrooms filled with fresh mozzarella, Mezzetta Sun-Ripened Dried Tomato Pesto and loads of other delicious flavors make this is a unique sandwich not to be missed!

Portobello Caprese Sandwich Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 large portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp Mezzetta Sun-Ripened Dried Tomato Pesto
  • 1 tsp Mezzetta Crushed Garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese (sliced)
  • 1/2 roma tomato (sliced)
  • 4-6 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup Mezzetta Sliced Peperoncini’s
  • 1/2 cup Mezzetta Roasted Bell Peppers
  • olive oil cooking spray

Turn heat on the grill to medium or preheat the oven to 400°.

Begin by cleaning out the inside of the mushrooms with a spoon.  During this process, try not to break the sides of the mushroom. (You want to be sure and keep all those delicious goodies inside the sandwich during the grilling process!)

Portobello Caprese Sandwich Recipe

Place 1 tbsp of pesto and 1/2 tsp of crushed garlic onto each mushroom.

Portobello Caprese Sandwich Recipe

Top each portobello with a large slice of mozzarella.

Portobello Mushroom Sandwich Recipe

Top one of the mushrooms with the sliced tomatoes.

Portobello Caprese Sandwich Recipe

Then add the basil.

Portobello Caprese Sandwich Recipe

On the other mushroom, top with the peperoncini’s.

Portobello Caprese Sandwich with Pepperoncinis

Then the roasted bell peppers.

Roasted Red Pepper Caprese Portobello Sandwich

Carefully put the two sides together.

Portobello Caprese Sandwich Recipe

Spray the grill with cooking spray then place the sandwich onto the grill for 20 minutes, flipping carefully half way through.

If a grill is not available, you can also place the sandwich into the oven on a rimmed baking sheet for 20 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted.

Grilled Portobello Caprese Sandwich

Remove from the grill and dig in!

Grilled Portobello Caprese Sandwich

So much melty goodness and flavor in every bite!

Grilled Vegetarian Caprese Sandwich

The portobello mushroom is so meaty, making it the perfect exterior for this vegetarian sandwich!

Italian Vegetarian Caprese Sandwich

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

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

Portobello Caprese Sandwich

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 1 sandwich

Portobello Caprese Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2 large portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp Mezzetta Sun-Ripened Dried Tomato Pesto
  • 1 tsp Mezzetta Crushed Garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese (sliced)
  • 1/2 roma tomato (sliced)
  • 4-6 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup Mezzetta Sliced Peperoncini’s
  • 1/2 cup Mezzetta Roasted Bell Peppers
  • olive oil cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Turn heat on the grill to medium.
  2. Clean out the inside of the mushrooms with a spoon.
  3. Place 1 tbsp of pesto and 1/2 tsp of crushed garlic onto each mushroom.
  4. Top each portobello with a large slice of mozzarella.
  5. Top one of the mushrooms with the sliced tomatoes and basil.
  6. On the other mushroom, top with the peperoncini’s and roasted bell peppers.
  7. Carefully put the two sides together.
  8. Spray the grill with cooking spray then place the sandwich onto the grill for 20 minutes, flipping carefully half way through.
https://whitneybond.com/grilled-portobello-caprese-sandwich/

Roasted Tomato Ricotta Bruschetta

Roasted Tomato Bruschetta Recipe

The only thing you’ll be saying after eating one of these is “di più si prega di“….. that’s Italian for MORE PLEASE!

Roasted Tomato Arugula Brushetta

After preparing these on Monday, I sat there and asked myself, “why don’t I roast tomatoes every day”?  Roasting tomatoes brings out a sweetness in them and when they’re roasted with garlic and balsamic vinegar, they literally burst with flavor when you bite in!

Roasted Tomato Ricotta Bruschetta

I placed them on top of creamy ricotta cheese (my favorite!) and a crispy baguette for a new twist on Tomato Basil Bruschetta. They were so incredibly delicious that they didn’t even make it to the dinner table!  Nope, my roommate and I ate all of them long before the rest of dinner was ready!

Roasted Tomato Ricotta Bruschetta Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1/2 baguette (sliced)
  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup arugula

Preheat the oven to 400°.  Place the tomatoes and garlic on a baking sheet covered with foil bent into a basket shape.  Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar, then top with the black pepper and fresh basil.

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Bruschetta Recipe

Place into the oven for 25 minutes.

While the tomatoes are roasting, place the baguette in the oven for 3-5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and slice. Spread ricotta cheese on top of each slice of baguette.

Ricotta Bruschetta Recipe

Remove the roasted tomatoes from the oven and chop the garlic cloves.

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Bruschetta Recipe

Add the garlic back to the tomatoes. Lift the foil by two corners and slowly pour the tomatoes and sauce from the foil into a small bowl.

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Bruschetta Recipe

Using a large spoon, top each sliced baguette with the roasted tomatoes, garlic and sauce.

Roasted Tomato Ricotta Bruschetta Recipe

Top the bruschetta with a few pieces of fresh arugula and serve.

Roasted Tomato Bruschetta

This is the perfect appetizer for an Italian Dinner Party with Chicken Parmesan, Three Cheese Raviolis or Kale Pesto Spaghetti with Goat Cheese.

Roasted Tomato Ricotta Bruschetta

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian

♦ Gluten Free Option: Replace a traditional baguette with gluten-free bread or replace bread with sliced bell peppers.

Roasted Tomato Ricotta Bruschetta

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Roasted Tomato Ricotta Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp Enzo Basil Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1/2 baguette (sliced)
  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup arugula

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Place the tomatoes and garlic on a baking sheet covered with foil bent into a basket shape.
  3. Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar, then top with the black pepper and fresh basil.
  4. Place into the oven for 25 minutes.
  5. While tomatoes are roasting, place the baguette in the oven for 3-5 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and slice.
  7. Spread ricotta cheese on top of each slice of baguette.
  8. Remove the roasted tomatoes from the oven and chop the garlic cloves.
  9. Add the garlic back to the tomatoes.
  10. Lift the foil by two corners and slowly pour the tomatoes and sauce from the foil into a small bowl.
  11. Using a large spoon, top each sliced baguette with the roasted tomatoes, garlic and sauce.
  12. Top the bruschetta with a few pieces of fresh arugula and serve.
https://whitneybond.com/roasted-tomato-ricotta-bruschetta/

 

Italian Corn Salad

Italian Corn and Tomato Salad

This salad is my new favorite recipe!  I know I say that a lot, but seriously, this dish has so much flavor, it’s light, healthy and super easy to make!

Tomato Basil Corn Salad

Lets just say this salad will be tossed together a few more times before summer corn season is over!

Italian Corn Salad Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn (grilled)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • ¼ cup red onion (diced)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese

Begin by removing the kernels from the ears of corn using a sharp knife. Place the corn in a large bowl with the tomatoes and red onion.

Italian Corn Salad Recipe

Next, whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and basil together in a small bowl.

Italian Corn Salad Dressing

Pour the dressing over the corn and toss.

Italian Corn Salad Recipe

Add the parmesan cheese, mix together and serve.

Italian Corn Salad with Basil Infused Olive Oil

This salad was perfect with Lemon Herb Salmon and Gluten Free Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread at Sunday’s Summer Dinner Party!

Corn Inspired Summer Dinner Menu

I look forward to preparing this salad for BBQ’s all summer long!

It’s easy to take to a party and can be enjoyed by everyone because it’s vegetarian and gluten free!

Italian Corn Salad

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian

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

Italian Corn Salad

Total Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6

Italian Corn Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn (grilled)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • ¼ cup red onion (diced)
  • ¼ cup Enzo Basil Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Remove the kernels from the ears of corn using a sharp knife.
  2. Place the corn in a large bowl with the tomatoes and red onion.
  3. Whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and basil together in a small bowl.
  4. Pour the dressing over the corn and toss.
  5. Add the parmesan cheese, mix together and serve.
https://whitneybond.com/italian-corn-salad/

Quinoa Caprese Salad

Quinoa Caprese Salad Recipe

On Sunday, I prepared a large Italian style family dinner for my roommates and friends! My roommates adorable girlfriend requested a light, pasta salad, I had already been thinking about making a caprese salad, so I combined the two in this Quinoa Caprese Salad!

Quinoa Caprese Salad Recipe

I substituted quinoa for pasta to add protein to the dish, while still remaining vegetarian and making the dish gluten-free!

Quinoa Caprese Salad Recipe

This salad is the perfect side dish with dinner, but is also filling enough to eat for lunch alone!

Quinoa Caprese Salad Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • ½ cup red onion (fine dice)
  • ½ cup red bell pepper (fine dice)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley (chopped)
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella (cubes)

Begin by bringing the quinoa to a boil with 2 cups of water.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

In the mean time, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat, add the red onion and bell pepper.

Sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup olive oil, basil, parsley, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Quinoa Caprese Salad Recipe

Whisk well, then add the sautéd onion, bell pepper and garlic.

Quinoa Caprese Salad Recipe

Add the tomatoes to the dressing.

Quinoa Caprese Salad Recipe

Place the tomatoes in the refrigerator to marinate for 5-10 minutes.

Add the cooked quinoa and mozzarella the tomatoes.

Toss well and serve!

Quinoa Caprese Salad Recipe

I can’t wait to serve this salad at summer BBQ’s, so light, refreshing and delicious!

Quinoa Caprese Salad Recipe

Quinoa Caprese Salad Recipe

 

Quinoa Caprese Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 2-4

Quinoa Caprese Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ red onion (minced)
  • ¼ red bell pepper (minced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley (chopped)
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella (cubes)

Instructions

  1. Bring the quinoa to a boil with 2 cups of water.
  2. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat, add the red onion and bell pepper.
  4. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
  5. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. Add the parsley and basil to a small mixing bowl, add the remaining ½ cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  7. Whisk well, then add the sauteed onion, bell pepper and garlic.
  8. Add the tomatoes to the dressing.
  9. Place the tomatoes in the refrigerator to marinate for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Add the cooked quinoa and mozzarella to a large bowl.
  11. Add the tomatoes and vinaigrette dressing to the salad.
  12. Toss well and serve.
https://whitneybond.com/quinoa-caprese-salad/

Three Cheese Basil Raviolis

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Inspired by the popularity of my Heart Shaped Cranberry Pomegranate Mini Pies for Valentine’s Day, I set out to make a “Shamrock Shaped” recipe for St Patrick’s Day.

It was only when I was elbow deep is green pasta dough that I realized my “101 Cookie Cutters Box” did not contain a shamrock!  Say what?

There were 8 different sized hearts for Valentine’s Day, but not one measly little shamrock for us Irish folk?!  I was appalled, but already too deep into the recipe for a trip to the craft store to find a shamrock shaped cookie cutter, so I decided circular green raviolis would just have to do 🙂

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Luckily they came out very green, so to me they still screamed St Patty’s Day fun!

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I served them tossed in Kale Pesto Sauce and topped with Pistachio Crusted Tilapia.

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My, oh my, was that one delicious meal!

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Ingredients – Ravioli Pasta Dough

Three Cheese Italian Herb Filling

  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp fresh italian parsley (chopped)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Begin preparing the pasta by adding the flour to a large mixing bowl, then making a well in the middle and adding the eggs.

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Combine well, then add the water and pesto until a solid ball forms that is not dry, yet not sticky.  If dry, add additional water.  If sticky, add additional flour.

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While the basil pesto adds some green color to the dough, you can also add a couple dashes of green food coloring to add more “green” to the pasta!

Next, roll the pasta dough into thin sheets either by hand or with a pasta roller.

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Next, prepare the filling by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl.

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Cut the ravioli dough with round pastry cutters or cookie cutters and place a large spoon of the filling onto half of the cut pasta rounds.

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Place the other half of rounds onto the filled dough then press the edges together with your fingers until sealed shut.

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Add the raviolis to a pot of boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the raviolis float to the top.

Toss with Kale or Basil Pesto for that extra bit of green!

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Add the Pistachio Basil Crusted Tilapia for a little protein!

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I can’t wait to share this recipe with all of my friends who aren’t big on “Green Eggs and Ham” or “Corned Beef and Cabbage” for St Patty’s Day!

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While my roommates love everything I make, they were particularly impressed with these raviolis! There is just something about creamy ricotta cheese pouring out of fresh, homemade pasta that can not be beat!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Substitute gluten-free flour for traditional flour to make this recipe gluten-free.

Three Cheese Basil Raviolis

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

    Basil Pasta Dough
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • Three Cheese Italian Herb Filling
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp fresh italian parsley (chopped)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Instructions

  1. Add the flour to a large mixing bowl, then make a well in the middle and add the eggs.
  2. Combine well, then add the water and pesto until a solid ball forms.
  3. Roll the pasta dough into thin sheets either by hand or with a pasta roller.
  4. Prepare the filling by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  5. Cut the ravioli dough with round pastry cutters and place a large spoon of the filling onto half of the cut pasta rounds.
  6. Place the other half of rounds onto the filled dough, then press the edges together with your fingers until sealed shut.
  7. Add the raviolis to a pot of boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the raviolis float to the top.
https://whitneybond.com/three-cheese-basil-raviolis/

Italian Buffalo Chicken Dip

Italian Buffalo Chicken Dip

Today I have another new recipe from my Little Italy Housewarming Party. These days I couldn’t possibly throw a party without a recipe involving buffalo sauce! For this party I transformed my beloved Buffalo Chicken Dip into an Italian masterpiece!

Italian Buffalo Chicken Dip

I started by replacing the original cheeses of cheddar and blue with mozzarella and parmesan.  I also added Italian dressing to the buffalo chicken for an extra Italian kick!  I then topped the dip with sliced pepperoncinis for a bit more spice!

Italian Buffalo Chicken Dip Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  • 16 oz cream cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1/4 cup sliced pepperoncinis

Start by pressure cooking then shredding the chicken breasts.  Next, toss the chicken with the buffalo sauce and Italian dressing.

buffalo sauce, franks red hot, chicken, shredded, italian dressing

Begin putting the dip together by placing the cream cheese in the bottom of a deep casserole dish. I used my 2 quart Longaberger casserole dish which is perfect for this recipe.

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Next, add the shredded Italian buffalo chicken.

Italian Buffalo Chicken Dip

Finally, top with the mozzarella and parmesan.

Italian Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe

Place in the oven at 350° for 20-25 minutes.

Italian Buffalo Chicken Dip Nachos

Remove from the oven and top with the sliced pepperoncinis.

Italian Buffalo Chicken Dip

The dish can be served with chips for dipping or placed on a sliced baguette!

Italian Buffalo Chicken Dip with Pepperoncinis

I chose both because, well, I like options!

Italian Buffalo Chicken Dip

♣ Vegetarian Option: Substitute “veggie crumbles” for the shredded chicken.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free when served with gluten-free bread or chips on the side for dipping.

Italian Buffalo Chicken Dip

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 6-8

Italian Buffalo Chicken Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  • 16 oz cream cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1/4 cup sliced pepperoncinis

Instructions

  1. Start by pressure cooking or boiling, then shredding the chicken breasts.
  2. Next, toss the chicken with the buffalo sauce and Italian dressing.
  3. Begin putting the dip together by placing the cream cheese in the bottom of a deep casserole dish.
  4. Next, add the shredded Italian buffalo chicken.
  5. Finally, top with the mozzarella and parmesan.
  6. Place in the oven at 350° for 20-25 minutes.
https://whitneybond.com/whats-for-lunch-italian-buffalo-chicken-dip/

Italian Baked Potato Soup

Italian Baked Potato SoupFor my Housewarming party last weekend  I went with a new menu planning approach.  I went to the grocery store with no list, no ideas and simply let the ingredients do the planning for me.

I arrived home with two giant bags of potatoes. Potatoes are an excellent way to feed a lot of people on a budget. One three-pound bag of potatoes was $.99.  You just don’t see those kind of prices anymore!

Then it was time to decide what I was going to do with those potatoes! I knew I wanted to make a couple of crockpot recipes for the party as they’re easy to put on in the morning and ready when guests arrive. That was when I got the idea for baked potato soup.  Of course it had to be Italian style as that was the theme of the party!

Italian Baked Potato Soup

The result was a creamy, rich, flavorful soup that would be perfect for upcoming fall evenings and cold winter weekends!

Italian Baked Potato Soup IngredientsIngredients

  • 3 lbs potatoes
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 10 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup diced pancetta
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese

Start by dicing the potatoes into cubes.

Italian Baked Potato Soup RecipeNext, add the potatoes, onions and garlic into the crock pot.

Italian Baked Potato Soup Recipe

Then pour in the chicken stock.  There should be just enough chicken stock to cover the potatoes.

Italian Baked Potato Soup Recipe

Next add in the thyme and rosemary.

Italian Baked Potato Soup Recipe

Cook on high for 4-5 hours or until potatoes are soft when poked with a fork.

Ladle out 2 cups of the chicken stock.

Italian Baked Potato Soup RecipePour in the milk, sour cream and butter and blend with an immersion blender or hand mixer.

Italian Baked Potato Soup RecipeStir in the mozzarella, parmesan and pancetta.

Italian Baked Potato Soup RecipeCook on low for an additional 2 hours.

Italian Baked Potato Soup Recipe

This is one of those recipes that makes the whole house smell like rosemary thyme amazingness!

Italian Baked Potato SoupLets zoom in…

Italian Baked Potato Soup

… then dig in!

Italian Baked Potato Soup

♣ Vegetarian Option: Omit the pancetta and replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock to make this recipe vegetarian.

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

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

When planning the Italian menu for my Little Italy Housewarming Party I knew I wanted some sort of cookie in the mix. Cookies are an easy dessert for a cocktail party as you can make the dough ahead of time, throw it in the fridge and then bake the cookies just before guests arrive for a fresh, warm dessert that people can grab and go!

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cupcakes you have to frost, pies you have to slice, ice cream melts, but cookies are easy and something that everyone loves! And if you don’t love cookies, you will probably not be invited to my parties because you’re just plain crazy 😉

This is my go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Many people claim to have “the perfect” chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I think it’s all a matter of taste. I like mine soft and chewy with lots of chocolate chips. After years of hard, scientific research involving very long days and tough tasting sessions, I have come up with my perfect” chocolate chip cookie!

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Since the menu was Italian I decided to add in everyone’s favorite Italian Hazelnut spread, Nutella, to make my very own Italian Chocolate Chip Cookies!  The result…

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

…well, lets just say after posting pictures of these cookies on Instagram and Twitter, I’ve been making deals and getting bribes to trade these cookies for just about anything!

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookie Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup butter (melted)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 12 oz chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup nutella

Start by combining the flour, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Recipe

Next combine the melted butter and sugars. Blend well then beat in the eggs and vanilla, then add the flour mixture.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Recipe

Next hand mix in the chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Finally throw in that delicious hazelnutty-tella!

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Swirl the Nutella into the cookie dough then drop by large tablespoons onto a baking stone.

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Bake at 325° for 15 minutes.  Low and slow is the key to an evenly chewy and delicious cookie!

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

The swirled in Nutella gives the cookies that awesome marble look!

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

I wasn’t on the Nutella bandwagon before these cookies, but now I’m not only on the wagon, I’m manning the wheel and driving it in circles of Nutella amazingness!

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nothing brings more happiness to my face than a large stack of warm, melty, chocolate chip cookies!

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

I then had to dig in so that I could show you all the chocolate, melted goodness inside of the cookies!

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Is anyone else’s mouth watering?

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Substitute gluten-free baking flour for traditional flour to make this recipe gluten-free.

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 24 cookies

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup butter (melted)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 12 oz chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup nutella

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl.
  2. Next combine the melted butter and sugars.
  3. Blend well then beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. Next add the flour mixture.
  5. Hand mix in the chocolate chips and nutella.
  6. Drop the cookie dough by large tablespoons onto a baking stone.
  7. Bake at 325° for 15 minutes.
https://whitneybond.com/whats-for-dessert-nutella-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Gluten Free Italian Garlic Rolls

My family has become accustomed to living the gluten-free lifestyle ever since my brother was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a year ago. This includes our family’s favorite lasagna recipe, now using gluten-free pasta! When it comes to Birthdays in the Bond house, this is pretty much the go-to meal, so for Mom’s Birthday this year I decided to attempt a new addition to the meal, Gluten Free Italian Garlic Rolls.

The rolls did not expand like traditional rolls because of the use of gluten-free flour, but the flavor was great!  I would highly recommend these as a gluten-free alternative to traditional garlic bread!

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups warm water
  • 1 (.25 oz) package yeast
  • 3 cups gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 3 tbsp butter (softened)
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic salt

Start by combining the water and yeast.

Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture begins to bubble.

In the meantime mix together the garlic, basil, oregano, parsley and garlic salt in a small bowl.

Next, mix the flour and salt into the yeast mixture, then add the eggs and butter until a solid ball forms.