Tag Archives: Mozzarella

8 Easy Crostini Recipes

These 8 easy crostini recipes are guaranteed to be a hit at your next party! They include a variety of flavorful toppings, like goat cheese, brie, pesto & more!

These delicious little appetizers are made in just 15 minutes. They look gorgeous served on a platter at a dinner party or get-together!

Crostini's with a variety of toppings on marble cutting board

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons Companies. The opinions and text are all mine.

Entertaining doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be simple and still beautiful, delicious and impressive! These crostini recipes are a perfect example of just that. Gorgeous, fresh ingredients turned into delicious little bites of goodness!

You can make all 8 varieties to give your guests several crostini’s to try.  Or you can pick 3 or 4 of your favorites. Each of the crostini recipes feature Primo Taglio® meats or cheeses,  found exclusively in my area at Vons and Albertsons stores.

These premium hand trimmed meats and naturally aged cheeses contain no artificial flavors or colors. They’re made with the finest ingredients using old world recipes for a delicious flavor, perfect for entertaining and impressing guests!

Read the full recipe here!

Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan

Baked gluten free chicken parmesan is an easy recipe, made in just 29 minutes! Serve it with spaghetti squash for a healthy, low carb option, or with gluten free pasta.

Red spatula holding a piece of chicken parmesan out of a large blue skillet

Chicken parmesan has always been one of my favorite Italian dishes. And that’s saying a lot, because I love Italian food!  It’s cheesy, saucy and easy to make!

Creating gluten free chicken parmesan is as easy as swapping out traditional breadcrumbs for gluten free breadcrumbs. And serving the dish with gluten free pasta, spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.

This isn’t the first Italian recipe I’ve made gluten free. These Bruschetta Grilled Chicken Zoodle Bowls are a wonderfully healthy, gluten free Italian recipe. And this Gluten Free Pasta Fagioli Soup is a gluten-free spin on the popular Olive Garden recipe. It’s easy to make in an Instant Pot or slow cooker!

My family loves this Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan recipe, and I love to make it! It’s made in only 29 minutes, it’s so easy & the result is totally delicious!

Read the full post 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!

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’ve recreated that ricotta magic on these Garlic Bread Nachos and now on top of this baked ziti recipe!

Read the full post here!

Cranberry Turkey Mozzarella Pull Apart Bread

Leftover Thanksgiving turkey & cranberry sauce is made into a delicious pull apart bread recipe filled with mozzarella cheese & topped with rosemary butter!

Leftover Thanksgiving turkey & cranberry sauce is made into a delicious pull apart bread recipe filled with mozzarella cheese & topped with rosemary butter!

Thanksgiving weekend has officially come to an end and if you’re like me, you probably have a refrigerator full of leftover turkey. Now it’s time to take that leftover turkey and re-purpose it into this delicious pull apart bread recipe filled with turkey, cranberry sauce and mozzarella cheese!

It’s so easy to make, it only takes 10 minutes to prep and it’s definitely a crowd-pleaser! The melted rosemary butter poured over the bread really sets this recipe over the top!

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, biscuits and gravy, mac and cheese and my Dad’s fried chicken. Now that I’m living a healthier lifestyle in California, I’ve had to redefine comfort food.

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 Eggplant Parmesan

In one pot and less than 30 minutes, you can whip up this easy Eggplant Parmesan recipe for a delicious vegetarian meal, perfect for Meatless Monday!

One Pot Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

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

From One Pot Beef Stroganoff to One Pot Buffalo Taco Spaghetti to One Pot Italian Sausage Shells & Cheese, I just can’t get enough of these easy one pot recipes!

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!

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. Today I’m sharing my version of their serious-ly delicious pie!

Read the full post here!

Gluten Free Baked Cheese Bites

Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, these Gluten Free Baked Cheese Bites are perfect for parties & much healthier than fried cheese sticks!

Gluten Free Baked Cheese Bite Recipe

How delicious are fried cheese sticks?!  Oozing with cheese on the inside and crispy on the outside, totally tasty, but totally not healthy, so I took this appetizer and made it healthier and gluten-free!

Read the full post here!

Crispy Eggplant & Prosciutto Caprese Salad

Crispy pan fried eggplant & prosciutto are added to a traditional caprese salad in this recipe that’s perfect as an appetizer, side dish or main dish.

Crispy Eggplant & Prosciutto Caprese Salad Recipe

Ever since I created the Stacked Beet Salad on the blog 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 parmesan that I paired with one of my favorite salads of all time, the caprese salad.

Read the full post here!

Mashed Potato & Bacon Pizza

Mashed potato & bacon pizza is an absolutely delicious combo with the creamy potatoes & crunchy bacon, all topped off with mozzarella & parmesan cheese!

Mashed Potato & Bacon Pizza

In continuation with “Thanksgiving Leftover Week” on the blog, I’m sharing a new pizza recipe that might seem a little strange at first, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

One of my favorite pizzerias downtown San Diego, Basic, introduced me to mashed potato and bacon pizza almost 10 years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since!

Pizza: good, mashed potatoes: good, bacon: good, cheese: good, the combination: GREAT!

Read the full post here!

Italian Enchiladas

Enchiladas are given an Italian twist in this gluten free recipe with Italian sausage, wrapped in corn tortillas & covered in marinara sauce & mozzarella cheese!

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!

Italian Buffalo Chicken Dip

Italian Buffalo Chicken Dip combines layers of cheese with shredded chicken tossed in buffalo sauce & Italian dressing, topped with pepperoncinis.

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 a 2 quart casserole dish which is perfect for this recipe.

Cream Cheese, Buffalo chicken, dip, italian, buffalo sauce, chicken, recipe, food, appetizer

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°F 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

Italian Buffalo Chicken Dip
5 from 1 vote
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Italian Buffalo Chicken Dip

Italian Buffalo Chicken Dip combines layers of cheese with shredded chicken tossed in buffalo sauce & Italian dressing, topped with pepperoncinis.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 420 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 1 lb cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1/2 cup 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 pepperoncinis sliced

Instructions

  1. Toss the chicken with the buffalo sauce and Italian dressing.

  2. Place the cream cheese in the bottom of a deep casserole dish.

  3. Add the shredded Italian buffalo chicken.

  4. Top with the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.

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

  6. Serve with a sliced baguette, veggies or chips for dipping.

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 Soup

 

Caprese Quesadilla

Fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil leaves fill this Italian Caprese Quesadilla Recipe, which is easily made in just 10 minutes!

Italian quesadilla, caprese, recipes, food, vegetarian quesadilla, quesadilla, tomato basil quesadilla

While I do love all types of food from Mexican to Thai and Brazillian to French, Italian will always have a special place in my heart.

Sometimes I like to take a dish from another country and make it into an Italian masterpiece, such as this recipe, the Caprese Quesadilla.

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1 flour tortilla
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 1 cup marinara sauce

Start by slicing the roma tomatoes and topping the flour tortilla with the mozzarella cheese and sliced tomatoes.

Next, top with the basil and parmesan cheese.

Then fold the tortilla in half and place over medium heat on the stove top. Brown on the first side then flip.

Heat up the marinara sauce while the quesadilla is cooking. Once browned on both sides remove from the skillet and cut into slices.

Italian quesadilla, caprese, recipes, food, vegetarian quesadilla, quesadilla, tomato basil quesadilla

Serve with marinara sauce on the side for dipping.

Italian quesadilla, caprese, recipes, food, vegetarian quesadilla, quesadilla, tomato basil quesadilla

A delicious new way to eat a traditional mexican dish, Italian style!

Italian quesadilla, caprese, recipes, food, vegetarian quesadilla, quesadilla, tomato basil quesadilla

 

Butternut Squash and Mozzarella Salad

This roasted butternut squash and mozzarella salad is drizzled in a balsamic vinegar reduction for a sweet, delicious, gluten free and vegetarian salad made in under 45 minutes!

Balsamic Vinegar Mozzarella Squash Salad

Today’s lunch was inspired by a lovely salad I had at the fabulous La Piazza Ristorante Italiano at The Grove.

Butternut Squash Mozzarella Salad

The salad is sweet, salty and Italian, so pretty much a combination of all of my favorite things!

Butternut Squash and Mozzarella Salad Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 12 oz butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese balls

Pre-heat the oven to 400°F, then prepare the butternut squash.

I am fortunate enough to live within walking distance to Trader Joes (which is pretty apparent in all of my ingredient shots!) so I purchased pre-cut ready-to-go butternut squash cubes.

If you aren’t so fortunate to live near a Trader Joes, just buy a couple of medium size squash and cube them yourself.

Place the butternut squash cubes on a baking sheet (I like to line with foil bc I HATE to do dishes and it prevents them from sticking to the baking sheet so easier clean up!)

Drizzle the olive oil over the top.

Roasted Butternut Squash

Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cinnamon.

Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash

Then on to my favorite part… BROWN SUGAR!  I feel that everything in life would be better if it had a little brown sugar involved!

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Butternut Squash

Now the squash is ready to go in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Toss them about half way through.

While the squash is roasting prepare the balsamic reduction for drizzling over all of this yummy salad!

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat then add 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to the skillet, followed by 2 crushed garlic cloves. Bring it to a boil then lower the temperature and allow it to reduce by half.

Next, toast the walnuts.

Once again, I bought already chopped walnut pieces from Trader Joes, but if you have whole walnuts just give them a nice chop and you’re ready to go!

Throw these on some foil on a baking sheet and in to the oven for 3-4 minutes, these little babies toast up quick in the 400 degree oven!

Once the squash and walnuts are out of the oven and the balsamic is reduced it’s time to put it all together. Use tongs to move the squash on to a plate in a nice little pile, then top each pile of squash with 4-5 mozzarella balls, next sprinkle a few toasted walnuts on top, then it’s time for that yummy, syrup-y, balsamic reduction goodness to get drizzled all on top!  Your plate should end up looking something like this ↓

But are those two plates I see?!??!

Yes those are two plates of deliciousness you see!  So if you are thinking back to yesterdays blog and thought “didn’t she say she experimented with cooking at lunch because she was only cooking for herself” why yes, yes I did say that so now I guess I’m a liar, but all in good reason!!

Time to introduce my best friend Erin, she’s the kind of girl who will drink a case of bud light with you and enjoy an enormous burrito all while wearing 5-inch heels and approximately 68 pieces of jewelry, needless to say she is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  Well I had the fortune of feeding her lunch today after she arrived home early from a work trip and had the day off! Watch as she intently stares at her food, raising her fork in anticipation of that first magical bite:

And here she goes… time to dig in!

Mmm delicious!  Definitely recommend this dish for a great appetizer or lunch salad, or I was thinking I might skewer a ball of mozzarella between two pieces of the roasted butternut squash and drizzle with the balsamic reduction for cocktail parties! Who wants to come to my next cocktail party now? 🙂

Butternut Squash Mozzarella Salad
5 from 1 vote
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Butternut Squash and Mozzarella Salad

This roasted butternut squash and mozzarella salad is drizzled in a balsamic vinegar reduction for a sweet, delicious, gluten free and vegetarian salad.

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 543 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 12 oz butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup walnuts chopped
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese balls

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Place the butternut squash on a baking sheet then drizzle the olive oil over the top.
  3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cinnamon and brown sugar.

  4. Place the squash in the oven for 25-30 minutes, toss half way through cooking.
  5. While the squash is roasting prepare the balsamic reduction.
  6. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat then add 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to the skillet, followed by 2 crushed garlic cloves.
  7. Bring to a boil then lower the temperature and allow it to reduce by half.
  8. Toast the walnuts by placing them on a baking sheet and in to the oven for 3-4 minutes.

  9. Use tongs to move the squash on to a plate, then top the squash with 4-5 mozzarella balls, next sprinkle a few toasted walnuts on top, then drizzle with the balsamic reduction.