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Cheesy Ziti and Ground Beef
1 lb. dry ziti pasta
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 (26 oz.) jars spaghetti sauce
6 oz. package sliced non-smoked Provolone cheese
1 ½ c. sour cream
6 oz. finely shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and boil until al dente, drain. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter a 9x13 casserole dish. Layer in this order: ½ of the pasta, Provolone cheese spread to cover pasta, sour cream, ½ of the sauce mixture, remaining pasta, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until heated through. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
1 lb. bacon, fried and crumbled, grease saved
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 Tbsp. ranch seasoning mix
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. bowtie pasta, cooked al dente
32 oz. Alfredo sauce
1/3 c. milk
3 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 c. shredded Italian cheese blend
Cut chicken into bite-sized cubes, coat with 1 ½ Tbsp. ranch seasoning mix. Saute in skillet with 1 Tbsp. of reserved bacon grease, bell peppers and garlic. When chicken is cooked through, drain grease and liquid from skillet. Return chicken and vegetables to skillet. Pour half the Alfredo sauce and milk into skillet with chicken. Stir in one tsp. of ranch seasoning mix. Simmer for 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Begin layering casserole with half of the remaining Alfredo sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 glass casserole dish. Then layer 1/3 of each of the following: pasta, chicken mixture and tomatoes. Use ¼ of the fried bacon. Spread 1 c. of mozzarella cheese over that layer. Repeat two more times. After the third layer, cover with the remaining Alfredo sauce, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and remaining bacon. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until heated through. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 c. yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 c. beef broth
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. red cooking wine
1 can Italian tomatoes with basil, olive oil and garlic
1 c. thinly sliced carrots
1/2 Tbsp. dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 c. sliced zucchini or fresh spinach
1 (8 oz.) package cheese tortellini pasta
3 Tbsp. chopped dried parsley
In a 5-qt Dutch oven, brown sausage. Remove sausage and drain, reserving 1 tablespoon of the drippings.
Saute onions and garlic in drippings. Stir in beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, tomato sauce and sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Skim fat from the soup. Stir in zucchini and parsley. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add tortellini during the last 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top of each serving.