• 50+ Easy Meals
  • Peanut Noodles

    How to make Peanut Noodles

    Yield: 4 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 38 minutes

    Ingredients

    12 ounces buckwheat soba noodles, or any other whole grain noodle
    1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
    1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
    2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    1/2 cup natural peanut butter
    1 tablespoon honey
    1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek (Asian chili sauce)
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    1 large red bell peppers, seeded and sliced into thin strips
    8 ounces snap peas, strings removed
    2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
    1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
    2 green onions, sliced
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    Lime wedges, for serving

    Directions

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook according to the package directions, about 5 to 6 minutes or until al dente. Drain.

    Meanwhile, in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, peanut butter, honey, chili sauce, and salt.

    Heat the oil in a large sauté pan set over medium heat. Add the peppers, peas, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the ginger, green onion, and garlic. Cook until the mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute.

    Add the peanut butter mixture to the sauté pan with the vegetables and cook, stirring often, until the sauce is thick, about 4 minutes. Toss with the noodles and serve warm, at room temperature, or cold alongside lime wedges.

  • Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese

    How to make Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese

    Yield: 6 to 8 servings

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 50 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 pound elbow macaroni
    Kosher salt
    1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, divided
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (2 cups) OR pecorino Romano
    8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar, grated (2 cups)
    1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
    1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
    6 slices white bread, crusts removed

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 3-quart baking dish or individual gratin dishes with nonstick cooking spray.

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions, 6 to 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain.

    Meanwhile, in a small saucepan set over medium heat, warm the milk. In a large saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter. Sprinkle the flour into the saucepan and cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in the hot milk and cook for about 2 minutes, until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat and add in the cheeses, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, mustard, and paprika. Add in the pasta and stir well to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish.

    Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Make the fresh breadcrumbs by placing the white bread in a food processor and pulsing until ground. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs over the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until bubbling and browned.

  • Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

    How to make Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

    Yield: 4 to 5 servings

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 6 hours 15 minutes

    If you want to make the soup ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze, omit the noodles and add in while reheating.

    Ingredients

    1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
    5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (1 3/4 cups)
    1 medium yellow onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
    4 stalks celery, chopped (1 1/4 cups)
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (3 – 15 oz cans)
    1 cup water
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
    2 bay leaves
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    2 cups uncooked whole wheat egg noodles
    1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    Saltine crackers, for serving (optional)

    Directions

    In the bowl of a slow cooker combine the raw chicken, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, olive oil, chicken broth, water, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low until the chicken is cooked through, about 6 hours. You can also cook on high for about 3 1/2 hours.

    Remove the cooked chicken to a cutting board an let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into bite-sized chunks. Add the egg noodles and parsley to the slow cooker, increase temperature to high, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the noodles are tender. Stir in the lemon juice and return the chicken to the slow cooker. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve hot with saltine crackers, if desired.

    From Cooking Classy

  • Chicken Ravioli with Creamy Tomato Sauce

    How to make Chicken Ravioli with Creamy Tomato Sauce

    Yield: 4 to 6 servings

    Prep Time: 1 hour

    Cook: 1 hour 35 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the ravioli:
    1 cup finely shredded chicken
    3/4 cup chopped fresh spinach
    3 tablespoons butter, melted
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
    1/2 cup ricotta cheese
    1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
    2 teaspoons garlic powder
    Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    fresh pasta dough sheets OR wonton wrappers

    2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

    For the sauce:
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 large shallot (or medium onion), finely diced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon granulated sugar
    1 cup heavy cream

    Directions

    For the ravioli:
    In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the parsley and pasta dough. Fill the ravioli according to these directions, or use a ravioli maker. Keep the ravioli covered until you’re ready to cook. If using wonton wrappers, brush the edges of the wonton wrapper with water. Place about 1 heaping teaspoon of the filling in the center. Top with another wonton wrapper. Press firmly to seal. The ravioli can be refrigerated until ready to use. You can also freeze the ravioli until firm, place in an airtight container, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

    For the sauce:
    Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for about a minute. Add in the tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar. Stir to combine. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Remove from heat and stir in the cream.

    To finish:
    Bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle boil. Cook the ravioli for 2 minutes, or until al dente. If using frozen ravioli, cook for 5 minutes, or until al dente.

    Divide the ravioli among plates. Top with the tomato sauce. Garnish with the parsley. Serve.

  • The Best Bolognese Sauce

    How to make The Best Bolognese Sauce

    Yield: 9 cups of sauce or 4-6 servings

    *If you don't have a food mill to crush the tomatoes, use a blender or immersion blender. Make sure to leave as much texture and chunks of tomato as possible, do not liquify.

    Ingredients

    2 tablespoons olive oil, divded
    1 1/4 pounds ground beef
    1 1/4 pounds ground pork
    Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
    4 ounces pancetta or bacon, sliced
    1 yellow onion, finely diced
    2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
    1 celery stalk, finely diced
    5 garlic cloves, minced
    1/3 cup (3 oz) tomato paste
    1 cup dry red wine
    1 cup milk
    2 (28 ounce) cans whole tomatoes, passed through a food mill*
    2 bay leaves
    1 bunch fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen string
    1 Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
    1 pound fresh pasta, such as fettuccine, tagliatelle, or pappardelle, cooked until al dente and drained
    Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving

    Directions

    In a large, heavy, deep lidded Dutch oven or pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, ground pork, and salt and pepper to taste and cook until browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the meat to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the pancetta/bacon and cook until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to the paper towel-lined plate.

    Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the milk, tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and cheese rind and stir until combined. Add in the meats and season with salt and pepper.

    Bring to a simmer then partially cover and reduce to medium-low. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. You can also transfer the mixture to a slow cooker and cook for 3 1/2 hours. Discard bay leaves, thyme, and cheese rind. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with pasta and grated cheese.

    Adapted from Williams Sonoma

  • Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

    How to make Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

    Yield: 4 servings

    You can also use chicken sausage, regular ground turkey or sausage, or ground beef for the sauce. Or, skip the meat and use mushrooms instead to make this vegetarian.

    Ingredients

    For the squash:
    1 whole spaghetti squash
    1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For the sauce:
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 cups marinara or other pasta sauce, jarred or homemade
    3/4 pound hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
    Grated parmesan cheese, for serving, if desired

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 400°F. With a large sharp knife, cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and membrane. Sprinkle the squash with the olive oil, dried herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Line a rimmed baking sheet or 9×13-inch dish with foil. Place the squash cut-side down in the baking dish. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, or until fork tender.

    Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the turkey sausage and cook, breaking up into small pieces, until no more pink is showing. Add the sauce and stir until combined. Bring to a simmer then reduce to low heat and cook for at least 5 minutes, or up to 30 minutes.

    Let the squash cool slightly then use the tines of the fork to scrape out the spaghetti strands of squash. Make ahead: The spaghetti squash strands can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.Divide the squash among four plate and top with sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

  • Light and Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta

    How to make Light and Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta

    Yield: 4 servings

    Ingredients

    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    12 ounces whole grain fettuccine
    4 tablespoons STAR Family Reserve Olive Oil with Lemon Peel, divided
    8 ounces sliced mushrooms
    1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    4 boneless skinless chicken breast fillets
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    1 cup low fat (2%) milk
    2 ounces Neufchatel (low fat cream cheese) cheese
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1 lemon, juiced
    1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

    Directions

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook according to the package directions, or until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

    Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and broccoli. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove the mixture to a medium bowl.

    Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add another tablespoon of the oil to the pan and add the chicken. Cook until well browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn and continue cooking until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160°F, about another 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate and tent loosely with foil. Cut into strips when cool enough to handle.

    Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Whisking constantly, cook until the mixture is thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the Neufchatel cheese and Parmesan cheese and stir until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Stir in some of the reserved pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce, if desired.

    Add in the garlic, mushroom, and broccoli mixture and the pasta. Toss to combine. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed. Divide between four serving dishes and top with strips of chicken. Serve.

    Recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat for STAR Fine Foods

  • Creamy Pumpkin Prosciutto Rigatoni

    How to make Creamy Pumpkin Prosciutto Rigatoni

    Yield: 4 servings

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    12 ounces rigatoni
    3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
    3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
    1/4 cup finely chopped onion
    1/2 cup pumpkin puree
    1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
    3/4 cup heavy cream
    1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Directions

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the rigatoni according to the package directions, or until al dente. Drain.

    Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large skillet. Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring until it begins to brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate.

    Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil and add the onion to the skillet and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin, nutmeg, cream and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring often, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese and sage. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Add the rigatoni and half the crisped prosciutto to the skillet and toss to combine. Divide the pasta among four plates and garnish with the remaining prosciutto and Parmesan cheese. Serve.

    Recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat