Bruschetta Style Italian Chicken

Bruschetta Style Italian Chicken

One of my absolute favorite things about summer (aside from the fact that I have a lot of time off work), is enjoying the things that I plant in my garden.  I wish I could say that I’m as adept at gardening as my Mammaw and Pappaw were (they had gardens that would make Martha Stewart jealous), but I am a much more modest grower.  I plant several varieties of peppers, fresh basil, and several types of tomatoes.  I’ve tried planting more, but I’ve come to terms with what my time commitment can be (maybe more when I retire, right?) and also have gotten familiar with some of the folks at our farmer’s market.

The summer combination of fresh tomatoes and basil is definitely one of the things that keeps me gardening and those perfect flavors are why this Bruschetta Style Italian Chicken is frequently on our table this time of year.  And as every good gardener knows in those moments of “What am I going to do with all of these tomatoes?” a good, fresh tomato recipe makes all of that gardening work worthwhile. ~Tracy

For the chicken:

  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • garlic salt
  • Italian seasoning (I use McCormick)
  • black pepper

For the tomato topping:

  • 4 large tomatoes, diced (enough chopped tomato to equal 2 cups)
  • 2 T. finely chopped (chiffonade style) fresh basil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ T. balsamic vinegar
  • Shredded parmesan cheese

Combine all topping ingredients (except parmesan) in medium size bowl and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for thirty minutes allowing the flavors to marry well.

Trim any fat from each chicken breast and pat dry with paper towels.  Lightly season both sides of each chicken breast with garlic salt, Italian seasoning, and black pepper (a light dusting of all three on each side).  Grill the chicken on an indoor or outdoor grill.

Top each grilled chicken breast with 1/2 cup of the tomato topping.  Top with shredded parmesan cheese if desired.

This recipe is ZERO WW Freestyle points, not including the parmesan cheese.

Bruschetta Style Italian Chicken

Bruschetta Style Italian Chicken

Ingredients

    For the chicken:
  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • garlic salt
  • Italian seasoning (I use McCormick)
  • black pepper
    For the tomato topping:
  • 4 large tomatoes, diced (enough chopped tomato to equal 2 cups)
  • 2 T. finely chopped (chiffonade style) fresh basil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ T. balsamic vinegar
  • shredded parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Combine all topping ingredients (except parmesan) in medium size bowl and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for thirty minutes allowing the flavors to marry well.
  2. Trim any fat from each chicken breast and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly season both sides of each chicken breast with garlic salt, Italian seasoning, and black pepper (a light dusting of all three on each side).
  3. Grill the chicken on an indoor or outdoor grill.
  4. Top each grilled chicken breast with 1/2 cup of the tomato topping. Top with shredded parmesan cheese if desired.

Notes

This recipe is ZERO WW Freestyle points, not including the parmesan cheese.

https://foursistersdish.com/2019/07/30/bruschetta-style-italian-chicken/

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Italian Veggie Stuffed Portabellas

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I don’t know about you, but summertime makes me want to fill my plate with allll the veggies. Grill ‘em, roast ‘em, serve ‘em to me in a fresh bowl of salad. I don’t care how, just send them my way.

If you feel the same way about light summer meals and veggie side dishes, you’ll love these Italian Veggie Stuffed Portabellas. They are the perfect side for grilled meats, but they are HUGE, so they also work great as a meatless main dish. Plus, portabellas are so meaty, you won’t even think to ask, “where’s the beef?” I’m definitely showing my age with that classic TV reference! If you are a young’n, you can find it on YouTube. ‘80s commercials were the best! A little cheesy but that’s what made them great.

Speaking of “cheesy,” if you prefer a cheesy topping, I also sometimes cut the breadcrumbs down to ¼ cup and top each veggie-loaded shroom with a little mozzarella & parmesan. You can’t go wrong either way! ~Erin

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Ingredients

  • 4 large portabella mushroom caps
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 medium zucchinis, diced
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 sundried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained on a paper towel, finely diced
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large handful of spinach, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 c. seasoned breadcrumbs (I use garlic & herb flavor)
  • 1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 375°F or the outdoor grill to medium. If grilling, use a veggie pan or place on foil, to catch veggies that may fall off during cooking.

Clean mushroom tops with a damp paper towel. Use a small knife to cut off the stems and a spoon to scoop out the veins.

Spray the tops with non-stick cooking spray and place them top-down on a parchment-lined baking sheet or on the grilling pan; set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, parmesan, and 1 Tablespoon of oil until combined; set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil to sauté the onion 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until it begins to soften. If needed, add a tablespoon or two of water to the pan to help steam the zucchini soft.

Add roasted red pepper, sundried tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper, and spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted.

Add the garlic and cook another minute or two, until fragrant.

Turn off the heat and stir in half the breadcrumb mixture. Reserve the other half for topping.

Divide the veggie mixture evenly among the four mushroom tops. Sprinkle the remaining breadcrumb mixture over top.

Cook for 30-35 minutes, or until the mushrooms are fork-tender.

WW Freestyle Info.: This recipe makes 4 large servings. Each serving is 5 SmartPoints.

Italian Veggie Stuffed Portabellas

Italian Veggie Stuffed Portabellas

Ingredients

    Ingredients
  • • 4 large portabella mushroom caps
  • • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • • 2 medium zucchinis, diced
  • • 1 roasted red bell pepper, diced
  • • 4 sundried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained on a paper towel, finely diced
  • • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • • 1 large handful of spinach, chopped
  • • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • • ½ tsp. salt
  • • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • • 1/3 c. seasoned breadcrumbs (I use garlic & herb flavor)
  • • 1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • • Olive oil cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F or the outdoor grill to medium. If grilling, use a veggie pan or place on foil, to catch veggies that may fall off during cooking.
  2. Clean mushroom tops with a damp paper towel. Use a small knife to cut off the stems and a spoon to scoop out the veins.
  3. Spray the tops with non-stick cooking spray and place them top-down on a parchment-lined baking sheet or on the grilling pan; set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, parmesan, and 1 tablespoon of oil until combined; set aside.
  5. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil to sauté the onion 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until it begins to soften. If needed, add a tablespoon or two of water to the pan to help steam the zucchini soft.
  6. Add roasted red pepper, sundried tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper, and spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted.
  7. Add the garlic and cook another minute or two, until fragrant.
  8. Turn off the heat and stir in half the breadcrumb mixture. Reserve the other half for topping.
  9. Divide the veggie mixture evenly among the four mushroom tops. Sprinkle the remaining breadcrumb mixture over top.
  10. Cook for 30-35 minutes, or until the mushrooms are fork-tender.

Notes

WW Freestyle Info.: This recipe makes 4 large servings. Each serving is 5 SmartPoints.

https://foursistersdish.com/2019/07/25/italian-veggie-stuffed-portabellas/

Lemon Chicken Piccata

If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that each year, we sisters take at least one trip together.  In fact, one of our “when the kids are all older” dreams is that we can travel much more often. We enjoy a little bit of luxury in a nice hotel, and we shop (a lot).  But, we have to admit…and most of who are close to us won’t be surprised to hear…that our favorite thing to do is eat at new places. When we visited Charlotte, NC, a few years ago, we had an amazing chicken recipe that we were still talking about months later.  This is how many of our recipes are born, folks. During a weekend of cooking and blogging, we worked to create this perfect Lemon Chicken Piccata. Don’t let the long list of ingredients fool you. It really is a fairly fool-proof recipe that we hope may also remind you of one of your favorite restaurant meals.  ~Tracy


For Chicken: 
  • 2 T. chicken broth
  • 5 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ tsp. hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 c. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • dash ground cayenne pepper
  • 3 T. olive oil

For Sauce:

  • 6 T. butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¾ c. chicken broth, divided
  • 8 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 T. capers, drained
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • angel hair pasta

Flatten each chicken to ¼ inch thickness.   In a shallow dish, whisk the eggs, chicken broth, lemon juice, garlic and pepper sauce.    In a gallon sized zip top bag, combine flour, cheese, parsley, salt, garlic and onion powders, and cayenne pepper.

Dip each chicken breast in egg mixture then into flour mixture, coating completely.   Place on baking rack to rest for 15 minutes. In a large non-stick skillet, brown chicken breasts on both sides, over medium heat, in several batches, using approximately a tablespoon of olive oil each batch.  Be sure not to crowd the chicken in your pan as this will impact the browning. Remove to baking sheet and keep warm in a 200 degree oven.

For sauce:  Reserve 3 tablespoons of chicken broth in small bowl.  In the same skillet used to cook chicken, melt butter over medium low heat.  Add minced garlic, stir for one minute. Add chicken broth and lemon juice.  Add salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Bring to low boil. Stir cornstarch into reserved chicken broth.  Pour into sauce mixture, return to a boil. Add capers and stir. Remove from heat.

Top cooked angel hair pasta with one chicken breast.  Drizzle approximately ⅓ c. sauce over each breast and pasta.  Serve immediately.

Lemon Chicken Piccata

Lemon Chicken Piccata

Ingredients

    Ingredients
  • • 2 T. chicken broth
  • • 5 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • • 3 eggs
  • • ¼ tsp. hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • • 1 c. flour
  • • 1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • • 1/3 c. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • • 1 tsp. salt
  • • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • • dash ground cayenne pepper
  • • 3 T. olive oil
    For sauce:
  • • 6 T. butter
  • • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • • ¾ c. chicken broth, divided
  • • 8 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • • 2 T. capers, drained
  • • ½ tsp. salt
  • • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • • angel hair pasta

Instructions

  1. Flatten each chicken breast to ¼ inch thickness.
  2. In a shallow dish, whisk the eggs, chicken broth, lemon juice, garlic and pepper sauce.
  3. In a gallon sized zip top bag, combine flour, cheese, parsley, salt, garlic and onion powders, and cayenne pepper.
  4. Dip each chicken breast in egg mixture then into flour mixture, coating completely.
  5. Place on baking rack to rest for 15 minutes.
  6. In a large non-stick skillet, brown chicken breasts on both sides, over medium heat, in several batches, using approximately a tablespoon of olive oil each batch.
  7. Be sure not to crowd the chicken in your pan as this will impact the browning.
  8. Remove to baking sheet and keep warm in a 200 degree oven.
    For sauce:
  1. Reserve 3 tablespoons of chicken broth in small bowl.
  2. In the same skillet used to cook chicken, melt butter over medium low heat.
  3. Add minced garlic, stir for one minute.
  4. Add chicken broth and lemon juice.
  5. Add salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Bring to low boil.
  6. Stir cornstarch into reserved chicken broth.
  7. Pour into sauce mixture, return to a boil.
  8. Add capers and stir. Remove from heat.
  9. Top cooked angel hair pasta with one chicken breast.
  10. Drizzle approximately ⅓ c. sauce over each breast and pasta. Serve immediately.
https://foursistersdish.com/2019/03/21/lemon-chicken-piccata/

Artichoke Pesto Chicken Pasta

Pasta is always good for my hungry crew after work, football practice, and a long day of school.  Almost as good as the flavor is the fact that I can make this Pesto Chicken Pasta in less than 30 minutes when I use rotisserie chicken and pre-made pesto sauce.  ~Tracy

ArtichokeChickenPestoPasta

Ingredients:
  • 2 T. butter
  • ½ c. finely chopped white or yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ c. flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ c. 1% milk
  • 1 ½ c. chicken broth
  • 3 T. jarred pesto (I like Barilla)
  • half of a 14 oz. can of artichoke hearts packed in water, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ c. chopped white meat chicken, I use chopped chicken breast from rotisserie chickens
  • 1 lb. pasta, cooked in salted water according to package directions (I used Campanelle pasta)

Instructions: 

  1. Melt butter over medium heat in large, deep skillet.
  2. Add garlic and onion, sauteing for a few minutes until onions begin to become tender.
  3. Add flour, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine with onions and garlic.
  4. Add milk and continue stirring until forms a thick paste with the flour.
  5. Gently stir in the chicken broth until forms a thickening sauce.
  6. Stir in jarred pesto and chopped artichoke hearts.
  7. Add chopped chicken and cooked pasta stirring to combine well.
  8. Serve topped with shredded or sliced parmesan.

WW Freestyle Info.: This recipe makes about 8 one-cup servings. Each serving is 9 points not accounting for parmesan cheese topping.

Artichoke Pesto Chicken Pasta

Artichoke Pesto Chicken Pasta

Ingredients

    Ingredients:
  • ~2 T. butter
  • ~½ c. finely chopped white or yellow onion
  • ~2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ~¼ c. flour
  • ~½ tsp. salt
  • ~½ tsp. black pepper
  • ~½ c. 1% milk
  • ~1 ½ c. chicken broth
  • ~3 T. jarred pesto (I like Barilla)
  • ~half of a 14 oz. can of artichoke hearts packed in water, drained and roughly chopped
  • ~1 ½ c. chopped white meat chicken, I use chopped chicken breast from rotisserie chickens
  • ~1 lb. pasta, cooked in salted water according to package directions (I used Campanelle pasta)

Instructions

  1. Melt butter over medium heat in large, deep skillet.
  2. Add garlic and onion, sauteing for a few minutes until onions begin to become tender.
  3. Add flour, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine with onions and garlic.
  4. Add milk and continue stirring until forms a thick paste with the flour.
  5. Gently stir in the chicken broth until forms a thickening sauce.
  6. Stir in jarred pesto and chopped artichoke hearts.
  7. Add chopped chicken and cooked pasta stirring to combine well.
  8. Serve topped with shredded or sliced parmesan.

Notes

WW Info.: This recipe makes about 8, one-cup servings. Each serving is 9 WW Freestyle points not accounting for parmesan cheese topping.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/10/04/artichoke-pesto-chicken-pasta/

Caprese Stuffed Mushrooms

I made these for New Year’s Eve a while back, and after setting them on the table, I stepped into the kitchen to get a couple more snack trays to bring over.  I got sidetracked getting one of the kids something for second, and I swear it had been maybe a minute by the time I came back; there was one left.  “Look, we saved you one, honey!” says my husband. 

So…I knew they must have been good!  And I’m glad they enjoyed them.  🙂 

These make an amazing appetizer or side dish.  Don’t skip the balsamic reduction. It really sends them over the top! And don’t turn your back on your friends once you serve them.  😉 ~Erin

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So easy…just make your Balsamic reduction (I mean, shockingly easy — recipe below).

Clean, stuff, cook, drizzle, and viola!

Ingredients:
  • 8-10 baby portabella mushrooms
  • Babybel mozzarella single serving cheeses (one for each mushroom)
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 – 5 grape tomatoes, halved (one half for each mushroom)
  • ½ c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • fresh basil, chopped

Instructions: 

  1. In a small sauce pan, stir the brown sugar into the balsamic vinegar; bring to a simmer over low heat and continue to simmer until it has reduced by at least half, stirring occasionally.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Clean the tops of the mushrooms with a damp paper towel and remove the stems.
  4. Brush the mushroom tops on all sides with olive oil and place them, top-side down, in a shallow baking dish.
  5. Fill each mushroom top with a little minced garlic.
  6. Place one Babybel mozzarella on top of the garlic; then place one tomato half on top of the cheese.
  7. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and drizzle liberally with the balsamic reduction.
  9. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil.
  10. Serve immediately.

WW Freestyle Info.: Each cheesy caprese mushroom is 3 points.

Caprese Stuffed Mushrooms

Caprese Stuffed Mushrooms

Caprese Stuffed Mushrooms from Four Sisters Dish

Ingredients

    Ingredients:
  • ~8 – 10 baby portabella mushrooms
  • ~Babybel mozzarella single serving cheeses (one for each mushroom)
  • ~2 tsp. olive oil
  • ~2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ~4 - 5 grape tomatoes, halved (one half for each mushroom)
  • ~½ c. balsamic vinegar
  • ~1 tsp. brown sugar
  • ~chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  1. In a small sauce pan, stir the brown sugar into the balsamic vinegar; bring to a simmer over low heat and continue to simmer until it has reduced by at least half, stirring occasionally.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Clean the tops of the mushrooms with a damp paper towel and remove the stems.
  4. Brush the mushroom tops on all sides with olive oil and place them, top-side down, in a shallow baking dish.
  5. Fill each mushroom top with a little minced garlic.
  6. Place one Babybel mozzarella on top of the garlic; then place one tomato half on top of the cheese.
  7. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and drizzle liberally with the balsamic reduction.
  9. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil.
  10. Serve immediately.

Notes

Weight Watchers Info.: Each cheesy caprese mushroom is 3 SmartPoints.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/09/13/caprese-stuffed-mushrooms/

Super Duper Spaghetti with Beef

We are huge fans of spaghetti at our house; it was (and still is!) always a favorite of both of my picky kids even when they were little…maybe that’s why we started calling it “super duper” — and it stuck!  (As you’ll see it the picture, it literally stuck everywhere too!  Luckily, since it’s been four years since this pic, they’re a bit neater these days!)  At any rate, all the prefab sauces are either way too sweet (yuck!) or just painfully bland – not to mention full of a zillion unnecessary additives and sugars.

My own recipe is almost as fast as opening a jar.  Plus you have to wait for the noodles to cook anyway; may as well take those few minutes to throw together this super flavorful, super healthy, super duper version!  ~Robin

Ingredients:
  • 1 ¼ lb. 95% lean ground beef*
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced (or 1 ½ tsp. jarred, minced garlic)
  • 14.5 oz. (1 large can) Hunt’s tomatoes, petite diced, undrained
  • 15 oz. (1 large can) Hunt’s diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 12 oz. (2 small cans) Hunt’s tomato paste
  • 6 oz. water (one small tomato paste can-full)
  • 4 tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 4 tsp. Italian seasoning (I like McCormick’s)
  • 2 -3 tsp. garlic salt, as preferred
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

Instructions: 

  1. Put your spaghetti noodles on to boil (whatever your favorite brand is; I use Ronzini Healthy Harvest 100% Whole Grain); cook to al dente.
  2. While noodles are boiling, in a large stock pot, brown the ground beef with the minced garlic. Once cooked, drain any excess oil.
  3. In the same pot, add diced tomatoes, petite diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.
  4. Add the 6 oz. of water.
  5. Finally, add all the spices. (Add garlic salt 1 tsp. at a time so that you can measure it to your own taste.)
  6. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until heated throughout and flavors have combined well.
  7. Add the sauce to your al dente pasta and enjoy!

*My package of beef was just a little bigger than usual, but the points are the same and all the other ingredients amounts don’t differ if you use exactly one 1 lb of 95% lean beef instead – I just went ahead and used this much since I had it.

WW Freestyle Info.: This meat sauce is only 2 points per ½ cup serving. Makes 15 servings; freezes very well. (Remember to count the points for your pasta.)

Super Duper Spaghetti with Beef

Super Duper Spaghetti with Beef

Ingredients

    Ingredients:
  • ~1 ¼ lb. 95% lean ground beef*
  • ~ 3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced (or 1 ½ tsp. jarred, minced garlic)
  • ~14.5 oz. (1 large can) Hunt’s tomatoes, petite diced, undrained
  • ~15 oz. (1 large can) Hunt’s diced tomatoes, undrained
  • ~12 oz. (2 small cans) Hunt’s tomato paste
  • ~6 oz. water (one small tomato paste can-full)
  • ~4 tsp. dried oregano
  • ~½ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ~4 tsp. Italian seasoning (I like McCormick’s)
  • ~2 -3 tsp. garlic salt, as preferred
  • ~1 tsp. garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Put your spaghetti noodles on to boil (whatever your favorite brand is; I use Ronzini Healthy Harvest 100% Whole Grain); cook to al dente.
  2. While noodles are boiling, in a large stock pot, brown the ground beef with the minced garlic. Once cooked, drain any excess oil.
  3. In the same pot, add diced tomatoes, petite diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.
  4. Add the 6 oz. of water.
  5. Finally, add all the spices. (Add garlic salt 1 tsp. at a time so that you can measure it to your own taste.)
  6. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until heated throughout and flavors have combined well.
  7. Add the sauce to your al dente pasta and enjoy!

Notes

*My package of beef was just a little bigger than usual, but the points are the same and all the other ingredients amounts don’t differ if you use exactly one 1 lb of 95% lean beef instead – I just went ahead and used this much since I had it.

Weight Watchers Info.: This meat sauce is only 2 SmartPoints per ½ cup serving. Makes 15 servings; freezes very well. (Remember to count the points for your pasta.)

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/08/06/super-duper-spaghetti-with-beef/

Italian Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf

This recipe came to me in church cookbook from a small town in western Oklahoma. I’ve adapted the recipe over the years but the original is from Rita from Fairview. I don’t know Rita but I am grateful to her for this recipe. Church cookbooks are the best, aren’t they? I’m always looking for new ones to add to my collection. They are always full of tried and true family recipes and time tested pot-luck favorites. I go through them page by page, flagging recipes I want to try with sticky-notes. This is one of those recipes I’ve had flagged for a long time. I keep coming back to it, making notes in the margins when I make it. It’s a good one, this meatloaf. Picture a giant stuffed Italian meatball. I serve it over spaghetti because, of course you have to have spaghetti with a giant cheesy meatball. Italian dinner perfection! ~Erin

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Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ lb. 96% lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion or ½ a large onion, finely diced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 ½ T. Italian seasoning, divided
  • 1 T. minced fresh garlic
  • ½ tsp. salt, divided
  • ½ tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) tomato sauce, divided
  • 1 c. garlic & herb seasoned bread crumbs (I use Progresso.)
  • ½ T. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 ½ c. low-moisture part-skim shredded Mozzarella
  • ½ c. shredded (not grated) parmesan cheese
  • Fresh chopped basil, for garnish (optional)
  • Cooked spaghetti noodles, for serving (optional)

Making this Italian Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf is so much faster and easier than making a million little meatballs, but you get similar results (only cheesier). Start by preheating the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl combine ground beef, onion, egg, 1 T. Italian seasoning, garlic, ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, and 1/3 cup of tomato sauce (reserve the remainder); mix until well combined.

Mix breadcrumbs into meat mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.

Turn the meat mixture out onto plastic wrap or wax paper. Pat into a large rectangle. (Please excuse the blurry photo… my 11-year-old took it. 🙂 )

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Sprinkle the meat evenly with both cheeses. (Keeping it real with my cooking mess in the background.)

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Begin to roll the meat by pulling the plastic wrap up and toward you. Continue forming into a roll and tuck the ends under.

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Transfer the roll to a large baking dish; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together 1 can plus what’s left of the other can of tomato sauce, ½ T. garlic powder, ½ T. Italian seasoning, 1 tsp. onion powder, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper.

Pour tomato sauce mixture over meatloaf.

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Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 1 hour.

Serve over spaghetti, if desired.

WW Freestyle Info.: This recipe makes 8 slices at 6 points each. Don’t forget to add extra points if you serve over spaghetti.

Italian Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf

Italian Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf

Ingredients

    Ingredients:
  • ~ 1 ½ lb. 96% lean ground beef
  • ~ 1 small onion or ½ a large onion, finely diced
  • ~ 1 egg, beaten
  • ~ 1 ½ T. Italian seasoning, divided
  • ~ 1 T. minced fresh garlic
  • ~ ½ tsp. salt, divided
  • ~ ½ tsp. black pepper, divided
  • ~ 2 cans (15 oz. each) tomato sauce, divided
  • ~ 1 c. garlic & herb seasoned bread crumbs (I use Progresso.)
  • ~ ½ T. garlic powder
  • ~ 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ~ 1 ½ c. low-moisture part-skim shredded Mozzarella
  • ~ ½ c. shredded (not grated) parmesan cheese
  • ~ fresh chopped basil, for garnish (optional)
  • ~ cooked spaghetti noodles, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl combine ground beef, onion, egg, 1 T. Italian seasoning, garlic, ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, and 1/3 cup of tomato sauce (reserve the remainder); mix until well combined.
  3. Mix breadcrumbs into meat mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Turn the meat mixture out onto plastic wrap or wax paper. Pat into a large rectangle.
  5. Sprinkle the meat evenly with both cheeses.
  6. Begin to roll the meat by pulling the plastic wrap up and toward you. Continue forming into a roll and tuck the ends under.
  7. Transfer the roll to a large baking dish; set aside.
  8. In a medium bowl, mix together 1 can plus what’s left of the other can of tomato sauce, ½ T. garlic powder, ½ T. Italian seasoning, 1 tsp. onion powder, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper.
  9. Pour tomato sauce mixture over meatloaf.
  10. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 1 hour.
  11. Serve over spaghetti, if desired.

Notes

Weight Watchers info.: This recipe makes 8 slices at 6 Freestyle SmartPoints each. Don’t forget to add extra points if you serve over spaghetti.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/05/01/italian-cheese-stuffed-meatloaf/

Italian Turkey Sausage & Pepper Pasta

I’ve been making this for years…since before we had kids. In fact, when we were first married, we lived near a Johnny Carino’s Italian restaurant and went there often. My husband always ordered a “Skilletini” which is a tomato based pasta dish served with peppers, onions, & sausage, much like this one. Maybe that’s why we love this so much. It reminds us of our newly-wed date nights. It was a favorite then and it’s a favorite now in our own home. ~Erin

italiansausagepastaLogo

Ingredients:

8 oz. uncooked whole wheat penne pasta

1 ¼ lb. turkey Italian sausage (5 links)

1 bell pepper of each color: green, red, yellow, and orange; sliced into strips

1 lg. onion, sliced

2-4 cloves garlic, minced (I used 1 T. squeeze garlic)

1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce

1 T. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. salt

3 T. of pasta water (reserved before draining cooked pasta)

1 T. olive oil

Parmesan cheese for serving, optional (not included in WW points calculations)

Crushed red pepper flakes for serving, optional

Instructions:

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions; reserve 3 T. of pasta water, drain, & set aside.

Brown sausages in a large skillet over medium-high heat; remove from pan & set aside. You can either leave them whole to cook them, then slice each into four pieces; or you can slice and then cook them. I prefer to slice first and then cook the pieces because they cook faster. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Cook peppers and onions in olive oil over medium-high heat until they are crisp-tender (about 8 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about a minute).

Add the Italian seasoning, salt, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pasta water, and sliced sausage pieces. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add penne pasta and stir to heat through.

Serve with parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.

Weight Watchers Info.: This recipe makes 10 servings. Each 8 oz. serving (about 1 ½ c.) is 5 SmartPoints.

Italian Turkey Sausage & Pepper Pasta

Italian Turkey Sausage & Pepper Pasta

Ingredients

    Ingredients:
  • 8 oz. uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 ¼ lb. turkey Italian sausage (5 links)
  • 1 bell pepper of each color: green, red, yellow, and orange; sliced into strips
  • 1 lg. onion, sliced
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced (I used 1 T. squeeze garlic)
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 T. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 T. of pasta water (reserved before draining cooked pasta)
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese for serving, optional (not included in WW points calculations)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes for serving, optional

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions; reserve 3 T. of pasta water, drain, & set aside.
  2. Brown sausages in a large skillet over medium-high heat; remove from pan & set aside. You can either leave them whole to cook them, then slice each into four pieces; or you can slice and then cook them. I prefer to slice first and then cook the pieces because they cook faster. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Cook peppers and onions in olive oil over medium-high heat until they are crisp-tender (about 8 minutes), stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about a minute).
  5. Add the Italian seasoning, salt, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pasta water, and sliced sausage pieces. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add penne pasta and stir to heat through.
  7. Serve with parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.

Notes

WW Freestyle Info.: This recipe makes 10 servings. Each 8 oz. serving (about 1 ½ c.) is 5 points.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/03/05/italian-sausage-pepper-pasta/

Pizza Dip

Any time I make this dish, I get numerous requests for the recipe.  It is a true crowd pleaser. What could be better? Pizza, but in a dip! Make this and please the folks at your next get together.  ~Kathy

pizza_dip_panlogo

Ingredients: 

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

¼ tsp. onion powder

12 – 15 pepperonis, chopped

½ c. pizza sauce

1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

2 T. sliced black olives

1 green onion, sliced

Instructions:

Combine first four ingredients in a small bowl. Spread into a small baking dish. Top with chopped pepperonis, pizza sauce, cheese and black olives.

Bake at 350˚F for 15-20 minutes, until heated through and bubbly around the edges. Top with green onions.

Serve with garlic bagel crisps or garlic parmesan pretzel crisps.

pizza_dip_plating

Pizza Dip

Pizza Dip

Ingredients

    Ingredients:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • 12 – 15 pepperonis, chopped
  • ½ c. pizza sauce
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 T. sliced black olives
  • 1 green onion, sliced

Instructions

  1. Combine first four ingredients in a small bowl. Spread into a small baking dish. Top with chopped pepperonis, pizza sauce, cheese and black olives.
  2. Bake at 350˚F for 15-20 minutes, until heated through and bubbly around the edges. Top with green onions.
  3. Serve with garlic bagel crisps or garlic parmesan pretzel crisps.
https://foursistersdish.com/2018/01/16/pizza-dip/
Pizza Dip

Pizza Dip

Ingredients

    Ingredients:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • 12 – 15 pepperonis, chopped
  • ½ c. pizza sauce
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 T. sliced black olives
  • 1 green onion, sliced

Instructions

  1. Combine first four ingredients in a small bowl. Spread into a small baking dish. Top with chopped pepperonis, pizza sauce, cheese and black olives.
  2. Bake at 350˚F for 15-20 minutes, until heated through and bubbly around the edges. Top with green onions.
  3. Serve with garlic bagel crisps or garlic parmesan pretzel crisps.
https://foursistersdish.com/2018/01/16/pizza-dip/

Italian Stuffed Shells

This recipe is a hit at our house.  My husband says it’s better than lasagna (one of our favorites)! These are great for dinner at home or would be a crowd pleaser at a pot luck.  Truly, Italian comfort food.  With simple ingredients, you can crank out an impressive dinner for your family. Serve alongside a green salad, and ta-da, dinner is complete!  The mix of cheese….  Come to Mama!   ~Kathy

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Ingredients:              

  • 12 oz. Jumbo pasta shells (make plenty – some will break; you need about 34 for this recipe)
  • ½ lb. 96% lean ground beef
  • 1/3 c. chopped onion
  • 1 c. shredded parmesan cheese (not the powdered type)
  • 1 c. (1% fat) cottage cheese
  • 1 (7.5 oz.) package cream cheese with chive and onion
  • 2 c. low moisture part-skim mozzarella, shredded (reserve ¾ c.)
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp. garlic powder)
  • ¼ tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 (24 oz.) jar reduced fat spaghetti sauce
  • 3 T. water
  • Optional garnishes:  fresh chopped basil or parsley

Instructions:

In large pot, bring salted water to a boil.   Cook pasta just until al dente (about 10 minutes).  Drain, rinse in cold water and turn open side down on paper towels to dry.

While the noodles are cooking, cook ground beef with onion.  Season with salt and pepper.   Drain grease and set aside.

Combine parmesan cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese and 1¼ c. mozzarella.   Stir in eggs, garlic, Italian seasoning, pepper and parsley.  Stir in ground beef mixture.  Combine well.

In a small bowl, mix together water and ¼ c. spaghetti sauce.   Spread into the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan.

Fill each shell with a heaping tablespoon of cheese mixture.  Set into pan open side up.  Continue filling shells until cheese mixture is gone.   Top with remaining sauce.

Cover loosely with foil and bake in a preheated 375˚ oven for 40 minutes.   Turn oven off, remove foil.  Top with remaining mozzarella cheese.  Leave in oven for an additional 5 minutes.   Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Top with fresh chopped parsley or basil if desired.

WW Freestyle Info.:  This makes approximately 34 stuffed shells.  A serving of 2 shells is 7 points.  A serving of 3 shells is 11 points.

 

Italian Stuffed Shells

Italian Stuffed Shells

Ingredients

    Ingredients:
  • • 12 oz. Jumbo pasta shells (make plenty – some will break; you need about 34 for this recipe)
  • • ½ lb. 96% lean ground beef
  • • 1/3 c. chopped onion
  • • 1 c. shredded parmesan cheese (not the powdered type)
  • • 1 c. (1% fat) cottage cheese
  • • 1 (7.5 oz.) package cream cheese with chive and onion
  • • 2 c. low moisture part-skim mozzarella, shredded (reserve ¾ c.)
  • • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp. garlic powder)
  • • ¼ tsp Italian seasoning
  • • 1 tsp pepper
  • • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • • 1 (24 oz.) jar reduced fat spaghetti sauce
  • • 3 T. water
  • • Optional garnishes: fresh chopped basil or parsley

Instructions

  1. In large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Cook pasta just until al dente (about 10 minutes). Drain, rinse in cold water and turn open side down on paper towels to dry.
  2. While the noodles are cooking, cook ground beef with onion. Season with salt and pepper. Drain grease and set aside.
  3. Combine parmesan cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese and 1¼ c. mozzarella. Stir in eggs, garlic, Italian seasoning, pepper and parsley. Stir in ground beef mixture. Combine well.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together water and ¼ c. spaghetti sauce. Spread into the bottom of a greased 9×13” pan.
  5. Fill each shell with a heaping tablespoon of cheese mixture. Set into pan open side up. Continue filling shells until cheese mixture is gone. Top with remaining sauce.
  6. Cover loosely with foil and bake in a preheated 375˚ oven for 40 minutes. Turn oven off, remove foil. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Leave in oven for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
  7. Top with fresh chopped parsley or basil if desired.

Notes

WW Freestyle Info.: This makes approximately 34 stuffed shells. A serving of 2 shells is 7 points. A serving of 3 shells is 11 points.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/01/08/italian-stuffed-shells/