thesoupfairy: (turkey wrap sandwich)
I failed to get to the grocery store yesterday (or today) so I couldn't make the scheduled slow-cooker meal for dinner. I made this casserole from ingredients I had sitting around the house. My husband and our friend who happened to be over at dinnertime were very unhelpful with naming it: they came up with "Delicious Casserole" and "Nom Nom Nom." <shakes head & grins> So anyway, even though it doesn't have a name, I am sharing it with you. This recipe is all about "whatever you've got on hand."

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes (+ 30 minutes bake time)

  • 1 pound package pasta of your choice (I used wide egg noodles)

  • 3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks), divided

  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease or other oil

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced or diced (your preference) - it won't be a tragedy if you use canned mushrooms ;^)

  • 1/2 a red bell pepper, diced

  • 1/2 cup flour

  • 3 cups chicken broth (canned, made from bouillon cubes, or homemade, whatever you've got!)

  • 2 cups milk (if you want to be decadent, use half-and-half or even heavy cream for some or all of this)

  • seasonings to taste (I used salt, pepper, thyme, and "perfect seasoning")

  • 5 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated

  • 1/2 cup Panko or other breadcrumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding 2 tablespoons of butter (and salt as directed on package). Decrease cooking time a bit - you want them just slightly firmer than al dente. Drain and toss with another 2 tablespoons of butter while still hot. Set aside.

  3. Heat bacon grease in skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey and stir to break up and prevent sticking.

  4. When turkey begins to brown, add onion, garlic, mushrooms, and bell peppers to the skillet. Continue to stir occasionally and cook until turkey is done and vegetables are tender-crisp.

  5. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the flour over the top of the turkey mixture in the skillet and stir in. Repeat with remaining two-thirds. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat, for 1-2 minutes.

  6. Gradually add chicken broth, stirring after each addition until smooth.

  7. Cook over medium heat, stirring often (and being sure to scrape the bottom to prevent any spots sticking), until thickened. During this cooking time, season the sauce. I like to season a bit, simmer, taste, and then season again.

  8. Lower heat and stir half of the Parmesan into sauce until melted. Stir cooked noodles into sauce (or vice versa) and spread the mixture into a buttered 13x9 casserole dish.

  9. Top the casserole with the Panko and the remaining Parmesan. Place in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly, with golden brown cheese on top. (A few minutes under the broiler will help to brown the cheese and will also brown the breadcrumbs.)

  10. Serve and listen to the muffled noises of happiness from your family/friends.
thesoupfairy: (chopping)
Enchilada Lasagna

This was a huge hit! We mixed up a batch of guacamole to serve on the side. You can use ricotta instead of the cottage cheese if you like. It's my preference, but a couple of my family members have a strong dislike for ricotta.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: about 1 hour
Servings: 8-10

  • 32 ounces small-curd cottage cheese

  • 1 pound sausage (I used turkey breakfast sausage because I had it on hand. Chorizo would be great.)

  • 2-4 jalapeños, stems and seeds removed, diced

  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed

  • 1 pound cooked diced or shredded chicken

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated

  • 3-4 (10 oz) cans enchilada sauce

  • 12 uncooked lasagna noodles


Empty container of cottage cheese into a strainer. Rinse with cool water and allow to drain.

Meanwhile, brown sausage in large skillet. Add jalapeños just before sausage is done and continue cooking until sausage has no remaining pink. Add corn and chicken to the skillet and stir to combine. Continue stirring occasionally over medium heat until heated through.

Combine eggs and drained cottage cheese in food processor. Pulse. Curds should be broken up and eggs should be mixed well with cheese.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Begin layering:
  1. Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce over bottom of 9" x 13" casserole dish.

  2. Place 4 lasagna noodles on top of sauce.

  3. Spread one-third of cottage cheese mixture on top of noodles.

  4. Spread one-half of meat mixture on top of cottage cheese mixture.

  5. Top with 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese.

  6. Pour 1 cup enchilada sauce over cheese.

  7. Top with 4 lasagna noodles.

  8. Spread half of remaining cottage cheese mixture on top of noodles.

  9. Top with remaining meat mixture.

  10. Add half of remaining grated cheese.

  11. Pour remaining sauce over cheese.

  12. Place last 4 lasagna noodles on top of sauce.

  13. Spread remaining cottage cheese mixture on top of noodles.

  14. Top with remaining Monterey Jack.

Bake 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 10-15 minutes before cutting.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Tuscan Baked Rigatoni

Creamy and delicious!

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Servings: 6-8

  • 16-ounce package rigatoni

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 pound bulk turkey sausage (or use any bulk sausage you like)

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 8 cups torn fresh spinach leaves

  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts

  • 2 cups shredded Gouda

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease large casserole dish and set aside.

Put water on to boil for pasta, and cook according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

While water is boiling, heat olive oil in large pan over medium-high heat. (If using pork sausage you may not need any oil for this step.) Brown sausage in oil, stirring to break up. When sausage is about half-way cooked, add onions and garlic to the pan. Cook until all meat is browned and onions are tender. Add tomatoes, cream, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until slightly thickened. Stir in spinach, beans, and pine nuts. Cook until heated through. Stir in Gouda and pasta, toss to coat.

Transfer to prepared casserole dish; sprinkle evenly with Parmesan. Bake 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.
thesoupfairy: (spices)
Creamy Chicken Pasta

My casserole-hating son liked it!!

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Bake: 35 minutse
Servings: 8

  • canola oil cooking spray

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked & cubed

  • 2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil

  • 1/2 medium onion, diced

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 bag frozen cut spinach (not the kind that's frozen into a brick)

  • 1 pound extra-wide egg noodles or other similarly sized/shaped pasta

  • 1 can mushroom pieces and stems

  • 2 eggs

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 8 oz Swiss cheese, grated

  • 8 oz sour cream

  • 1/4-1/2 cup grated Parmesan


If your chicken breasts aren't cooked yet, you can simmer them in water for about 30-40 minutes or wrap them in foil and bake them at 350°F for 45 minutes. (The latter will make them more tender.) This is not included in the times posted at the beginning of the recipe.

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9x13" casserole dish with cooking spray.

Put water on to boil and cook noodles according to package directions. Stir frozen spinach into cooking water just before draining noodles.

While water is coming to a boil, heat oil in skillet and sauté onion, red pepper, and garlic until onions are translucent. Stir together diced chicken, onion-pepper mixture, noodles & spinach, and mushrooms.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Stir in grated Swiss and sour cream. Mix well with the chicken-noodle-veggie mixture.

Spread in prepared casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.

Heat broiler. Remove foil, sprinkle top with Parmesan, and place under broiler until Parmesan is bubbly.
thesoupfairy: (chopping)
Well, I took a few days off from cooking dinner. Sometimes I am just too overwhelmed to manage anything at all - those are pizza call-in nights or nights I send my husband to the store for "junk food night". And sometimes we end up going to someone's house or going out to dinner or something like that.

Tonight's dinner is one of the very easiest things I make. It's been a while, and my son has been driving me crazy asking for it. Really, truly, I promise to take more pictures soon!

Shepherd's Pie

Make this when you don't have a lot of time or energy for standing in the kitchen.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Bake: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

  • homemade mashed potatoes or 3 pouches of instant roasted garlic mashed potatoes, prepared according to package directions

  • 1 pound ground beef, turkey, or lamb

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1-1/2 cups frozen "seasoning blend" vegetables or equivalent amount of diced onion, celery, and bell pepper

  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

  • 28-oz can diced tomatoes

  • 1 beef bouillon cube

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • salt, pepper, other seasonings to taste

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese


Start potatoes and garlic cooking if you're making homemade mashed potatoes for the top.

Brown meat (in a little oil if it needs it - depends on how lean it is) in large heavy-bottomed pot. Add garlic and seasoning blend and continue cooking a few minutes. Add remaining frozen vegetables, tomatoes, bouillon cube, Worcestershire, and seasonings. Allow to simmer about 10 minutes, stirring often.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F and finish making your mashed potatoes. Using a slotted spoon, remove beef and vegetable mixture to casserole dish. Heat the remaining liquid to a high simmer again. Stir cornstarch into a couple of tablespoons of cold water until smooth. Whisk into simmering liquid and continue cooking, whisking, until thickened. Add a small amount of this sauce to the casserole dish - too much liquid will run over the sides while it's baking. Spread mashed potatoes over the top of the beef mixture, smoothing top. Sprinkle with cheese. I recommend putting your casserole dish on a baking sheet to catch any runover. Bake 30 minutes.

Let stand 10-15 minutes after removing from oven before serving.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
The Soup Fairy

October 2012

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