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Easy Fall Dinner Recipes

Braised Beef Burgundy Stew

Braised Beef Burgundy StewPrep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 3-3½ hours
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

6 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
2 lbs beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 small red onion, chopped
1 cup frozen pearl onions
2 large carrots, sliced diagonally
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces white mushrooms, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons almond flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 cups dry red wine
1½ cup beef broth
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:

Place top oven rack in the center position and pre-heat oven to 325°F. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy, stirring occasionally, approximately 4-5 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and blot off excess grease. Set aside.

Drain and discard all but 1 tablespoon bacon grease from Dutch oven. Add beef chunks and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Cook, until browned on all sides, stirring occasionally (approximately 4-5 minutes). Remove beef and transfer to the same plate with the bacon. Set aside.

Add red onion, pearl onions, carrots and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies become fragrant and translucent, approximately 4-5 minutes.

Add mushrooms and sprinkle with almond flour. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken.

Return bacon and beef to the Dutch oven. Add tomato paste, red wine, beef broth, bay leaves and fresh thyme. Season with additional salt and black pepper to taste, and stir to combine.

Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cover, and transfer Dutch oven into the pre-heated oven. Cook for 2½ to 3 hours, stirring every 40-50 minutes.

Remove from oven and discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Serve immediately topped with fresh chopped parsley.

White Chicken Slow Cooker Chili

White Chicken Slow Cooker ChiliPrep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours on High – 8 hours on Low
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:
3 15oz cans Great Northern beans, divided
1/3 cup water
1½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
½ small red onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 4-oz can mild green chilies
1 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
3 cups chicken broth, preferably organic
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1½ cup Mexican blend cheese finely shredded, divided

To serve (optional):
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 small avocado, diced
1 medium jalapeño pepper, sliced
2 large limes cut into wedges

Directions:

Drain and rinse the beans to remove excess salt. Place half the beans in a blender or food processor with some water. Process until blended but still slightly chunky. Transfer the puréed beans to a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker, along with the remaining whole beans.

Add chicken, red onion, garlic, green chilies, cumin, chili powder, Mexican oregano, coriander, chipotle pepper powder and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Season with salt and black pepper and stir to combine. Cover and set cook time to 4 hours on High or 8 hours on Low.

When cook time is complete, remove lid and add 1 cup of the shredded cheese and stir to combine. Cover and allow cheese to melt for 1-2 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately with remaining Mexican cheese, fresh cilantro, avocado, jalapeño slices, and/or lime wedges.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Chili

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork ChiliPrep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours on High – 8 hours on Low
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
Sea salt & black pepper to taste
3-3½ lbs pork shoulder roast, trimmed
1 small red onion, diced
1 4-oz can mild green chilies
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1 cup chicken broth, preferably organic

To serve:
Mexican cheese blend, finely shredded
Red onion, diced
Fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Combine garlic, cocoa powder, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and Mexican oregano in a small bowl. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, and stir to combine.

Rub pork roast with seasoning mixture on all sides and place in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker crock. Arrange remaining solid ingredients around the pork, then pour the liquid smoke and chicken broth on top. Stir the ingredients on each side of the pork with a fork to combine.

Cover and cook on High for 4 hours, or on Low for 8 hours. Do not remove lid while cooking.

When cook time is complete, remove lid and gently pull the pork apart with two forks. Allow the pulled pork to rest in the juices for 10-15 minutes to absorb more flavor if you wish. To serve, top with shredded Mexican cheese, chopped red onion and/or fresh cilantro.

Spicy Slow Cooker Chili

Slow Cooker ChiliUsing a combination of spicy and sweet pork sausage rather than plain ground beef infuses this slow cooker chili with extra flavor. Use all spicy sausage to turn up the heat even more.

TIP: It is easier to break up the sausage into more even pieces prior to browning if you first get rid of the casing first.

Ingredients:
1 pound spicy bulk pork sausage, crumbled
1 pound sweet bulk pork sausage, crumbled
½ cup chicken or vegetable stock, plus additional if needed
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, toughed ends removed and chopped into small pieces
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into small pieces
2 15oz-cans white beans, drained and rinsed
2 15.5oz-cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 28 oz-cans tomato puree
1 6 oz-can tomato paste
1 28 oz-can petite-cut tomatoes, undrained
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon oregano, dried
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup black coffee (or water), if needed
Salt to taste

Garnish, (optional)
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
¾ cup chopped red onion
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced

Directions

In a large skillet, brown pork sausage over medium heat until no longer pink. Remove from heat and drain excess fat from pan. Transfer browned sausage to slow cooker crock.

Return skillet to burner over medium-high heat. Deglaze pan with chicken or vegetable stock, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon.

Add olive oil, garlic and onion to pan and cook, stirring frequently, about 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add celery and carrot and continue cooking another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and pour skillet contents into slow cooker.

Add white beans, red beans, tomato puree, tomato paste, petite-cut tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper to slow cooker. Stir to combine all ingredients thoroughly. Add water or black coffee to thin mixture if you wish before cooking.

Cook on high for 4 hours – or low for 8 hours. When finished, stir and add salt to taste. Adjust other seasonings as desired.

Spoon into bowls and top with shredded cheese, chopped onions and/or sliced jalapeno peppers. Serve immediately.

Freeze or refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Rustic Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom RisottoIt’s easy to be tempted to cheat and make risotto ‘the quick way’, the traditional “stand and stir” technique is well worth the effort for its resulting depths of flavors.

Do not use other types of rice than Arborio as they won’t deliver the coveted rich, creamy texture you’re after.

Ingredients:
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth, heated
1 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
½ medium onion, finely chopped
8 oz baby Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
8 oz white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 cup Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, stems removed, leaves very finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a small saucepan, heat chicken or vegetable broth until hot.

Add olive oil, one tablespoon butter, and garlic to a cold saucepan. Turn heat to medium and sauté for approximately one minute, or until garlic becomes softened.

Add onion; sauté for 2 minutes before adding the sliced mushrooms. Cook mushrooms until they soften and release liquid, approximately 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.

Return pan to heat and add remaining butter. Add Arborio rice and sauté until thoroughly coated, approximately 1-2 minutes. Add white wine and stir constantly until wine is completely absorbed.

Add one cup warm broth to pan and stir constantly until completely absorbed. Repeat with remaining broth, one cup at a time, until it is all incorporated and the rice has achieved a rich, creamy consistency. This process should take approximately 25-30 minutes. (If you want a creamier texture, add more broth until you achieve the results you desire).

Remove from heat and stir in the freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh rosemary. Add mushroom mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with additional fresh rosemary if desired. Serve immediately.

One-Pot Chunky Italian Meat Sauce

One-Pot Chunky Italian Meat SauceThis hearty triple meat sauce may take a little extra effort, but it is so worth it! This recipe makes a large amount of sauce, so be sure to use a large Dutch oven or pot (6-quart minimum).

Enjoy immediately or allow a day or two for the flavors to develop. This recipe also freezes up nicely for later use.

Save yourself some time and frustration and achieve a more even consistency by crumbling up the beef and sausage with your fingers prior to browning.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 cup white mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, cleaned and finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 cup dry red wine, divided
1¼ pound ground beef (85% lean)
1 pound bulk sweet pork sausage
1 pound bulk spicy pork sausage
2 28 oz-cans tomato puree
1 28 oz-can petite-cut tomatoes, undrained
2 6 oz-cans tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 tablespoons sugar
3-4” Parmesan rind
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large (6 Qt) Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms to pan and cook until onions become soft and mushrooms begin to release liquids, about 4-5 minutes. Add celery, carrots and ½ cup wine and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes.

Add crumbled beef and pork to pot and cook over medium heat until no longer pink inside. Remove from heat and carefully drain excess fat from pan.

Return to burner and add tomato puree, tomatoes, tomato paste, and remaining red wine to Dutch oven, along with oregano, thyme, rosemary, and sugar. Stir to combine. Drop in bay leaves and Parmesan rind and give a quick stir. Cover and simmer on low heat for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. If sauce is too thick, add a little water to achieve the desired consistency. If it is too thin, continue cooking until it reaches the thickness you prefer.

Remove bay leaves and Parmesan rind. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately with your favorite cooked pasta and some cheesy garlic bread. Refrigerate or freeze unused portion within 2 hours.

Creamy Chicken Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo

Chicken Broccoli Fettuccine AlfredoThe enduring appeal of classic Alfredo sauce lies in its simplicity. A luxurious blend of heavy cream, real butter and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, traditional Alfredo sauce delivers incredibly rich flavor – without a lot of fuss. 😉

This version builds upon the classic ingredients with the addition of rich cream cheese and fresh garlic. But not to worry, the traditional heavy cream is replaced with a lighter blend of half & half and chicken broth.

The results? A creamy, delicious and easy sauce that appears much more complicated than it really is. Guaranteed to become one of your new favorite fall pasta recipes!

TIP: To prevent curdling, remove half and half from refrigerator when starting this recipe so it is less cold when added to the hot ingredients.

Ingredients:
1 lb fettuccine noodles, cooked according to package directions
1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 head fresh (or 1 12oz bag frozen) broccoli florets
2 tablespoons water

Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup butter
4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and finely minced
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1¼ cup half & half (not low fat)
½ cup chicken broth
1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
Additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese to serve

Directions:

Cook the fettuccine while preparing the sauce so the noodles are still warm when ready to toss with the other ingredients.

Prepare broccoli by placing florets in a microwave-safe bowl with 2 tablespoons water. Microwave on high until crisp-tender. Cooking time will vary depending on individual microwave ovens, so test after 2 minutes and adjust cooking times accordingly. When finished, drain to remove excess water and set aside.

Add garlic and butter to a saucepan and turn heat to medium. Sauté garlic for 1-2 minutes before adding cream cheese, half & half and chicken broth. Continue cooking while stirring constantly until cream cheese is completely melted.

Reduce heat to low and continue stirring for about 15 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add chicken, broccoli and cooked fettuccine noodles to a large serving bowl. Add the sauce to the bowl and gently toss until thoroughly combined. Top with chopped parsley and more freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Orange-Cranberry Chicken Breasts

Orange-Cranberry Chicken BreastsPrep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 lbs bone-in chicken breasts with skin
1½ teaspoons fresh sage, chopped
1½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
½ cup fresh (or frozen) cranberries
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons honey, preferably local
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:

Place top oven rack in the center position and preheat oven to 400°F.

Melt the coconut oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Season chicken with sage and thyme. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Place seasoned chicken in hot skillet skin side down and cook until browned, approximately 4-5 minutes, or until it releases easily from the bottom of the pan. Turn the chicken and continue cooking another 4-5 minutes on the remaining side.

While the chicken is browning, add the cranberries, orange juice, honey, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg to a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil. Cook until the cranberries pop open and the sauce becomes slightly thickened, around 4-5 minutes.

Pour the orange-cranberry sauce over the browned chicken and transfer the skillet into the preheated oven. Roast until the chicken is fully cooked through and the sauce is bubbly, around 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 160°F (internal temperature will continue to rise to 165°F as it rests).

Remove from oven and transfer chicken to a serving platter. Cover loosely and let rest for 5 minutes before serving topped with the warm orange-cranberry pan sauce and your choice of sides.

One-Skillet Lemon Chicken Orzo

One-Skillet Lemon Chicken OrzoQuick and easy to prepare and requiring minimal cleanup, this satisfying one-pan chicken dinner is perfect for those super busy weeknights. Who would have thought you can enjoy a hearty meal of bone-in chicken thighs with lemony orzo in just over half an hour?

Ingredients:
4 bone-in chicken thighs
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 cup orzo pasta
3 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon lemon zest
½ organic lemon, thinly sliced and seeds removed
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped (keep some whole sprigs for garnish)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to serve

Directions:

Pat chicken thighs with a paper towel to remove excess moisture, then season with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet with deeps sides, heat olive oil and garlic over medium-high heat. When garlic turns brown, remove chunks from pan and discard.

Place chicken skin side down in the heated pan and cook for approximately 4-5 minutes, or until nicely browned. Turn and repeat on the other side. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm.

Pour off excess fat in pan, reserving approximately 2 tablespoons. Reduce heat to medium and add the orzo to pan. Stir until orzo is coated and slightly toasted. Add chicken broth to skillet and stir to scrape up brown bits from bottom of pan.

Increase heat to medium-high and bring broth to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Return chicken breasts to skillet along with lemon zest and slices. Cover and simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the orzo is tender. Keep an eye on it during this time to make sure there is enough liquid in skillet to keep orzo from sticking to the bottom. Stir occasionally.

Uncover and continue simmering until most of the excess liquid has been absorbed, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in chopped parsley and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

One-Skillet White Bean and Spicy Sausage Stew

One-Skillet Lemon Chicken OrzoAnother dish that can be made in a single skillet for easy clean up, this soup is really delicious and as an added bonus, freezes well so you can make larger batches for more quick weekday meals.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, cleaned and finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 small white onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 pound bulk spicy pork sausage, crumbled
3 cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 15oz-cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 15oz-can cannellini beans, pureed with liquid from can
3 large kale leaves, tough stems removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Parmesan cheese, shaved

Directions:

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add celery, carrots, onions, and garlic to pan and sauté until tender.

Add crumbled bulk pork sausage to skillet and cook until no longer pink inside. Carefully drain excess fat from the pan before adding chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Add oregano, rosemary and crushed red pepper flakes.

Add whole as well as pureed white beans to skillet. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add kale and simmer another 15-20 minutes. If soup is too thick, add more stock to thin. If it is too thin, continue cooking until desired consistency is reached.

Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and shaved Parmesan cheese and serve with crusty Italian bread.

One-Skillet Honey Applesauce Pork Roast

One-Skillet Honey Applesauce Pork RoastPrep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sugar-free Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1½ lbs pork tenderloin
3 medium firm apples, cored and chopped

Directions:

Place oven rack in center position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine applesauce, honey, Dijon mustard, and rosemary leaves in a small bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and set aside.

Heat coconut oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Generously season the pork roast with salt and black pepper to taste. Cook until browned and evenly seared on all sides, about 5-10 minutes.

Remove from heat and spread half of the applesauce mixture all over the top and sides of the pork. Arrange the chopped apples around the sides of the pork and place in the preheated oven.

Roast for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and flip the pork. Brush with remaining applesauce mixture and return to the oven for another 20-25 minutes or until the pork is cooked through.

Remove from oven and cover loosely to rest for 5 minutes before serving

Rosemary Garlic Beef Tenderloin

Rosemary Garlic Beef TenderloinActual cooking time will vary depending on a number of factors, including the starting internal temperature of the beef. Therefore, allow the beef to rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before roasting and use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness. For medium-rare, remove from oven at 140°F. The temperature will rise to 145°F as it rests.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45-50 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
16 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
2 large shallots, sliced
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
3lbs beef tenderloin roast
1 large red onion, sliced

Directions:

Place oven rack in center position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Melt one tablespoon coconut oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and shallots, and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms and shallots develop a bit of color and soften, approximately 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.

Melt the remaining coconut oil in a small bowl in a microwave. Add rosemary and garlic to the coconut oil and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Rub the rosemary-garlic mixture on top and along the sides of the beef.

Arrange the sliced red onion on the bottom of the same skillet and place the seasoned beef tenderloin on top of the onions.

Arrange the mushroom and shallot mixture around the sides of the beef and place in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes for medium-rare or longer for more well done results.

Remove from oven and rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Apple & Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash

Stuffed Butternut SquashUnlike many stuffed winter squash recipes, this one is more savory than sweet thanks to the spicy sausage and fresh sage. The combination of sausage, meaty Portobello mushrooms, sweet apples and crunchy walnuts rounds out the flavor of this satisfying and healthy main course.

Variations:
For less heat, use ½ pound spicy and ½ pound mild Italian sausage. If you prefer a sweeter dish, simply add more brown sugar prior to baking.

Ingredients:
2 butternut squash, cut in half, seeds and pulp removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb spicy Italian pork sausage
3-4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and finely minced
½ red onion, chopped
1 ½ cup baby Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, julienned
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small chunks
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 oz chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray two 13 x 9” glass baking dishes with non-stick cooking spray. Place butternut squash halves in glass dishes, cut side up. Brush exposed edges lightly with olive oil.

Place both dishes in oven on middle rack at 375 degrees. Bake until soft enough to scoop out interior with a spoon, approximately 45–50 minutes.

While the squash are baking, add sausage to a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat. While the sausage is cooking, break it into small pieces with a spatula or wooden spoon or remove casings beforehand and break into small chunks.

After sausage is mostly browned, add garlic, red onion and chopped mushrooms to the skillet and cook over medium heat for several minutes until mushrooms are soft, stirring occasionally.

Add fresh sage, chopped apples and cinnamon to pan. Continue cooking over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until apples become soft, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and drain excess liquid from skilletif necessary. Stir in chopped walnuts and season mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

When squash is ready, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Remove squash one at a time from hot glass baking dish and place on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, trace a ½” inch border around the perimeter of each squash. Scoop out all of the squash inside the border and reserve the cooked flesh in a large bowl. Be careful not to puncture the exterior of the squash skin during this process.

Return each empty squash shell to the baking dish.

Cut cooked squash into bite-sized chunks and add to sausage mixture. Gently fold mixture together until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Spoon sausage mixture into empty squash cavities and top each with chunks of butter, brown sugar (if desired) and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Place in 350-degree oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until filling is nicely browned. Remove from oven and top with additional Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.

5-Cheese Meat Lasagna

5-Cheese Meat LasagnaIt’s hard to imagine a classic lasagna recipe without lots of luscious cheese. Three of the most common types of cheese found in traditional lasagna recipes are mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan. This recipe builds on this delicious cheesy foundation with the addition of freshly grated Asiago and shredded Gruyere.

This recipe is easier to prepare if you have the meat sauce prepared ahead of time. If you don’t have time or the inclination to do so, use your favorite prepared pasta sauce instead.

Fortunately, the meat sauce recipe referred to below can be made in large batches that freeze beautifully for future use. For best results in this recipe, pulse 4 cups of the chunky meat sauce in a food processor prior to using.

TIP: The key to keeping lasagna from getting soupy is to make sure your noodles are thoroughly dried before assembling your lasagna.

After preparing noodles according to package instructions, arrange them in a single layer on large cookie sheets sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Gently pat noodles dry with a paper towel. Turn over and repeat. Allow to air dry until all excess moisture is gone.

Ingredients:
4 cups meat sauce (see One-Pot Chunky Italian Meat Sauce recipe above)
12 whole lasagna noodles, cooked according to package instructions
1 24oz container ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons Italian seasoning, divided
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped, plus extra for garnish
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 8-oz package shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 8-oz package shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
¾ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
¾ cup Asiago cheese, freshly grated

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large glass bowl, combine ricotta cheese, beaten egg, 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning and fresh parsley. Stir to combine.

Spray a 13 x 9” glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add enough meat sauce to cover the bottom of the pan, then cover with 3 lasagna noodles. Top with an even layer of the ricotta cheese mixture, followed by a layer of shredded mozzarella and Gruyere cheese, using equal amounts of each. Finish with a layer of grated Parmesan and Asiago cheese, also in equal amounts.

Repeat this process three more times: meat, noodles, ricotta mixture, shredded cheeses and grated cheeses. Sprinkle the remaining Italian seasoning across the final layer.

Loosely tent dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes before serving.

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