Easy Baked Bruschetta Chicken (serve over pasta)

Baked Bruschetta Chicken is an easy weeknight meal and perfect served over your favorite pasta! Tender balsamic marinated chicken breasts are baked with garlic, basil and juicy cherry tomatoes to create a delicious meal that everyone loves!

Serve this with some crusty bread and garlic butter and a fresh Italian Salad for a complete meal!

Baked bruschetta chicken breasts topped with tomatoes and basil and served over a bowl of spaghetti

An Easy Weeknight Meal

Don’t be afraid of the fancy Italian-sounding name “Bruschetta.” I make a ton of tomato bruschetta all summer long and we often end up eating it for meals or served over chicken!

Kind of like Easy Chicken Parmesan, this bruschetta chicken recipe is a make-ahead and pop-in-the oven kind of entrée. Tender chicken breasts covered in a garlicky, seasoned marinara, cherry tomatoes, and bubbling mozzarella cheese! Perfect for Sunday dinner with the extended fam. Who can say no to that?

Cooked Chicken breasts in a 9x13 pan topped with cheese and cherry tomato bruschetta

Bruschetta Chicken

Bruschetta is an appetizer many of us are familiar with however, did you know that the word bruschetta actually refers to the bread and not the topping? I took the flavors from my favorite bruschetta topping (tomato/basil/garlic) to create this amazing meal!

What is Bruschetta Chicken? Bruschetta chicken bake is full-flavored and hearty; the topping is baked right onto the chicken breasts. Turn this into a complete meal by serving it over spaghetti for the perfect Bruschetta Chicken Pasta. Mama Mia!

Raw chicken breasts topped with Italian seasoning, balsamic vinegar and olive oil for making bruschetta chicken

How to Make Bruschetta Chicken

This meal is pretty easy to make and uses basic ingredients. Fresh basil isn’t expensive but it makes a huge difference in the flavor of this dish! If you can’t find cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes (or even chopped roma tomatoes) will work just fine.

  • Marinate: Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar and minced garlic in a small bowl and marinate chicken breasts for a few minutes.
  • Brown: Brown the chicken for two minutes on each side. The chicken will cook in the oven, you just want to brown it.
  • Bake: Place in a 9×13 casserole dish and top with cherry tomatoes. Bake until bubbly.
  • Top: Top with cheese and broil up to 3 minutes or until melted.

To Serve this Chicken Dish

For the topping, combine tomatoes with olive oil, vinegar, and basil garlic. Spoon over the finished dish and serve over pasta!

A 9x13 pan of cooked bruschetta chicken topped with cheese and fresh basil.

What to Serve with Bruschetta Chicken

A great glass of Chianti, of course! A light, bright tossed salad, and some garlic bread rounds out this unforgettable entrée! For a true Italian dining experience, a little Tiramisu or Panna Cotta makes for a sweet ending!

More Italian Favorites

Bruschetta Chicken

Tender balsamic marinated chicken breasts are baked with garlic, basil and juicy cherry tomatoes to create a delicious meal that everyone loves!

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese

Bruschetta Topping

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or balsamic)
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic in a small bowl.

  3. Mix 1/4 cup of the balsamic mixture with chicken breasts, salt & pepper and Italian seasoning and marinate 15 minutes.

  4. Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet. Add chicken and brown 2 minutes on each side.

  5. Place marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Top with browned chicken breasts and cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with remaining balsamic mixture.

  6. Bake 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear and chicken reaches 165°F. 

  7. Top with mozzarella and broil 2-3 minutes.

  8. Combine all topping ingredients in a bowl and spoon over chicken. Serve over pasta.



Oven Baked Califlower

Easy Baked Cauliflower is the perfect side dish for any meal! This is one of those sides that everyone needs in their recipe book, nothing fancy, no crazy ingredients but lots of flavor and simple to prep.

Serve it alongside a juicy Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin or perfectly tender Oven Baked Chicken Breasts or thighs.

Baked cauliflower garnished with parsley on a baking sheet

A Simple Side Dish

Want to take your veggie game to the next level? There are so many new and tasty ways to enjoy the vegetables we grew up with (zoodles anyone?). This easy baked cauliflower recipe will please vegetarians and carnivores alike!

Cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse with just 50 calories per 2 cups and packed with fiber. This baked cauliflower recipe is a simple fix on a busy night and can easily be placed in the oven along with your favorite meatloaf recipe or even placed in the pan with a roasted chicken!

How to Prepare Cauliflower Florets

Cauliflower is a compact and heavy vegetable, so it is easy to work with.  For this baked cauliflower recipe:

  • Remove any green leaves at the bottom and cut off the stem.
  • Cut the entire head in half vertically from the stem up.
  • Then, with your fingers, break apart each half into smaller pieces. These are the florets. Break them up as big or small as you like. Think about if you will be using a fork or your fingers to eat them with!

A photograph of cauliflower florets on a baking pan

How to Make Baked Cauliflower

I keep it very simple but if i have fresh herbs on hand, I add those in too! Feel free to season with anything you like even toss with dressing after it comes out of the oven!  After rinsing, drain them extra well. Any leftover water will cause them to steam and they won’t brown as nicely.

  1. Preheat oven.
  2. Toss cauliflower florets with olive oil and your fave seasonings.
  3. Spread on a greased sheet pan and bake:
    • Bake at 350°F about 30-35 minutes
    • Bake at 375°F about 25-30 minutes
    • Bake at 400°F about 20-25 minutes

These times are a guide if you like your cauliflower softer, cook it longer if you prefer more tender crisp, cook it less. A higher temperature will give more browning (and flavor). I personally don’t stir them, I like one side to get nice and browned. Don’t overcook them, you still want them to be a little crunchy!

More Cauliflower Yum

Baked Cauliflower

Tender baked cauliflower is an easy and effortless side dish!

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Wash and prepare 1 head of cauliflower. Slice so it has one flat side,

  3. Mix together olive oil and remaining ingredients.

  4. Toss dried cauliflower with olive oil mixture.

  5. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.

Garnish with parsley and/or parmesan cheese if desired.

Garlic Bacon Kale (and how to prep kale)

Below is our favorite Garlic Bacon Kale Recipe plus the best tips on How to Cook Kale! Everything from sautéing to oven baking can be found below! 

This delicious powerhouse veggie adds great flavor to soups and casseroles it’s perfect served up as a Easy Kale Salad with Fresh Lemon Dressing and great on its own as a side dish!

A bowl of garlic butter kale with bacon on top

A Real Superfood

So what is Kale? Kale is a leafy green often used as a garnish or in ornamental uses however it’s also a deliciously flavorful green if prepared right! It has a rich earthy flavor and is a very popular superfood these days! You can buy kale chips, kale hummus, and even shredded kale! Kale is good for adding to dishes like salads, soups (like Zuppa Toscana), and green smoothies! It’s also great as a side dish or a Kale Salad!

Is kale good for you? You bet it is! Kale is a powerhouse of nutrition! It’s high in fiber and potassium.

To Prepare Kale for Cooking

  • Clean
    • Before cooking kale make sure the leaves are free from dirt and are dry and not mushy.
    • Rinse leaves under cold water and shake dry
  • Cut
    • Remove any tough stalks by simply pulling the curly leaves off of the stalk. Discard the stalks.
    • Cut (or tear) the kale into approximately one inch pieces.

Kale being prepared for cooking

How to Cook Fresh Kale

Fresh kale is an easy veggie to cook and enjoy. Kale can be sauteed in a pan (like in this recipe) or baked in the oven (to make kale chips). If you want to add it to soups/stews you can simply prepare the kale as directed above and add it to the soup allowing it to simmer for at least 12 minutes.

To Cook Kale in Oven simply prepare as above and make sure you dry it very well. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spritz with olive oil and a touch of salt & pepper. Bake until crisp but not burnt (about 10-15 minutes). These are delicious to snack on but they’re also great as a garnish sprinkled over dishes like risotto or creamy casseroles.

kale in a frying pan ready to be sauteed

How Long to Cook Kale

The leaves are much sturdier than a spinach but don’t take quite as long to cook as Collard Greens.

I saute kale about 5 to 7 minutes so it’s wilted and soft but not mushy. Just when you think it’s done, remove it from the heat, and it will ‘carryover’ cook to perfection!

Sautéed kale is a flavorful alternative to creamed spinach or collard greens and when you make garlic kale with bacon it really adds an irresistible flavor boost to these nutrient packed greens! Season with salt and pepper or a splash of balsamic vinaigrette and enjoy! If you are wanting to keep it vegetarian just sautéed kale with garlic and olive oil is a delicious alternative to bacon kale!

A bowl of sauteed kale topped with crispy bacon

More Healthy Side Dishes


Garlic Bacon Kale

This nutrient packed superfood is sure to impress! With bacon and garlic it smells just as good as it tastes! 

  • 3 slices bacon (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 bunch kale (washed)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Cook bacon until crisp over medium heat. Remove bacon and set aside reserving drippings.

  2. Reduce heat to medium low and cook onion in the drippings until tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add kale and garlic stirring until cooked, about 5 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

REPIN this Easy Recipe

A bowl of garlic butter kale with bacon on top

Kale can be a tricky superfood to cook! This guide tells you all about how long to cook kale, how to oven bake kale and just how to cook kale in general! We have fallen for this superfood now that we know how to cook it properly! #spendwithpennies #howtocookkale #superfood #healthyeating #sidedish #garlickale

Delicious Summery Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Onion Salad makes for a welcome change of pace from the classic iceberg lettuce tossed salad. At your next barbecue, your guests will love this crunchy salad with some delicious grilled chicken breasts and a side of Homemade Garlic Bread!

Crisp fresh cucumbers are tossed with sweet onion and fresh dill for an easy summer favorite that is light and refreshing.

Cucumber onion salad in a serving bowl.

Easy Cucumber Onion Salad Salad

For as long as I can remember, we’ve served creamy cucumber salad at gatherings and get togethers. As much as I love the creamy version, we do love the sweet tart vinaigrette style dressing on this recipe! You can make it in no time flat from just a few simple ingredients, including sliced English cucumber, sweet onion, vinegar, fresh dill and seasonings.

Ingredients for Cucumber Onion Salad

Any cukes will do the trick, but for best results, use English cucumbers ( also known as seedless, or European cucumbers).  These are longer and thinner than salad or pickling cucumbers, and often come tightly wrapped in plastic. English cucumbers also have thinner skins and a sweeter taste then salad cucumbers, and the seeds are smaller.

If you are using regular salad cucumbers, you will want to remove all or most of the peel and seeds, as these tend to be bitter and a bit tough. Many people also dislike the wax coating that is used on grocery store cucumbers to keep the product fresh longer. You’ll want to peel to remove this coating, or you can try soaking the cucumber in vinegar for several minutes and wiping the surface clean.


  • Rice vinegar is a good choice, it’s a little sweeter and less tangy than white or cider vinegar, and won’t discolor the cucumber or onion.
  • Cider vinegar is a great option and adds a bit extra flavor and tang.
  • White Balsamic is also a way to boost the complexity of the flavors. It pairs well with tomatoes so feel free to toss a few in before serving and make it into a cucumber tomato salad.

Cucumber Onion Salad pairs nicely with spicy meats, such as marinated chicken or lamb skewers or even Chicken Curry.

A bowl of cucumber onion salad with fresh dill

To Make Cucumber Onion Salad

Cucumber salad comes together so easily. All you need is your salad bowl and a cutting board.

  1. Prep: Slice or chunk the cucumber and thinly slice the sweet onion.
  2. Dress: Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Marinate: Add the sliced or chunked cucumber and sliced sweet onion and toss to coat. Marinate for a few hours before serving.

Once prepped cover and refrigerate for an hour or more. This salad is best served well chilled!

Cucumber salad can be made in advance and will keep well for a couple of days. They’re great as a topper for burgers or sandwiches in place of pickles! The next time you need a simple, palate-cleansing side dish, cucumber dill salad is an easy option.

More Cucumber Favorites

Cucumber Onion Salad

This delicious salad will be a hit at your next dinner party! Mix these fresh and crunchy flavors for a twist to a classic summer salad.

  • 2 long english cucumbers
  • 1/2 sweet white onion
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar (or cider vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Wash cucumbers and peel if desired. Thinly slice cucumbers and onions.
  2. Mix vinegar, vegetable oil and sugar. Combine mixture with cucumbers and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours. (Stir or toss a few times while marinating).

  3. Place in a bowl and toss with dill, salt and pepper to taste.

The top photo shows Cucumber Salad in a white serving bowl. The bottom photo shows the salad in a clear mixing bowl

How to Make Peanut Butter at Home (So Easy)!

Homemade Peanut Butter needs just minutes to make and a few ingredients. Once you make this easy recipe at home, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been making it yourself all along!

This creamy peanut butter is perfect for your fave PB&J sandwiches (on toast of course) or used to make a delish Peanut Butter Pie!

Homemade peanut butter on toast with peanuts beside.

The Perfect Spread

Nothing says ‘all-American’ like a batch of homemade peanut butter! This natural peanut butter recipe is so easy to make, you’ll wonder why you ever bought it in a store to begin with! This is a great ‘first recipe’ to try with the kiddos, one of those recipes that gets them thinking about where their food comes from!

Peanut butter is one of the ultimate comfort foods! The good thing about this peanut butter recipe is that you can adjust how much salt you want, add a little extra honey if you’d like it sweeter. It’s even a great base for peanut butter cookies and peanut butter cheesecake!

Who Invented Peanut Butter?

Seriously, who was this genius person? The man behind the legend was a Canadian named Marcellus Gilmore Edson who created ‘peanut paste’ in 1884. This was the process of milling roasted peanuts between two heated surfaces. In 1895, John Harvey Kellogg (yes, the cereal Kellogg!) patented the process in the United States, and the nutritious staple that is in 94% of American households today was born!

What would childhood be like without the famous peanut butter and jelly sandwich packed into our lunches every day?

The stages of peanuts in a food processor showing how to make peanut butter

How to Make Peanut Butter

Here’s the fun part! All you really need are peanuts, some honey for sweetness, and salt! I add a touch of oil to help with consistency. Homemade Peanut Butter is super inexpensive to make if your local supermarket has a bulk section! You will need a food processor to make this recipe.

  • Buy shelled and roasted peanuts.
  • Process the peanuts, honey, and salt in a food processor. Be sure to stop every couple of minutes and scrape down the sides of the food processor to get a smooth consistency.
  • Adjust the honey and salt to your own preference.Slowly drizzle in the oil as you continue to pulse the food processor. Keep adding oil until you get the right consistency.

To Make a Chunky Peanut Butter: Process the peanuts in a food processor as directed in the recipe. Add 3 tablespoons (or to taste) chopped peanuts to the peanut butter!

Then, just transfer to an airtight container and keep refrigerated until you are ready to use!

fresh homemade Peanut butter in a jar after learning how to make peanut butter

How to Store Peanut Butter

The best way to store homemade peanut butter is in an airtight container and in the refrigerator just like you would a natural store bought peanut butter. Remember this delish PB has no additives or preservatives so it can spoil. You can always soften it up a bit by putting it in the microwave for about 30 seconds so that it spreads easier.

What To Use Homemade PB For

This homemade peanut butter recipe can be used for more than just sandwiches and cookies!  Add a little Sriracha and make an amazingly tasty dipping sauce for kebabs! Or add some balsamic vinegar and oil and whip up into an Asian peanut dressing for salad! A few more PB favorites

How to Make Homemade Peanut Butter

Homemade Peanut Butter is easy to make with just a handful of ingredients!

  • 15 ounces shelled roasted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 2-4 teaspoons oil (peanut or vegetable)
  1. Process peanuts, salt and honey in the food processor for 60 seconds.
  2. Take a spoon and scrape and scoop down the sides of the bowl. Replace lid
  3. Continue to process for about 1 ½ to 2 ½ minutes while slowly drizzling in the oil. Begin with 2 teaspoons oil and add more until you reach your desired consistency.

  4. Store your homemade peanut butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 2 months.

A delicious twist on deviled eggs!

Avocado Deviled Eggs combine our favorite classic deviled eggs recipe with the creamy goodness of avocado! These eggs have a delicious avocado flavor only made better with…. you guessed it… bacon!

This easy favorite is the perfect addition to any picnic or potluck! Should you be lucky enough to have leftovers, mash ’em up to make Avocado Egg Salad for lunches!

avocado deviled eggs with bacon on a plate ready to serve

Naturally Low Carb

Looking for a low carb avocado deviled eggs recipe? I’ve got you covered, this recipe takes deviled eggs to a whole new and healthy level!

Elegant and colorful, these avocado deviled eggs with bacon are a ‘good’ fat and makes a deliciously creamy filling combined with egg yolks, mayo and a splash of lemon/lime juice!  If you’ve never tried an avocado egg recipe, this one is sure to be a favorite all year round!

What is Deviled Food? “Deviled” in food terminology simply means food prepared with spicy condiments/seasonings (like mustard). The term was coined back in the 18th century in Rome and has endured ever since and we’ve been enjoying both ‘deviled’ are ham and eggs for as long as I can remember!

Mashing the ingredients to make avocado deviled eggs on a plate.

How to Cook Deviled Eggs with Avocado

You’ll want to start with perfect hard boiled eggs (you can also make eggs in the Instant Pot if you’d prefer). Cool the eggs completely for this recipe.

  1. Cut hard boiled eggs in half and remove the yolks.
  2. Mash up the yolks with a ripe avocado and some seasonings (I add lemon or lime juice to keep the filling from browning).
  3. Scoop or pipe into egg white halves. We use a sandwich baggie with the corner cut off. Finally garnish with some cooked and crumbled bacon and a sprinkle of paprika for color.

Want to really ‘devil up’ your avocado deviled eggs with bacon? Try adding a teaspoon of Sriracha to the mixture for an extra spicy flavor! Or even try a bit of salad dressing to make creamy avocado bacon ranch deviled eggs! Go ahead and get devilishly creative!

Avocado Deviled Eggs topped with bacon ready to serve.


Avocado deviled eggs taste best when they are freshly made and cold! They can be fully prepared a couple of hours in advance. If you want to make them ahead of time prep everything as directed except the avocado. Shortly before serving, mash the avocado and stir it into the mashed yolks. Fill the eggs and serve.

How Long are Deviled Eggs Good For?

Regular deviled eggs are fine for up to 5 days. Unfortunately the avocado in these eggs doesn’t last quite as long. They’ll still be food-safe to eat but the avocado can oxidize so I try to eat them within a couple of days. If you’ve got leftovers to use up, try an egg salad for lunch or chop them up and add them to your fave pasta salad recipe!

More Great Egg Recipes

Avocado Deviled Eggs

Avocado Deviled Eggs combine our favorite side dish with the creamy goodness of avocados!

  • 8 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 small ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (or lime)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste


  • 3 slices of bacon (cooked crisp and crumbled)
  • paprika
  1. Cut eggs in half and remove the yolks.
  2. Mash together the yolks, avocado, mayonnaise, juice and seasonings until smooth and creamy.

  3. Pipe into egg whites and top with crumbled bacon and paprika.

Zucchini Casserole

Zucchini Casserole is a no fuss dish that is delicious as a vegetarian entrée or a side dish for any meal. This recipe here is very simple, calling for just three main ingredients, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and touch of onion. Add a crunchy Panko breadcrumb topping with parmesan cheese gives for the perfect finishing touch.

This recipe comes out fresh and flavorful really letting the zucchini be the main star of the dish!

Zucchini Casserole baked in a dish with tomatoes

Easy Baked Zucchini has been a go to side dish for us forever. It’s effortless and so delicious. I wanted to create a zucchini casserole that was light but flavorful and made the veggies the star of the dish (not just the cheese and not loaded down with bread etc).

What I love about zucchini is that it’s inexpensive and so easy to prep. Just a quick rinse in some cool water is all it takes to ready it for the cutting board. No peeling or seeding necessary (unless you find a giant zucchini hiding in your garden like I do every now and then). The other great thing about zucchini is that it is so fresh and mild that you can dress it up or down to suit your taste, or to accommodate most ingredients you have on hand.

How to Cook Zucchini Casserole

Baked Zucchini Casserole is basically effortless. Pre-cooking the zucchini a little bit (and using whole cherry tomatoes instead of sliced tomatoes) keeps the casserole from becoming watery. If you prefer softer zucchini, slice it a bit thinner.

Just follow these simple steps for a new favorite summer side dish!

  1. Start by slicing up your vegetables and sautéing until soft.
  2. Place in your casserole dish with the whole cherry tomatoes.
  3. Prepare the topping and sprinkle over top before baking.

Simply bake until golden and veggies are tender. If you want your veggies softer but your topping is a browned, losely place a small square of foil overtop to keep it from browning too much.

Fresh zucchini slices in a casserole dish with tomatoes

A Versatile Casserole Recipe

  • Add Color & Veggies: A nice way to add more color to this dish is to make squash and zucchini casserole, using sliced yellow squash. Other summer veggies can be added as well.
  • Protein: Chicken zucchini casserole is a fabulous way to use up any leftover baked chicken breasts you have. Just shred or cube a cup of chicken and toss it in the casserole with the other ingredients. Mix in some grated cheddar or parmesan, for a super easy and filling entrée.
  • Cheese: Zucchini goes well with cheese from parmesan and cheddar to mozzarella. Add your favorites into this dish before adding the topping.

This baked zucchini casserole goes well with simple summertime fare, and makes a nice substitute for a tossed salad. Serve it with grilled chicken breasts, hamburgers, or sausages.

Can You Freeze Zucchini Casserole

Zucchini casserole tastes best eaten fresh from the oven. Because zucchini is so watery, it really doesn’t take very well to freezing. You’re likely to find it becomes just too mushy to be appetizing. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, and reheated in a microwave or in the oven.

Now that spring is here, get ready for the bumper crop of zucchini that’s just around the corner, by arming yourself with this terrific zucchini casserole recipe.

A baked dish of zucchini casserole with a bread crumb topping

Check Out Our Favorite Zucchini Recipes

Zucchini Casserole

This is a great way to use your zucchini straight from the garden! Perfect as a low carb side dish option. 

  • 1/4 cup onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 lbs zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes (whole)


  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onion in olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Slice zucchini 1/2″ thick. If you prefer softer zucchini, cut thinner.
  4. Add zucchini and Italian seasoning. Cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until just slightly softened. Add salt & pepper to taste.

  5. Place zucchini in a 2qt casserole dish. Add in cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Sprinkle over zucchini mixture.
  7. Bake casserole 30-35 minutes or until zucchini reaches desired doneness.

Egg Salad

The Best Egg Salad Recipe is an easy favorite! Nothing is more picnic perfect than hard boiled eggs mixed with mayo and a pinch of mustard and of course crunchy with celery and green onions!

Whether you make an egg salad sandwich or a healthy egg salad using lettuce or low carb wraps, nothing says ‘all American’ like and egg salad!

The best egg salad sandwich with lettuce.

How Long to Boil Eggs for Egg Salad

I use this method for perfect hard boiled eggs every time. They come out with tender cooked whites and creamy yellow middles (without a grey ring).

I bring them to a boil and then remove from the heat and let sit covered for 15-17 minutes (large eggs). Run under cold water and peel one to make sure it’s perfect.

How to Make Egg Salad

Are Your Eggs Fresh? The best egg salad recipe begins with great ingredients. Fresh eggs will cook better and look brighter. A fresh egg will lay on its side on the bottom of a bowlful of water, if they are a little older, they’ll still sink, but stay on one end. Don’t eat eggs if they float on the surface of the water, this means they’ve expired.

Be sure to finely dice the onion and celery so the pieces are smaller than the egg pieces!

Mashing egg yolks to make egg salad

To Make Egg Salad Sandwiches

Mash the yolks with mayonnaise until completely smooth and then fold in the whites. This makes for the best egg salad, it comes out so creamy!

I use an egg slicer to chop the whites placing the white in the slicer, cut and then turn the egg and placing it through again. Make the chopping really quick! I use my egg slicer for other things too like strawberries, kiwi and it’s especially great for cutting mushrooms to make chicken marsala.

Ingredients for the best egg salad sandwich

The Perfect Lunch

  1. Boil, cool and peel the eggs. Cut in half, remove the yolks and chop whites.
  2. Mash the egg yolks with the mayonnaise, mustard and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the chopped egg whites and the green onion, celery, the chopped fresh dill. Blend carefully and serve cold on bread, a salad, or a wrap!
  4. For a fresh take, try making an avocado egg salad with mashed avocado! Super healthy take on an American classic!

egg salad prepared in a bowl and an egg salad sandwich on the side

How Long Does Egg Salad Last?

You mean if there’s any leftovers? It’s pretty easy to tell when egg salad is ready to be tossed. It will get watery and lose its bright color! But chances are, this egg salad recipe won’t last too long in your house!

More Easy Salads

Egg Salad

Nothing is more picnic perfect than a creamy egg salad recipe!

  • 8 eggs (hard boiled and cooled)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 green onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 rib celery (finely diced)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh dill (chopped)
  1. Cut eggs in half. Remove yolks and chop whites.
  2. Mash yolks with mayonnaise, mustard and salt & pepper to taste until smooth and creamy.

  3. Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
  4. Serve on bread or over lettuce.

Top photo shows the egg salad mixed in a white bowl. The bottom photo shows the ingredients assembled before being mixed in a white bowl.

Take-Out Fake Out! (Low Carb Cauliflower Fried Rice)

Finished cauliflower fried rice in white bowl

Cauliflower Fried Rice is one of my go to meals for lunch! As much as I love homemade fried rice, sometimes I’m just want a lighter alternative (it’s keto friendly too)!

Swap out cauliflower rice for white (or even brown) rice in a traditional fried ripe recipe. This not only tastes great, it makes for a lower carb and lower calorie side dish that I can’t get enough of! Add in any veggies and any leftover protein you may have for the perfect meal!

Cauliflower Fried Rice with chicken and veggies in white bowl

The Perfect Weeknight Dinner

This Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe is surprisingly easy to make and the end result is an amazing dish that works as both a side and main dish!

  • Riced Cauliflower: Shred cauliflower with a cheese grater to make it similar in texture to rice. It will absorb the flavors from the seasoning that you cook it with.
  • Great as a Meal or Side: Cauliflower fried rice is the perfect weeknight dinner, and a great way to use up any leftover meat or vegetables in your fridge. If you’re serving another type of meal (like Grilled Pork Teriyaki) this also makes a great side!
  • Use Leftovers: This is a great way to enjoy leftovers in your fridge. Shrimp, pork, beef, celery, peppers, carrots…  the list of amazing things you can add doesn’t end! Just chop ‘em up and add them to the pan!

This recipe starts with a base of riced cauliflower. It takes just minutes to make.

How Do You Make Cauliflower Rice?

Cauliflower rice is not technically rice but it has a similar texture and works great as a replacement for rice to cut carbs and calories.

Cauliflower fried rice is made by grating cauliflower into a rice-like consistency. Making cauliflower into rice is simple and easy but can often find shredded cauliflower in the freezer section of your local supermarket, but it is cheaper to make it yourself (plus I prefer the texture of homemade)!

To Rice Cauliflower:

  1. Trim the leaves and stem from a head of cauliflower. Rinse and pat dry.
  2. Using the larger holed side of a grater, shred the cauliflower to achieve a rice-like consistency. (Or use a food processor).
  3. Cook in a touch of olive oil until tender.

A Quick and Easy Meal

Riced cauliflower doesn’t need to be boiled or cooked before it is added to your dish, so this ends up taking a lot less time to make than a traditional fried rice!

Cauliflower Fried Rice keeps very well in the fridge in an air-tight container. It also reheats well! I have had great success with making this for lunches throughout the week!

Here are the full, in-depth instructions to make the perfect cauliflower rice at home!

Cauliflower Fried Rice in bowl topped with chives

Is Cauliflower Fried Rice Good for You?

Cauliflower has become a cooking fad recently, and for good reason!  It is often substituted for a high-carb option in dishes because it is so low carb, and low calorie.

The mild flavor lends itself well to many recipes and it is the perfect lower calorie substitution for rice or potatoes in many dishes including our favorite Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes!

Cauliflower Fried Rice seasoned with ginger and garlic with chicken and veggies in bowl

This dish replaces rice with cauliflower, but doesn’t change the amazing fried rice flavors you know and love.

I love making cauliflower fried rice with chicken when I am entertaining friends, it pairs amazingly with other asian-inspired dishes like these Asian Beef Skewers!

More Low Carb Favorites

Cauliflower Fried "Rice"

All of the flavor of fried rice without the carbs!

  • 1 lb cauliflower (, riced)
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (, minced)
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 green onion (, minced)
  1. Whisk together egg & milk. Pour in a large pan over medium heat. Cook just until set, remove and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a no stick pan over medium heat. Add in garlic & ginger and cook until fragrant. Add carrots & peas, cook an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Add raw riced cauliflower and continue to cook until cauliflower is slightly softened (about 5-6 minutes). Stir in egg, soy sauce & green onion.
  4. Serve hot.

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How to Make Cauliflower Rice

cauliflower rice in skillet

Garlic Parmesan Whole Roasted Cauliflowerroasted cauliflower on plate

Cauliflower fried rice can be made with veggies or with chicken, beef or pork. The perfectly healthy way to enjoy takeout flavors at home! #spendwithpennies #cauliflower #easyrecipe #easyside #healthy
Cauliflower fried rice can be made with veggies or with chicken, beef or pork. The perfectly healthy way to enjoy takeout flavors at home! #spendwithpennies #cauliflower #easyrecipe #easyside #healthy

Easy Oven Roasted Asparagus

Easy Roasted Asparagus is the perfect side dish to accompany any meal from perfect pork tenderloin to a delicious meatloaf recipe. Tender asparagus spears caramelize beautifully while roasting them adds another layer of flavor.  

Oven roasted asparagus both looks and tastes elegant yet it’s easy to make and can be prepped well ahead of time.

Roasted asparagus topped with pine nuts and lemon zest

A Simple Side

We love bacon wrapped asparagus for holidays or Sunday dinner along with honey baked ham but this easy oven roasted asparagus recipe is one that you’ll find on my dinner table all year ’round! It is is so simple to prepare and needs just a couple of ingredients and the simplicity really allows the flavor of the asparagus to shine.

To Prep Asparagus I like to use as much of the edible stalk as possible. They do have a woody end and if you grab each end of the asparagus and bend, it will snap where the woody part ends leaving you with a tender asparagus tip.

How to Roast Asparagus

Just like grilled asparagus, very little prep work is involved in making this easy side dish. Rinse and dry asparagus (water will steam the asparagus instead of roast it). Break off woody ends.

  1. Preheat oven to a high temperature.
  2. Place dry asparagus stalks in a single layer on pan.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper. Give the pan a little shake to coat the asparagus. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  4. Roast just until tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove, sprinkle with your favorite toppings and serve.

Asparagus with salt, pepper and olive oil on a pan to make oven roasted asparagus

How Long to Roast Asparagus

When you make roasted asparagus — or Roasted Broccoli (or any roasted vegetable for that matter) — do so in a hot oven of between 400 to 450 degrees. Remember, the whole point of roasting is to sear the outside to seal in the juices and that’s what a hot oven will accomplish with high-moisture veggies.

Asparagus spears are pretty delicate, so they’ll roast quickly in a hot oven. They can range from thin spears (the diameter of a pencil) to thick spears (the diameter of a small carrot) so the time can vary. I always try to purchase thicker spears for roasting so they don’t over cook.  In general, expect them to take 8-12 minutes to roast in a 425 degree oven. If they’re super thin, I sometimes crank the oven up to 450°F and cook only 5-7 minutes.

Toppings for Roasted Asparagus

There are lots of other ways you can top this oven roasted asparagus recipe to take maximum enjoyment from its all-too-short season. You can top the roasted spears with so many delicious options:

  • minced garlic sautéed in browned butter
  • parmesan cheese (and broil for a little bit)
  • chopped pecans or pine nuts sautéed in butter
  • lemony hollandaise sauce or bernaise sauce
  • a squeeze of lemon or zest

More Roasted Veggies We Love

Oven roasted asparagus on a pan ready to serve

What to Serve Asparagus With

Roasted Asparagus

Tender roasted asparagus spears caramelized in the oven.

  • 1 bunch asparagus (trimmed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (grated, optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Wash asparagus and snap off woody stems.
  3. Place asparagus on a pan and toss with olive oil, garlic and salt & pepper.
  4. Roast 8-10 minutes or just until tender crisp.

  5. Top with desired toppings

Nutrition information does not include optional toppings.