Lasagna Roll Ups (Freezer Meal)

Lasagna Roll Ups are a simple twist on a traditional lasagna recipe! Rolled lasagna noodles are filled with a flavorful spinach and ricotta mixture and baked with a quick homemade meat sauce.

Turn a traditional lasagna or a chicken lasagna into a easy roll up following this recipe. Already individually portioned these rolls ups are perfect for a potluck or a family gathering!

A lasagna roll up on a plate with meat sauce and garnished with parsley.

What’s in a Lasagna Roll Up?

Lasagna is a classic dish that most of us grew up on and a meal that my whole family loves! Layers of pasta, hearty meat sauce, fresh or frozen spinach, and cheese baked until warm and gooey.

A lasagna roll up is reminiscent of one of our favorite stuffed shells recipes with the spinach and cheese stuffed filling.

This roll ups recipe adds in an amazing homemade meat sauce and of course cheese for a great ooey-gooey dinner that everyone loves!

Ingredients for the cheese mixture in a bowl before being mixed.

How to Make Lasagna Roll Ups

This easy lasagna roll up recipe comes together in a few simple steps.

  1. Beef Mixture: Brown beef mixture, drain, and stir in pasta sauce. Prepare lasagna noodles per package directions.
  2. Cheese Mixture: Combine remaining ingredients, reserving a portion of cheese for topping.

Lasagna noodles topped with spinach and ricotta mixture, and rolled up.

  1. Assemble: Top prepared lasagna noodles with cheese mixture and roll jelly style. Layer meat sauce, lasagna rolls, and remaining meat sauce in casserole dish.
  2. Bake: Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil, top with remaining cheeses. Bake another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Two images showing lasagna roll ups layered with meat sauce and cheese before and after being baked.

Serve with a slice of homemade garlic bread and a caesar salad for any easy supper.

Tips for Lasagna Roll Ups

  • Cook noodles al dente so they don’t get mushy
  • Ricotta can be swapped for cottage cheese
  • Make into a freezer meal, prepare as directed and freeze before baking
  • For a vegetarian option, replace ground beef with 2 cups of vegetables finely chopped

Got Leftovers?!

Lasagna roll ups are perfect as leftovers! Just serve them with some garlic bread and a green salad and they are like new again!

  • Freezing: Line dish with foil before freezing, once frozen, remove it from the dish. Wrap it well and use freezer labels to label (freezer labels don’t fall off when they’re frozen).  These will last in the freezer for a few months.
  • Reheating:
    • In the Oven, defrost overnight in the fridge and bake as directed below.
    • In the Microwave, put in a microwave safe dish and top with a little extra parmesan or shredded mozzarella cheese. Microwave about one or two minutes and serve away!

Favorite Lasagna Inspired Dishes

Lasagna Roll Ups

Lasagna Roll Ups are a quick and easy twist on a traditional lasagna. Tender lasagna noodles filled with a creamy cheese and topped with a shortcut meat sauce and mozzarella.

  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach (defrosted and squeezed dry)
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese (shredded, divided)
  • 1 egg
  • 9 lasagna noodles (cooked and drained)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups pasta sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic until no pink remains. Drain and stir in pasta sauce. Cook and drain lasagna noodles according to package directions.

  3. In a small bowl, combine egg, spinach, cottage cheese, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
  4. Lay out cooked lasagna noodles and divide ricotta cheese mixture over noodles. Roll jelly roll style.

  5. Half of the meat sauce in a 9×13 dish. Place roll ups in dish and top with remaining sauce. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes.

  6. Remove foil and top with remaining cheeses. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

A lasagna roll up on a plate topped with meat sauce and parsley.
Lasagna Roll Up on a plate with meat sauce and parsley.
Top image - lasagna roll up topped with meat sauce and parsley. Bottom image - lasagna rolls ups in a casserole dish topped with meat sauce and cheese.

Creamed Spinach

Creamed Spinach made with tons of fresh spinach and a heavenly creamy garlic parmesan sauce is the perfect easy side dish recipe!

This tasty side goes perfectly with so many great dinner options like Lemon Garlic Butter Herb Chicken or Honey Garlic Dijon Broiled Salmon.

Creamed spinach

CREAMED SPINACH RECIPE

Hey there! It’s Krissy from Self Proclaimed Foodie and Ten Acre Baker.

I’m one of those weird people who’ve loved spinach my entire life. I could seriously eat an entire pound of steamed spinach as long as there’s a bit of butter and salt to go along with it! Whether you’re enjoying wilted garlic spinach, a tasty spinach artichoke dip, or this amazing creamed spinach, you simply can’t beat how easy it is to cook with this dark leafy green vegetable.

There are a lot of creamed spinach recipes out there, but I can assure you that this tried and tested recipe is simply the best. It won’t disappoint and even people who say they don’t like spinach end up loving this recipe.

How to make creamed spinach:

This recipe uses fresh spinach. My preference is to buy a big bag of pre-washed baby spinach. It might look like a lot, but it wilts down to practically nothing.

  1. First step is to quickly blanch the spinach. You do this by dropping it into a small amount of boiling water and steaming it. It will take less than a minute. Then you’ll want to immediately put the wilted spinach into a bowl of ice water. This will make it incredibly vibrant green.
  2. Next you’ll make the cream sauce. This starts with some sauteed shallots and garlic. To that you’ll add some flour to brown for the roux. You’ll then add some milk to make the sauce. At the very end, you’ll add the grated parmesan cheese.
  3. After you’ve squeezed out as much liquid as possible from the spinach, you’ll stir it into the cream sauce. At this point I like to add in an extra handful of fresh spinach. You’ll love the contrast in texture between the fresh and blanched spinach.
  4. To serve, a dusting of white pepper and freshly grated nutmeg takes this recipe over the top!

creamed spinach

Want to make this recipe ahead of time?

Since creamed spinach really only takes minutes to make, I highly recommend serving it right after you make it.

It does reheat well, though. If you need to make this ahead of time or end up with leftovers, you can easily reheat in the microwave on 50% power. Because this recipe has a delicate cream sauce, you don’t want to reheat it at full power.

Want to make a keto version of creamed spinach?

You can easily substitute the milk with heavy cream. It will make the sauce thicker but will add more fat.

That easy substitution would make this creamed spinach perfect for those following a low carb high fat keto diet.

creamed spinach

Creamed Spinach

Creamed Spinach made with tons of fresh spinach and a heavenly creamy garlic parmesan sauce is the perfect easy side dish recipe!

  • 20 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 Tbs salted butter
  • 2 shallots (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tbs all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated )
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • dash of nutmeg
  • salt to taste
  1. In a medium saucepan, boil about a half inch of water. Add 16 ounces of the spinach and cover. Allow to cook only until all the spinach has wilted, about a minute, then transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain the spinach and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Set aside.

  2. In a large pan over medium high heat, melt the butter and cook the shallots until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, and cook for another minute.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, add the flour, stir, and allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the milk and stir until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan. Add the cooked spinach. Add the remaining 4oz of fresh spinach and stir just until that wilts. Season with white pepper, nutmeg, and salt. Serve immediately.

Easy Creamy Crockpot Tortellini

This Creamy Crockpot Tortellini is a pasta dish the whole family will love! Made with sausage, spinach, tomatoes, cream cheese, and tortellini it is perfectly creamy & delicious.

Creamy pasta like crockpot tortellini and fettuccine alfredo are perfect for a rainy day indoors or after everyone gets home from work, school, or sports! Even better when served with a slice of garlic bread to soak up the extra sauce!

A crockpot full of creamy tortellini.

Slow Cooker Pasta Ingredients

A hearty blend of sausage, spinach, tomatoes, with cream cheese, and frozen tortellini, all cooked together in a crockpot and slow-cooked for a few hours. Just set it and forget it!

  • If using frozen spinach, simply add to the slow cooker.
  • If using fresh spinach, remove the stems before you toss it in the crockpot and chop finely.
  • Ground sausage, beef, chicken, or Italian sausage links are also good in this recipe. Be sure to cook them first so you can drain any fat.
  • This recipe uses frozen tortellini to ensure it doesn’t overcook. No need to thaw or pre-cook.

Creamy tortellini ingredients in a crockpot.

How to Make Crockpot Tortellini

It’s easy, cheesy recipes like this one that makes you look like you slaved all day… but don’t worry, your secret is safe with me!

  1. Brown sausage and onions (per recipe below).
  2. Drain and place the meat mixture and all the other ingredients in a 6 qt slow cooker.

It really IS that easy! You can even prepare it in advance and toss all the ingredients together while you do other things!

Do Not Overcook

In just a few hours this Crockpot sausage tortellini will be hot, bubbly, cheesy, and ready to serve! Tortellini doesn’t need long to cook, even right from frozen so be sure you check it after about 2 1/2 hours.

Once it’s done cooking, you’ll still see the cream cheese in cubes. Simply give it a stir until it’s all combined and creamy. Add some garlic bread, or croutons and a crisp green salad and dinner is served!

Crockpot full of creamy tortellini.

Saving/Reheating Creamy Crockpot Tortellini

If there’s any left, right? This awesome cheese tortellini and sausage entrée reheats perfectly on the stovetop or in the microwave! This is what makes it so great to take to work or school! It heats up super easy! Feel free to ‘freshen’ it up a bit with some salt and pepper or extra Italian seasoning.

Easy Crockpot Recipes

Creamy Crockpot Tortellini

Perfectly creamy pasta with sausage.

  • 1 lb Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 small onion (diced)
  • 3 ounces frozen spinach
  • 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (cubed)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 16 ounces frozen tortellini
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Brown sausage and onion until no pink remains. Drain fat.
  2. Place all ingredients in a 6qt slow cooker.
  3. Cook 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours on low. Once cooked through, stir until sauce is smooth.

  4. Top with parmesan cheese if desired and serve.

Slow Cookers can vary. This recipe takes just about 3 hours in my slow cooker, check your tortellini at 2 1/2 hours to ensure it doesn’t overcook.

If you’d like more of a soup, add more broth.

Top image - a bowl of creamy crockpot tortellini. Bottom image - creamy tortellini being scooped out of a crockpot.
A close up of a bowl of creamy crockpot tortellini.
A close up of creamy crockpot tortellini.

Spinach Artichoke Dip – Party Perfect!

Spinach Artichoke Dip is one of those recipes that absolutely everyone seems to love. A creamy cheesy base loaded with spinach, a bit of garlic and of course marinated artichokes.

It’s all topped off with more cheese and baked until golden and bubbly.  Between this recipe and our favorite Buffalo Chicken Dip, I’m pretty much guaranteed an invite to every party!

Spinach Artichoke Dip baked until golden and bubbly.

Our favorite Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip is a dish you’ll find on almost every menu and at every party for good reason. Everyone loves it! This spinach artichoke dip recipe is easy to make and it’s creamy, cheesy, and super satisfying!

How to Make Spinach Artichoke Dip

Like most creamy dip recipes, this spinach artichoke dip starts with a delicious cream cheese base. The first step to a perfectly scoopable spinach dip is to make the cream cheese nice and fluffy using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer. You can certainly mix it by hand but an electric mixer will make your dip softer so you don’t end up with a ‘chip-wreck’.

I love the use of marinated artichokes in this recipe (instead of canned). The difference is that the canned artichokes are usually in water with a bit of salt… the marinated artichokes are in olive oil and usually have lots of great seasoning which adds tons of flavor to this dip! If you’re using canned artichokes instead, you’ll likely want to add a bit of Italian Seasoning or some dried basil for flavor.

  1. Mix cream cheese, sour cream and a bit of mayo until fluffy.
  2. Fold in spinach, artichokes and cheeses.
  3. Bake until bubbly.

I used to make this dip with lots of gruyere but have found it’s better if you use some mozzarella and a bit of gruyere. If you don’t have gruyere you can substitute it with gouda or swiss.

A dish of hot spinach artichoke dip ready for serving

To Cook in the Slow Cooker

Most dips you bake in the oven can also be made in a slow cooker! Spread the dip into the bottom of a 4QT crock pot and cook on low for about 2 hours stirring after 60 minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle the extra mozzarella on top.

Fresh Spinach for Spinach Dip

You can use fresh spinach in this recipe instead of frozen spinach!  I use frozen chopped spinach to keep this spinach artichoke dip quick and easy. Frozen spinach tends to have a lot of liquid so once defrosted, you’ll want to squeeze our as much liquid as possible.  This will keep your dip from being runny.

To Replace Frozen Spinach with Fresh Spinach

If you’d prefer to make this spinach artichoke dip with fresh spinach, simply chop, cook and squeeze dry 1lb of fresh spinach. Don’t forget to remove any tough stems before cooking.

The ingredients to make the BEST spinach artichoke dip recipe.

What to Serve With Spinach Artichoke Dip

This is a hot spinach artichoke dip and I like to it with toasted slices of baguette. It’s also great with crackers, chunks of sourdough bread or even tortilla chips!

If you happen to have flour tortillas on hand, they make great dippers once baked in the oven! Lightly brush them with olive oil (or melted butter) and season them with a pinch of salt and garlic powder.  Bake at 350°F 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp.

If you’re looking for a fresh crunch (or to keep this low carb), carrots, celery, mini bell peppers or cucumbers are also great dippers! Just know, if you take this dip with you, you’ll be left with nothing but an empty dish!

A big scoop of hot spinach artichoke dip ready for serving

To Make Ahead

This dip can be made as much as 48 hours ahead of time and refrigerated. Once baked it will keep 3-4 days in the fridge.

If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, it’s great to heat up with a bit of cream and toss with pasta or spoon over chicken and baked for a complete meal!

More Great Dip Recipes

The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip

This is my favorite Spinach Artichoke dip recipe!! It’s easy to make and always a huge hit!

  • 8 oz cream cheese (, softened)
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (divided)
  • 1/2 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup gruyere cheese
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach (defrosted and squeezed dry)
  • 14 oz marinated artichoke hearts (chopped)

For Serving

  • 1 baguette (optoinal)
  • olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. In a bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and garlic with a hand mixer until fluffy.

  3. Stir in parmesan cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, gruyere cheese, spinach, and artichokes.

  4. Place into a 9×9 casserole dish (or deep dish pie plate) and top with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.

  5. Bake 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is browned.
  6. Slice baguette into 1/2″ slices. Lightly brush one side of each slice with olive oil. Broil the oiled side for about 2 minutes or just until lightly browned.

  7. Remove from the oven and gently rub each slice with a clove of garlic. Serve with spinach artichoke dip.

*Nutrition information does not include baguette.

REPIN this Easy Appetizer

Spinach Artichoke Dip in a white baking dish and being scooped out with a cracker

 

Spinach Artichoke Dip is an appetizer recipe that absolutely loves. A creamy cheesy base loaded with spinach, a bit of garlic and of course marinated artichokes. #spendwithpennies #spinachartichokedip #artichokedip #spinachdip #appetizerrecipe #diprecipe #easyrecipe #partyrecipe

Easy Orzo Pasta Salad – (quick homemade dressing)

Orzo Pasta Salad is a fun Mediterranean twist on a classic pasta salad recipe. Tomatoes, spinach, and garbanzo beans are all tossed in a lemony dressing that perfectly compliments these flavors!

This orzo pasta salad is a fresh, tangy and tasty recipe. Serve with grilled chicken, pork chops or any roasted meats. It’s the perfect summery side dish to bring to any picnic or backyard barbecue.

Orzo pasta salad in a bowl with a wooden serving spoon in it.

What’s in Orzo Pasta Salad?

  • ORZO: The foundation ingredient here is orzo, which is pasta shaped like large grains of rice. It’s great for salads as it absorbs the dressing and pleasant chewy texture too.
  • VEGGIES: Juicy tomatoes and fresh spinach are great in this recipe but you can add your favorite crisp and crunchy veggies.

Orzo pasta salad ingredients in a bowl.

  • CHICKPEAS: Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) add texture and protein to this salad (but they aren’t the base of the salad like they are in a Chickpea Salad).
  • BOLD FLAVORS: I add a bit of red onion and some feta cheese along with a simple zesty homemade dressing. You can use any vinaigrette for an Orzo Pasta Salad.

To Make Orzo Pasta Salad

This orzo pasta salad is super easy to prepare.

  1. Whisk together orzo salad dressing ingredients.
  2. Cook orzo until tender, then drain and cool.
  3. Combine all ingredients and toss with dressing. Season to taste.

Refrigerate at least an hour before serving. Re-toss a couple of times to recoat.

Close up of orzo pasta salad ingredients in a bowl with dressing being poured over top.

Can You Make Orzo Pasta Salad in Advance?

This salad contains lots of fresh ingredients, but they can easily be prepared ahead of time. Wash the spinach and veggies and place in a small container.

Cook the orzo and rinse under cold water to stop it from cooking. Whisk dressing ingredients and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

To serve, slice tomatoes and chop spinach. Toss all ingredients together as directed.

A serving of orzo pasta salad garnished with parsley.

Got Leftovers?

Orzo pasta salad will keep in the refrigerator overnight and will last a couple of days (the tomatoes may weep a little). Fully prepared, it is definitely not a good candidate for the freezer. With a salad this tasty, you probably won’t have leftovers to worry about anyways!

More Tasty Pasta Salads

Easy Orzo Pasta Salad

This easy orzo pasta salad is a fun Mediterranean twist on a classic pasta salad. With tomatoes, spinach and garbanzo beans, it is packed with flavor!

  • 1 1/2 cups orzo
  • 15 oz garbanzo beans ((chickpeas) drained and rinsed)
  • 1/3 cup red onion (finely chopped )
  • 2 cups fresh spinach (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (crumbled)

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  1. Cook orzo until tender. Cool.
  2. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk.
  3. Combine orzo with remaining salad ingredients.
  4. Toss with dressing and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving

This simple orzo spinach pasta salad is a Mediterranean twist on a classic. Made with feta, tomatoes, and garbanzo beans, tossed in a lemony dressing, it is an easy and healthy summer salad. Serve cold at your next barbecue! #spendwithpennies #orzopastasalad #pastasalad #sidedish #Mediterranean #summerrecipes
This simple orzo spinach pasta salad is a Mediterranean twist on a classic. Made with feta, tomatoes, and garbanzo beans, tossed in a lemony dressing, it is an easy and healthy summer salad. Serve cold at your next barbecue! #spendwithpennies #orzopastasalad #pastasalad #sidedish #Mediterranean #summerrecipes
This simple orzo spinach pasta salad is a Mediterranean twist on a classic. Made with feta, tomatoes, and garbanzo beans, tossed in a lemony dressing, it is an easy and healthy summer salad. Serve cold at your next barbecue! #spendwithpennies #orzopastasalad #pastasalad #sidedish #Mediterranean #summerrecipes

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Spinach Salad is an easy meal absolutely full of flavor! Fresh spinach leaves are tossed with crisp bacon, fresh mushrooms, parmesan cheese and toasted almonds to create this delicious salad. To finish it off it is topped with a tangy warm bacon dressing!

Serve this simple salad as is or top with sliced Chicken Breasts for the perfect meal.

A prepared spinach salad with all the toppings in a white bowl.

Whether you are looking for a lighter meal or simply want a break from the same old salad routine, this spinach salad with bacon recipe does the trick! It’s easy to put together, with so many endless variations! We’ve kept this salad recipe basic enough to master, but with endless opportunity to make it your own!

What to Put in a Spinach Salad

Aside from the spinach, lots of spinach salad recipes can have sliced, hard-boiled eggs, any kind of cheese, or even sliced or dried berries like cranberries or strawberries. Even thinly sliced pears would work in this recipe.

The real star here is the warm spinach salad dressing! It is the key to balancing the salty flavor of the bacon with the tender taste of spinach and the crunch of the almonds. Add the rest of the ingredients and you’re ready to serve!

Pan with bacon drippings and all other Spinach ingredients on the sides surrounding it.

How to Make Spinach Salad

Making a spinach salad starts with a base of crisp, freshly washed spinach! From there add in the toppings and cover with the perfectly balanced dressing!

  1. Cook the bacon pieces until they’re crisp. Remove the bacon and continue to cook the drippings on low.
  2. Add the minced shallot (or diced red onion, if you prefer) and cook until tender. Toss in the sliced garlic clove and cook another minute.
  3. Combine with the remaining dressing ingredients and simmer one minute. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until everything is incorporated and smooth.

Now pour the dressing over the spinach leaves and toss gently, making sure each leaf is lightly coated. Top with the sliced mushrooms, onion, toasted almonds and fresh parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

To toast almonds: Saute in a pan over medium heat until they just start to get fragrant then cool on a paper towel. Toasting nuts burns off the oil and keeps them crunchy. Be sure they are completely cooled before adding to your recipe!

What to Eat with Spinach Salad

A nice crusty loaf of garlic bread and a glass of crisp white wine are all you need to round out this elegant salad. But a small grilled chicken breast or baked portion of fish helps make this a heartier entrée!

More Spinach Recipes

Spinach Salad

Crisp spinach is tossed in a homemade dressing, with bacon, mushrooms, onions and toasted almonds!

  • 2 bunches fresh spinach (washed)
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1/2 small red onion (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup almonds (toasted)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parmesan cheese (shredded, optional)

Dressing

  • drippings from bacon
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot (or onion)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Wash and dry spinach. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

  2. Cook bacon until crisp.  Remove from pan and set aside reserving drippings.

  3. Turn bacon drippings down to low and add shallot. Cook 2-3 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute more.

  4. Add red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and sugar. Simmer 1 minute. Whisk in olive oil until the dressing is smooth.

  5. Pour warm dressing over spinach and toss. Top with remaining ingredients and serve immediately.

REPIN this Delicious Salad!

Spinach Salad shown in a white bowl with loads of bacon, sliced egg, red onion and of course spinach.

Warm spinach salad is a fun twist on a classic spinach salad recipe! Crisp spinach, mushrooms, bacon and parmesan are tossed in a warm dressing made from the bacon drippings! Mmmm! Toss on some toasted almonds and it is complete! #spendwithpennies #spinachsalad #warmbacondressing #salad #maindish #summersalad
Warm spinach salad is a fun twist on a classic spinach salad recipe! Crisp spinach, mushrooms, bacon and parmesan are tossed in a warm dressing made from the bacon drippings! Mmmm! Toss on some toasted almonds and it is complete! #spendwithpennies #spinachsalad #warmbacondressing #salad #maindish #summersalad

Strawberry Spinach Salad

finished strawberry spinach salad

Strawberry Spinach Salad is a personal favorite and definitely a crowd pleaser!  This recipe starts with a bed of fresh spinach and ripe juicy summer strawberries topped with creamy avocado, cheese, thinly sliced onions and some deliciously sweet candied pecans.

Toss this salad with the quick and easy homemade white balsamic dressing below or your favorite balsamic vinaigrette for the perfect summer meal. Strawberry Spinach Salad in a red bowl

A Perfect Summer Lunch

Strawberry Spinach Salad salad makes a perfect summer lunch or even a great side dish with grilled chicken or fish!

I use spinach for this recipe but it’s great with your favorite crisp lettuce. Strawberries are add the perfect juicy sweet, if you have blackberries or raspberries or even  mandarin oranges, toss them in too!

We add in thinly sliced red (or white onions) for a little bit of spice and some deliciously sweet candied pecans (the best). Finally, rich creamy avocado and either goat cheese or feta are sprinkled on top for the perfect salad of crunchy, creamy, salty and sweet.

Overhead view of a strawberry spinach salad with avocado

Sweet and Tangy

All of that lovely fresh summer produce is topped off with a quick and easy homemade white balsamic vinaigrette. It’s easy to shake up and the perfect combination of sweet and tangy! While I prefer this salad with the balsamic dressing, you can also use a Poppy Seed Dressing or your favorite vinaigrette!

White Balsamic Vinegar is something I have been adding to dressings since my friend, Chef Matt first served me a dressing with it!

So… What is White Balsamic Vinegar?

White balsamic vinegar is very similar to regular balsamic vinegar however it is made with a different grape and isn’t aged as long as a traditional balsamic vinegar.  It’s slightly sweeter and has a little bit less tang or bite than a darker vinegar making it the perfect addition to salad dressings and other dishes where balsamic may be overpowering.

Pouring dressing over a strawberry spinach salad.

Combine the Dressing

To create a vinaigrette dressing you will want to add the ingredients to a jar and shake to combine.  If you happen to have a hand blender, you can also emulsify the dressing (which is blending it so the texture thickens).

Emulsifying liquids sounds fancy but it’s not hard at all, in fact, it’s how mayonnaise is made! Simply add all ingredients except the olive oil into a jar,  blend with your hand blender while drizzling the olive oil in as slowly as possible while blending.  Because I eat this salad so frequently, I usually just shake everything in a jar to make it quick and easy.

To slice the red onions, I use a vegetable peeler making them extra thin!

Close up photo of strawberry spinach salad in a red bowl.

The Perfect Added Touch

The candied pecans are one of my favorite parts of this salad.  They do take a little bit of time to make but I usually make a huge batch and they keep in the cupboard for a couple of months to add to salads, top desserts or even just to snack on. It’s totally worth the effort to make them! You can find my favorite candied pecan recipe here! If you don’t have the time or don’t have pecans on hand, you can certainly substitute toasted almonds.

Toasting any type of nuts (such as almonds) adds amazing flavor and just takes a couple of minutes!  Place the slivered almonds in a non stick pan over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until the almonds are fragrant and lightly browned.  Cool completely.  You can do larger batches of the almonds and once cooled store in a dry place for up to a couple of months!  (They’re great on desserts, salads, Chinese food and more)!

More Fresh Salads

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Strawberry Spinach Salad is a personal favorite and definitely a crowd pleaser!

  • 10 oz fresh cleaned spinach
  • 2 cups strawberries (hulled & sliced)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions
  • 2/3 cup candied pecans (or 1/2 cup toasted almonds)
  • 4 oz goat cheese or feta
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

WHITE BALSAMIC DRESSING

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Mix together all dressing ingredients and set aside.
  2. Dice avocado and toss with lemon juice.
  3. Combine remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

More Recipes You’ll Love

I've made this SO many times this week! It's the best! Strawberry Spinach Salad is a crowd pleaser! This recipe starts with a bed of fresh spinach and ripe juicy summer strawberries topped with creamy avocado, cheese, thinly sliced onions and some deliciously sweet candied pecans. Toss this salad with the quick and easy homemade white balsamic dressing below or your favorite store bought balsamic vinaigrette for the perfect summer meal.
I've made this SO many times this week! It's the best! Strawberry Spinach Salad is a crowd pleaser! This recipe starts with a bed of fresh spinach and ripe juicy summer strawberries topped with creamy avocado, cheese, thinly sliced onions and some deliciously sweet candied pecans. Toss this salad with the quick and easy homemade white balsamic dressing below or your favorite store bought balsamic vinaigrette for the perfect summer meal.

Ham and Spinach Frittata! (Brunch or Dinner)!

Ham and Spinach Frittata is a snap to assemble, quick to bake, and can be adapted to add in your favorite fillings! We love making homemade frittata for Sunday brunch, but it’s easy enough to be a weekday breakfast too (or even dinner)! 

Frittata is a very versatile recipe and you can add any combination of ingredients you’d like! This easy frittata recipe can even be made into spinach frittata muffins for a make ahead breakfast on the go! It’s easily made ahead and reheats well. Just add a side of home fries!

Spinach Frittata cut and ready to be served.

What is Frittata?

Like a quiche recipe, frittatas are egg-based recipes, but frittatas are crustless, which makes them perfect for people following a gluten free, Paleo or even a Keto diet (if you skip the potatoes). Both low carb and healthy! It’s similar to an omelet but can be easily scaled to serve a lot of people.

The other difference between a quiche and a frittata is the ratio of egg/dairy; a frittata only has a bit of dairy.

How to Cook a Frittata – There are a different ways to make a frittata, one being to cook the eggs stovetop until almost set and then broil/bake to cook the top. However, I find it easier just to bake frittata in the oven.

Ingredients for a ham and spinach frittata recipe

How to Make Frittata

This spinach frittata recipe is a cinch because…well, eggs! Eggs are the perfect base for anything whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Here’s how you make a frittata:

  1. Preheat the the oven.
  2. Cook your add-ins in an oven proof pan (potatoes, ham, spinach, and green onions).
  3. Whisk eggs, milk, and seasonings and pour over the add-ins. Top with cheese.
  4. Bake until the eggs are set, about 10 to 12 minutes. For a crispy top, broil for about 1 to 2 minutes.

Cool for about 5 minutes before serving to make sure the eggs are set and the cheese is perfectly melted! It’s simple to make and tastes great!

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A cheesy slice of spinach frittata baked and ready to serve.

Creative Add-Ins

You can mix and match the ingredients for this easy frittata! Fresh or frozen spinach can be used in this recipe! Cook your add ins (except cheese of course) and bake in the oven! Whatever is in the fridge and pantry can be tossed into a frittata from potatoes and leftover spaghetti to Roasted Butternut Squash, steamed broccoli or even Grilled Zucchini!

Swap out the cheddar cheese (or add some crumbled feta or goat cheese). Why not try a spinach mushroom frittata or a spinach feta frittata? Cheese is an excellent compliment to eggs, any way you look at it!

Can You Freeze Frittata?

A frittata keeps for a few days in the fridge and reheats beautifully! It’s perfect to make ahead for lunches but it’s also great to put between a couple of slices of bread for lunch!

If you’d like to keep it longer than that, you can freeze a frittata. Freezing egg-based dishes is easy. Make sure the frittata is fully cooled and then portion as desired and place in freezer containers or freezer bags. Egg-based dishes are easy to reheat in the oven or microwave.

This spinach frittata recipe doesn’t disappoint when it comes to simple in every way!

Ham and Spinach Frittata

This ham and spinach frittata is a snap to assemble, quick to bake, and can go anywhere in a moment’s notice! Perfect for a Sunday brunch or a weekday breakfast. 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lb baby potatoes (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup diced ham
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach (torn (or 1/2 cup frozen spinach))
  • 2 green onions (sliced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (divided)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 10″ skillet. Add potatoes and 2 tablespoons water. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Cover and cook over about 10-15 minutes or until softened.

  3. Stir in ham, spinach, and green onions until hot and spinach is wilted.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, half and half, dry mustard and seasonings. Pour over potato mixture. Top with cheese.

  5. Bake 10-12 minutes or until eggs are set. Broil 1-2 minutes.

  6. Remove from the oven and cool 5 minutes before cutting. Serve warm.

We love this homemade ham and spinach frittata recipe for an easy brunch. It's a delicious and simple easy frittata recipe that everyone loves! #spendwithpennies #hamandspinachfrittata #frittata #spinachfrittata #easyfrittata #breakfastrecipe #breakfast #brunch
We love this homemade ham and spinach frittata recipe for an easy brunch. It's a delicious and simple easy frittata recipe that everyone loves! #spendwithpennies #hamandspinachfrittata #frittata #spinachfrittata #easyfrittata #breakfastrecipe #breakfast #brunch

Tomato Tortellini Soup (in about 15 minutes)

Tomato Tortellini Soup recipe only needs about 15 minutes to cook, making it a delicious, family friendly meal that saves both time and money! We love making homemade tomato soup on busy weeknights. Just create the tomato soup, add the tortellini, and top it with cheese and basil. It’s that easy!

Our weeknights are usually pretty busy so I’m always looking for meals that quick and easy. A comforting bowl of tortellini soup with a fresh salad is the perfect meal!

A bowl of tomato tortellini soup garnished with parmesan cheese and basil.

I have partnered with Progresso™ to bring you this easy belly warming recipe.

Tomato Tortellini Soup

Tomato soup is my daughter’s absolute favorite meal and I mean, what’s not to love?  It’s delicious and the perfect lunch or dinner…  and ready in just minutes! We love adding things like fresh croutons, a dash of cream, bacon, or of course, tortellini! It’s great served with grilled cheese roll ups or a fresh caesar salad.

Tortellini soup is super versatile add in your favorite proteins,  to create a sausage tortellini soup or chicken tortellini soup! Stir in handful of spinach before serving. Feel free to add whatever you have on hand – from peppers, to macaroni noodles, mushrooms, or onions!

A pot of tomato soup with tortellini and tomatoes

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How To Make Tomato Tortellini Soup

To make this easy tortellini soup recipe:

  1. Combine all of the tomato soup ingredients in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil,  reduce heat, and simmer for 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the tortellini.
  3. Blend the soup mixture using a hand blender.
  4. Stir in the cream, and simmer for another 5 minutes adding tortellini in the last minute.

A bowl of homemade tomato tortellini soup

How To Store This Soup

The tortellini in this soup can get soggy if you have leftovers so we leave it on the side and always combine just before serving.

If you’d like to freeze this soup, add the cream once heated and defrosted (and freeze the tortellini separately). Serve this easy recipe with 30 Minute Dinner Rolls or crusty bread for dipping and a big fresh Easy Italian Salad.

Tomato Tortellini Soup

This Tomato Tortellini Soup takes just 15 minutes making it the perfect weeknight meal! Quick, easy and totally cheesy, my whole family loves this soup!

  • 2 cups fresh tortellini ((meat or cheese filled))
  • 1 cup fresh chopped spinach ((uncooked) optional)
  • Fresh Basil for garnish

Tomato Soup

  • 28 oz diced tomatoes (canned with juice)
  • 2 cups Progresso™ Chicken Broth
  • 2-3 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream

OR

  • 2 cans Progresso™ Vegetable Classics Tomato Basil Soup
  1. Combine all soup ingredients in a saucepan except cream. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes. 

  2. Meanwhile, cook tortellini according to package directions. Add chopped spinach to the boiling water 30 seconds before the tortellini is finished. Drain well.

  3. Blend soup mixture with a hand blender. Add in heavy cream and simmer an additional 5 minutes.

  4. Stir in tortellini and spinach if using.

  5. Place in serving bowls and top with fresh basil and parmesan cheese if desired.

Tomato tortellini soup is an easy 15 minute recipe that is perfect for busy weeknights. This easy creamy tomato soup recipe is made with canned tomatoes for a quick meal! #spendwithpennies #tortellini #tomatotortellinisoup #soup #tomatosoup #tortellinisoup
Tomato tortellini soup is an easy 15 minute recipe that is perfect for busy weeknights. This easy creamy tomato soup recipe is made with canned tomatoes for a quick meal! #spendwithpennies #tortellini #tomatotortellinisoup #soup #tomatosoup #tortellinisoup

Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast

Stuffed Chicken Breast is one of our favorite easy dinner recipes. This chicken has a delicious cheesy spinach filling and is wrapped in smoky bacon then baked until tender and juicy. 

We love serving stuffed chicken breast on a bed of rice, or alongside some scalloped Potatoes and asparagus. It’s a delicious and versatile dinner that my family loves!

A baking dish full of spinach stuffed chicken breast with the front one cut in half.

How to Make Stuffed Chicken Breast

Stuffed chicken breast wrapped in bacon looks like you fussed for hours but it’s not hard to make. Here’s how to make spinach stuffed chicken:

  1. Butterfly the chicken breasts (see below for details).
  2. Create the filling and cool completely.
  3. Add filling to butterflied chicken.  Add cheese.
  4. Close the chicken, wrap with slices of bacon and secure with toothpicks.
  5. Bake until juicy and golden (165°F).

How To Butterfly A Chicken Breast

Whole, skinless chicken breasts can be quite thick. When making this stuffed chicken breast recipe, you’ll want to use an easy technique called “butterflying”.

To butterfly means to cut in half horizontally (not all of the way through, but most of the way) just like I do in my Bacon Wrapped Chicken.  Open the breast up, kind of like a book. When done correctly, the breast looks similar to a butterfly with open wings – hence the name.  Here’s how I do it:

  • Hold the thinner end of the chicken breast with a paper towel, or with the tines of a fork (skinless raw chicken can be slippery).
  • Using a sharp knife with a thin blade (a filet knife is great if you have one), slice through horizontally most of the way through. Leave about 1″ towards thicker end intact.
  • Open the chicken breast (like  a book) and using a meat mallet, pound to an even thickness according to your recipe.

Bacon wrapped stuffed chicken breast fresh from the oven in a baking dish.

Stuffed Chicken Breast

The ingredients in this spinach and cheese stuffed chicken breast are pretty simple and quick to prepare!

Spinach for Stuffed Chicken: I most often use fresh spinach but of course you can Fresh Spinach for Frozen and vice versa. If you’re using frozen spinach, thaw it thoroughly first and take up a handful and squeeze out the water before mixing it with the cream cheese. If you’re using fresh spinach, cook it first.

Cheese for Stuffed Chicken:  I love the combo of spinach and Swiss cheese (plus swiss tends to holds up well when baked) but you can use any cheese you like! Feta is also a great option. I use garlic and herb cream cheese for flavor but plain works as does any flavor you like!

How Long To Cook Stuffed Chicken Breast

Baked stuffed chicken breast should be baked in an uncovered roasting pan for 35-45 minutes in a preheated 375°F oven. Chicken breasts can vary from 5oz to 10oz in size so I always use a thermometer to make sure it reaches the poultry-safe cooked temperature of 165°F (the perfect temperature for any Baked Chicken Breasts.

When done, allow your spinach and cheese stuffed chicken breast rest for several minutes before serving (to firm up the cheeses and let the juices settle).

Sliced stuffed chicken breasts full of spinach and cheese on a bed of rice.

Baked stuffed chicken breast is classic comfort food. Serve spinach stuffed chicken breast with a fresh Kale Salad, Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes (or Mashed Potatoes) and your favorite veggie side dish!

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Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast

Stuffed chicken breast is one of our favorite recipes ever. This bacon wrapped stuffed chicken breast is stuffed with Swiss cheese and spinach, then baked until tender and juicy.

  • 8 oz fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 oz swiss cheese (or mozzarella)
  • 2 tablespoons spreadable cream cheese (herb & garlic flavor * see note)
  • black pepper
  • 4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 8 slices bacon
  • cajun seasoning (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Chop spinach and place in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Stir until wilted. Add cream cheese and stir until melted and creamy. Cool completely.

  3. Butterfly chicken breast (so you can open it like a book) and pound to 1/2″ thickness.

  4. Divide the spinach mixture over each and close chicken around the spinach. Wrap each breast with 2 slices of bacon and secure with toothpicks. Season with cajun or chicken seasoning if desired.

  5. Bake on a pan for 35-40 minutes. 

If you don’t have flavored cream cheese, add a pinch of garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.

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These spinach stuffed chicken breasts are wrapped in bacon and oven baked until tender and juicy. We love making this chicken dinner on busy weeknights! #spendwithpennies #chickenbreasts #chickenbreast #stuffedchickenbreast #spinachstuffedchickenbreast #baconwrappedchicken #baconwrapped #bacon
These spinach stuffed chicken breasts are wrapped in bacon and oven baked until tender and juicy. We love making this chicken dinner on busy weeknights! #spendwithpennies #chickenbreasts #chickenbreast #stuffedchickenbreast #spinachstuffedchickenbreast #baconwrappedchicken #baconwrapped #bacon