Easy & Authentic Ratatouille!

Ratatouille incorporates the fresh flavors of summer veggies, either simmered or baked in one delicious dish! Made with zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant and tomatoes it is perfectly fresh and delicious.

Don’t be fooled by the complicated name, this French veggie stew is as easy as it gets! Serve it as a filling meal on its own or as a side with roasted rosemary chicken on top a bed of rice.

Close up of Ratatouille being cooked.

What is Ratatouille?

It’s not just a movie about a mouse, it’s a delicious vegetable dish!

Ratatouille comes from France and is a simple vegetable stew that can be served either hot or room temperature (we always serve it hot). It’s made with bell peppers, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, and eggplant simmered until tender.

This dish can be simmered for as little as 20 minutes or as long as you’d like. A shorter time gives you veggies that hold their shape and texture while a longer time will make a delicious vegetable stew as the tomatoes break down and create a sauce.

Overview of Ratatouille ingredients chopped on a cutting board.

How to Make Ratatouille

This fancy-sounding dish is as easy as 1, 2, 3! With an assortment of fresh veggies, this traditional dish is ready in no time!

  1. Prep and chop veggies.
  2. Saute the garlic and onion in oil and add the eggplant. Cook until tender.
  3. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered 20 minutes or longer if desired.

Serve hot, warm, or cold topped with baked chicken breasts for a refreshing salad.

Two images showing ratatouille ingredients being cooked in stages.

Additions to Ratatouille

The best ratatouille recipe stands alone, but why not make it your own?

  • Vegetables: Add veggies like sliced mushrooms or whatever your garden seems to be overflowing with these days.
  • Tomatoes: I allow the  tomatoes to simmer and break down to create somewhat of a sauce, you can also substitute a can of diced tomatoes in place of fresh (with juices) if you’d like your ratatouille to be a little bit more saucy!
  • Herbs & Flavors: Add in your favorite herbs, there are no wrong answers! Reserve a bit of fresh parsley/basil for serving for a pop of flavor. Other great additions include a splash of wine or broth, chili flakes, fresh herbs, paprika or even a sprinkle of cheese before serving!

What to Serve with Ratatouille

My favorite is large crusty loaf of bread or garlic bread for dipping and dunking and sopping up all of the delicious juices from the veggies!

Overview of ratatouille cooked in a pan.

Storing the Leftovers

Ratatouille will keep in the fridge about a week or so (and in fact, it’s one of those dishes like chili that always seems to taste even better the next day). Add a little bit of salt and pepper to refresh the flavors. Or add some new veggies to thicken it up a bit and it’s good as new!

  • To freeze, place in gallon-sized zippered bags or freezer-safe containers. Be sure to write the dates on the outside.
  • To reheat, let the ratatouille thaw in the fridge overnight and heat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Delicious Vegetable Dishes

Ratatouille

Filled with the fresh flavors of summer this authentic dish is perfectly baked and seasoned.

  • 1 small eggplant (diced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 large zucchini (chopped)
  • 1 bell pepper (green, yellow or orange, chopped)
  • 2 cups tomatoes (finely diced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • fresh basil and parsley for serving
  1. Toss eggplant with salt and let drain in a strainer 15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.

  2. Cook onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat, 2-3 minutes. Add eggplant and cook until tender, about 6-8 minutes.

  3. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.

  4. Cook uncovered 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally until vegetable reaches desired doneness. (Shorter for tender crisp veggies, longer for softer veggies and stewed tomatoes).

  5. Taste and season with salt and pepper to test. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve hot or warm.

Close up of Ratatouille baking in a skillet.
Close up of Ratatouille cooking in a skillet.
Top image - close up of ratatouille cooking in a skillet. Bottom image - Ratatouille ingredients in a skillet.

Green Bean Salad

Green bean salad is a fresh, crunchy, bright, and delicious salad full of tomatoes, almonds, and green beans tossed in a quick lemon vinaigrette. 

Also called a French Green Bean Salad, it can be as fancy or as basic as you like, it’s a perfect complement to any summer dish, from barbecue ribs, to pork chops! It’s colorful, tasty and goes with anything.

Green bean salad ready to be served topped with almonds in a bowl.

What’s in a Green Bean Salad?

Only the best of everything marinated, that’s all! Garlic, cherry tomatoes, a little lemon juice, vinegar and oil, and this cold, crunchy salad is a perfect side dish to nearly any entrée you’re serving. Don’t forget the almonds!

Adjust the vinaigrette or the seasonings and make it as tangy as you like! Even on top of a bed of greens, it can be a meal all on it’s own!

Extra additions

This salad is simple and delicious but feel free to change it up with your own additions or alternatives:

  • goat cheese or feta cheese
  • slivered red onion
  • quinoa or grains
  • pine nuts, pecans or walnuts
  • toasted bread crumbs

Ingredients for green bean salad like tomatoes, almonds, and dressing.

How to Blanch Green Beans

Blanching veggies means to boil them for a short period and then to plunge them into cold water to stop cooking.

  1. Wash: Rinse them and then cut or snap off each end.
  2. Boil: Add prepared green beans into boiling water for a couple of minutes, just until tender crisp.
  3. Ice Bath: Let their bright green color emerge and then remove them from the boiling water and plunge them into a bowl of ice water.

The ice bath is the part that radically stops the cooking process, first they are plunged into hot water to cook them, then into cold water to suddenly stop the cooking process. This makes them cooked, but bright green and crunchy and perfectly ready to eat in a salad!

To Keep Green Beans Bright Green

A quick tip I learned at our local culinary school… when boiling green beans (or any other green veggie like asparagus) add a pinch of baking soda to the water. This won’t change the flavor but will keep the beans a vibrant green (rather than a dull color) for a beautiful dish!

How to Store It

Green bean salad will last at least a week as long as it stays cold. Keep it covered tightly and refresh the flavors with salt and pepper as needed.

The Best Main Dishes for Green Bean Salad

Green Bean Salad goes with everything! Any kind of protein; chicken, beef, or pork lend themselves perfectly to the crispy, crunchy flavors this salad brings to the table! It even works by itself! It’s also a great work-day salad for when you are dining at the desk!

More Delicious Side Salads

Green Bean Salad

This easy green bean salad with tomatoes is colorful, tasty and goes with anything, so it is a perfect addition to a barbecue or a potluck!

  • 1 lb green beans (trimmed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil (chopped)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds
  1. Bring water and baking soda to a rolling boil. Cook green beans 4- 5 minutes or until tender crisp. Drain beans and place in an ice bath.
  2. Combine lemon juice, sugar, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and garlic in a small bowl. Add green beans and tomatoes and allow to marinate at least 30 minutes.
  3. Top with basil and almonds just before serving.

Recipe inspired by Jamie Dean.

A serving bowl of green bean salad with tomatoes and toasted almonds.
A serving bowl of green bean salad with tomatoes and toasted almonds.
Top photo - A serving bowl of green bean salad with tomatoes and toasted almonds. Bottom photo - ingredients assembled to make green bean salad.

Authentic Green Chili Soup

Green Chili is perfect for the upcoming fall days, football games, and other cold weather festivitiesMade with a warm combination of green chilis, tart tomatillos, and tender pork shoulder, this satisfying dish is filled with flavor. 

When it comes to a great stew recipe, cooking low and slow is the best way to get loads of flavor and and tender chunks of meat!

Green chili stew in a white bowl. Garnished with sour cream, cilantro, green onions, and a slice of lime.

What is Green Chili?

Green chili is a delicious pork stew (and very different than our traditional beef and bean chili recipe).  Green chiles, tomatillos, onions and cilantro are all blended to create a fabulous base for this recipe. Going into the pot it’s a bright green but it turns a beautiful golden color as it cooks.

PORK for Green Chili: The pork used in this recipe is a pork shoulder, the same melt in your mouth cut of meat that is used for pulled pork and Pork Carnitas.

You want a fattier cut of pork (even pork steaks work) as lean cuts like pork tenderloin will dry out and become tough.

Green chili ingredients on a cutting board with the pork on the side in a glass bowl.

How to Make Green Chili

This green chili recipe takes a bit of time but most of it is hands off spent simmering. Broiling the tomatillos adds an extra layer of flavor but you can also cook them along with the onion or skip broiling if you’re short on time.

  1. Broil tomatillos until golden. Sear pork shoulder in a bit of olive oil.
  2. Blend sauce ingredients (per recipe below).
  3. Simmer until pork is melt in your mouth tender.

Overview of brown pork and onions in a pot.

What to Serve With Chili

Like most chili recipes, this is great with toppings! Chili toppers we love include sour cream, jalapenos, green onions and slices of lime.

Green chili stew is a meal unto itself but it’s really great with tortillas and of course bread for dipping! Dinner rolls, Garlic Bread or thick slabs of French bread are great for dipping and soaking, but flour tortillas are the standard if you want to keep it real!

A hand full of crushed tortilla chips add automatic crunch!

Close up of a pot full of authentic green chili soup.

Reheating Green Chili

Green chili is one of those recipes that that freezes and reheats beautifully! Adjust the flavors by adding a few more chopped green chilis, jalapeños, and some extra salt and pepper to taste.

  • Refrigerate: Leftover green chili will keep in the fridge about 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  • Freeze: Freeze in individual portions for lunches or meals for one in freezer bags or tightly sealed containers. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

More Mexican Inspired Soups

Green Chili

Green Chili is perfect for the upcoming fall days, football games, and other cold weather festivities! 

  • 4 pounds boneless pork butt (extra fat trimmed, cut into 1-inch chunks,)
  • salt & black pepper (to taste)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 pound tomatillos (husked and quartered)
  • 12 ounces canned (or frozen) green chilies (diced, not drained )
  • 2 cups cilantro (packed, leaves and stems)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 jalapenos (seeded)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 4 cups chicken stock (divided)
  • 15 ounces fire-roasted tomatoes (diced)
  1. Preheat broiler. Toss tomatillos with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Broil 5 minutes or until browned on top.

  2. Season pork with salt and black pepper.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.

  4. When the oil is hot add half the pork to the pot and brown. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil and brown remaining pork. Set aside.
  5. Add onion and cook 4-5 minutes or until softened. (Reduce heat if they begin to brown). Remove from heat.
  6. In a blender add tomatillos, undrained green chilies, cilantro, garlic cloves, jalapeños, oregano, cumin, and 2 cups chicken stock. Puree on high until smooth.

  7. Pour the blended mixture, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, and browned pork along with any juices and remaining 2 cups of chicken stock into the pot.

  8. Stir to combine, turn on to medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally.
  9. Cook 3 to 3 ½ hours or until the pork is fork tender and starting to shred.

  10. Serve hot and optionally top with sour cream, minced cilantro or tortilla strips.

This will thicken into a stew like consistency. You can add a little more stock until to reach desired consistency.

A serving of green chili in a white bowl.
A serving of green chili in a white bowl.
Top image - a bowl of green chili. Bottom image - green chili and pork in a pot.

BLT Grilled Cheese Sandwich

BLT Grilled Cheese is an all-American sammy that everyone loves. It’s a delicious combination of a BLT and a grilled cheese sandwich – who would have thought to combine two of the most iconic sandwiches.

Whether making a classic grilled cheese sandwich or making a fun dill pickle bacon grilled cheese, these sandwiches are always welcomed at the table. Especially when served with a hot bowl of fresh tomato soup.

Sliced BLT grilled cheese sandwiches stacked and skewered with a sandwich pick.

What’s in a BLT Grilled Cheese?

This BLT grilled cheese sandwich is made with crispy bacon, fresh tomatoes, and thick slices of cheddar and mozzarella cheese all on toasted sourdough bread.

What a great way to use up those garden-ripe tomatoes and spinach! And don’t get too picky about the bacon, the thinner the better for a great salty crunch!

Go for some good quality sourdough bread. Preferably from an uncut loaf so you can control the width of the slices.

The Secret to a Perfect Grilled Cheese

Remember how we were taught to butter the bread on the outside before putting it in the skillet? Turns out, mayonnaise is even better! Unlike butter, it won’t burn as quickly and it creates a perfect crisp crust.

Cook low and slow so the crust doesn’t burn while the sandwich gets melted inside.

Overhead image of an open faced BLT grilled cheese sandwich.

Will the Spinach Wilt?

This bacon lettuce tomato grilled chilled cheese has a spot of spinach in it for a pop of color and flavor. As expected, it will wilt a little bit in the skillet.

How to Make a Grilled BLT with Cheese

  1. Sprinkle the sliced tomato with a little salt and set aside to drain, about 10 minutes (per printable recipe below). This removes the juices so you don’t get a soggy sandwich.
  2. Layer cheeses and BLT.
  3. Cook until lightly grilled.

Sliced BLT grilled cheese sandwich stacked on each other.

More Grilled Cheese-y Cravings

BLT Grilled Cheese

This delicious sandwich is a combination of two american classics – the BLT and grilled cheese sandwich. Serve with a bowl of hot tomato soup for the perfect meal!

  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 large tomato
  • 4 slices bacon (cut in half)
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach (or arugula)
  • 2 oz cheddar cheese
  • 2 oz mozzarella cheese
  1. Slice tomato 1/4″ thick and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place on paper towels and let drain 10 minutes.
  2. Spread mayonnaise over one side of each slice of bread (this will be the outside of the sandwich).

  3. Place 1 slice of cheddar on each slice of bread. Add tomato slices, bacon and spinach. Top with mozzarella cheese and remaining slice of bread.
  4. Preheat a small skillet over low heat.
  5. Grill until golden on one side, about 4-5 minutes.
  6. Flip and grill the other side until golden.

The ultimate BLT grilled cheese is a combination of bacon, spinach, tomatoes, and cheese grilled between two slices of bread. With a mayo spread instead of butter, it grills to the perfect golden brown and crispy texture everyone loves! It's the ultimate comfort food, perfect for lunch, dinner or even a snack. #spendwithpennies #bltgrilledcheese #grilledcheesesandwich #lunch #sandwichrecipe
The ultimate BLT grilled cheese is a combination of bacon, spinach, tomatoes, and cheese grilled between two slices of bread. With a mayo spread instead of butter, it grills to the perfect golden brown and crispy texture everyone loves! It's the ultimate comfort food, perfect for lunch, dinner or even a snack. #spendwithpennies #bltgrilledcheese #grilledcheesesandwich #lunch #sandwichrecipe
The ultimate BLT grilled cheese is a combination of bacon, spinach, tomatoes, and cheese grilled between two slices of bread. With a mayo spread instead of butter, it grills to the perfect golden brown and crispy texture everyone loves! It's the ultimate comfort food, perfect for lunch, dinner or even a snack. #spendwithpennies #bltgrilledcheese #grilledcheesesandwich #lunch #sandwichrecipe

Fresh Caprese Bruschetta (w/ Garlic Crostini)

If you’ve ever eaten an Italian Caprese salad, you’ll love this Caprese bruschetta, a traditional Neapolitan recipe. The simple combination of tomatoes with rich olive oil, basil and mozzarella on crunchy, garlicky toast makes for an amazing burst of incredibly fresh flavor!

It’s similar to Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad, but with a Neapolitan twist.  As part of an antipasti platter, it’s perfect for a special Italian brunch.

Caprese bruschetta spread on a crostini.

How to Make Bruschetta Caprese

Don’t let the complex flavors and the elegant name fool you, Bruschetta alla Caprese is not a complicated appetizer to make.

  1. Combine the ingredients and allow to meld at room temperature. If you can, use a good olive oil with this.
  2. Toast the crostini and rub with a raw garlic clove for great flavor.
  3. Top the toast with the salad mixture. Add a drizzle it with a balsamic glaze. Drum roll….presenting…. Bruschetta alla Caprese!

Bruschetta makes a great “snacketizer” for having friends over for an evening chat on the deck with a bottle of Chianti.

A bowl of caprese bruschetta ingredients ready to be tossed.

*Tip. If you or your guests have dairy sensitivities, you can easily prepare this using avocado instead of fresh mozzarella. It’s amazing. Just make sure you coat the chopped avocado in lemon juice before adding it to the salad so it doesn’t go brown.

A bowl of fresh caprese salad with a spoon.

To Make Ahead

If you know you’ll be in a rush, but you want your bruschetta to be fresh, not mushy, try preparing the ingredients separately, up to 24 hours ahead, and then assemble as directed just before serving:

  1. Slice the bread and toast, rub it with a peeled clove of garlic, store in a brown bag on the counter.
  2. Cube the cheese, dice the tomatoes, store in the fridge in separate containers.
  3. Toss the ingredients just before serving and top with fresh herbs.

To Store Bruschetta

One of the best things about this bruschetta is its freshness, so it’s best to serve it on the day of preparation.

Tomatoes do not freeze well to eat as bruschetta however if you have leftovers, you can freeze them and add them to pasta sauce, marinara sauce or soup.

More Fresh Appetizers

Bruschetta Caprese

Rich fresh olive oils, fresh mozzarella, ripe tomatoes on garlicky toasted bread.

  • 3 large ripe tomatoes (chopped)
  • 8 oz small fresh mozzarella balls (halved)
  • 10 medium basil leaves (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic ( minced)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 large baguette or Italian bread (sliced 1" thick)
  • 1 large clove fresh garlic (minced)
  1. Combine tomatoes, basil, parsley, mozzarella, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic & a dash of salt & pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you prepare the bread.

  2. Place bread slices under broiler for 1-2 minutes or until the bread is very lightly toasted.

  3. Immediately after removing bread from oven, rub the garlic clove over each slice.
  4. Top the bread slices with 1/4 cup of the tomato and mozzarella mixture.

 

Caprese bruschetta spread on a crostini.
Caprese bruschetta spread on a crostini.
Top photo - Caprese bruschetta spread on a crostini. Bottom photo - Caprese Bruschetta mixed in a white bowl.

Cucumber Tomato Salad (easy and fresh)

Cucumber Tomato Salad is a classic salad, light, cooling, and oh-so refreshing. This easy salad is made with sliced cucumbers & juicy tomatoes and enhanced with slivers of red onion and a tangy vinaigrette dressing.

Serve cucumber tomato onion salad next to grilled or roasted meats or fish, such as marinated beef or chicken kabobs, grilled salmon, or pork tenderloin.

Cucumber tomato salad in a wooden bowl.

How to Make Cucumber Tomato Salad

When the farmer’s markets start overflowing with juicy garden fresh veggies, I take my cue to make a big bowl of cucumber tomato salad.

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients (per recipe below).
  2. Slice all vegetables and toss with the dressing.

I love using a combination of fresh or dried oregano and basil in this salad to bring out its Mediterranean essence. Chopped fresh dill, thyme, and-or parsley deliver equally excellent herbal notes.

Overview of cucumber tomato salad ingredients in a wooden bowl.

English cucumber is ideal for this recipe. The peels are tender enough that there’s no need to remove them, and the seeds are virtually nonexistent. If you only have regular salad cukes on hand, those are perfectly suitable as well. Just peel them, and, if the seeds seem tough, scoop them out and then slice.

Dressing for Cucumber Tomato Salad

Honestly, this salad really doesn’t need much, a simple dressing allows the flavor of the veggies to shine and keeps the salad light and fresh.

A splash of vinegar and a bit of olive oil with salt & pepper. I most often use red wine vinegar but you can use your favorite (infused oils and vinegars are great here too).

Cucumber tomato salad ingredients in a wooden bowl with dressing being poured on top.

Can I Make it Ahead?

This salad tastes great served cold and ca be made ahead. Of course it’s best made the day you’re serving it but you can keep it for a couple of days and drain any juices. Whenever I’m planning this dish and need to get a jump on dinner, I partially prep the tomato-cucumber salad.

  1. In the same bowl you plan to make the salad, whisk together the wine vinegar, olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper.
  2. Peel and cut the onion into slivers and toss in the vinaigrette.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for up to a day in advance.

The onions will stay crunchy while helping the dressing mellow and develop flavor. To assemble the salad, all you have to do is slice the cucumbers and tomatoes, toss with the onion and vinaigrette mixture, and briefly refrigerate before serving.

More Fun Additions

You can have a lot of fun with this recipe, by treating it as a foundation. Go ahead and layer in other fresh and tasty ingredients like crumbled feta, mozzarella balls, avocado chunks or chopped fennel bulb. Got stale bread? Even better, turn this into a Panzanella Salad to make it a meal!

The options are limited only by your own creativity!

Salads with a Cucumber Crunch

Cucumber Tomato Salad

This fresh summer salad provides the perfect crunch!

  • 1 long English cucumber (sliced)
  • 2-3 large tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 red onion (sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs (parsley, basil and/or dill, optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss well.
  2. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes before serving.

Cucumber tomato salad in a wooden bowl.
Cucumber tomato salad in a wooden bowl.
Top image - cucumber tomato salad in a wooden bowl. Bottom image - cucumber tomato salad ingredients in a wooden bowl with dressing being poured ontop.

Fresh Corn Salad

summer corn salad with tomatoes and cucumbers

Corn Salad is one of our favorite easy sides!  This easy Corn Salad features sweet fresh corn off the cob, crisp cucumbers and ripe juicy garden tomatoes all combined in a light and easy vinaigrette.

It’s great to enjoy fresh summer produce in recipes like Summer Pasta Salad or Garden Fresh Bruschetta!

Summer corn salad with tomatoes and cucumbers in a bowl.

A Summer Favorite

Corn Salad is such a great summer salad; it’s easy to make and tastes incredibly fresh without a lot of ingredients or fuss (and no cooking required)!

Summer is the best time of year to serve up fresh salads and vegetables from the garden. While I have a very small garden, I also stop by the farmer’s markets to enjoy their harvests.

I don’t grow a ton of varieties of veggies in my itty bitty garden space; usually carrots, zucchini (for the best ever Easy Baked Zucchini), radishes, and green onions (and this year I have some beets). While my garden is small,  I always grow cherry tomatoes and regular tomatoes and loads of fresh herbs.

Single serving of corn salad in a wooden bowl.

How to Make Corn Salad

CORN: This Corn Salad recipe starts with a base of delicious sweet corn (of course), if you have time it’s worth making grilled corn to use in this recipe it before you cut it off the cob.

DRESSING: I then add in some fresh veggies and toss it all with a simple homemade vinaigrette (and once in a while I add in a sprinkle of crumbled feta or blue cheese).

While I don’t eat a ton of salt, corn is one of those things that pretty much screams for a sprinkling of coarse salt so be generous when adding salt to this recipe!

VEGGIES: Keep in mind that the measurements of the vegetables in this summer corn salad don’t have to be exact, if you have extra tomatoes or just happen to love them, add extra…  a little short on cucumbers, this will turn out delicious!

fresh corn salad with onion, cucumber and tomatoes

More Summer Salads You’ll Love

Easy Corn Salad

Sweet summer corn, crisp cucumbers and ripe juicy garden tomatoes all combined in a light and easy vinaigrette.

  • 3 cups corn kernels (about 4 cobs of corn)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1 cup diced cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
  • a generous sprinkle of course salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • fresh basil or dill (optional)
  1. Either boil or grill corn. Once cooked, remove kernels from corn.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss.
  3. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

If time allows, grill your corn for maximum flavor.

Preheat grill to medium high heat. Remove silk and husk from corn.  Brush with olive oil and generously season.  Grill 2-3 minutes per side or until slightly charred. Cool before using.

 

More Corn Recipes You’ll Love

Mexican Corn Dip

Mexican corn dip with tortilla chip

Crock Pot Corn on the Cobhalf of a Corn on the Cob with melted butter

Ham and Corn Chowder

Ham and Corn Chowder in white bowls

Summer Corn Salad features fresh corn on the cob, juicy garden tomatoes and crisp cucumbers in a simple dressing! This recipe is delicious and quick!
Summer Corn Salad features fresh corn on the cob, juicy garden tomatoes and crisp cucumbers in a simple dressing! This recipe is delicious and quick!
Summer Corn Salad features fresh corn on the cob, juicy garden tomatoes and crisp cucumbers in a simple dressing! This recipe is delicious and quick!
Summer Corn Salad features fresh corn on the cob, juicy garden tomatoes and crisp cucumbers in a simple dressing! This recipe is delicious and quick!

Caprese Skewers – Quick & Easy

Caprese Skewers are a fabulous mini appetizer that’s quick, easy and popular. Just like our favorite Caprese Salad, this recipe has creamy mozzarella, juicy cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves flavored with olive oil and seasonings!

This is a favorite flavor combination stacked on wooden skewers as a snack or even as a caprese bruschetta or a caprese pasta salad.

A Caprese skewer with cherry tomatoes, basil and mozzarella being picked up off a platter

How to Make Caprese Salad Skewers

Caprese skewers are a twist on a classic caprese salad. The salad is made by overlapping slices of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on a plate, sprinkling with a chiffonade of basil leaves. Then the plate is seasoned with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil, and sometimes with balsamic vinegar.

The recipe is just as pretty but easier to serve at a party. While many recipes call for a drizzle of olive oil at the end, I find marinating the cheese adds the most amazing flavor!

Preparing caprese skewers with cherry tomatoes, basil and marinated mozzarella on small skewers

As Easy as 1,2,3!

  1. Marinate mozzarella (per recipe below).
  2. Thread ingredients on small skewers (I used these 4″ bamboo skewers).
  3. Season and serve.

As an alternative, you could use pretty toothpicks threaded with smaller bite-size ingredients. Cut the tomatoes in half, or use grape tomatoes, a quarter of a fresh basil leaf and a half or third of a mozzarella ball.

Olive oil and spices being added to fresh mozzarella balls to marinate for caprese skewers

Marinate for Flavor

The mozzarella used for caprese skewers or salad is typically fresh, deli or homemade version, which has a sweetness and velvety softness that a block of grocery store pizza mozzarella can’t match.

It’s creamy and delicious and made even better by marinating in seasonings and olive oil.

Other Cheeses

If you don’t have access to fresh mozzarella balls, you can still enjoy caprese skewers made from cubed mozzarella from a package (or check your deli area for marinated cheeses).

To Make Caprese Skewers Ahead

Make ahead by no more than half a day. Prepare the caprese skewers, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.

A platter of caprese skewers with marinated cheese ready to serve

What Appies Go Best with Caprese Skewers?

A variety of appetizers go well with caprese skewers. Serve them with prosciutto ham rolls, bruschetta, garlic toast rounds, or a crudité dish containing a variety of olives.

Consider setting out some small dipping dishes featuring an array of gourmet balsamic vinegars that have been naturally infused with flavors such as fig, raspberry or cherry. Balsamic vinaigrette makes a lovely dip or drizzle for your caprese skewer appetizers.

More Delicious No Bake Appies

Caprese Skewers

Caprese Skewers are a fabulous mini appetizer with creamy mozzarella, juicy cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves flavored with olive oil and seasonings!

  • 24 cherry tomatoes (about 1 pint)
  • 12 mozzarella balls ((bocconcini))
  • 24 small basil leaves (or 12 large)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic (sliced, optional)
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze (optional)
  1. Combine olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic if using and mozzarella. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

  2. Wash tomatoes and wash basil leaves and gently pat dry. If basil leaves are large, rip in half.
  3. Thread a cherry tomato on each skewer followed by a basil leaf, a mozzarella ball, another basil leave and finally another tomato.
  4. Discard garlic slices (or reserve for cooking) and drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil marinade and balsamic glaze over skewers. Season with salt & pepper.

Oven Fajitas an easy weeknight meal!

Fajita mix including peppers, chicken and onion in baking dish

Oven Fajitas are a delicious and fresh meal that is easy to prep and loaded with flavor. Chicken, onions, and bell peppers are seasoned with a simple spice mixture and cooked in the oven until the peppers are tender-crisp.

These are perfect piled high in a tortilla and topped with your favorite toppings. Serve with a helping of cilantro lime rice and topped with our favorite Pico de Gallo for a delicious meal!

Two small servings of Oven Fajitas on a white plate

Why Make Fajitas in the Oven?

Chicken Fajitas is one of my all-time favorite meals! I should say ANY fajitas including steak or shrimp! Oven chicken fajitas are tender when and so flavorful as the veggies are added and everything cooks together all in one dish!

So just toss the ingredients together, pop in the oven and walk away for an easy, quick, and mess-free dish!

Oven Fajitas ingredients served in a white casserole dish

How to Make Oven Fajitas

This recipe starts with sliced onion, chicken, seasonings, and tomatoes.  I find that slicing chicken while it’s partially defrosted makes the job much easier!

  1. Mix together all ingredients per the recipe below (except peppers) in a casserole dish.
  2. Place casserole dish in the oven and bake about 15 minutes. Add the bell peppers and bake another 10 minutes.
  3. Heat the tortillas (corn or flour) per package directions and fill as desired!

Once done, a quick squeeze of fresh lime (and a sprinkle of cilantro) makes these fajitas pop with flavor!

Ingredients for Oven Fajitas prepared in a casserole dish including chicken tomatoes and onions

My Favorite Fajitas Toppings

Fajitas really lend themselves to all kinds of creative mix-ins! Create a platter of colorful mix-ins and let everyone help themselves! Here are some of my favorites below!

  • Beans: black beans, pinto, pinquito, or refried beans
  • Rice: brown or white rice (seasoned)
  • Cheese: cheddar, Monterey Jack, Cotija
  • Sauce: sour cream, guacamole, salsa
  • Veggies: potatoes, zucchini
  • Additional Toppings: sliced black olives &  jalapenos, green chiles, pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds)

Close up photo of Oven Fajitas mix in a white dish

Got Leftovers?

If you’re lucky enough to have any leftovers, they make amazing quesadillas the next day for lunch or are perfect on a salad with a dressing of salsa and sour cream (or greek yogurt).

Delicious Mexican Inspired Dishes

Oven Fajitas

Oven Fajitas are a delicious and fresh meal that is easy to prep and loaded with flavor. These are perfect piled high in a tortilla and topped with your favorite toppings.  

Fajitas

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips ((about 3 chicken breast halves))
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • 5-6 cups sliced bell peppers ((about 3 peppers))
  • 1 10 oz can of diced tomatoes with chiles ((mild or hot))
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • black pepper to taste
  • lime
  • flour or corn tortillas for serving

Optional Toppings

  • Cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Lettuce
  • Cilantro
  • Salsa
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  2. Drain tomatoes well. Stir together chicken, onion, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, seasoning salt, olive oil, and pepper. Place in a 9×13 pan and bake 15 minutes.

  3. Remove from oven and stir in bell peppers. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and squeeze lime over the mixture.
  4. Meanwhile, heat tortillas according to package directions.

  5. Serve chicken mixture in tortillas with desired toppings.

Nutritional Information does not include optional toppings.

Two small servings of Oven Fajitas on a white plate
Two small servings of Oven Fajitas on a white plate
Top photo shows fajitas prepared in a casserole dish while the bottom photo shows the ingredients assembled in the casserole dish prior to cooking

One Pot Pasta with Chicken (Tomato Cream Sauce)

Chicken Pasta dishes can be ready in no time at all and this easy one pot recipe goes straight from the stove to the table in less than 30 minutes. An flavorful combination of chicken, cheese, and tomatoes in a tomato cream sauce all made with just one pot! 

While a full meal on its own, this pasta dish tastes delicious served with a side of homemade garlic bread or a light side salad.

Close up of one pot chicken pasta.

What’s in Chicken Pasta?

This dish is full of creamy cheeses, chicken, and a combination of savory flavors like garlic, tomatoes and Italian seasoning…all blended together for this hearty entrée that even makes great leftovers!

This easy recipe has a tomato cream sauce and is topped with cheese for an easy meal.

How to Make This One Pot Pasta

This recipe is super easy and versatile, with just one pot! Using the basic recipe, you can add your favorite flavors to make it your own!  

  1. Cook the chicken and set aside.
  2. Add seasoning (per recipe below), tomatoes and cream. Stir in uncooked pasta and simmer until pasta is tender.
  3. Add cheese and enjoy!

It’s that easy!! The pasta is cooked right in the sauce meaning no extra pots or strainers for cooking. Depending on the brand of pasta you have, you may need to add a bit more broth or water towards the end to cook the pasta. Add about 1/2 cup at a time as needed.

Overview of one pot chicken pasta.

Can You Make This in Advance?

One pot chicken pasta can definitely be made in advance, just keep it in a covered container and then pour it all into a skillet and reheat on low on the stovetop.

When you reheat it you may need to add a splash of milk or cream if the pasta has soaked up a lot of the sauce.

More One-Pot Meals

One Pot Chicken Pasta

If you’re looking for something simple to put together in just a few minutes, you’re going to LOVE this! Super easy and versatile, with just one pot!

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken breast (diced into 1/2" cubes)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 14.5 oz diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 3 cups chicken broth (+ 1/2 cup extra if needed)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 12 oz penne (or medium pasta)
  • 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan (divided)
  1. Season chicken with salt & pepper. Heat olive oil over medium heat and cook chicken until no pink remains. Set aside.

  2. Add onion and garlic to the pan. Cook until onion is tender, about 3 minutes.

  3. Add seasoning, parsley, 3 cups broth, tomatoes and cream and bring to a boil. Add pasta. Let simmer for about 15 minutes or until tender and thickened. If you need, add 1/2 cup broth till pasta is cooked. Mix in 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.

  4. Add the chicken back to skillet, top with mozzarella cheese and remaining 1/4 cup parmesan, then broil 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden.

Overview of One Pot Chicken Pasta.
Overview of One Pot Chicken Pasta.
Top image - overview of one pot chicken pasta, bottom image - chicken pasta ingredients in a pot.