One Pan Chicken Sausage and Veggies


I’m working longer days now. Which in part, I love because it earns me an extra day off per week (I’m working 4, 10-hr shifts). But, when that puts me walking in the door post-workout on a weeknight at 7:30, I don’t want a complicated recipe. (And honestly, who really does on a weeknight!)

I ran across this recipe, actually on Pinterest, a couple months back looking for easier dinner recipes. And this is one of the ones that stuck. We’ve made this several times. Often enough to be honest, that I’m a little embarassed that I haven’t added it on here yet.


The basis for the recipe is from Chelsea’s Messy Apron. We make it largely as written using one of the pre-cooked flavors of chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s and tons of veggies. It’s probably us more than the recipe, but I usually end up roasting this on 2 separate pans. When the pans are too crowded the food ‘steams’ instead of roasting, and you all know we want the flavor that comes from those browned, roasted veggies.

With the addition of the red pepper flakes, it is a touch spicy. Probably not too much for many adults, but if you were making this for kiddo’s, you might want to back of the amount or leave it off. We typically serve this over brown rice, but you could easily serve over quinoa, couscous, etc.



(Printable Recipe)

One Pan Chicken Sausage and Veggies
From Chelsea’s Messy Apron

1 pkg. pre-cooked Trader Joe’s chicken sausage (5 links)
4-5 small red potatoes
0.75 lb. fresh green beans
2 bell peppers, any color
2 heads broccoli
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Quinoa/brown rice/couscous
Grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil.

For the veggies: cut the red potatoes into small pieces (~1/8 potato) to allow them to cook completely. Seed and chop the bell peppers. Cut the ends off the green beans and cut in half, if needed. Trim the broccoli florets and discard the stems.

Slice the sausages. Add both the sausages and the veggies to a large bowl. Add olive oil and spices, and stir to coat. Divide evenly between the pans. Roast for 15 minutes. Stir each pan and continue to roast for another 10-15 minutes. Serve over your grain of choice and top with Parmesan cheese.


Ham, Cheese, and Broccoli Casserole

broccoli, ham, and cheese casserole after baking

Have leftovers from Easter still hanging around your house? I can’t help you too much with any leftover hard-boiled eggs, but this recipe will certainly help you use up that leftover ham and another surprising ingredient that may be hanging around your house after Easter dinner. Carrots… This recipe from Clean Eating for broccoli and cheese casserole actually uses cooked, pureed carrots to help slim down the cheese sauce.

Using up leftovers and turning them into a healthy meal? Sounds good in my book. I’ve made the recipe a couple of times. The second time I decreased the amount of crushed red pepper slightly, and we liked it much better. It is not really that it is too spicy with the full amount, but the flavor is just too overpowering.  Be sure to use a cheese that you really enjoy. I found a reduced-fat sharp cheddar by Cabot that works really well for this dish.

broccoli, ham, and cheese casserole before baking

Sadly, we both worked last weekend, so I don’t have any Easter leftovers. So, if anyone wants to send a bit of ham my way, I’d love to make this again! Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe) 

Ham, Cheese, and Broccoli Casserole
Adapted from Clean Eating: Classic Comfort Foods

2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups cauliflower florets
2  Tbsp. olive oil
1-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (originally 1 Tbsp)
1/2 lb. whole wheat pasta, desired shape
4 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
3/4 cup evaporated skim milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese 
1 cup, cubed cooked lean ham
1/2 cup whole wheat Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a large baking sheet, toss broccoli and cauliflower with oil and red pepper flakes. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside; reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. 

Meanwhile, boil some water in a medium saucepan. Add pasta and cook about 5 minutes or until al dente per package directions. Drain and set aside. 

In a separate medium saucepan, combine carrots, milk, and 1/2 cup water. Place on medium-low heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until carrots soften. Remove from heat and let cool for 5-10 minutes. You can transfer mixture to the bowl of a food processor; add cheese and pulse until smooth. Alternately, you can use an immersion blender (this is what I did). Set aside.

In an 8×10-inch baking dish, combine broccoli-cauliflower mixture, carrot-cheese mixture, pasta and ham. Spread mixture in an even layer. Cover with Panko bread crumbs and bake for 20 minutes or until topping is browned and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Ziti with Ricotta and Vegetables

ziti with ricotta and vegetables

I have been slacking on the meatless, seafoodless recipes for you all this last week. To make up for it, I’ll have one every day up through Thursday to give you several options for this week. Promise 🙂

We’ll start off the week with a short and sweet pasta meal. More pasta, I know, but hear me out. This one is much simpler than the previous lasagna recipe I posted! This recipe comes from my mother-in-law back from my bridal shower. Not sure what took me so long to make it knowing that pasta + balsamic vinegar + ricotta cheese + veggies = a winner in this house?!?

ziti with ricotta and vegetables cooking pasta and veggies
ziti with ricotta and vegetables in serving bowl

On a side note, can I just say that I am so glad that asparagus is coming back in season! I never had asparagus until I was an adult, and it ranks up there with my favorite vegetables (since it actually qualifies as a vegetable — no seeds!) 

(Printable Recipe)

Ziti with Ricotta and Vegetables
From Londa 

8 oz. dried whole wheat penne (or any shape) pasta
2-1/2 cups broccoli florets
1-1/2 cups asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large ripe tomatoes, juiced and chopped
1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1 Tbsp. dried, crushed basil
1 tsp. dried crushed thyme
4 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Add the broccoli and asparagus in the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain.

Place a fine-meshed strainer over a large bowl. Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze over the strainer to release the juice and seeds. Press down on the seeds in the strainer to get all the liquid you can. Chop and reserve the tomato flesh. Discard the seeds.

Add ricotta cheese, spices, vinegar, and oil to the tomato juice in the bowl and mix until well combined. Stir in the tomatoes. Add pasta and toss to combine. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese.

Mashed Potato Pizza

Mashed potato pizza. What a great idea. Saw this right before Thanksgiving on Iowa Girl Eats. In her post, Kristin talks about how she used to work right above a pizza parlor. That would be heaven in my husband’s book. In fact, I am not sure I’d ever see him again 🙂

Kristin’s idea was to use up leftover mashed potatoes to recreate one of the parlor’s pizzas at home. We found ourselves with some extra, extra mashed potatoes after our little Thanksgiving gathering, so I thought I would give it a whirl as well. Our verdict – unique and absolutely delicious. As Kristin did, I would recommend making it on a thinner crust to counteract the layer of potatoes. This pizza is everything that is good about a loaded baked potato piled on a crispy crust.

If you have any mashed potatoes leftover from Christmas dinner, I would highly recommend giving this pizza a shot! 

(Printable Recipe)

Mashed Potato Pizza
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

1 prepared or purchased thin crust pizza dough
1-1/2 cups mashed potatoes
chopped broccoli, steamed or cooked (I used part of a steamer bag)
1 roma tomato
1-1/4 cups sharp cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Place a pizza stone (if you have one) in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

Roll out the pizza dough on a piece of parchment paper. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Spread the mashed potatoes over the dough. Layer with broccoli, cheese, tomatoes and crumbled bacon. Briefly take the hot pan out of the oven and slide the pizza (on the parchment paper) onto the hot pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is browning around the edges and the cheese has melted. Slice and enjoy!