Skillet Pork Chops with Apples & Onions

Who loves a one-pan dinner? I sure do! Skillet Pork Chops with Apples & Onions is one of my favorite, weeknight meals this time of year. This week, Lee’s Marketplace is having a great pork sale on their “3 Meal Deal” that includes boneless chops, country style ribs and a loin roast for only $1.69/lb. I love when they do this because my freezer gets stocked!

This delicious meal is loaded with big flavor but has simple ingredients. It tastes like you’ve spent hours but it honestly takes about 30 minutes total. Pork and apples are a classic pairing and are SO perfect together! The onions balance the sweetness of the apples and the fresh herbs are the superstar finish. Seriously, do not skip the fresh herbs! The brightness of the rosemary and thyme make the dish in my opinion and it just wouldn’t be the same or as good without them. Also, anytime you’re cooking pork you NEED an internal meat thermometer. Overcooked pork is going to ruin your dinner and nobody has time for that! Serve this up with a side of mashed potatoes and you will have the perfect dinner. (Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace)

Items on sale at Lee’s Oct 1-7: pork chops, apples, dried sage (Badia brand), and apple cider

Skillet Pork Chops with Apples & Onions

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

6 boneless, skinless pork chops (about 2 ½ lbs)
3 large red apples, cored and sliced
2 yellow onions, sliced thin
2 teaspoons salt
Black pepper, to taste
1 ½ teaspoons dried sage
¾ cup apple cider
1 tablespoon “Better Than Bouillon” chicken base
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1-2 tablespoons canola oil

Directions

Season both sides of pork chops by sprinkling 1 ½ teaspoons salt, black pepper, and dried sage. Heat a large, deep skillet to medium-high. Add 1 ½ tablespoons canola oil. Add pork chops to skillet and cook for 4 minutes on each side. Remove and set on a plate.

Add apples and onions to skillet. (Add a little more oil if pan seems dry)
Continue cooking on medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes or until softened.
Add apple cider, chicken base, and ½ teaspoon salt then stir to combine. Add pork chops back to skillet and nestle into apples and onions. Continue cooking (no lid) until internal temperature of pork reaches 145 degrees (might only take a few minutes).

Sprinkle rosemary and thyme over the top and serve immediately.

**Notes:
1. Bone-in pork chops can be used instead.
2. Gala apples were used in this recipe but any red apple will do
3. Goes really well with mashed potatoes!
4. Do not replace chicken base with bouillon cubes. You need the thickness and flavor from the chicken base.

The Best Lasagna

My dilemma when writing this recipe…what do I call it? Classic lasagna? Traditional lasagna? Perfect lasagna? I finally settled on “The Best Lasagna” because that’s what we proclaim over and over every time we eat it. It’s simply the BEST!

This is a very close version to a recipe I printed back in 2009 for “World’s Best Lasagna” from the Allrecipes site. Yes I’ve been making it for TEN years! It’s one of those recipes that you make for something classic like lasagna and it’s so amazing you never try another recipe. Tried and true! Over the years I’ve made a few tweaks to make it my own. The ingredients are basically the same but the measurements are different. I mean, of course I increased the garlic and cheeses! Ha! I also switched to “oven-ready” lasagna because it’s amazing and it saves a lot of time not having to boil the pasta first.

Make sure to read the notes after the directions! This is not a hard recipe at all but does take some time. Like, 2 1/2-3 hours to be exact, so be prepared. It’s totally 100% worth the effort though because it is simply the best homemade lasagna you’ll ever make. You’ll feel like a rock star when your family “oohs and ahhs” over this at the dinner table!

It’s been forever since I’ve done a recipe for Lee’s Marketplace! I’ve been so busy with the fair but now I’m back to my weekly recipes and am so happy. I love doing them! This one worked out so perfectly because out of 19 total ingredients, 12 of them are on sale this week at Lee’s! Woohoo!

***Here’s what’s on sale Sept 23-30: Italian sausage, ground beef, yellow onion, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, lasagna, ricotta, eggs, mozzarella, Parmesan (sponsored post)

The Best Lasagna

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

1 pound mild Italian sausage
1 pound lean ground beef
3/4 cup yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
12 oz tomato paste
16 oz tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
9 oz package “Oven-Ready” lasagna
16 oz ricotta cheese
1 egg
16 oz mozzarella, shredded
1 cup Parmesan, shredded

Directions

In a large, deep skillet cook ground beef, sausage, and onion until browned. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water, then stir. Add sugar, Italian seasoning, basil, fennel, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley, then stir. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium-sized bowl, combine egg, ricotta, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons parsley.

To assemble, spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray then ladle in enough sauce to cover bottom of pan. Add 4-6 pieces of lasagna over sauce (it’s ok if they overlap a little). Add 1/3 of ricotta mixture and carefully spread across pasta. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella, and 1/3 of the Parmesan. Repeat layers two more times.

Cover tightly with nonstick foil (or spray regular foil with cooking spray). Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and cook for 20-25 additional minutes. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. Garnish with remaining parsley.

Notes:
1. Give yourself PLENTY of time to make this. You need about 2 1/2-3 hours from start to finish.
2. If you don’t have enough pasta for the final layer, it’s ok. Just place what you have on it!
3. Freezes perfectly! Can easily be made in two smaller pans so that you can stash one in the freezer for later. (Freeze before baking!)
4. If you choose to use traditional lasagna, follow package instructions for boiling before assembling.

Those crispy edges are my favorite!

Green Chile Sausage Chowder

It’s green chile season! I was so excited to see Hatch green chilies featured in this week’s Lee’s ad. We lived in New Mexico for a few years when stationed there for the Air Force and fell in love with green chilies. Everywhere you go this time of year, there are metal cages full of green chilies roasting over an open flame. The smell is glorious! I had never seen the Johnsonville Hatch Green Chile Sausage before and it inspired me to make this chowder. I love how it turned out! The creamy broth paired with the slightly spicy green chilies is the perfect match! (Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace)

Items on sale at Lee’s August 20-26: Johnsonville Hatch Green Chile Sausage, frozen corn, cheddar cheese, flour

Green Chile Sausage Chowder

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1 (19 oz) package Johnsonville Hatch Green Chile Sausage, casing removed
1 small yellow onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ stick butter
½ cup flour
2 (14.5 each) cans chicken broth
1 pint half-and-half
2 cups potatoes, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup frozen corn
1 (4 oz) can green chilies
1 ½ teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Heat a large Dutch oven or pot to medium-high. Add sausage and onion then cook until browned. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes stirring often.

Add butter and once melted, sprinkle flour over sausage mixture. Stir until flour is incorporated and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in chicken broth and half-and-half. Add salt and pepper. Increase heat, bring to a low boil and stir until thickened slightly.

Add potatoes, carrots, corn and green chilies. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender.
Serve with cheese as a garnish.

*Notes: If you cannot find Johnsonville Hatch Green Chile Sausage it’s ok. Just use plain pork sausage and add another 4 oz can of green chilies.

Easy, hearty, and so good!
If you can find this in your grocery store, get it! Delicious!

Sheet Pan Greek Chicken & Green Beans

If you’re not making sheet pan dinners for your family, allow me to introduce you. I love them because there’s little clean up, they’re fast, they look pretty, they’re versatile, and they’re delicious. Convinced? My “Sheet Pan Greek Chicken & Green Beans” is the perfect busy night meal. Back-to-school is such a crazy time for both parents and teachers and this dinner will help keep your sanity! (I am both teacher and parent so trust me!) The chicken marinade is simple but big on flavor and helps keep the chicken so moist. I also love the way the tomatoes burst in the oven and mix with the green beans. The salty feta is the perfect topping! You’re going to love this easy sheet pan dinner! (Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace)

Items on sale at Lee’s August 13-19: chicken breasts, olive oil, green beans, grape tomatoes, feta cheese

Sheet Pan Greek Chicken & Green Beans

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into tenders
1 lemon, divided
1/8 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3-4 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¾ lb fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
½ pint grape tomatoes
½ cup feta cheese

Directions

Place chicken in a zip top bag and add the juice of half the lemon, 1/8 cup olive oil, garlic, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Close bag and massage to combine ingredients. Place in fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Drizzle about 1 tablespoon olive oil over a large baking sheet (to prevent sticking). Place chicken on one half in a single layer. Add green beans and tomatoes to the other half. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon more of olive oil over green beans only. Season beans with salt and pepper to taste. Slice other half of the lemon thinly then place on top of the chicken.

Bake for 20 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165. Remove from oven and sprinkle feta over the top of chicken and green beans. Serve immediately.

Tasty AND beautiful!!!

Creamy Pasta Primavera

Ahhh summer! I certainly have veggies on my mind lately as my garden starts to flourish, farmers markets are everywhere, and every time I shop at Lee’s Marketplace I find the BEST local produce. My garden is pretty small so I love knowing that I can find whatever it lacks when I shop at Lee’s! I wanted to make something this week that was full of fresh vegetables, kid-approved, and didn’t require my oven because it’s just too hot outside. My Creamy Pasta Primavera checked all those boxes and then some! Make it your own with whatever vegetables or fresh herbs you like. Check the recipe notes for ideas! From start to finish it took me only 45 minutes to make. The thing that took the longest was chopping the vegetables but that’s the fun part anyway! The creamy alfredo sauce is divine and will be your new go-to for sure. This is a super easy, delicious meal and it makes a lot! (Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace)

Items on sale at Lee’s this week: Penne pasta, butter, bell peppers, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese (also fresh green beans and tomatoes if you’d like to use those in the recipe!)

Creamy Pasta Primavera

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

16 oz penne pasta
4 Tablespoons butter
1 red bell pepper, sliced into 2 inch pieces
1 broccoli crown, chopped into florets (about 2 cups)
1 yellow squash, sliced into half-moons
¾ cup shredded carrots
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz cream cheese
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

Directions

Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain, set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, broccoli, squash, carrots and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until crisp tender.

Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add cream cheese, heavy cream, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Stir for a few minutes until everything melts and thickens a little.

Add parsley and chicken then stir to combine. Add drained pasta and stir until pasta is coated in sauce. Garnish wish more parsley and Parmesan if desired. Serve immediately.

*Notes: Many different vegetables can be subbed or added to those used in this recipe such as green beans, zucchini, red onion, and tomatoes as well as other herbs such as rosemary or basil.

I think we need a closer look! Beautiful and delicious!

Zucchini Noodle Shrimp Stir Fry

Does anyone else have an abundance of zucchini right now? Here in Utah, it’s the beginning of harvest for my garden and I’m so happy about it! We have two large garden boxes that are full of zucchini, green beans, poblano peppers, banana peppers, acorn squash, herbs, and of course tomatoes. Let’s not forget about my raspberry bushes next to the boxes because they are going crazy this year. I love it!

My kids aren’t usually fans of zucchini unless it’s deep fried or baked in bread but I wanted them to like it in a healthier way. I came up with this version of shrimp stir fry and we all devoured it! Making the “zoodles” with a spiralizer is so much fun and a great way to get the kids in the kitchen helping. The sauce for this is so easy-just 4 ingredients! The veggies are versatile too because you can, for example, leave out the onions, add mushrooms, use a different pepper, etc. If you’re not a shrimp fan, you could even swap it for chicken breast.

Today, I made this dish for one of my cooking segments on ABC4’s Good Things Utah and it was a hit. The segment went so well and the crew gobbled it up right out of the pan when the show was over. Wish I had gotten a picture of that! Ha! You can watch me make it here.

Zucchini Noodle Shrimp Stir Fry

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

½ cup chicken broth
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon sesame oil
½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
¾ cup shredded carrots
1 bunch green onions, sliced and divided
8 oz bag sugar snap peas
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
2 medium-sized zucchini, spiralized

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk broth, hoisin, soy, and cornstarch until combined. Set aside.

In a large skillet or wok over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once heated, add shrimp. Season shrimp with salt and pepper while in the pan.

Cook for about 1 minute per side, until pink on both sides. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining olive oil and sesame oil to pan then add bell pepper and carrots. Cook for 3 minutes or until slightly tender. Add green onions (set a few aside first for garnish), peas, garlic and ginger. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add sauce and increase heat to medium-high.

Cook, stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes to allow sauce to thicken a little. Add zucchini noodles and stir to combine with the sauce and vegetables. Cook for 3 minutes or until noodles begin to soften.

Add shrimp back to pan and stir. Transfer to a serving plate to stop cooking process and serve immediately. Garnish with green onions.

*Note: Mushrooms would be a great addition. Cubed chicken breast can replace the shrimp if desired.

Ready for my cooking segment on the set of Good Things Utah!