Dinner Options

Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells
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Prep time: 10-15 minutes         Cook time: 30 mins           Total time: 45 minutes


  • 18 jumbo pasta shells (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons  olive oil
  • 1/4 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces  fresh chorizo, crumbled
  • 1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 teaspoon  sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt plus additional for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper plus additional for seasoning
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 cups baby spinach, finely chopped
  • 1cup low-fat ricotta or cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • egg white, lightly beaten
  • *optional* 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar


  1. Cook shells according to package directions; rinse under cold water, drain and pat dry.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and chorizo and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Drain all but 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings and return pan to stove. Add tomatoes and sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste; simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Set aside. **Note, you can also add a little balsamic vinegar if you’d like! It gives the sauce a little extra somethin-somethin.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and coat a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. Combine spinach, cheeses, egg white and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  5. Spoon half the tomato sauce into prepared dish. Stuff each shell with 1 heaping tablespoon filling and arrange stuffed shells in baking dish. Spoon remaining sauce over shells and cover with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake until pasta is cooked through and sauce begins to bubble, about 30 minutes.
  7. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Shrimp and Veggies
Author: Tasty Kitchen – Original Recipe Post can be found here: http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/special-dietary-needs/spaghetti-squash-with-grilled-chicken-and-sun-dried-tomatoes/
Prep time: 1 hour          Cook time: 15 mins           Total time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • 1 whole Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth, Divided Use
  • ⅓ cups Sun-dried Tomatoes, Chopped
  • 2 cups Broccoli Florets
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas
  • 2 whole Chicken Breasts, Grilled And Sliced
  • ¼ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 pinch Salt/pepper To Taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
2. With a sharp knife, cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape/remove seeds with a spoon.
3. Place squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet: bake for 45 minutes.
4. When the squash has about 15 minutes left in the oven, start to prepare the rest of the dish (steps 5-8) so that your squash “noodles” are still hot when you serve them.
5. In a large, deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic. Saute 1 minute.
6. Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth, sundried tomatoes, and broccoli and saute 5 minutes.
7. Add peas, grilled chicken (I used shrimp instead), and remaining 3/4 cup of chicken broth. Shake about 1/4 cup parmesan cheese into mixture (just enough to thicken the chicken broth).
8. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover skillet and simmer for about 3 minutes.
9. Remove squash from oven after 45 minutes is up. Let squash cool.
10. Using a fork, scrape the inside of the squash with the tines to remove strands.
9. Serve on top of the squash strands with fresh shaved parmesan cheese and enjoy! :)
Italian Style Stuffed Chicken Breasts
The homemade marinara sauce listed below goes perfectly with this dish! This is one of my go-to recipes and is always a hit. I have listed the ingredients and directions according to how I make this dish rather than exactly how it is listed in the original recipe.
Author: Dashing Dish – Original Recipe Post can be found here: http://dashingdish.com/recipe/italian-style-stuffed-chicken-breasts/
Prep time: 10 mins          Cook time: 40 mins           Total time: 50 mins
  • 4 large defrosted chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach (I always use fresh spinach)
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • Marinara Sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 8×8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Cut a slit in each chicken breast to create a pocket for the cheese & spinach mixture. 
  2. Mix together the spinach, feta, parmesan, cottage cheese in a small bowl. Lay the chicken breasts out on a clean surface and spoon the mixture into each chicken breast. Secure with a couple toothpicks.
  3. Bake the stuffed chicken breasts for 35 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. Pour marinara sauce on top of each chicken breast and serve hot.
Homemade Marinara Sauce
This marinara sauce is SO delicious, easy to make, and goes perfectly with the stuffed chicken breast recipe above. So healthy and so much better than the stuff from a jar! Again, I made a few changes to the original recipe.
Author: Recipe Girl – Original Recipe Post can be found here: http://www.recipegirl.com/2012/03/09/homemade-marinara-sauce/
Prep time: 5 mins          Cook time: 20 mins           Total time: 25 mins
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  1. In a large saucepan or deep skillet, warm the olive oil at low heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in the basil.
  2. Pour in the tomatoes with their juices, bring the sauce to a boil, and then add the Kosher salt. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 45 to 50 minutes. As the sauce thickens toward the end, stir in the balsamic vinegar. Remove the pan from heat and serve.
Crunchy Parmesan Garlic Chicken
This recipe is full of flavor and SO easy for weeknight cooking! I paired it with the Parmesan and Spinach Orzo Recipe listed below. :)
Author: Hesitantly Healthy – Original Recipe Post can be found here: http://hesitantlyhealthy.com/2013/11/26/crunchy-parmesan-garlic-chicken/
Prep time: 5 mins          Cook time: 30 mins           Total time: 35 mins
  • 2 large defrosted chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic (fresh or jarred)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup whole wheat Panko crumbs
  • ½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • Black pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Dredge each chicken breast in extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Make thin slices into the top of each chicken breast and stuff with garlic.
  4. Mix Panko and parmesan together in a shallow dish.
  5. Dip each chicken breast into the Panko/parmesan mixture then place them into a baking dish (be sure to grease it if it’s not non-stick).
  6. Top with a sprinkle of black pepper.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes then check to see if it is cooked through, cook in additional 5 minute increments until there is no pink.


Parmesan & Spinach Orzo

(goes excellent with the Parmesan Garlic Chicken recipe above!)

Author: Damn Delicious – Original Recipe Post can be found here: http://damndelicious.net/2014/02/10/parmesan-spinach-orzo/
Prep time: 10 mins          Cook time: 20 mins           Total time: 30 mins


  • 1 cup Orzo pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in Parmesan until melted, about 1 minute. Add Orzo and gently toss to combine; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve immediately.


Baked Chicken Stuffed with Pesto and Cheese

Author: Kalyn’s Kitchen
Prep time: 10 mins          Cook time: 25-30 mins           Total time: 35-45 mins

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T Basil Pesto with Lemon or your favorite commercial pesto
2 T low-fat sour cream
2 T grated mozzarella cheese
(I used heaping tablespoons of pesto, sour cream and cheese)
2 eggs, beaten (or if they’re large eggs one will probably be enough)
3 T finely grated Parmesan cheese
3 T almond flour (or almond meal, but almond flour is better for this because it’s more finely ground)
black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375F/190C.  Spray a small casserole dish with non-stick spray. Trim any visible fat from chicken breasts, then put them one at a time inside a heavy plastic bag and pound with meat mallet until the chicken is as thin as you can get it.  Don’t worry too much about the shape or whether there are some loose pieces, you can tuck them in when you roll up the chicken.

In a small bowl mix together the basil pesto, sour cream, and grated mozzarella.  Use a rubber scraper to spread a thin layer of this mixture over each chicken breast, stopping about 1/2 inch from the edge of the chicken (so it doesn’t run out so much as it cooks.)   Roll up the chicken breasts and secure them with a couple of toothpicks.  (I roll them so the finished piece is as thin as I can get it so they will cook quickly.)
Prepare two bowls, one with the beaten egg and the other with the grated Parmesan-almond flour mixture, seasoned with black pepper to taste.  Dip each chicken breast roll first into the egg mixture and then into the Parmesan-almond flour mixture, patting it on so the chicken breast roll is well-coated with the mixture.
Put chicken breasts into the casserole dish and bake until the chicken is firm and lightly browned.  (Start checking after about 25-30 minutes; total baking time will be 30-35 minutes.)  Serve hot.

One thought on “Dinner Options

  1. Pingback: Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” Recipe Added to the Dinner Page! | Avoir la pêche!

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