I'm talkin' about a mile high mound of pasta, loaded with melty cheese and butter...
oh wait, that's pre Celiac and aggervated IBS Amber talking. JUST KIDDING! That's what I USED to crave when my tastebuds starting tingling for some solace in a pile of spaghetti.....
This Easy Italian Dinner, with a fusion of flavors and plethora of add in options, to suit to your liking, will have people thinking you spent hours slaving away in the kitchen!
You don't have to tell them your secret, it's okay to create delicious dishes in a pinch, and pass them off as gourmet, I do it all the time!
I made this dish using already prepped food that I had previously cooked, so I simply put all the cooked ingredients into a skillet, added a can of diced tomatoes, some garlic and was good to go!
I will write the recipe, as if you need to cook all the ingredients, but remember, this dish can be made, using pre cooked meats, veggies, and spaghetti squash, just simply add a can of diced tomatoes, crushed garlic to your tasting and voila, dinner is done!
That being said, before I show you the recipe, you have some decisions to make:
Pick Your Protein Base: (I've made it with ALL three, even mixing my proteins together)
- Grilled Chicken
- Ground Turkey
Pick Your Greens: Frozen or Fresh
- Other Leafy Green
Other Veggie Add In Options - sauté separately before adding to skillet
- Mushrooms (Baby Bella, Crimini, White)
Italian Spaghetti Squash Skillet - I make this as a single serving, double for two!
1 Chicken Breast/Ground Turkey Serving/Salmon Filet - DEFROST YOUR PROTEIN :)
14.5 Ounce Can of Diced Tomatoes (keep juice, don't drain) - I used about 3/4s of the can!
Kale/Spinach/Other Leafy Green
Spaghetti Squash - Cooked and "Forked"
1 teaspoon of garlic (add more if you want a more "powerful" garlic flavor)
Additional Veggie Add Ins
How to Cook Your Chicken - Three Choices
With all cooking options for chicken, season your chicken how YOU want, some suggestions:
- Garlic and Herb Seasoning by McCormick
- Lemon Garlic (I use a Wegman's Marinade)
- Salt & Pepper
- Garlic Powder
- Italian Style Dressing as a marinade
Pick something that will pair well with tomatoes and spinach!
1. Cut chicken breast into strips
2. Marinate OR Rub Seasoning all over Chicken
3. Lightly spray grill pan (or you can use a real grill, I unfortunately do not have a real grill)
4. Turn grill pan heat to medium, add seasoned chicken breast
5. Cook strips until brown on one side, 5-7 minutes, then flip over and repeat the process
6. Keep warm until ready to place into the skillet with the other mix ins
1. Cut chicken breast into strips
2. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
3. Marinate OR Rub Seasoning all over Chicken
3. Lightly spray baking sheet
4. Add chicken to baking sheet, cook for ten minutes, then flip over, cook another ten minutes
5. Check your chicken after 20 minutes, if still pink, cook an addition three minutes. You don't want to dry the chicken out!
6. Keep warm until ready to be placed into the skillet
Juicy Baked Chicken premise)
1. Preheat Oven to 360 Degrees
2. Rub Seasoning all over Chicken OR Pour Marinade over Chicken
3. Use aluminum foil to create a "flavor pouch" for the chicken
3. Place Seasoned Chicken Breast in the aluminum foil, with a drizzling of light olive oil
4. Seal aluminum foil pouch TIGHTLY
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink
6. Shred or Slice up Chicken to be placed into the skillet with the other mix ins
1. In a skillet, add a teaspoon of olive oil
2. Add salmon, rubbing olive oil over the salmon
3. Season with salt and pepper (or other seasoning complimentary to Italian food)
4. Cook on medium heat, flaking the salmon up if desired5. Set aside, keep it warm until ready to place into the skillet with other mix ins
1. Lightly coat salmon with a teaspoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper (or other seasoning complimentary to Italian food)
2. Place on broil pan
3. Broil on high for 8 minutes one side
4. Flip, and broil for 8 minutes on other side
5. Set aside, keep it warm until ready to place into the skillet with other mix ins
1. Add ground turkey to a skillet
2. Sprinkle with garlic powder
3. Mix in garlic powder (I use my hands, right in the skillet, less dishes :P)
4. Cook ground turkey on medium heat, breaking it up into chunks
5. Turkey is done once the juices run clear
6. Speaking of juices, drain whatever remnants are left in the skillet
7. Set turkey aside, keep it warm until ready to place into the skillet with other mix ins
How to Cook Your Greens - Frozen or Fresh
- If using frozen veggies, simply cook and drain
- If using fresh veggies,
sauté separately before
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash - See my Post on it Here
NOW COMES THE FUN PART - ADDING IT ALL TOGETHER FOR A FLAVOR INFUSION
1. Spray or use 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil for your medium to large sized skillet
2. Turn heat to medium
3. Add in half of the can of diced tomatoes, with juice
4. Add in your: protein, leafy green, and optional veggie add ins, stir, to ensure everything has been coated with the diced tomatoes and juice, if not, add in more from the can.
(I usually use 3/4s for one serving)
5. Now add in your teaspoon (or more!) of minced/crushed garlic, stirring again
6. Continue to cook your skillet meal, until tomato juice starts to boil, stir again and let simmer for a few minutes
7. While your skillet is simmering either:
- serve desired amount of spaghetti squash in bowl (heat up if necessary)
- Add spaghetti squash to skillet, continue to cook until dish is warmed all the way through
8. Transfer all skillet items to a bowl and ENJOY this hearty yet healthy, comforting Italian dish!
- Like spice? Add crushed red pepper flakes
- Vegetarian or Vegan? Swap out the meats for tofu or tempeh
- Mix your ground turkey and chicken together OR Mix your meat with salmon for "surf and turf"
- I have not made this and saved it all together as a left over, I feel it may become to watery
- Not a fan of spaghetti squash? Use regular spaghetti or zoodles
- Serve with quinoa on the side with olive oil, salt, and pepper if you need your starch fix like me :)