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Sweet Italian Sausage Soup with Kale

It seemed like there was this annoying, persistent cough that ran through our whole household. It also liked to linger, taking each person about two weeks to get over. After numerous doctors visits, we learned to ignore it since they assured us it was nothing over and over again. So two weeks ago when I started coughing I didn’t really think anything of it. Even when I started having issues with a lot of muscus. Thought nothing of it. Probably a bad case of bronchitis and I put myself on a self-prescribed regimen of mucinex, pseudophed, and copious amounts of Vitamin C which seemed to help at first. But I just couldn’t shake it, even after a week of heavy meds, sleep, and all my usual go-to remedies. I was tired all the time. Just sitting up was exhausting. Breathing? If that didn’t send me into a convulsive coughing fit, it too was excruciatingly tiring. I just wanted to sleep. And sleep. And sleep some more. I could have slept forever. But, after two weeks of trudging along the worst seemed to be over. Yea, I was still tired all the time and still coughing, but it did seem a bit better. Then I woke up with this persistent pain in my back that continued to get worse over a 48 hour period. All signs pointed to a kidney infection, so I finished work and then bundled up and headed off to the ER on a Friday night. 6 hours and 5 prescriptions later, I was diagnosed with pneumonia. Well … that escalated quickly. The kids seemed to think I was on vacation and not sick leave trying to recover. Out of pity, and because it was the only thing I thought I could stomach, I made one big pot of soup to last through the weekend. You wanted something else, I hope you know where the kitchen is because I thought this Italian sausage soup sounded perfect. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner.

 Sweet Italian Sausage Soup with Kale

Don’t let the word soup fool you though, sick or not. This is a complete meal in a bowl and kale is one of the healthiest vegetables around, high in vitamins K, A and C with both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. I was probably a tad bit heavy handed with the kale on this batch, but that’s where all the nutrients are and I was trying to stop that crud in it’s tracks.

This is also a ‘rough’ soup, so there was no need to feel the pressures of perfection. Which was good, because those veggies weren’t going to chop themselves and the precision required to give them a polished look might have cost me a finger at that point. It’s a rustic soup, and whenever you hear the word ‘rustic’ you’ve got my permission to hack away at the veggies. Relieve some stress. Take out your problems and frustration on the onion and carrots. Let them know you won’t take it lying down. Well, actually you probably will, because when you’ve got pneumonia, making a big pot of whoop-ass in your dutch oven will (not-surprisingly) sap the last reserves of your strength, but you get the gist.

Have you had Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana? This is the worldly Zuppa’s cousin visiting from it’s cabin in the woods. Heartier, healthier, and still just as flavorful. Whether you’re sick or not, this recipe serves up a heaping bowl of (guilt-free) comfort.

Sweet Italian Sausage Soup with Kale

Sweet Italian Sausage Soup with Kale

recipe adapted from The Housewife In Training Files

1 1/2 lbs sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
1 onion, diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
6 cups beef broth
3 cups chopped kale, stems removed

Directions

1. In a dutch oven, or other large pot, add the Italian sausage and sauté until no longer pink. Drain, and return to the pan. Add in the onions, peppers and garlic. Cooking until just softened.
2. Add in the seasonings, tomato paste, diced tomatoes (with juice), broth and kale.
3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 15 – 20 minutes to meld flavors. Ladle into bowls and serve. Add a sprinkle of cheese if desired.

Crockpot Lasagna

I love a good classic.

A classic novel. {i.e. Pride & Prejudice}

A classic movie. {i.e. Roman Holiday }

And I most definitely love a classic lasagna recipe. {i.e. this one!}

Let’s keep it real though. On top of it being an all-out yummy classic comfort food, lasagna is a busy mom’s secret dinner weapon. I

t’s such a great option, especially when we’re talking about a crockpot, not oven, version because it’s so easy to throw together and it’s really filling, so a little goes a long way.

Crockpot Lasagna 5

Plus, this recipe usually makes enough for leftovers, which is a bonus because lasagna is one of those foods that almost always tastes even better the next day.

Lasagna also keeps well in the freezer, so if you have the carb-resisting strength, you can freeze the extra for another meal. Maybe a lunch or light dinner?

It’s safe to say that given the sheer number of lasagna recipes out there, the secret to making great lasagna is finding a recipe with ingredients that you love.

For us, the trick comes down to quality meats (that’s right, meats, plural), quality cheeses (again, plural), and a top notch sauce.

 crockpot lasagna 3

Just look at that? Does it get anymore perfect than this, cooked to bubbling perfection?

I was always so tired of getting it wrong when I would bake them in the oven. We love a few crispy edges, but not throughout the whole thing!

And, then… voila!

Crockpot Lasagna 4

 This is a no-fail recipe that guarantees you won’t end up with hard, crusty noodles or a totally dry dish.

Just layer the ingredients in the crockpot, sit back, and relax!

Crockpot Lasagna 2

Three different cheeses simmer right along with delicious ground meats and perfectly herbed pasta sauce in this easy, no fuss, delicious lasagna.

Dinner is serrrved!

Crockpot Lasagna

crockpot lasagna

If you’ve tried this CROCKPOT LASAGNA, or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTERESTFACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!

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Crockpot Lasagna

Easy Italian lasagna that features both ground beef and crumbled Italian sausage, this one is saucy with a blend of multiple cheeses between layers of pasta noodles is made just as delicious but easier when it's made from scratch all in the crock of your slow cooker.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 750kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1-2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 29 oz can tomato sauce
  • 8 oz pkg. lasagna noodles uncooked
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese + 1/2 cup
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated or shredded

Instructions

  • Brown the ground beef and ground sausage. When they’re about half way done add in the garlic and onions. When the meat is browned drain and return to the pan or skillet.
  • Stir the tomato sauce in with the cooked meat.
  • Spread 1/4 of the meat sauce on the bottom of a prepared (sprayed well with non-stick cooking spray) crock-pot.
  • Arrange 1/3 of the uncooked noodles over the sauce, breaking them up to fit better as you go.
  • Combine the 4 cups of mozzarella, ricotta, and Parmesan cheeses in a bowl. Spoon 1/3 of the cheese mixture over the noodles. Gently spread it out to form a layer that covers the noodles.
  • Repeat these layers twice.
  • Top with the remaining meat sauce.
  • Cover and cook on low for 4 hrs.
  • Let the lasagna stand in the crock-pot with the lid off for at least 10 minutes. 5 minutes before serving sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella over the top.

Nutrition

Calories: 750kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 155mg | Sodium: 1483mg | Potassium: 817mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1078IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 497mg | Iron: 4mg

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