Thursday, November 3, 2016

creamy skillet lasagna

We have been so busy . . . in a good way!

We hosted family for 9 days . . . and filled those days with visits to local towns, browsing through thrift stores, lots of eating, hikes, and family time. I loved sharing my favorite places, and discovering new ones, like Mom's Apple Pie!

Since our weather was particularly cold and windy, I was sure to fill our evenings with cozy dinners; and, of course, desserts.

Our 'at home' dinners included clam chowder in fresh sourdough bowls, creamy chicken enchilada soup, black pepper & sage butter biscuits with sausage gravy, and left-over old fashioned beef & vegetable stew.

I LOVE serving dessert after dinner when we host family and friends. I want their stay to feel extra special, and sometimes indulging in a dessert every evening can make it really feel like you're on vacation. Over the course of the week, we enjoyed pies, chewy triple chocolate cookies, dark chocolate hot cocoa with coconut cream, and hot caramel pumpkins with whipped cream and (real) chocolate sprinkles! Phewwww :0)

It was a wonderful week!

So now that I'm all caught up after taking the week "off," I wanted to finish this long overdue post.

I've made some truly delicious recipes over the last few months, and have taken photos along the way with every intention of sharing them here. I have to tell you though - I have been very busy enjoying Virginia! My intentionally filled days keep me busy and active in the kitchen, as well as out and about. There's so much to see and explore while we're living here, and I don't want to miss any of it!  

Ok, so let's talk about this deeeeelicious (and easy) recipe!

It has become one of our family's (and MY!!) favorite dishes! 

I haven't made traditional lasagna, so I can't compare preparing this recipe to 'the real deal,' but I will tell you that this recipe for skillet lasagna is packed full of flavor . . . thank you, spicy sausage and creamy tomato sauce (courtesy of the cream cheese!). The bubbly mozzarella and nutty fontina sends this yummy goodness over the top. I know that olives aren't traditionally scattered on top of lasagna, but I like the color contrast . . . as well as the salty bite it gives the dish. 

A few more non-traditional ingredients are zucchini and yellow squash. Both give this dish added nutrition and moisture. An added bonus!

The recipe calls for marinara sauce, but I prefer using my all-time favorite Three Cheese Pomodoro Pasta Sauce from Trader Joe's.  Feel free to substitute the marinara sauce with your favorite tomato sauce too! 

I can't wait for you to try this recipe!

It's not only become a favorite recipe in our home, but I love making it when we have guests for dinner. It's beautiful presentation served alongside fresh garlic bread and an arugula & Parmesan salad makes for a wonderful meal to share with your family and friends.

I promise it will become a family favorite in your home, too!

creamy skillet lasagna
.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 each small zucchini and summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch thick half moons
8 ounce Italian sausage, casings removed
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
8 ounce no-cook lasagna noodles, broken into small pieces
2 cups marinara sauce
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
4 ounces mozzarella, coarsely grated (about 1 cup) 
2 ounces fontina, coarsely grated (about 1/2 cup)
1 small can sliced olives, *optional for garnish
Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped *optional for garnish
.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Heat the oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the zucchini and squash, season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, tossing a couple of times, until lightly golden brown, 3 - 4 minutes. Transfer to plate.

Reduce heat to medium, then add the sausage, garlic and onion and cook, breaking up the sausage with the back of the spoon, for 2 minutes.

Add the marinara and pasta, then the broth, and bring to a boil. Simmer vigorously, stirring often, until the pasta is tender, 18-22 minutes.

Meanwhile, head the broiler.

Fold the cream cheese into the cooked pasta to melt, then the zucchini and squash.

Sprinkle with the mozzarella and fontina, and broil until golden brown about 2 minutes.

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Thank you so much for stopping by!
I love reading your comments and appreciate them so much!


  1. Sounds yummy! I swear, I am getting a list of your recipes a mile long to try out in our kitchen!!! I keep a 3 ring binder of recipes I print out and want to try. The thing that attracts me to yours (other than your fantastic photos!) is that they seem so "do-able" for me. I am not a gourmet cook and sometimes elements of a recipe "frighten" me. Not yours - they are totally approachable. I love skillet dinners that can be made in the cast iron skillet I inherited from my grandmother many years ago - I am sure I ate many meals created in that skillet when I was a child. This will be perfect and looks pretty quick, too - so, it is definitely a candidate for an "after work" meal!

  2. I'm all over this one, Suzanne. :)

  3. This looks so doggone good! But I have to VENT!! I am not getting your posts again! You told me this post was coming out the following day when I commented on Instagram. I've been keeping an eye out for it and by golly I didn't get it. I had to Google Simply Suzanne and I saw that the lasagna post was indeed out. This happened a while back -- I don't know how many posts I've missed. If you haven't seen me commenting it's because I didn't get it. I'm sorry I missed your gorgeous photos and wonderful recipes. I'll try signing up again. Love and hugs!!

  4. 3 Studies PROVE How Coconut Oil Kills Fat.

    This means that you literally get rid of fat by eating Coconut Fats (also coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 researches from big medicinal journals are sure to turn the conventional nutrition world upside down!


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