Mediterranean Chicken

Quick and easy, the chicken breasts in this Mediterranean Chicken dish are basted in lemony broth with red bell peppers, black olives and tangy feta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Isn’t it funny how a recipe can take you back to another time, just like a song? This Mediterranean Chicken recipe takes me back to our Virginia Beach townhouse kitchen, where I first made this recipe.  (Take a tour HERE.)

This recipe was inspired by an advertisement for Athenos Cheese I had torn out of a magazine of what seems like ages ago. When I first made this recipe, I had not developed a taste for bell peppers yet. Although I liked the flavor of bell peppers, I really didn’t like to chew on them, so whenever I made the recipe, I always substituted raw tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes in place of the bell peppers.

Over the years I have developed a taste for bell peppers and enjoy eating them. I decided to revisit this recipe and give it another go. This time, I used the red bell pepper it called for, but I also put my own spin on it. In the past, this chicken dish was kind of dry, so I seared the breasts before smothering them with vegetables and cheese to lock in the juices. I also added some vegetable broth to the skillet for roasting. This provided, even more, flavor to the breasts and kept them moist and juicy.

Quick and easy, the chicken breasts in this Mediterranean Chicken dish are basted in lemony broth with red bell peppers, black olives and tangy feta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

I don’t make this delicious chicken often enough! It’s a chicken dish that can be thrown together in just a few minutes while giving you BIG flavor. The chicken breasts in this Mediterranean Chicken dish are basted in lemony broth with red bell peppers, black olives, and tangy feta cheese. This recipe is healthy, bright and packed with beautiful Mediterranean flavors!

Here’s how I made this delicious Mediterranean Chicken:

Quick and easy, the chicken breasts in this Mediterranean Chicken dish are basted in lemony broth with red bell peppers, black olives and tangy feta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Mediterranean Chicken | Servings: 4 | Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • extra virgin olive oil, for skillet
  • 1 ½ whole boneless skinless chicken breast*, cut into 4 fillets
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 4 to 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup black olives, pitted and sliced
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour enough olive oil into an oven proof skillet to generously coat the bottom. Heat the oil over medium heat until the oil shimmers, about 2 to 3 minutes. While the oil heats up, generously season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

Carefully place the chicken breasts into the pan starting with the end closest to you to avoid splattering hot oil on yourself. Allow the chicken breasts to brown without moving them, so that a nice golden-brown crust forms, about 3 to 4  minutes.

Quick and easy, the chicken breasts in this Mediterranean Chicken dish are basted in lemony broth with red bell peppers, black olives and tangy feta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

When the chicken is a nice golden color turn it over, drizzle the chicken directly with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Top each breast fillet with feta cheese, peppers, and black olives. Pour the vegetable broth around the chicken breasts and drizzle the chicken breasts with remaining lemon juice. Place the skillet in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until juice runs clear.

Quick and easy, the chicken breasts in this Mediterranean Chicken dish are basted in lemony broth with red bell peppers, black olives and tangy feta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

To serve, spoon some of the broth from the skillet and drizzle over the chicken breasts. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and enjoy!

Quick and easy, the chicken breasts in this Mediterranean Chicken dish are basted in lemony broth with red bell peppers, black olives and tangy feta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Recipe Notes:

*Pre-Sliced chicken fillets can be used instead of cutting whole breasts if desired.

Sun-dried tomatoes make an excellent substitute for the red bell peppers. 

If you have any leftovers make sure you pour the rest of the broth over top of the chicken, before sealing them up for the fridge. This will keep the chicken moist and the broth is super flavorful!

Quick and easy, the chicken breasts in this Mediterranean Chicken dish are basted in lemony broth with red bell peppers, black olives and tangy feta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

This chicken is a perfect weeknight meal when you have little time. Serve with alone or with asparagus or a small salad. Your meal is ready in under an hour!

I’m usually not a fan of leftover chicken. Surprisingly, the leftovers were just as good for lunch the next day! If you have any leftovers make sure to pour all of the broth from the skillet over top of the chicken, before sealing them up for the fridge. This will keep it moist and the broth is super flavorful!

Quick and easy, the chicken breasts in this Mediterranean Chicken dish are basted in lemony broth with red bell peppers, black olives and tangy feta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Isn’t it funny how the simplest dishes, especially the ones that are practically thrown together turn out to be some of the best?

What are some of your favorites? Comment below!

Quick and easy, the chicken breasts in this Mediterranean Chicken dish are basted in lemony broth with red bell peppers, black olives and tangy feta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com
Print
Mediterranean Chicken
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
Quick and easy, the chicken breasts in this Mediterranean Chicken dish are basted in lemony broth with red bell peppers, black olives, and tangy feta cheese.
Course: lunch, Main Course
Servings: 4
Author: Debbie Spivey
Ingredients
  • extra virgin olive oil for skillet
  • 1 ½ whole boneless skinless chicken breast* cut into 4 fillets
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice divided
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 4 to 6 ounces feta cheese crumbled
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • ¼ cup black olives pitted and sliced
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Pour enough olive oil into an oven proof skillet to generously coat the bottom. Heat the oil over medium heat until the oil shimmers, about 2 to 3 minutes. While the oil heats up, generously season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  3. Carefully place the chicken breasts into the pan starting with the end closest to you to avoid splattering hot oil on yourself. Allow the chicken breasts to brown without moving them, so that a nice golden-brown crust forms, about 3 to 4  minutes. When the chicken is a nice golden color turn it over, drizzle the chicken directly with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Top each breast fillet with feta cheese, peppers, and black olives. Pour the vegetable broth around the chicken breasts and drizzle the chicken breasts with remaining lemon juice. Place the skillet in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until juice runs clear.
  4. To serve, spoon some of the broth from the skillet and drizzle over the chicken breasts. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

*Pre-Sliced chicken fillets can be used instead of cutting whole breasts if desired.

Sun-dried tomatoes make an excellent substitute for the red bell peppers.

If you have any leftovers make sure you pour the rest of the broth over top of the chicken, before sealing them up for the fridge. This will keep the chicken moist and the broth is super flavorful!

Updated post from original post: November 2014

Kale Wild Rice and Mushroom Casserole {A Meatless Monday Recipe

This kale wild rice and mushroom casserole is the perfect winter meal, packed full of hearty kale, wild rice, and mushrooms with melted Gruyere cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

I adore casseroles, and I don’t make enough of them. They make wonderful warm and comforting winter meals inside one dish. This kale wild rice and mushroom casserole is the perfect winter meal, packed full of hearty kale, wild rice, and mushrooms with melted gruyere cheese.

I think what I like most about casseroles is that most of the time I can usually get all of the prep dishes cleared away before the casserole has even been taken out of the oven, leaving only the serving plates and utensils the only dishes left to clear. I like not having so many dishes to clean up all at once.

Another thing I like about making casseroles is that most can be made ahead of time. This casserole is no exception. I prepared it put the ingredients into the casserole dish, and allowed it to cool. Once it was cooled I refrigerated it overnight until I was ready to bake and serve.

I adapted the recipe for this kale wild rice and mushroom casserole to make it a vegetarian dish that David and I enjoyed as a Meatless Monday dish. So, keep this casserole in mind for your vegetarian friends and family this holiday season. Served as a main course or side dish, this flavorful casserole is also perfect for a busy weeknight meal this winter. It’s hearty, earthy, and deliciously nourishing.

Here’s how I made it:

This kale wild rice and mushroom casserole is the perfect winter meal, packed full of hearty kale, wild rice, and mushrooms with melted Gruyere cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Kale Wild Rice and Mushroom Casserole | Servings: 8 | Time: 60 minutes

Recipe adapted from Taste of The South Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 8-ounce package wild mushrooms, sliced
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh kale, ribs and stems removed; chopped (about 8 cups)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese, divided
  • 2 ½ cups cooked wild rice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish; set aside.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, the red crushed pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent and soft; about 10 to 15 minutes.

This kale wild rice and mushroom casserole is the perfect winter meal, packed full of hearty kale, wild rice, and mushrooms with melted Gruyere cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Add the kale to the mushroom mixture in batches. Stir each batch until wilted before each addition.

Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Pour the broth in gradually and then add the half-and-half. Stir constantly until thickened; about 5 minutes. Add half of the cheese and the cooked rice, stir well to combine.

This kale wild rice and mushroom casserole is the perfect winter meal, packed full of hearty kale, wild rice, and mushrooms with melted Gruyere cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Spoon the mixture into prepared casserole dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

This kale wild rice and mushroom casserole is the perfect winter meal, packed full of hearty kale, wild rice, and mushrooms with melted Gruyere cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the cheese has melted and bubbling.

Allow the casserole to cool 10 minutes before serving.

This kale wild rice and mushroom casserole is the perfect winter meal, packed full of hearty kale, wild rice, and mushrooms with melted Gruyere cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Recipe Notes:

Make ahead! Prepare the casserole, add to the casserole dish and allow to cool completely. Cover and place inside the refrigerator until needed. 45 minutes before serving, uncover, place the casserole inside a cold oven. Heat to 350 degrees F. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cheese has melted and bubbling hot.

This kale wild rice and mushroom casserole is the perfect winter meal, packed full of hearty kale, wild rice, and mushrooms with melted Gruyere cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

I hope this casserole makes it onto your table this holiday season.

Enjoy!

This kale wild rice and mushroom casserole is the perfect winter meal, packed full of hearty kale, wild rice, and mushrooms with melted Gruyere cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com
Print
Kale Wild Rice and Mushroom Casserole
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hrs
 
This kale wild rice and mushroom casserole is the perfect winter meal, packed full of hearty kale, wild rice, and mushrooms with melted gruyere cheese.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegetarian / Meatless Monday
Servings: 8
Author: Debbie Spivey
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion  chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic  minced
  • 8- ounce package wild mushrooms sliced
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh kale ribs and stems removed; chopped (about 8 cups)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese divided
  • 2 ½ cups cooked wild rice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, the red crushed pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent and soft; about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Add the kale to the mushroom mixture in batches. Stir each batch until wilted before each addition.
  4. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Pour the broth in gradually and then add the half-and-half. Stir constantly until thickened; about 5 minutes. Add half of the cheese and the cooked rice, stir well to combine.
  5. Spoon the mixture into prepared casserole dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the cheese has melted and bubbling.
  7. Allow the casserole to cool 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes

Make ahead! Prepare the casserole, add to the casserole dish and allow to cool completely. Cover and place inside the refrigerator until needed. 45 minutes before serving, uncover, place the casserole inside a cold oven. Heat to 350 degrees F. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cheese has melted and bubbling hot.

 

Recipe adapted from Taste of The South Magazine

 

Carrot Cake Muffins With Cream Cheese Frosting and Walnuts

These delicious carrot cake muffins are lightly spiced and topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with walnuts, an irresistible breakfast treat! | TheMountainKitchen.com

These delicious carrot cake muffins are lightly spiced and topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with walnuts, making them an irresistible breakfast treat!

Ok… ok!!!!! So I am becoming a little bit of a baker. I shared with you that delicious pumpkin bread a couple of weeks ago and not too long before that I shared those yummy cinnamon roll muffins that I made when Seth visited. So I’ll confess, I kind of enjoy baking, but only when I have the time! Let that be our little secret, ok?

The mountain is finally chilling down! It’s been a really warm year. I mean we haven’t even put our firewood on the front porch yet (delivery to come Friday). It’s almost mid-November, and FINALLY, it is starting to feel like it. I don’t know about you, but with the chill in the air, I tend to lean more towards soft, gooey, warm breakfast foods, especially on the weekends.

These delicious carrot cake muffins are lightly spiced and topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with walnuts, an irresistible breakfast treat! | TheMountainKitchen.com

These carrot cake muffins make eating carrot cake for breakfast possible without all the guilt that may come along with the very thought of cake for breakfast. Best of all, these carrot cake muffins come together in just minutes. In fact, I found the hardest thing about these muffins was allowing them too cool before frosting them.

Here’s how I made these delicious carrot cake muffins:

These delicious carrot cake muffins are lightly spiced and topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with walnuts, an irresistible breakfast treat! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Carrot Cake Muffins  |  Yield: 10-12 muffins  |  40 minutes

Recipe adapted from ShugarySweets.com

The Muffins:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • a pinch ground cloves
  • 1 cup shredded carrots

The Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2-ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

Bake the Muffins:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper cups or grease lightly. Set aside.

Whisk the sugar, oil, and eggs together in a large bowl, mix well to combine. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Mix until fully combined. It’s important to combine the ingredients well but do not over mix.  Fold in carrots with a large spoon to combine.

Fill each muffin cup about ⅔ of the way full of batter, leaving any remaining cups empty.

These delicious carrot cake muffins are lightly spiced and topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with walnuts, an irresistible breakfast treat! | TheMountainKitchen.com

I had exactly 11 cups full of batter.

Bake the muffins 20 to 24 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

These delicious carrot cake muffins are lightly spiced and topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with walnuts, an irresistible breakfast treat! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Allow the muffins to cool about 5 to 10 minutes in the tin, then remove the muffins from the pan onto a cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely before frosting. (That’s the hardest part!)

These delicious carrot cake muffins are lightly spiced and topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with walnuts, an irresistible breakfast treat! | TheMountainKitchen.com

These delicious carrot cake muffins are lightly spiced and topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with walnuts, an irresistible breakfast treat! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Make the Topping:

To make the frosting, add the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and heavy cream in a small bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy.

Top each muffin with the cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

These delicious carrot cake muffins are lightly spiced and topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with walnuts, an irresistible breakfast treat! | TheMountainKitchen.com

These delicious carrot cake muffins are lightly spiced and topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with walnuts, an irresistible breakfast treat! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Recipe Notes:

Take out the cream cheese and butter to soften before preparing the muffins.

Chopped Pecans can be substituted for walnuts.

These delicious carrot cake muffins are lightly spiced and topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with walnuts, an irresistible breakfast treat! | TheMountainKitchen.com

One of David’s favorite desserts is the Ultimate Carrot Cake I make for him from time to time, so you can imagine how these carrot cake muffins went over with him. He and his sweet teeth enjoyed them greatly!

I hope you and your sweet teeth enjoy these muffins just as much. With the holidays coming up, these carrot cake muffins will be a win for breakfast in your house this holiday season!

Enjoy!

These delicious carrot cake muffins are lightly spiced and topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with walnuts, an irresistible breakfast treat! | TheMountainKitchen.com
Print
Carrot Cake Muffins
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
These delicious carrot cake muffins are lightly spiced and topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with walnuts, an irresistible breakfast treat!
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Author: Debbie Spivey
Ingredients
The Muffins:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon  cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • a pinch ground cloves
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
The Topping:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 2- ounces cream cheese softened
  • ½ teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
Make the Muffins
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper cups or grease lightly. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the sugar, oil, and eggs together in a large bowl, mix well to combine. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Mix until fully combined. It's important to combine the ingredients well but do not over mix.  Fold in carrots with a large spoon to combine.
  3. Fill each muffin cup about ⅔ of the way full of batter, leaving any remaining cups empty. 

  4. Bake the muffins 20 to 24 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the pan onto a cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely before frosting.

Make the Topping:
  1. To make the frosting, add the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and heavy cream in a small bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Top each muffin with the cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from ShugarySweets.com

Take out the cream cheese and butter to soften before preparing the muffins.


Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner

Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner: A sweet and savory combination of roasted apples, fennel, and spicy Italian sausage and rice. A great weeknight meal! | TheMountainKitchen.com

I am here to tell you that this sausage apple fennel sheet pan dinner is bursting with fall flavor!! Not to mention this easy sheet pan meal comes together in less than an hour, using just a few ingredients, and cooks on a single sheet pan, with rice.

I was a little late to the sheet pan game, but I have jumped on board. I love the time savings and most everything you throw onto the pan is so much more flavorful roasted, making flavor the easiest part about them. Sheet pan dinners are also easy to clean up and that can be a major plus when trying to figure out a weeknight meal during a hectic week. The only trick (or should I say snag?) is trying to figure out combinations of ingredients with the same cook times, without one ingredient being overcooked.

This sausage apple fennel sheet pan dinner was the first time I have ever cooked fennel. I even bought the bulbs without really knowing what to even do with them, but I really loved that this recipe used fennel. David and I tried it recently at one of our favorite local restaurants in town called Osteria 510, and we really enjoyed it. Before that night, we were afraid of it, because of its licorice description. Popular in Mediterranean cuisine, fennel is used mostly for its bulb, but also for its green fronds. Cooked, fennel is crunchy, slightly sweet, and savory, and can refresh any dish. Surprisingly, it doesn’t taste like licorice, but it sure smells like it in its raw form. Neither David nor I would ever touch it if it tasted the way it smells because we do not like licorice. Fennel is a different vegetable when cooked. It retains its crisp texture and carmelizes wonderfully in the oven, with a fresh sweet taste.

(You can learn more about fennel and how to prepare it HERE)

A sweet and savory combination of roasted apples, fennel, and spicy Italian sausage tossed with tangy apple cider vinegar infuse the rice while cooking. This sausage apple fennel sheet pan dinner is perfect when you’re tired and hungry.

Here’s how I made it:

Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner: A sweet and savory combination of roasted apples, fennel, and spicy Italian sausage and rice. A great weeknight meal! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner | Servings: 4 | Time: 50 Minutes

Recipe adapted from Southern Living Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼  cup apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound Hot Italian sausage links
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, sliced, fronds reserved
  • 2 medium-size apples, cut into 1-inch wedges
  • (2) 8.8-ounce pouches microwavable ready-to-serve rice (such as Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet; set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk oil, vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the sausages, fennel, apples, with the vinegar mixture in a large bowl.

Mound the rice in the center of the prepared sheet pan. Top with sausages, fennel, and apples, covering it completely. Drizzle with any remaining vinegar mixture that may be left in the bowl.

Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner: A sweet and savory combination of roasted apples, fennel, and spicy Italian sausage and rice. A great weeknight meal! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until sausages are cooked through and fennel and apples are golden and tender.

Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner: A sweet and savory combination of roasted apples, fennel, and spicy Italian sausage and rice. A great weeknight meal! | TheMountainKitchen.com

To serve, divide the vegetables, rice, and sausages evenly among 4 plates. Finish plating by evenly sprinkling a bit of green chopped fennel fronds on top for more delicious fennel flavor.

Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner: A sweet and savory combination of roasted apples, fennel, and spicy Italian sausage and rice. A great weeknight meal! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Recipe Notes:

Use chicken sausage if you want, just make sure to cut sausages to about 4-inches long to ensure more even cooking.

Make sure you completely cover the rice, or it will get hard and crispy. 

It is important to choose a very firm and crisp apples such as Honeycrisp or Fuji.

Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner: A sweet and savory combination of roasted apples, fennel, and spicy Italian sausage and rice. A great weeknight meal! | TheMountainKitchen.com

I have made this sheet pan meal twice now, with different results. The first time this meal cooked beautifully, but the second time it seemed to take longer to cook the sausages and the apples were mushy because they were not one of the more crispy varieties.

I had a HUGE laugh watching David eat one of the apple slices. He almost went into some type of convulsion because of the texture it had. He keeps telling me to take the apples out and add in potato wedges instead. You know, I love the combination of apples and pork together and he’s obviously a meat and taters kind of guy, but I think that would be good! 😉

Enjoy!

Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner: A sweet and savory combination of roasted apples, fennel, and spicy Italian sausage and rice. A great weeknight meal! | TheMountainKitchen.com
Print
Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hrs
 
Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner: A sweet and savory combination of roasted apples, fennel, and spicy Italian sausage and rice. A great weeknight meal!
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4
Author: Debbie Spivey
Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼   cup apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound Hot Italian sausage links
  • 2 small fennel bulbs sliced, fronds reserved
  • 2 medium-size apples cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 2 8.8 ounce pouches microwavable ready-to-serve rice (such as Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk oil, vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Toss the sausages, fennel, apples, with the vinegar mixture in a large bowl.
  4. Mound the rice in the center of the prepared sheet pan. Top with sausages, fennel, and apples, covering it completely. Drizzle with any remaining vinegar mixture that may be left in the bowl.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until sausages are cooked through and fennel and apples are golden and tender.
  6. To serve, divide the vegetables, rice, and sausages evenly among 4 plates. Finish plating by evenly sprinkling a bit of green chopped fennel fronds on top for more delicious fennel flavor.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Southern Living Magazine

Use chicken sausage if you want, just make sure to cut sausages to about 4-inches long to ensure more even cooking.

Make sure you completely cover the rice, or it will get hard and crispy. 

It is important to choose a very firm and crisp apples such as Honeycrisp or Fuji.


Roasted Pumpkin Soup With Almonds and Sage {A Meatless Monday Recipe

This easy vegetarian roasted pumpkin soup with almonds and sage is a creamy, velvety smooth soup, yet healthy way to start a fall dinner or as meal itself! | TheMountainKitchen.com

This roasted pumpkin soup with almonds and sage is my very first savory pumpkin recipe. Until now, I’ve only eaten pumpkin as a dessert in pumpkin pie and in bread like the recipe I shared with you last week.

Being born on Halloween was one of the coolest days of the year to be born, especially as a child. Growing up I pretty much partied all day long. I would wake up and open presents before going to school, participated in Halloween parties at school, then I would ride the school bus home, dress up in my costume, go out trick-or-treating with other neighborhood kids, then meet up from a Halloween party at church, leave there and come home have a Dairy Queen ice cream birthday cake. I did this every year for the first 12 years of my life, until I wasn’t able to go trick-or-treating anymore. After those 12 years, my birthday has been pretty boring.

As a child, I knew my birthday was coming soon, whenever J.T. Ferguson brought me the biggest, bright orange pumpkin from his garden. J.T. was a hired hand on my daddy’s farm growing up. He always made me feel special and put up with me getting in his way, until that one day he couldn’t deal and told my mama on me (I deserved it). He was a kindhearted man with three children of his own. He eventually left our farm to go and work somewhere else. To me, the farm was never really the same after he left and I’m not sure daddy ever found anyone that dependable and I miss him calling be “Jack Rabbit” and his contagious laugh.

All those years ago, if you had told me, the tomboy I used to be growing up on the farm, that I would be eating pumpkin soup, I would have laughed in your face! But I didn’t know just how good it would be! This easy vegetarian roasted pumpkin soup with almonds and sage is a creamy, velvety smooth soup, yet healthy way to start any fall dinner or as a dinner with crusty bread right by itself.

This easy vegetarian roasted pumpkin soup with almonds and sage is a creamy, velvety smooth soup, yet healthy way to start a fall dinner or as meal itself! | TheMountainKitchen.com

The original recipe boasts about how canned pumpkin is quite good, saving you lots of time and effort, but honestly, roasting a pumpkin is not that hard. For this recipe, I roasted the sugar pumpkin the day before I made the soup. A medium-sized (3 to 4 pound) sugar pumpkin typically yields about 1½ cups of mashed pumpkin. The hardest part is cutting open the pumpkin. It only takes an hour and you can practically do that while watching your favorite show on television. If you opt to use canned pumpkin instead, make sure you get canned pumpkin and not pie filling, as the pie filling is loaded with sugar and spices that would clash in this savory soup.

Besides the roasted pumpkin, I think my favorite part of this soup is the roasted almonds. Not only do they help thicken the soup, they also provide a crunchy topping as a garnish that I love because I am such a crunch lover. Another great thing about this soup is that David liked it just as much as I did and he doesn’t really care for almonds. Score!

Here’s how I made this delicious roasted pumpkin soup:

This easy vegetarian roasted pumpkin soup with almonds and sage is a creamy, velvety smooth soup, yet healthy way to start a fall dinner or as meal itself! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Roasted Pumpkin Soup With Almonds and Sage | Servings: 4 | Time: 105 Minutes

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sugar pumpkin (about 3 to 4 pounds)
  • extra virgin olive oil, for oiling pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ¾ cup unsalted, sliced roasted almonds, divided
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, chopped for serving

Roast the Pumpkin:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Cut the stem off of the pumpkin, then cut the pumpkin in half.  Using a spoon, scrape out the insides well; discard seeds and pulp. Lay the pumpkin halves cut-side down. Rub the oil all over the outside skin; bake for 1 hour, or until fork-tender.  Cool completely.

This easy vegetarian roasted pumpkin soup with almonds and sage is a creamy, velvety smooth soup, yet healthy way to start a fall dinner or as meal itself! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Using a large spoon, scoop out the pulp from the roasted pumpkin; dump the pulp directly into the soup or storage container to put in the fridge if making ahead.

Make the Soup:

Melt butter in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add sage leaves and allow them to become fragrant. Add in the onions, cover and cook for about 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions have slightly started to brown.

This easy vegetarian roasted pumpkin soup with almonds and sage is a creamy, velvety smooth soup, yet healthy way to start a fall dinner or as meal itself! | TheMountainKitchen.com

While onion is browning, coarsely chop ¼ cup of the almonds; set aside.

Whisk the flour and ¼ cup of the vegetable broth; stir it into the pot with the onions. Add remaining ½ cup almonds, remaining 2 ¾ cups broth, the pumpkin, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat; simmer 5 to 7 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure pumpkin mixture does not stick.

This easy vegetarian roasted pumpkin soup with almonds and sage is a creamy, velvety smooth soup, yet healthy way to start a fall dinner or as meal itself! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Turn off the heat. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth or transfer the soup in batches to a food processor or blender; puree, then return the soup back to the pot.

Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with reserved ¼ cup chopped almonds and scallions.

I served our soup with crusty bread.

This easy vegetarian roasted pumpkin soup with almonds and sage is a creamy, velvety smooth soup, yet healthy way to start a fall dinner or as meal itself! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Recipe Notes:

This is a very thick soup, but if you feel it is too thick, add about ¼ cup of the vegetable broth or water at a time until you reach the desired thickness. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

This easy vegetarian roasted pumpkin soup with almonds and sage is a creamy, velvety smooth soup, yet healthy way to start a fall dinner or as meal itself! | TheMountainKitchen.com

I hope you will enjoy this soup for Meatless Monday, while remembering some of your favorite Halloween memories. Want to share a memory? Comment below, we’d love to hear your story.

Happy Halloween!

This easy vegetarian roasted pumpkin soup with almonds and sage is a creamy, velvety smooth soup, yet healthy way to start a fall dinner or as meal itself! | TheMountainKitchen.com
Print
Roasted Pumpkin Soup With Almonds and Sage
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs 30 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 45 mins
 
This easy vegetarian roasted pumpkin soup with almonds and sage is a creamy, velvety smooth soup, yet healthy way to start a fall dinner or as meal itself!
Course: Appetizer, lunch, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: Vegetarian / Meatless Monday
Servings: 4
Author: Debbie Spivey
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sugar pumpkin about 3 to 4 pounds
  • extra virgin olive oil for oiling pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • ¾ cup unsalted sliced roasted almonds, divided
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups vegetable broth divided
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons scallions chopped for serving
Instructions
Roast the Pumpkin:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Cut the stem off of the pumpkin, then cut the pumpkin in half.  Using a spoon, scrape out the insides well; discard seeds and pulp. Lay the pumpkin halves cut-side down. Rub the oil all over the outside skin; bake for 1 hour, or until fork-tender.  Cool completely.
  3. Using a large spoon, scoop out the pulp from the roasted pumpkin; dump the pulp directly into the soup or storage container to put in the fridge if making ahead.
Make the Soup:
  1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add sage leaves and allow them to become fragrant. Add in the onions, cover and cook for about 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions have slightly started to brown.
  2. While onion is browning, coarsely chop ¼ cup of the almonds; set aside.
  3. Whisk the flour and ¼ cup of the vegetable broth; stir it into the pot with the onions. Add remaining ½ cup almonds, remaining 2 ¾ cups broth, the pumpkin, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat; simmer 5 to 7 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure pumpkin mixture does not stick.
  4. Turn off the heat. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth or transfer the soup in batches to a food processor or blender; puree, then return the soup back to the pot.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with reserved ¼ cup chopped almonds and scallions.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

This is a very thick soup, but if you feel it is too thick, add about ¼ cup of the vegetable broth or water at a time until you reach the desired thickness. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.