Lasagna Soup

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Lasagna Soup |

The other night, we had a dorm event centered around soup. That is my kind of event! I love soup passionately, and have shared many soups here across the years.

I started to ask my husband which soup he wanted me to bring, then amended my statement to, “Do you want me to make lasagna soup?”

He shook his head vigorously. This is probably his favorite soup that I make, and it’s a great crowd-pleaser for events. It’s hearty and satisfying and really much easier to make than a lasagna. With just a touch of cheese, you get the same lasagna feeling, too, without being weighed down with tons of carbs and dairy products.

Make some soup to survive these last weeks of winter. You won’t be sad to have a bowl of this on your table. And if you need more carbs, it’s a great dipping vessel for crusty bread.

Lasagna Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 5-6 servings

Lasagna Soup

Slightly adapted from Bobby Deen's recipe.


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed (pork or turkey works)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 4 c. chicken broth or stock
  • 15 oz. tomato sauce
  • 14.5 oz. petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 4 lasagna noodles, broken into small pieces (whole wheat or regular noodles)
  • 3 T grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, plus more for serving


In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage, onion, green pepper, and garlic. Cook, breaking up the meat, until the sausage is cooked through and the onion is soft.

Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, tomatoes, salt, red pepper flakes, and basil to the pot; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.

Bring back to a boil and drop in noodle pieces. Cook until they are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in cheeses.

Serve sprinkle with extra mozzarella cheese.


Chunky Pizza Soup {Secret Recipe Club}

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Chunky Pizza Soup with Cheese Toast

You can never have enough soup recipes during the winter? Am I right? I could eat soup basically for every meal and be happy as a clam.

My assignment for this month’s Secret Recipe Club was Searching for Spice. Corina lives in Surrey, England, and has two little ones. Her recipes are for busy moms, loaded with hearty spices, and delicious. Many of her recipes are ethnic, especially falling into the Indian and Thai food categories. They look delightful, and I’m eager to try one on my husband, like Chicken Biryani with Spinach Raita. (OK, he won’t eat that raita, but I definitely will!)

I’m always a little daunted by recipes that are in metric and have unfamiliar ingredients, but my husband reminded me that Google is my friend and I can do it! Thankfully Corina’s recipe for Pizza Soup looked awesome and had few conversions for me to do.

This soup has big pieces of bell pepper, onion, salami, and mushrooms, making it hearty enough for a meal on its own, which sometimes soup is not. A slice of cheese toast on the top helps balance the acidity of the tomatoes and adds and extra flavor layer. I made just a few modifications. Corin may be ashamed of me, but I can’t handle spicy foods, so I subbed in salami for chorizo and reduced the red pepper flakes a little. If you like spice, by all means, throw in as many as you want. And maybe some jalapeños, too!

Chunky Pizza Soup

Yield: 4 servings

Chunky Pizza Soup

Adapted from Searching for Spice.


  • 1 T olive oil
  • about 7 oz. salami, pepperoni, or chorizo, cubed
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 28 oz. canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • black pepper, to taste
  • for cheese toast
  • 4 slices of bread
  • shredded mozzarella or sharp cheddar cheese
  • Italian seasoning


In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add salami and cook a few minutes, stirring, until it begins to crisp. Add bell pepper, mushrooms, garlic, and onion and reduce heat to medium. Sauté until onions are soft and translucent.

Add balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes to the pot, and stir well. Fill the tomato can about two-thirds with water and add it to the soup, stirring. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese and some black pepper.

Top bread slices with shredded cheese and a pinch of Italian seasoning and broil until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Ladle soup into bowls, then top with cheese toast. (You can substitute toasted garlic bread as well.)

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Honey Parmesan Pork Roast in the Crockpot

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It’s week 3 of the “Good and Good for You” pork challenge here at Vanderbilt Wife. I have been so thrilled by this challenge: we’ve found some great new recipes, had friends over each Thursday night, and may have established a new weekly tradition!

I all but command you to make one of these fiesty dishes for your honey for Valentine’s on Tuesday night. Neither takes a ton of time, but these two pork dishes are so tasty.


These Indian kebabs I made from are fragrant and the spice rub is simple to make yet delightfully complex. You blend garlic, salt, herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, and water in a food processor (I used a mini chopper) and let the pork cubes marinate in the mixture for a few hours. Then thread the pork, sweet bell peppers, and sweet onions on skewers and grill for a short while. Delicious.

I served the skewers over couscous and with a Pineapple Raita. Raita is a traditional Indian yogurt dipping sauce. Mine is not super-traditional, I imagine, but I went with what I had and it turned out wonderfully. I’ll be sharing that recipe later this week.


The cut of meat that is on sale this week at Publix is bone-in sirloin roast. I have to say that for the skewers, that’s probably not the best choice. Get a boneless roast or a tenderloin; much easier to cut up!

But since I had a roast, and I love pork roast, I felt like I needed to make, well, a ROAST! But of course, I wanted something special. I had seen Honey Parmesan Roast on Pinterest and it looked like it had that “je ne sais quois” factor.

A few of my taste-testers went gaga over the amazing “gravy” that’s on this roast. You might want to just drink it instead of bothering with the meat. And you know what? Go for it.

Our Honey Parmesan Roast was served alongside mashed potatoes and asparagus with bacon and goat cheese. (Thanks, Leslie!)


Honey Parmesan Pork Roast in the Crockpot

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Honey Parmesan Pork Roast in the Crockpot

Adapted from Six Sisters’ Stuff and It’s a Keeper.

Thickening the gravy is optional, but you'll probably want the extra sauce to pour on some mashed potatoes or rice.


  • 3-4 lbs. bone-in sirloin pork roast
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 2/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese (preferably real!)
  • 3 T soy sauce (LaChoy is gluten-free)
  • 2 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 1/4 c. cold water


Place roast in slow cooker. In a small bowl, mix together honey, cheese, soy sauce, basil, garlic, olive oil, and salt. Pour sauce over roast.

Cook on low for 7-9 hours, until the roast is falling off the bone. Use tongs to remove pork to a serving dish.

Carefully pour the sauce into a saucepan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk together cold water and cornstarch and pour into sauce. Bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce has thickened to gravy consistency. Pour over roast and serve. Serve any extra gravy on the side. (Great over mashed potatoes!)

[GIVEAWAY OVER] So, hey! At the end of this four-week series, I am giving away a great package including coupons for $40 of fresh pork, a meat thermometer, a reusable bag, a pedometer, and a nice reusable water bottle. To enter, comment on any post in the series. You can comment once on each one, and then you’ll have four entries! I will choose a winner after the fourth post goes live around February 17.

Just leave a comment answering this question: which roast recipe from the Pork Be Inspired site looks good to you? I think I’d like to try Italian Porketta and Sassy Salsa Pork Loin.

Thank you to the Pork Board and theMotherhood for sponsoring this series of posts. I received coupons, a gift card, and a stipend for my time and groceries, but all opinions are my own.

Added to Ingredient Spotlight at Eat at Home.

BLT Bites: They’ll Beg You for the Recipe

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You just can’t go wrong with bacon, cheese, and mayonnaise, right? But when these ingredients come together with some fresh ones, it makes magic.

I have made these tasty appetizers a few times … even though I don’t eat them. I guarantee they’re good, though, because every time I make them there is a buzz of “WHO brought these?” around the room. I am pretty sure I had no fewer than eight women ask me for the recipe at a small Christmas party last week.

So make this your signature appetizer! I won’t tell anyone that they’re really not that hard to make. And you’ll be famous among your family and friends.


BLT Bites

Yield: about 24 appetizer bites

Adapted slightly from Taste of Home


  • 2 packages Campari tomatoes (or substitute cherry or grape, but Camparis are SUPER sweet)
  • 1 lb. bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled … or 4.5 ounces real bacon bits
  • 2/3 c. mayonnaise
  • 3 green onions, white and light green parts, chopped finely
  • 3 T grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 T fresh chopped parsley or 2 tsp. dried parsley flakes


The hardest part of this recipe is prepping the tomatoes. Take the tiniest slice off the bottom of the tomatoes if you want them to sit flat on a plate. You don’t want to cut hardly anything off, just make it a little flat. If you are going to rest them on lettuce leaves or kale (my favorite presentation, although it’s a little retro), this isn’t as important.

Take a small slice off the stem end of the tomatoes and then scoop out pulp and seeds with a teaspoon. Set upside-down on paper towels to drain.

Cook your bacon. But really, I won’t blame you if you use one of these instead. I did. Otherwise I eat too much bacon before it makes it in the bowl.

In a small bowl, mix together cooled, crumbled bacon (or bits), mayonnaise, green onion, cheese, and parsley.

Flip tomatoes back right-side-up and sprinkle very lightly with salt. Spoon filling into tomatoes. Refrigerate for several hours before serving to let flavors meld.

I failed to get a picture of the finished product, so here is the Taste of Home photo. The Campari tomatoes are much bigger than the cherries, so you’ll want to do less “mounding” of the filling until you’re sure you have enough to go around.

Added to Fusion Fridays, Mouthwatering Monday, Ingredient Spotlight: Tomatoes, and Spotlight: Bacon at Eat at Home Cooks.


Parmesan and Herb Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard

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It’s time once again for the Secret Recipe Club reveal! This month my assigned blog was The Cookaholic Wife. Nichole shares “sweets, treats, and recipes for beginners”—a great site to find some yummy desserts on.

I needed an appetizer, though, to share with the other women on the retreat I went to this past weekend. So I settled on Parmesan and Herb Chicken Tenders, a Rachael Ray adaptation.

I decided to forgo the frying step in the recipe, simply because I know I can make crunchy, baked chicken fingers; also, it’s another pan I would have to wash. I hate washing dishes.

I also had to make some changes in the herbs. (I didn’t realize the amounts were for fresh herbs, either, so I may have gone a little herbalicious!) We just moved, and the spice containers I use were still packed. I was missing several spices, so I exchanged the rosemary and thyme for plain old Italian seasoning, which I could find. I’m sure fresh herbs would be divine as well.

Here is my version of the chicken fingers, with props to Rachael Ray, Nichole, and Sara at The Piggly-Wiggly.


Parmesan and Herb Chicken Fingers

Yield: 15-20 tenders

Parmesan and Herb Chicken Fingers


  • You will need three dishes for chicken-dipping, if you don’t have the Pampered Chef coating tray set that I am coveting.
  • In thing 1:
  • 1 1/2 c. flour (whole wheat or white)
  • In thing 2:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 c. + 2T water
  • - Beat water and eggs together in dish.
  • In thing 3:
  • 1 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 T Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 T minced garlic
  • 3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • generous sprinkling of salt and pepper
  • - Mix all together with a fork.
  • You also need:
  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. chicken tenderloins


Preheat oven to 350F. Place baking racks on top of two rimmed cookie sheets (I use cooling racks on top of jelly-roll pans). Spray racks with cooking spray.

Dip tenders in flour; shake off excess. Dip in egg and then coating, coating well and pressing the panko mixture on. Place tenders on racks. Spray tenders with cooking spray or drizzle with olive oil.

Bake 20-25 minutes, until tenders are cooked through and slightly brown. Serve with honey mustard or spaghetti sauce.


O'Charley's-Style Honey Mustard Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 3/4 cup sauce


  • 1/2 c. salad dressing (Miracle Whip)
  • 3 T dijon mustard
  • 2 T honey
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes or a pinch cayenne pepper


Stir all ingredients together well. Refrigerate until serving.

Added to Ingredient Spotlight at Eat at Home.

Menu Plan Monday / Pasta with Turkey Meatballs

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I’m pretty happy with how well we stuck to the menu plan for last week! Sticking to a plan is not exactly my forte. This week we’ll be eating almost exclusively from the freezer. Looking forward to a light cooking week.


Sunday: Ravioli Lasagna, salad
Monday: Flank Steak Pinwheels, Baked Potatoes, Fresh Peach Crisp
Tuesday: Leftovers (Mommy taking dinner to Bible Study)
Wednesday: Grilled Chicken Pesto Wraps, cut veggies, Tex-Mex Rice Cakes
Thursday: Pasta with Turkey Meatballs (see recipe below)
Friday: Stuffed Buffalo Chicken, Cream Cheese Noodles, veggies
Saturday: playing by ear–we have company and I’m going to the Tennessee Distinguished Young Woman program (formerly Junior Miss)

During my gall bladder issue that wasn’t my gall bladder at all, I found myself trying to cook with as little fat as humanly possible. I was happy to make up this recipe using super lowfat ground turkey breast. The parsley and turkey come together to make really scrumptious meatballs!

Pasta with Turkey Meatballs


  • 1 lb. pasta, any kind
  • 3/4 lb. ground lean turkey meat
  • 1/4 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • oil
  • 1 jar or recipe tomato sauce
  • grated Parmesan cheese


In a bowl, mix together turkey, panko, egg white, parsley, salt, and pepper. Form into small, 1/2-inch meatballs.

Heat some olive oil in a large skillet. Add meatballs and let brown on all sides. When brown, add tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Let cook while you make pasta.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; add pasta to saucepan with other ingredients. Mix well. Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

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