I don’t know about you guys, but the very last thing I want to do when I get home from a long workday is cook dinner. This is partly because I hate cooking, but also because when it’s 6 p.m. and I’m starving, I need to EAT EVERYTHING RIGHT THIS SECOND and not take any time to combine ingredients.
There is one exception to this: easy recipes that take almost no time to assemble, and take even less time to cook. And that, my friends, is why I’m sharing this budget-friendly spinach + pasta + chicken sausage bake, because it takes only 15 minutes! I mean, I barely had the chance to change into yoga pants and sort the mail before the oven started beeping, thank holy Moses.
Italian chicken sausage bake
1 box mostaccioli pasta
1 jar pasta sauce
1 bag or bunch of spinach
1 cup bread crumbs (I didn’t have any, so I threw 2/3 sleeve Saltine crackers into our Ninja blender)
12 oz. Italian chicken sausage, cut into small pieces
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (if you like cheesier dishes, try with shredded mozzarella cheese)
Italian seasoning, optional
1. Cook pasta according to package, but cut a few minutes off the time. It’s going to cook more in the dish later, and you don’t want it to be too mushy.
2. Drain pasta through a colander full of spinach. It kick-starts the wilting process and saves time, which is obviously awesome.
3. Transfer noodles and (now wilted) spinach back into the pot, add the entire jar of sauce, the cut-up sausage, and the cup of grated (or shredded, if you choose) cheese. Mix thoroughly.
5. Mix the cup of bread crumbs – or, in my case, crushed Saltine crackers – with 3 Tbs. olive oil.
6. Sprinkle the oiled-up crumbs on top of the mix. If you’re feeling sassy, throw some Italian seasoning on there, too.
7. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes. Or, however long it takes you to change out of your work clothes and into sweatpants.
And that, my friends, is it. It takes almost no time at all, and can be tweaked based on what you have in your fridge and pantry. No spinach? No worries. Forgot to pick up shredded cheese, so all you have is year-old grated Parmesan chilling in your fridge? It will still taste just as good, trust me.
Have you made a variation of this recipe before, or would you do anything to change this one? And most importantly, SHARE YOUR LAZY GIRL RECIPES WITH ME. Please. I’m begging you. I really, really hate cooking.