Tag Archives: spicy

Spicy Sausage Pasta

15 Mar


This week, I was craving some sort of a zesty pasta dish with sausage. After a few searches, I ran across this recipe and knew they were the flavors I was looking for. The smoky turkey sausage with the tomatoes, green chiles, pepper jack cheese, and creamy sauce made for a delicious dinner. And the pasta of course hit the spot – I’ve never met a carb I didn’t like! It was exactly what this pregnant lady was wanting.

What’s even better is, if you have an oven safe pan, you can make the whole meal in one dish! Gotta love less dishes to do after a great simple meal. Also, the original recipe has Weight Watchers info and tips to make this a lower calorie meal. (see the link below) Enjoy!

Spicy Sausage Pasta

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 of an onion, chopped
13 oz smoked turkey sausage, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
10 oz can Ro-Tel tomatoes & green chiles
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
10-12 oz uncooked bowtie pasta
4 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
2 medium green onions, diced

Yield: 6 servings

In a large skillet or sauté pan (oven-safe if you have it), add the olive oil and bring over medium heat. Add the onions and sausage to the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes until sausage is browned and onions are tender. Add the garlic and stir. Continue to cook for another 30 seconds until fragrant.

Add the broth, Ro-Tel, half and half, salt, and pepper and mix together. Add the uncooked pasta and stir together until the liquid covers the pasta. Cover the skillet and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and keep covered. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.

Set your oven to broil and make sure one of your oven racks is in the top 1/3 of the oven. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in half of the shredded cheese. If your skillet is oven-safe, you may continue to use it in the following steps. If it isn’t or you aren’t sure, transfer the pasta into a baking dish. (either a 7×11 or 9×13 dish would work)

Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the top of the pasta. Place the dish in the top 1/3 of the oven and broil for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown (keep checking because broiling can happen really fast!). Remove from oven and sprinkle the green onions on top. Serve while hot and enjoy!

Source: Slightly adapted from Emily Bites


Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

12 Aug


A few years back, myself and a group of girlfriends would get together often at one of our houses for a girl’s night. Every once in a while, we’d get some Vietnamese food from a place in Fort Worth, either via take out or dining in. My absolute favorite thing to get were the shrimp spring rolls with a peanut dipping sauce. I would order a double serving and call it a meal!

Eventually the group unofficially ended because several of us were moving to different states/cities and pursuing new and exciting things. I look back fondly on those times and it’s crazy to see how different our lives are now. Lots of new adventures, jobs, marriages, and babies!

In honor of my fabulous female friends, I made some homemade spring rolls with a spicy peanut sauce during my recent Asian cuisine phase. I used some shredded chicken, but you can definitely use shrimp instead or make an all veggie version. The rice papers were fun to work with and after a few tries, I got the hang of folding them. But just a warning – don’t leave the rice papers in the warm water for too long, otherwise they’ll get too soft and sticky and will tear when you try to fold them. (I learned this the hard way) There are a lot of good photo and video tutorials out there; Not Enough Cinnamon has a good step by step demo too.

Besides the meat variations, you can toss in whatever vegetables you prefer. I saw some recipes that used cabbage instead of lettuce, and some that added fresh mint or cucumber too. The peanut sauce is such a perfect addition. You can turn up the heat or leave it more subtle, depending on how much sriracha you want to add. These rolls are much easier to make than they look, so muster up the courage to give them a shot and enjoy!

Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Rice papers/wrappers
1 cup cooked vermicelli rice noodles
1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
1 cup lettuce, shredded
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

Spicy Peanut Sauce:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
A few dashes of sriracha sauce (to taste – can add more if wanted!)

Yield: 4+ rolls

Fill a large bowl with warm water. Take a rice paper and dip the entire sheet into the bowl of water and pull out immediately. The rice paper may still feel hard now, but it will soften up while you work with it.

Lay the rice paper out flat. Place a little of each filling ingredient on the middle of the rice paper sheet. Use a good amount, but make sure there are still a couple of inches around the edges to roll.

First fold in the sides of the rice paper. Then fold the top part of the rice paper sheet over the ingredients. Tuck in the fillings and roll the rest tightly. Repeat the above until you run out of filling ingredients.

To make the peanut sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until well combined and use as a dipping sauce for the spring rolls.

Source: Adapted from Spoonful of Sugar Free

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

5 May


Tortilla soup has always been a favorite to eat, but I’d never made it myself! Leading up to Cinco de Mayo, I tried out a few new Tex Mex recipes, including this one for spicy chicken tortilla soup. It was love at first bite – very easy to toss together, super colorful, somewhat healthy, and has amazing flavor with all of the peppers and spices.

I slightly adapted the original recipe, excluding hominy and adding some corn and crispy tortilla strips. Side note: to make crispy tortilla strips to top your soup, simply slice a few corn tortillas into strips, put them on a lined baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Super simple and adds a nice texture when you dig in.


Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 cups chicken, shredded or chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (with or without seeds)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 poblano pepper, roasted and diced
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
8 cups chicken broth (2 quarts)
1 4-oz can diced green chilies
1 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 bag frozen corn
1 14-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
4 corn tortillas, cut into strips (plus more if making crispy strips)
Juice of 2 limes
Shredded monterey jack cheese, optional for serving
Chopped cilantro, optional for serving
Sour cream, optional for serving

Yield: Serves 6-8

First, roast the poblano pepper over a burner on a gas range stove or under the broiler. You want the pepper to be very dark and charred— almost black. Set aside on a plate to cool then dice. (you can either leave or remove the seeds)

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large pot. Once hot, add the diced onion and jalapeno and cook for five minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and diced poblano pepper and cook for another minute. Add the chili powder, cumin, and coriander and mix until well combined.

Pour in the chicken stock and add the tomatoes, corn, black beans, green chilies, chicken, and salt. Bring to a boil.

Finally, add the regular tortilla strips and lime juice and cook until tortillas soften. Serve with chopped cilantro and shredded cheese, plus crispy tortilla strips and sour cream if wanted.

Source: Slightly adapted from Eat Live Run

Spicy Peanut Chicken Pasta

12 Jun

I’m such a sucker for peanut sauce – there’s just something about it that’s irresistible to my taste buds. So you can imagine how much I loved this Asian pasta dish with a spicy peanut sauce. The variety of vegetables gives it vibrant color and makes you feel a little healthier eating this tasty dish.

Quick tip: you can add the chopped vegetables to the cooking pasta for about 5 minutes to slightly cook them while still leaving a bit of crunch. Mix in the sauce, top with chopped cilantro, and you have a delicious meal after my own heart.

Spicy Peanut Chicken Pasta

1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 cup shredded or julienne carrots
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 head of broccoli, cut into small pieces
1 cup chopped or shredded cooked chicken breast (2-3 breasts)
8 oz cooked whole grain linguine

For the dressing:
5 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp peanut butter
2 Tbsp sesame or canola oil
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 small piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into small pieces
1/2 Tbsp honey
1 clove garlic
1 tsp brown sugar
1/3 cup peanuts
Sriracha sauce (a few dashes – or more to your taste)

Cilantro for garnish

Puree all of the dressing ingredients (except peanuts) in a food processor until smooth and creamy.  Add the peanuts last and process until just finely chopped.

Cook the pasta and add the vegetables into the water for the last 5 minutes to soften them a bit. Drain and return to the pot. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Add more sriracha if you want a spicier taste. Top individual servings with fresh cilantro and enjoy!

Source: Slightly adapted from Pinch of Yum