Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

Sweet and nutty with a hint of curry, this Butternut Squash Soup is bursting with flavor and is so easy to make! Chop, dump and puree that’s all you do and 25 minutes later you have a creamy and full bodied Butternut Soup that is to die for. 

The cold weather is still here for a while longer so I thought today I would finally share my Butternut Squash Soup recipe that I keep teasing you with on Instagram! As you can see below, it has a gorgeous orange color which helps to brighten any dull winter day, and I can promise you once you have a spoonful you will be hooked on its sweet flavor with hints of spice!

For this recipe you will need: Butternut Squash, onion, potatoes, vegetable broth, milk, garlic, curry powder, brown sugar, salt and pepper.

Butternut Squash Soup in white square bowl with garnish

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Curried Lentils “Stew” with Rice

A 20 minute vegetarian dinner that the whole family will love! Our Curried Lentils use canned lentils and strained tomatoes along with delicious Indian spices to create a wonderfully aromatic curry dish you will make time and time again. 

There is something about a good meatless meal that I just love! Curried Lentils are a super quick and easy way to incorporate more legumes into your diet while keeping the flavor game strong. I promise you there is nothing boring about this dish! If you’re not used to cooking with these delicious little parcels of flavor, don’t worry. I am going to provide you with some tips and tricks on how to enjoy this easy Lentil Curry without spending your entire day at the stove. 

For this recipe you will need: canned lentils, onion, strained tomatoes, cilantro, curry powder, ground ginger, garam  masala (see recipe for alternative), cayenne pepper, salt and vegetable oil. Rice for serving is optional. 

Easy Curried Lentils atop a bed of rice

 

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Easy Moroccan Chicken Stew – with Sweet Potatoes and Couscous

The winter months are all about comfort foods for us, and nothing hits the spot like a great bowl of stew! This Moroccan Chicken Stew is full of robust ingredients like cinnamon, sweet potatoes and fresh cilantro, which makes it a tummy warming dish that your whole family will love. 

I know when most people think of a Stew recipe they first think of Beef, but let me assure you that this Chicken Stew is not only quick and easy, but it is full of healthy ingredients and flavors that will leave you wanting a second and third bowl! In the winter months we tend to make dishes like our Beef Stroganoff and Chicken Pot Pie quite often, but I really wanted to try something different and couldn’t be happier with how this Moroccan Chicken Stew turned out. 

For this recipe you will need: boneless skinless chicken thighs, sweet potatoes, fresh cilantro, onion, chicken broth, flour, olive oil, ground ginger, cinnamon, lemon juice, couscous, saffron (optional), salt & pepper. 

Moroccan Chicken Stew in large white serving bowl with fresh herbs

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Pressure Cooker Lasagna

This Pressure Cooker Lasagna is a real game changer when it comes to weeknight family meals and it is all thanks to my new Cosori Premium Pressure cooker!

Cosori provided me with a 6qt Premium Pressure Cooker in exchange for a recipe post of my choosing. They are also providing an additional Pressure Cooker to one of my readers as a GIVEAWAY (more info below). All opinions are mine alone. 

Pressure-Cooker-Lasagna

GIVEAWAY 6 qt Pressure Cooker! This easy Pressure Cooker Lasagna comes together in a FRACTION of the time it would take to make the traditional version! It is cheesy and delicious and makes enough for a family of 6! #PressureCookerLasagna #PressureCookerRecipes #LasangaRecipe #Giveaway

Cosori-Pressure-Cooker-Lasagna

Let me just start by saying how intimidated I was of using a Pressure Cooker, and I know I am not alone on this! When Cosori reached out to me to see if I would be interested in working with them I thought to myself, “Well, it’s now or never Melissa…choose a dish you REALLY want to make and get over your fear already!”. And that my friends is what led me to create this delicious Pressure Cooker Lasagna for you. I hadn’t made a lasagna in years (literally) as I found it always took so long from start to finish I was always ready for a nap…and who has time for that? Especially during the week right?!

Pressure-Cooker-Lasagna

This easy Pressure Cooker Lasagna comes together in a FRACTION of the time it would take to make the traditional version! It is cheesy and delicious and makes enough for a family of 6! #PressureCookerLasagna #PressureCookerRecipes #LasangaRecipe

Benefits of doing a pressure cooker lasagna with cosori:

  • Huge time saver, it takes only 22 minutes to cook!
  • Easy clean up, you saute your meat right in the cooker before switching over to the pressurized setting meaning once your prep is done you are only using ONE pot for cooking!
  • Set it and forget it. Once you hit the start button you just walk away and let it do its magic, coming back after 22 minutes of your favorite show (or in my house, a quick sweep of the floor , declutter of the entrance table and wipe of the counters)…
  • When comparing a pressure cooker to a traditional oven you are saving energy, and not heating your house to uncomfortable temperatures.
  • The lasagna noodles cook perfectly, they are not crunchy or mushy but instead nicely al dente!

Okay, lets get to the recipe so you know exactly what you are doing when you make your very own Pressure Cooker Lasagna!

Pressure Cooker Lasagna

A delicious and quick Lasagna Recipe to be made in your Pressure Cooker! 

Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian, Italian-American
Keyword Pressure Cooker Lasagna
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 -8 Servings
Author Melissa - The Olive Blogger

Ingredients

Cheese Layer

  • 1 c Ricotta
  • 1/2 c Mozzarella grated
  • 1/2 c Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Parsley
  • 1 tbsp Basil
  • Salt and Pepper Pinch

Sauce

  • 1 jar Strained Tomatoes
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1/2 medium Onion diced
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper pinch

Meat Layer

  • 1/2 lb Lean Ground Beef
  • 2 Italian Sausage Links casing removed
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper pinch
  • 8 Lasagna Noodles NOT the oven ready/no boil ones
  • 1/2 c Mozzarella Cheese grated for topping

Instructions

Cheese Layer

  1. Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix until combined.

Sauce

  1. Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Taste and season as needed.

Meat Layer

  1. Begin by setting your Cosori Pressure Cooker to Saute/Brown and adjust cook time and temperature as per instructions- we set ours to 7 minutes at 300 F.
  2. Once the cooker heats (approx. 1 min) add in your meat and place the glass lid on top to prevent splatter. Stir meat halfway through to ensure even browning.
  3. When the timer goes off remove the meat with a slotted spoon and add 1 c of water to the pot.
  4. Press the off button to allow machine to rest before pressurizing while you assemble your lasagna layers.

Assembly

  1. In a 7" cake pan (or spring form pan) begin to assemble your lasagna as follows.
  2. Marinara Sauce (about 1/4 of it), Noodles (you will have to break them to fit into the pan and use the pieces to cover a layer as best as you can), 1/2 of the Ricotta Mixture, 1/2 Meat.
  3. Repeat above step for your second layer.
  4. Top with another 1/4 of marinara sauce and then noodles.
  5. Finish off by adding the remainder of your sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Baking

  1. Place trivet in the bottom of your Pressure Cooker to keep your pan off of the liquid. You will need to use folded foil to help lower the pan into the cooker (see directions for creating foil lift).
  2. Gently lower the lasagna into the cooker to sit on top of the trivet.
  3. Put lid of Pressure Cooker in place and ensure the pressure release valve is set to lock.
  4. Select the Bake function (which will default to level 6 or high pressure) and then using the Cook Time button set your timer to 22 minutes.
  5. Press On/Start to begin the cooking process!
  6. Once the 22 minutes has finished the Pressure Cooker will beep 3 times and switch in to Keep Warm mode. You will want to unplug the machine at this time and set a timer for 15 minutes to allow natural depressurizing.
  7. Before you remove the lid you want to ENSURE that you set the pressure release valve to the release position to remove any remaining pressure.
  8. Using a pair of oven mitts you will now remove your pan using the foil handles and place it on a baking sheet. You now have the option of putting it on high broil in your oven for 3 mins to brown the top.
  9. Allow lasagna to sit for 10 minutes before cutting to prevent your sauce from escaping, giving you a nice presentable slice!

Recipe Notes

For the herbs you can use either fresh or dried, whichever you have on hand is fine!

For the sauce layer you can use your favorite marinara sauce, or make your own like we did.

Your sauce and cheese mixture can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge until you are ready to assemble.

Do not remove the liquid from sauteing your meat as this will combine with the added water for the pressure build.

The Pressure Cooker will make a hissing noise as it adjusts to the appropriate pressure level.

Now as I mentioned above, the pressure cooker will make a slight hissing sound as it is pressurizing…do not freak out (like I did!). I had to message my sister frantically and ask if hers did that too, nothing I had read warned me about that and I was back to my initial fear of the thing!

Giveaway closed**winner has been contacted to claim

**Please note: By entering the giveaway you are agreeing to receive email correspondence and free recipes from The Olive Blogger. Winner will be randomly selected from all entries on October 6th, and will be notified via email message within 72 hours. You will need to respond within 48 hours in order to claim your prize or we will select another winner. Contest is open to Canadian and US residents only, excluding the province of Quebec.

Finished Pressure Cooker Lasagna

 

other features of the COSORI PREMIUM 6QT PRESSURE COOKER

  1. It has A TON different smart cooking functions!
    1. You can use it to make rice, yogurt, stews/soups, hot pot/fondue, and even bake a cake…just to name a few.
  2. Advanced safety features like the unlock indicator to alert you if your lid is not secured prior to starting to pressurize, helping to prevent accidents in the kitchen.
  3. If you are more “advanced” with your pressure cooking skills you can even use the manual functions to set the time and pressure to your preference
    1. BUT if not that is okay too, they have 17 Smart Programs already built in for you!
  4. Stainless steel inner pot is dishwasher safe, as well as the glass lid and steamer…less time doing dishes is always a plus in my book!
  5. I know I already mentioned it but the TIME this amazing cooker gives back to us is priceless! Our Pressure Cooker Lasagna is a prime example of a daunting dish made easy in a fraction of the time.

creating the “foil lift” for your Pressure Cooker Lasagna


Best Ever Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie using Lentils

Today I am sharing with you guys one of my favorite comfort food recipes! This Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie uses lentils instead of the traditional beef or lamb mixture we are all used to…BUT it doesn’t lack any flavor and that I guarantee! My hubby and I started trying to do “meat free” meals at least once a week about this time last year, and this was something I came up with that required little ingredients and could be made on a weeknight for a quick dinner. That being said, you can definitely add in 1/2 lb of ground meat of your choice to this if you want it.

Vegetarian Lentil Shepherd's Pie in Skillet

The flavors of this Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie will honestly make you feel like you are eating a hearty meat dish all thanks to the lentils. If you think you don’t like lentils just trust me and make this dish at least once, I am certain it will become a quick favorite. We use canned lentils as they are easier for throwing this dish together, however if you have some extra time or are making it on the weekend you can boil out dried ones instead.

Best Ever Lentil Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

An update to the traditional meat version, this Shepherd's Pie is full of flavor and nutrients! 

Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Irish, United Kingdom
Keyword Lentils, Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 Servings
Author Melissa

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs Potatoes - we used russet approx. 8 medium Peeled and Chopped
  • 1/4 c Butter - melted
  • 1/4 c Milk
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Onion diced
  • 2 medium Carrots diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 can Lentils approx. 2 cups rinsed
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 1 c Vegetable Broth
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 c Frozen Corn
  • 1 c Frozen Peas
  • 1 tsp dried Parsley
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In a large pot bring potatoes to a boil, cook until fork goes through easily (12 mins).
  3. While potatoes are cooking heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large oven safe skillet. Saute carrots and onions until soft, add in garlic and cook for 1 minute until it become fragrant (be careful not to burn it).
  4. Add in your lentils with a pinch of salt and pepper, sprinkle with flour and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add in your broth and Worcestershire sauce, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened.
  6. While simmering, drain your potatoes and mash with melted butter and milk. Add egg yolk and a pinch of salt and pepper, stir to combine.
  7. Remove lentil mixture from heat and stir in peas and corn.
  8. Add mashed potatoes to the top of your lentil mixture and gently spread to create an even layer.
  9. Cook in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the top is lightly golden, top with parsley and serve.

Recipe Notes

We use russet potatoes, but you can also use white or yellow.
If you do not have a large enough skillet, you can assemble in casserole dish instead.
Be sure to lightly rinse the canned lentils to remove the liquid which generally contains an excessive amount of sodium.

I love how hearty this dish is, using lots of vegetables to help create a healthy dinner for the entire family. We like to use carrots, peas and corn when making our Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie, but you can get creative and add in whatever your family likes. We have added in kale in the past as well as chopped collard greens. Like most of our recipes, we try to make them versatile so you can start with the basic “base” and add in what fits your tastes.

Lentils and Vegetable for Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

 

benefits of our lentil vegetarian shepherd’s pie

  • This is a ONE SKILLET meal (minus boiling the potatoes!). If there is any way I can save myself some dishes you know I am gonna do it.
  • Lentils are high in fibre and protein and are low in fat.
  • There is so much flavor in this dish you won’t even notice it has no meat.
  • You can make this dish vegan too – just omit the egg yolk (it is in there to help brown your potatoes) and use a dairy free milk instead.
  • Make this dish ahead of time and freeze it (up to step #8 in the cooking process) and when you are ready to eat it just add an additional 20 minutes to your cooking time to ensure everything is heated through.
  • Lentils are also high in folate, iron and potassium, combining this power legume with the vitamins and minerals from the veggies and this dish really has it all!

want more dinners like this vegetarian shepherd’s pie?

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie with Lentils

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Lentils – this easy meat-free dish is sure to be a family favorite! It is hearty and FULL of flavor, and is big enough to feed a crowd. #VegetarianShepherdsPie #LentilRecipes #Lentils #ShepherdsPie