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


Italian Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Stuffed Peppers are a delicious and easy way to make a healthy weeknight meal that everyone will love! They use a few key ingredients to create a savory dish, and can be customized with whatever you have on hand.

Sausage-and-Peppers

The recipe I am sharing today is for our Italian Stuffed Peppers which combines mild Italian sausage  and other classic flavors like Oregano, Basil and Parmesan Cheese to create a mouth-watering pepper you will want to eat time and time again! We use rice in these stuffed peppers but we have also done them with quinoa and couscous to change it up a bit. Either way, it is the perfect comfort food to whip up with the cooler days ahead.

Italian Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Stuffed Peppers are a healthy and delicious weeknight meal that everyone will love! They use a few key ingredients to create a savory dish, and can be customized with whatever you have on hand.
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine Italian, Italian-American
Keyword Stuffed Peppers
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 5 Large Peppers
Author Melissa ~ The Olive Blogger

Ingredients

  • 5 medium Bell Peppers assorted colors
  • 1/2 large Onion diced
  • 3 links Italian Sausage casing removed (can use mild or hot)
  • 1 c White or Basmati Rice
  • 1 c Strained Tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp each dried Parsley and Basil if you have fresh that is good too!
  • 1/4 c shredded Parmesan Cheese +more for topping
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil

Instructions

Prepping your Peppers

  1. Wash peppers and, using a sharp knife, cut off the tops (about 1/2")
  2. Remove the seeds and membrane of the pepper using a small paring knife, being careful not to puncture the pepper itself (if you do that is OK your rice will prevent too much stuffing from seeping out)
  3. Dice up your pepper tops (not including the stems)!

Cook the Rice and Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Cook rice according to package and set aside
  3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil a medium pan and add in diced peppers and onions and saute for 2 mins
  4. Add in Sausage and spices and cook until browned (about 5 mins)
  5. Add your strained tomatoes and simmer for 3 mins, stir in parmesan, salt and pepper and remove from heat

Assembling your Stuffed Peppers

  1. Place empty peppers in a shallow dish, try to keep them close together so they don't fall over in the oven
  2. Start by stuffing them with rice until they are about 3/4 full
  3. Fill the remaining portion of your pepper with your sausage mixture
  4. Top with grated parmesan

Recipe Notes

If you like your peppers a little softer you can steam them for 3 minutes in the microwave first before assembling. Simply place them top down on a plate and cover loosely with plastic wrap, cook for 3 mins and then go on to stuffing!!

 

How easy is that?! I always seem to have some of the stuffing left over too, it is great for adding to pasta sauce later in the week (if you can make it last that long). Though often I find myself eating spoonfuls while I wait for my peppers to come out of the oven! I mean just look at how tasty it is…

Italian Stuffed Peppers

Italian Stuffed Peppers – an easy and delicious weeknight meal the whole family will love!
#ItalianStuffedPeppers #PepperRecipes #StuffedPeppers

Stuffed Peppers Italian Style

Liked This? You’ll LOVe these easy dinner ideas too!

Beef StroganoffLemon Chicken Piccata

Farfalle with Broccoli and Sausage

 

 

 

Easy and Delicious Back to School Lunch Ideas

Lunches don’t have to be boring anymore! Thanks to my fabulous blogging friends I have put together a round-up of Back to School lunch ideas that will please the young kiddos as well as you. Everything you need from sandwiches and wraps to snacks and treats, I have got you covered. So now you can start the Back to School countdown and get your happy dance ready 😊

Lunches don't have to be boring anymore! These easy to make lunch ideas are full of flavor, guaranteeing everyone will love them. #EasyLunchIdeas #BacktoSchoolLunches #LunchRecipes #BacktoSchool

Lunches don’t have to be boring anymore! These easy to make lunch ideas are full of flavor, guaranteeing everyone will love them. #EasyLunchIdeas #BacktoSchoolLunches #LunchRecipes #BacktoSchool

Lets go ahead and get started with our wraps, sandwiches and more!

RAINBOW VEGETABLE TORTILLA WRAP: RECIPES FROM A PANTRY

These easy to make wraps are full of delicious and healthy veggies, and can be adjusted to fit your family’s specific tastes. They are an easy way to get your vegetable servings in for the day!

rainbow-tortilla-wraps

 

teriyaki honey chicken meatballs: Teaspoon of goodness

I love dishes like this one, it is something I would make for dinner the night before and pack the leftovers for a delicious lunch the next day.The protein is great for an afternoon pick-me up, and you can even eat this at your desk!

Teriyaki-Honey-Chicken-Meatballs

 

BUFFALO TAHINI QUINOA AND RICE WRAPS: STRENGTH AND SUNSHINE 

Here is a scrumptious wrap that is sure to fill you up. You can even make these ahead of time and freeze them to take out for lunches later in the week! Loaded with flavour, easy to make and will please everyone.

Buffalo-Tahini-Rice-Quinoa-Wraps

 

 

KALE AND BROCCOLI SALAD: THE OLIVE BLOGGER (that’s us!)

Here is a super easy salad that you can make in advance (just leave it undressed). It is healthy and delicious, and you can even add some grilled salmon or chicken to make it a full meal.

KaleSlaw

 

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY KABOBS: DAILY MOMTIVITY

A fun update to the classic PB&J sandwiches we all used to have in our lunchbox. Bonus points for the fresh fruit!

PB-J-Kabobs

 

COLD NOODLES IN PEANUT SAUCE: THE COZY COOK

This is a great meatless option for your Back to School Lunch! It is great as a side or even on its own, and it can be made ahead of time which is always a plus for this busy season.

Cold-Noodles-Peanut-Sauce-Recipe

 

 

 

5 MINUTE TURKEY CLUB WRAP: FOOD MEANDERINGS 

Everyone likes to save time while making lunches, and this wrap is a delicious way to do just that! It has all your faves from a club; bacon, turkey, lettuce and a delicious ranch dressing.

5-Minute-Turkey-Club-Ranch-Wraps

 

 

Now that the main portion of your lunch is taken care of, lets dive into some snacks and sweet treats!

coconut carrot muffins: the olive blogger

These muffins are a perfect addition to your weekly lunch line up. They are perfectly moist with a slightly crunchy top, and the coconut compliments the carrot with a gentle sweetness you don’t expect! You can also make a double batch and freeze them so you have them all month long.

Carrot-Coconut-Muffin

 

CHOCOLATE OATMEAL COOKIES: NATALIE’S HAPPY HEALTH

Want to give your kiddos a treat but don’t like all the extra sugar? These cookies have no refined sugars, making them a great snack without the sugar crash.

Chocolate-Oatmeal-Cookies

 

 

PIZZA MUFFINS: SPACESHIPS AND LASER BEAMS

All you need is a few simple ingredients to make these easy to devour pizza muffins.

pizza-muffins

 

QUINOA AND CRANBERRY MUFFINS: FAMILY FOOD AND TRAVEL

Sweet and savory, these muffins are great for an afternoon snack to hold you over until dinner.

quinoa-cranberry-muffins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And of course, our Back to School Lunch round-up wouldn’t be complete without a fun EXTRA! 

LUNCHBOX JOKE PRINTABLE: ARTSY FARTSY MAMA

Free printables to make your kids laugh, add to their lunch box for a special treat!

BTS-Jokes