Delicious and Easy Mediterranean Pasta Bake

This post is sponsored, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

This delicious, easy Mediterranean Pasta Bake is an incredible dish for the season. Bring to a party or serve right at home! All ingredients at Walmart. #HolidayPairing #ad

I think my cooking has been more adventurous lately.

I wasn’t sure what caused it at first, but I realize it’s blogging that has changed! Connecting with my readers over delicious food has been nothing short of a dream. I hope you’ve been enjoying my journey as I figure out what we love to eat, and how to share it with you. With the holidays coming, we are probably all on the lookout for recipes more than usual. I know I like to go a bit beyond the usual holiday dinners. There are potlucks and holiday parties and next-day leftovers. There are many reasons to cook, and also to find quality ingredients and recipes to share with loved ones. Like a good pasta bake!

Perfect pasta and melted cheese. What could be better?

To be fair, I always make a pasta bake. Fall and winter absolutely call for the immersion of pasta, cheese and sauce. Add some meat and/or vegetables and it’s pretty much perfection. I made a crockpot lasagna two years ago, and a baked ziti last year. This year? I’m looking for something new for my holiday entertaining. I think a homemade pasta dish is the BEST to take to holiday parties. All that sauce and cheese goodness. AND, I’m headed to my first holiday party in just two weeks.

I need something perfect!

You all know I’m a big time Walmart shopper. The one by my house has everything I need for my holiday entertaining. My goal is to take my party recipes to next level, and I’m doing that with Barilla Pasta (and sauce) and with Galbani Cheese. They make the most perfect pairing for the holidays, AND they’re conveniently found at Walmart. My recipe for Mediterranean Pasta Bake is an easy one! If you cook the chicken from scratch, it might tack on some time, but you can also use already cooked chicken for an even faster meal. Don’t let the timing fool you, though. This meal will taste like you took all day to make it! This will take your homemade pasta game to next level with the sauce and cheese, and fun ingredients.

Delicious and Easy Mediterranean Pasta Bake

Delicious and Easy Mediterranean Pasta Bake

Ingredients

  1. 1 box Barilla Rigatoni
  2. 1/2 jar Barilla Marinara Sauce
  3. 2-3 handfuls Galbani Mozzarella
  4. 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
  5. 1 pint grape tomatoes
  6. 1/2 cup sliced artichoke hearts
  7. 1/2 cup white beans
  8. 1/2 cup Kalamata olives
  9. Salt, pepper, oregano to taste

Instructions

  • 1. Heat oven to 425 degrees
  • 2. Cook Barilla Rigatoni according to box, drain, and set aside
  • 3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat
  • 4. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until no longer pink
  • 5. Set chicken aside with pasta
  • 6. Add tomatoes to a casserole dish and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper
  • 7. Cook until the tomatoes are about to burst - for about 15 minutes
  • 8. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and add the cooked Barilla Rigatoni, chicken, artichoke hearts, olives, beans, oregano, sauce, and parsley/basil
  • 9. Top the casserole with Galbani Mozzarella and bake for another 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbling
  • 10. Enjoy!
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Pasta is my love language and it always has been. I don’t think I could ever get tired of it. You can get so creative with pasta and express yourself through recipes. Also, it’s an important part of the Mediterranean Diet – which is a healthy way of eating that is inspired by the dietary patterns of the Mediterranean region. It’s all about a variety of quality food groups eaten in reasonable quantities. I choose Barilla because it’s made with few, wholesome ingredients to provide a simple and natural way to enjoy eating. I buy a different kind of Barilla Pasta every time I go to the store. This time it was Rigatoni.

And Galbani is wonderful. It’s the #1 cheese brand in Italy. I like the Shredding Mozzarella because it has a firmer texture for smooth shredding and better melting. There are no additives like cellulose, potato starch, or other anti-clumping agents.

Right now, check out this Ibotta offer to earn $2 when you purchase Barilla Pasta/Sauce and Galbani Cheese!

Enjoy!

This delicious, easy Mediterranean Pasta Bake is an incredible dish for the season. Bring to a party or serve right at home! All ingredients at Walmart. #HolidayPairing #ad

Cranberry Apple Pie Cookie Bars

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This post is a collaboration with Bob’s Red Mill. You all know that baking is my mojo! Tis the season to fire up your music of choice and get to baking delicious treats for your loved ones. Made with Love, Baked With Bob’s is the way to go this season

AD These Cranberry Apple Pie Cookie Bars are made in the pan easy, and eaten out of the pan good. It's time to show your loved ones how you feel with baking

I don’t really know how to tell you how good these Cranberry Apple Pie Cookie Bars are, but I will show you!

They’re made in a pan, and then sliced and served to perfection. They are both sweet and tart, soft and chewy, and with a bit of a shortbread crunch. Buttery and magical and festive. I can’t say enough good things about this holiday recipe.

Maybe I should tell you exactly why I made them. You see, I’m someone who uses baking as a way to express love. I don’t always know how to express myself – despite being a writer and a photographer and a mama – but the language of oven-baked goods? That one I get and get well. One of my favorite holiday memories is from the first holiday we spent in our house after we had bought it in October of that year. I was just a few days shy of being in my second trimester with Des, and I was feeling good. We live in the woods and have no visible neighbors. That was the first day our nearest set of neighbors came to introduce themselves. Not only did they warmly welcome us, but they came bearing gifts. Cookies! Made with love.

cranberry apple pie

cranberry apple pie

Personally, that’s my weakness. Things have gotten crazy around here lately, haven’t you noticed? Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, FOUR of my loved ones gave birth. I remember after the vacation was over – just standing in my kitchen and thinking of each one of them. Then I set to work. First, I made some pumpkin apple muffins with our leftover canned pumpkin. Then, I made these cranberry apple pie cookie bars. The inspiration for me is the color and consistency of cranberries. I’ve always had a bit of an obsession with them, but I believe they pair extremely well with flour, butter, and apple. (what doesn’t?) It’s the gift of freshly baked cookies! The ultimate gift, I say. You need the right ingredients, like so:

cranberry apple pie

cranberry apple pie

cranberry apple pie

Massachusetts is actually famous for its cranberries – did you know that? As for the butter, always go for sweet cream (unsalted) for this recipe. For flour, use Bob’s Red Mill products. Their products are of the highest quality to make your baked goods truly shine! Like me, Bob’s believes in making our world a better place through small acts of kindness. And what’s the best small act of kindness? For me it’s Made With Love, Baked With Bobs. And Cranberry Apple Pie Bars.

There is something I’m not good at – not fretting over gift giving to the people I care about the most. Like I said, four people I love gave birth over Thanksgiving weekend. I tend to stress over getting them the “perfect” baby gift because they are all people who go above and beyond for me. Baking is my way to say, “Thank you”, “Congratulations,” AND, “I love you.”

Cranberry Apple Pie Cookie Bars

Cranberry Apple Pie Cookie Bars

Ingredients

  1. 4 cups Bob's Red Mill Organic All Purpose Baking Flour, sifted
  2. 2 cups sweet cream butter, softened
  3. 1.5 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  4. 1 cup sugar
  5. 1 Tbsp organic vanilla extract
  6. 4 cups fresh cranberries
  7. 2 large apples, peeled and chopped
  8. 1/2 cup sugar (for filling)
  9. 2 oz. water
  10. 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  11. 1 tsp ginger
  12. 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  13. 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 325 and line a 13x9 baking dish with parchment paper
  • 2. Beat sugars and butter on high until light and fluffy and then mix in vanilla
  • 3. Stir in flour, a little at a time, until well combined
  • 4. Separate the dough and spread half into the prepared baking dish
  • 5. Bake for 25 minutes until edges are golden brown
  • 6. Meanwhile, place other half in a disc shape and wrap tightly with plastic wrap
  • 7. Place in the fridge
  • 8. To make the filling, combine cranberries, sugar, water, cornstarch and spices in a large saucepan and cook until fruit is thick and jam-like - for about eight minutes
  • 9. It's ok if there are still some whole cranberries
  • 10. Add apples
  • 11. Remove baking dish from oven and add fruit mixture on top of cookie crust
  • 12. Then, take the rest of the dough and roll it out in pieces to completely cover the fruit filling as the top layer
  • 13. Bake for 35 minutes and cool for 15 minutes before serving
  • 14. Enjoy!
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I can’t even tell you what one thing it is that makes these bars so tasty. They’re just the right about of buttery, sweet, tart, crumbly and lovely. They’re also quiet fetching to look at, and they package very beautifully too, as you can see!

I feel inspired knowing how many people I can make happy this year.

Give someone the gift of freshly baked cookies. Here’s a coupon for $1 off any Bob’s Red Mill products HERE.

AD These Cranberry Apple Pie Cookie Bars are made in the pan easy, and eaten out of the pan good. It's time to show your loved ones how you feel with baking

What’s your favorite holiday baking recipe with Bob’s Red Mill products?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill.