Quick and Easy Tried and True Recipes


Do you have a few quick and easy, tried and true recipes that you cook for dinner? Today I am sharing my favorites!

Sausage and Peppers Pasta

I’ve got some tried and true recipes that I make frequently that I am sharing with you today. My favorite dinner recipes are the ones that taste amazing but take only about thirty minutes to make!

We all need some tried and true easy recipes to cook for dinner. Today I am sharing four. If you have any you want to share, please add them in the comments below!

One of my favorite quick pasta dinners is Sausage and Peppers Pasta. I keep some staples on hand for some of my favorite quick dinners. When my garden is in bloom, I can make this any (or every!) day of the week.

If you’ve got time to boil pasta, you’ve got time to make this recipe. It is also a great Friday night dinner idea. At the end of a long week, this is easy to make and a crowd favorite.

Sausage and Peppers Pasta

Easy Sausage and Peppers Pasta Recipe

I love how colorful this dish is. They say you eat with your eyes first, so pretty and colorful food is a plus!

Fresh Tomatoes from the Garden

I planted tomatoes earlier this spring and these are my first crop of cherry tomatoes! There is nothing quite as wonderful as a freshly picked tomato from the garden!

Easy Sausage and Peppers Pasta

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How to Make Sausage and Peppers Pasta

Chopping Peppers

I love the colors that red and yellow peppers add to this pasta dish. I always cut peppers into what I call ribbons. I like that they are substantial enough as a bite but that they don’t overpower the dish.

Fresh cherry tomatoes are one of my favorite things. For this recipe, I slice them in half and leave them uncooked.

Cooking onions with Thyme

Sauteed onions are just the best. Need I say more? I add olive oil and a little bit of butter to the pan and a little fresh thyme and cook the onions until they are soft and browned. Sauteed onions take on a sweet and nutty taste. Adding the thyme during the sautee process adds an herby taste to the onions.

Cooking Onions and Sausage

I discovered Trader Joe’s Sweet Italian Sausage earlier this year. The chicken is free-range and fed vegetarian feed, which means there are no antibiotics or hormones added. There are also no nitrates.

Cooking Chicken Sausage

The Trader Joe’s Sweet Italian Sausage is fully cooked, so I simply slice and brown in a pan while the onions are sauteeing.

Cooking the Sausage and Peppers

Once the onions are softened and starting to brown, I add the red and yellow peppers to give them a quick cook. I don’t cook the peppers too long as I like for them to have a bit of crunch to them.

Borsari Sea Salt

I recently discovered this Bosari Seasoning, which is an herb and spice-infused seasoning salt blend. I must say this is a game-changer. And, it is gluten-free! This seasoning salt, added to pasta, avocado toast, fish, chicken, or anything, is amazing!

Tried and True Recipes for Quick and Easy Delicious Dinners

Yield: 4 Servings

Sausage and Peppers Pasta

Easy Sausage and Peppers Pasta Recipe

Sausage and Peppers Pasta

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 1 package Chicken sausage, I used Trader Joes Sweet Italian Sausage, sliced into 1/4" slices
  • Pasta - whatever shape you like, I used penne and gluten-free pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespooons butter, I used Country Crock plant based butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 onions, sliced into rings
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into ribbons
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into ribbons
  • 1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Bosari Seasoning Salt for seasoning
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme for garnish


  1. Start water to boil. While water is heating,
  2. Slice sausage into 1/4" slices
  3. Slice onion into thin rings
  4. Slice red and yellow peppers lengthwise into ribbons
  5. Slice cherry tomatoes in half
  6. In a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add sliced onions and a little bit of thyme.
  7. In a separate saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Over medium heat, once oil is warmed, add sliced sausage and cook until browned. Once browned, turn off heat.
  8. Once the onions have started to soften add the red and yellow peppers. Continue to cook until onions are browned and peppers are softened just a bit. Once the onions are softened and browned and the peppers are softened, turn heat off.
  9. Once the water has come to a boil, add pasta and cook to desired doneness. I like my pasta al dente, meaning the pasta is cooked, but still has a bit of firmness, or bite to it.
  10. Drain pasta and let cool a bit.
  11. While pasta is cooling, add sausage, onions and peppers to the serving bowl. Add the drained fired roasted tomatoes and cherry tomatoes and toss.
  12. Once the sausage, onions and peppers and tomatoes are tossed, add the pasta and toss again.
  13. Season with Bosari seasoning salt to taste.
  14. Garnish with sprigs of thyme and serve!

When I shared this ahi recipe, I made it as an appetizer. Please know that I make this recipe all of the time as an entree. After I sear the ahi, I slice it in strips. I serve with white rice and the amazing soy sauce, and it’s the best dish (or bowl) ever!

Yield: 24 - 30 shot glasses for appetizer

Seared Ahi Tuna with Maple Ginger Soy Sauce Recipe

Seared Ahi Tuna with Maple Soy Sauce

This recipe is one of those recipes that looks amazing, tastes amazing but was easy to make. This Seared Ahi with Maple ginger Soy Sauce is a crowd-pleaser for sure.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup wasabi powder (horseradish powder)
  • 2 TBL chopped ginger
  • 6 4-oz. sushi-grade yellowfin tuna ahi steaks
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 3 TBL canola oil
  • 4 large scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 3 TBL canola oil
  • 1 tsp crushed ginger


Combine the maple syrup, ginger, and soy sauce in a medium saucepan. Boil over medium heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes (do not boil over).

The sauce can be made 1 day ahead, just reheat before serving.

If you want spicier ahi, mix 2 tsp. of wasabi powder, and 2 1/2 tsp. water in a small bowl to form thick but spreadable paste. Mix with crushed garlic. Rub about 1/4 tsp. paste on both sides of each tuna steak. Place sesame seeds on a small plate. Press both sides of each tuna steak into sesame seeds.

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add tuna to skillet and cook until sesame seeds turn light brown, about 20 seconds per side. Transfer to cutting board and cut each steak into small cubes.

Place small pieces into shot glasses or small plates. Drizzle with maple ginger soy sauce. Top with chopped green onions.

I serve this all of the times and it is just so delicious. It is great on a Tuesday night or at a dinner party on a Saturday. It’s just that good.

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa

This recipe is my go-to recipe. It's delicious, healthy and easy to make.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • Salmon:
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 salmon fillets
  • Avocado Salsa:
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBL chopped fresh cilantro


Place the salmon in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle the olive oil on the top of the salmon and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika.

Grill the salmon on high heat for five minutes on each side. Or bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for thirty minutes.

In a separate bowl, lightly toss avocados, 1/4 red onion, the juice from one lime, 1 Tbsp. olive oil and salt to taste.

Spoon avocado salsa on top of the cooked salmon. Top with finely cut cilantro and enjoy!

Yield: 2 servings

The Best Grilled Chicken with Pistachio Avocado Sauce

Dinner with Friends Main Entree Sea Bass and Chicken

This is the best Grilled Chicken with Pistachio Avocado Sauce – marinated in soy sauce, honey, and garlic and grilled to juicy, golden-brown perfection. Then topped with an amazing green pistachio and avocado sauce. So easy!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 TBL cilantro
  • fresh lime, squeezed
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup packed parsley and cilantro leaves (combined)
  • 1 jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice of one lime (or two – get lots of limey goodness in there!)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pistachios (you can sub other nuts)


    1. Cut the chicken into chunks. Place in a large ziplock plastic bag or bowl.
    2. Pour the soy sauce, honey, water, and garlic into a bowl. Whisk until incorporated. Set aside about 3/4 cup of the sauce for brushing the chicken later.
    3. Pour the remaining sauce into the bag or bowl with the chicken. Seal or cover the mixture and refrigerate as long as you can – 4 hours is a good minimum but you can go as long as overnight.
    4. When you’re ready to grill, preheat the grill on medium-high for 5-10 minutes and oil the grates. Meanwhile, drain off the marinade and place the chicken pieces on skewers. Place the chicken on the hot grill, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Brush with reserved sauce and flip. Repeat this process until you see that the chicken is browned to your liking and fully
    5. Serve with cilantro, lime, Magic Green Sauce, or any other dipping sauces you like. We also like this with a salad and some naan or rice.
    6. To make the five-minute green sauce, pulse all remaining ingredients – except pistachios – in a food processor until incorporated.
    7. Add pistachios and pulse until mostly smooth (depends on what consistency you want).
    8. Serve as a dip, spread, or sauce — or add additional water or oil to thin the sauce for use as a dressing or a marinade.

Easy Sausage and Peppers Pasta

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between carmelized and sauteed onions?

Caramelizing onions is a much longer process, typically about thirty minutes over low heat until the onions are completely browned. Sauteeing onions is a much faster process cooked over medium heat until soft and slightly browned.

Is avocado salsa the same as guacamole?

Avocado salsa is not the same as guacamole. Guacamole is thoroughly mixed and is generally served as a dip. Avocado salsa is less mixed than guacamole with large chunks of avocado.

Can this Sausage and Peppers Pasta dish be eaten cold?

Yes! This is delicious served as a cold pasta salad and perfect for leftovers on a summer evening!

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  1. I use to read your blog every day, then just recently it disappeared. I tried twice to rejoin and have not received a link in order to do so….help!!!!!
    You are missed.

    1. If you scroll to the bottom of the blog, you can add yourself to the mailing list! Let me know if this helps!

  2. EVERYONE needs to try the salmon with avocado salsa. It is so good! Think I got the recipe a couple of years back during the holidays and I make it frequently. Feels a little fancy but it’s really easy!

  3. Thank you for sharing these recipes! My family includes several members who are following a dairy and gluten-free diet. I appreciate finding recipes that fit into these guidelines and remain delicious for the entire family! Thanks, again.

  4. I made the sausage and pepper pasta recipe tonight for dinner. It was YUMMY!! We all had second helpings. This is definitely going to be a go-to recipe for me. Thank you.

  5. Yummy, so going to try these recipes. Thank you Leslie. Got to love a quick and easy meal.
    Sharing my mom’s Casserole Italiano
    1 pound ground beef
    1/3 cup chopped onion and 1 carrot shredded
    1 clove garlic, minced
    ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon oregano, ½ teaspoon salt
    1 can tomato soup and 1/3 cup water
    2 cups wide noodles, cooked (approximately 7 – 9 minutes)
    1 cup shredded cheese

    In frying pan, fry together meat, onion, garlic and spices until meat is cooked. In 1 ½ quart casserole, combine meat mixture with tomato soup and water and the cooked wide noodles. Place shredded cheese around the edge of casserole. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.


    Pork Chop and Pasta Dinner – my husband loves this one
    1 ½ cups corkscrew macaroni or elbow macaroni
    6 pork rib chops, cut ½ inch thick
    2 tablespoons cooking oil or shortening
    1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
    ¼ cup chopped onion
    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    ½ teaspoon dried basil, crushed
    ¼ teaspoon each sugar, salt, garlic powder and dried oregano
    Dash pepper
    ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

    Cook macaroni in boiling salted water for approximately 7 minutes. Drain and place in 12×71/2 x 2 baking dish. In skillet brown chops in hot cooking oil; drain off excess fat. Season with a little salt and pepper. Arrange chops over macaroni in baking dish. Combine tomato sauce, onion, Worcestershire sauce, basil, sugar, salt, garlic powder, oregano and pepper; pour over chops and macaroni. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake in 350F oven for ½ hour to ¾ hour or until meat is tender and cooked thoroughly. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese. I have been making this recipe since 1987.

  6. I tried the Sausage & Pasta recipe, but substituted quinoa for the pasta. It was absolutely amazing and so quick to prepare. I really enjoy your blog and read it every day.

  7. Enjoyed your salmon with the avocado salsa..yummy and easy as well as quick! A definite repeat! Made all 4 and we had 2 for dinner. We ate the other 2 in a wonderful salad the next day. Thanks

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