I've said it before and I'll say it again: as much as I love the ritual of cooking, when it comes to making weeknight dinners for The Husband and I, I'm always on the hunt for new quick and easy dinner solutions. Our lives seem to get busier and busier with each passing month and the last thing I'd like to do is spend a few hours in the kitchen every evening. I mean, sure, I'll do enjoy a cook-a-thon a few days a week, but certainly not every night. I have
Netflix to watch to spend time with my husband and family.
Everyone has their “go-to” dinner recipes – for me, I tend to make a lot of baked dishes during the week – but even the tastiest recipes can get a little boring after a while. So while I was in Kroger the other day I stopped to browse around a little more than I normally would, hoping to stumble across some inspiration to shake up our weekly meal routine. Perhaps something a little lighter with a “summery” feel, now that the weather is getting warmer.And it was while I was cruising through the packaged meat section (near the bacon, sausage, and other deli cuts) when a classic food from my childhood caught my eye:
And it was while I was cruising through the packaged meat section (near the bacon, sausage, and other deli cuts) when a classic food from my childhood caught my eye: Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage.
I've always loved Hillshire Farm products, and the last time I remember having their sausage was in a flavorful pasta salad. This was ages ago at some corporate gig for my old job, but the memory stands out to me because it was supposed to be a homecooked potluck… and I showed up with store bought cookies.
Because that's how little I cooked in my 20's, that homemade cookies were too daunting of a task for me to tackle and I had to buy my way through it.
Thankfully no one at work questioned me on potluck contribution, and my simple still cookies granted me access to all the other food my co-workers brought in. And out of all the options available (of which there were a ton – I was also nieve in my 20's, and was in awe of how many people I knew could cook) I went straight for the pasta salad. I think I must have had 3 helpings of it.
Personally, I enjoy pasta salads all year long – they can be served warm or cold, fitting perfectly whatever weather you're trying to counter – but I know they are traditionally a warm-weather food. And with the Phoenix sun lasting longer and longer in the sky each day, I know it's only a matter of time before I'll be craving all the comfort of a cold pasta salad.
In fact, there's been more than a few days in the last month where a cold dinner would have been a welcome change over a hot pasta dish.
So there I was, standing in Kroger and formulating my plan:
I would buy the Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage and see if I could somehow recreate the pasta recipe from the potluck, now that things like baking cookies no longer intimidates me.
And the end result? Well, let's just say I nailed it.
The recipe was easy enough: just sauteeing the sausage with some carrots, green peppers, and onion, then toss with cooked pasta before lightly drizzling some salad dressing on top. And viola, a simple and savory dinner is served!
Looking for more tasty smoked sausage recipes? Check out Hillshire farm for more tasty dinner ideas! Also, be sure to check out Kroger's weekly store ad for great deals – just search by your zip code!
Smoked Sausage Pasta Salad
A simple and savory pasta salad made with Hillshire Farm smoked sausage, veggies, and tri-color pasta. Can be served hot or cold to fit any season!
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- 12 oz tri-color rotini (1 box)
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 14 oz Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup carrots cut into 1-2 inch strips
- 1 green pepper roughly chopped
- 1 small yellow onion roughly chopped
- 10 oz black olives sliced and drained (1 can)
- 1/2 cup Italian dressing
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- Cook tri-color rotini per package instructions. Drain and set aside, covered with a towl until.
- While pasta cooks, add canola oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once oil is warm, add sausage, carrots, green pepper, and yellow onion to the skillet. Cook until sausage begins to brown and veggies are tender, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add cooked pasta, sausage and veggies, and Italian dressing to a large bowl, then toss to coat.
- If you'd like the pasta salad warm, serve immediately. If you'd like the pasta salad chilled, place in the refrigerator for 2 hours before serving.
Please note that I am not a certified nutritionist; I am merely a quirky girl who loves food. Any nutritional information that is discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates. If nutrition is important to you, I highly encourage you to verify any data you see here with your favorite nutrition calculator.