Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

PREP TIME: 20 mins
COOK TIME: 4 hours
TOTAL TIME: 4 hours 20 mins
 SERVES: 4-6
  • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 10-ounce can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream OR half & half
  1. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and next 7 ingredients (through broth) to a slow cooker/crockpot. Cover and cook for 2 hours on high or 4-8 hours on low. (If you are home, give it a stir every now and then and scrape down the sides)
  2. About 30-40 minutes before serving transfer soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, then return to crock pot.
  3. Prepare the roux. Begin by melting the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
  4. Add flour to melted butter and stir until flour clumps up. Slowly whisk in the heavy cream (or half & half) until mixture is thickened and smooth. Add roux and parmesan cheese to crockpot and stir to combine.
  5. Allow to cook another 20-30 minutes until cheese is completely melted. Give it a good stir before serving. Top with additional basil and parmesan cheese if desired.

Crock Pot/Stove Top Minestrone Soup


Crock Pot Minestrone Soup

Servings: 8


  • 1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained, rinsed (cannellini or navy)
  • 32 oz container reduced sodium chicken/vegetarian broth
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  • Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt and fresh black pepper
  • 1 medium 8 oz zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups chopped fresh (or frozen defrosted) spinach
  • 2 cups cooked small pasta such as ditalini or elbows (al dente)
  • extra parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

Directions: Crock Pot Version:

Puree beans with 1 cup of the broth in a blender. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and saute until tender and fragrant, about 15 minutes.

Transfer to the crock pot along with the remaining broth, tomatoes, pureed beans, parmesan cheese rind, salt and pepper. Add the rosemary, basil and parsley, cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Forty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add zucchini and spinach. Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Remove bay leaves, rosemary sprig, parmesan rind and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Ladle 1-1/4 cups soup into 8 bowls with 1/4 cup pasta in each and top with extra parmesan cheese if desired.

Stove Top Directions:

Puree beans with 1 cup of the broth in a blender. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and saute until tender and fragrant, about 15 minutes.

Add the remaining broth, tomatoes, pureed beans, parmesan cheese rind, salt and pepper. Add the rosemary, basil and parsley, cover and cook on low 40 minutes. Add the zucchini and spinach, cover and simmer until the zucchini is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves, rosemary sprig, parmesan rind and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Ladle 1-1/4 cups soup into 8 bowls with 1/4 cup pasta in each and top with extra parmesan cheese if desired.

Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Pasta






  • 1 lb whole wheat penne pasta
  • 16 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 12 oz container cream of mushroom soup
  • 6 oz fresh spinach
  • Fresh Parley, basil works good too
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Cook pasta according to package instructions.

While the pasta is cooking, in a large saute pan, over medium to high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook until almost soft, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook further for another minute or so.

Add cream of mushroom, Parmesan cheese and stir for a couple of minutes until warm. Turn heat off and add the spinach and combine. The spinach will wilt as you stir the sauce around it.

Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in the pasta and any fresh herbs of your choice. Serve while still warm. I also used some pepper flakes.

Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup

baked potato soup

PREP TIME: 15 mins
COOK TIME: 4 hours
TOTAL TIME: 4 hours 15 mins
 SERVES: 8 cups
  • 5 medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ cup finely diced celery [approximately 3 stalks]
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup butter [I used salted]
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar, grated
  • a few cranks of ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp dried dill [add ¼ tsp first, taste, then double if you love it!]


  • plain greek yogurt or sour cream
  • freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • zesty red pepper flakes
  • chopped green onion

Note: I like my baked potatoes with a crispy kosher salted skin, so I used salted butter and kosher salt in the recipe. Feel free to use unsalted butter and then salt to taste. You can always add more at the end if you decided to later. Let your tastebuds be your guide! 

  1. Chop your veggies and toss ’em in the pot!
  2. Next add veggie broth, garlic, butter, salt, and pepper.
  3. Set your slow cooker to HIGH and cook for 4 hours, or, if you’re gone for the day, set it to LOW for 8 hours.
  4. After returning to your slow cooker, you have a very important [ok not that important] decision to make. Do you want your soup chunky or smooth?
  5. For smooth soup, use a potato masher or even an immersion blender to creamify the soup.
  6. For chunky potato soup, grab a wooden spoon and mash the potatoes partially. I went the fabulously chunky route and it came out deliciously thick and hearty.
  7. Ready to eat? Simply mix in your cheese, spices, and a spoonful or two of green onions. Taste, season as needed, toss on some toppings, and dig in! I wound up adding extra dill and a little more garlic powder… The flavor was spot on and I didn’t miss bacon one bit! Success!

Chicken Rice Vegetable Soup


Yield: 4 servings

Prep time: 15

Total time: 20


1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 medium red bell peppers, chopped
1 3/4 cups chopped onion
3/4 cup zucchini, halved lenthwise, then sliced
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
2 cans (14.5 oz. ea.) reduced sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups instant rice

2 1/3 cups shredded cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts


1. Heat olive oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and cook vegetables and thyme, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.

2. Add broth, water and rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook covered 10 minutes or until rice is tender.

3. Stir in chicken and serve immediately.

Avocado, Mozzarella & Tomato Grilled Cheese

grilled cheese


Bread of choice
1 Avocado, sliced
2 pieces of Mozzarella cheese slices
1 Tomato, sliced
Olive oil
1. Heat a skillet over medium heat.
2. Butter one side of 2 slices of whatever bread you’re using. Place one slice butter side down in the pan.
3. Top with sliced avocado, mozzarella cheese slices and a couple slices of tomato. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Top with remaining piece of bread, butter side up.
4. Cook until bread it golden brown (2-3 minutes), then flip and brown the other side. Serve.
(*can add bacon*)

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

  • 4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Coat a cooling rack with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet; set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine Parmesan, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Place zucchini onto prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan mixture.
  • Place into oven and bake until tender, about 15 minutes. Then broil for 2-3 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Caprese Tortellini Pasta Salad

caprese tortellini salad

PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOK TIME: 8 mins

  • one 9oz package of fresh, refrigerated tri-color cheese tortellini
  • one package of fresh mozzarella balls [marinated or regular]
  • one pint/package of grape or cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup Italian dressing
  • fresh basil leaves

The above measurements are simply a jumping off point; use as much or as little as you need! ❤ This dish comes together in a matter of minutes and is perfect for a last minute meal or an impromptu side dish for a summer BBQ or party!

If your local grocery store has an antipasto bar with fresh, marinated mozzarella balls, those will work gloriously too! You can even use a regular block of whole milk mozzarella cheese and marinate it in some extra homemade [[or even store bought!] Italian dressing if you’d like! It’s super customizable and so delicious!


  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add your tortellini and reduce heat to gently cook the pasta to either tender or al-dente according to package directions.
  3. Grab a noodle to taste-test and remove from heat.
  4. Strain/drain in a colander and run under cold water to halt the cooking process and prevent soggy noodles.
  5. Transfer into a medium-large serving bowl along with mozzarella balls, tomatoes, and basil.
  6. Pour in dressing and toss to coat.
  7. Dig in!
Love balsamic? Drizzle your favorite fruity balsamic dressing or glaze over this salad for an extra burst of flavor!


Grilled Caprese Naan Pizzas

naan pizza


  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 naan
  • Olive oil
  • A handful or two of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • A handful or two of small fresh mozzarella balls
  • 1/4 c. fresh basil ribbons
  • Salt + pepper to taste


  1. Heat balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until syrupy and reduced to about a tablespoon, 8-10 minutes.
  2. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Spray both sides of one naan with olive oil and place it in the pan, pressing down on the top of it with a spatula to sear. Cook on each side until just beginning to char, about 2-3 minutes. Repeat with second naan.
  3. Top each naan with tomatoes, cheese, and basil. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Cut into wedges and serve.

Strawberry & Yogurt Parfait

yogi parfait

This healthy yogurt parfait recipe combines fresh fruit, Greek yogurt and crunchy granola for an easy breakfast. Pack the parfait in a mason jar for a healthy breakfast on the go.

Makes: 1 serving

Serving Size: about 1 1/2 cups

Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup granola


  1. Combine strawberries and sugar in a small bowl and let stand until the berries start to release juice, about 5 minutes.
  2. To assemble parfait, layer yogurt and the strawberries with their juice in a 2-cup container. Top with granola.


  • Make Ahead Tip: Assemble the parfait up to 2 hours ahead.