With this sponsored opportunity from Collective Bias, I created a new recipe for our monthly meal plan. 
We are on a meal planning mission around here, but I’m on a quest to keep it interesting and not get stuck in a recipe rut.  Spaghetti was one of my favorite meals growing up, and this recipe gives my comfort food a little twist by adding creamy texture, tons of fresh vegetables, and tasty smoked sausage.  I found all of my fresh ingredients at my local Sam’s Club, where I can buy everything in bulk at great prices.    

Creamy Garden Veggie Spaghetti with Hillshire Farm Beef Smoked Sausage
The Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
Vegetables: 1 zucchini, 1 summer squash, 2 roma tomatoes, 2 cups baby spinach, 1 onion, 1 bell pepper
Sauce: 2 cans Hunt’s Tomato Sauce (15 oz cans), 4 oz fat free cream cheese, 2 tbsp each dry basil and oregano (or fresh herbs if you have them), salt and pepper to taste, 2 tbsp minced garlic
Pasta – 1 pound Daily Chef Spaghetti noodles
Meat – 1/2 pound Hillshire Farm Beef Smoked Sausage
Serves 4-6


Directions:
Heat the olive oil in your pan on medium heat. Chop all of your veggies.  Saute the onion until tender.  Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.  Add in the rest of the vegetables, except the spinach and tomatoes.  Saute the veggies for 5-7 minutes or until tender.  
Fill the pot with the appropriate amount of water for your pasta according to the package directions.  After you turn the burner on high, put a bit of olive oil in the water, then break your pasta in half and go ahead and put it in the water.  That’s right, you don’t have to wait for it to boil.  Just do it.  Trust me.  
Go back to your veggies and add the tomato and spinach.  Continue to let the vegetables cook, stirring occasionally.  Once the spinach wilts, add in the two cans of Hunt’s Tomato Sauce as well as the basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.  Next add the cream cheese and stir well until it is mixed in.  Once the cream cheese is completely melted, turn the heat down to low and let the sauce simmer until everything else is ready. 
Chop the smoked sausage into small pieces and toss it into a small skillet on medium heat. Let it cook thoroughly, then drain the grease into your grease jar. Never pour it down the drain! Set sausage aside.    
Watch your pasta and test it after about 8 minutes.  You don’t want it to get mushy.  As soon as it is ready, drain it and return it to the pot to keep warm.  

Serve the pasta topped with the sauce and the sausage.  Sprinkle a little fresh grated Parmesan cheese on top and  you are ready to enjoy.  Hopefully your family will love this twist on traditional spaghetti and get a big serving of vegetables while eating a favorite comfort food.  For more great recipe ideas, check out the demos happening at your local Sam’s Club from 11 am until 2 pm on September 17 (Italian Style Fish and Pasta), Sept. 19 (Quick and Easy Chicken Parmesan), and Sept. 24 (Chicken Dippers).  

Did you know that smoked sausage is one of my favorite foods of all time? It’s true.  I love those miniature smoked sausages with all my heart, but the larger version is more practical for use in a recipe.  Garlic bread is another favorite food.  I’ll share my killer cheesy garlic bread technique with y’all soon.

The Bear prefers for his food to be separated. We’ll call it deconstructed veggie spaghetti with a side of smoked sausage.  Toddlers are tricky.


What is your favorite comfort food recipe?  

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