As an Italian-American, I love, love, love garlic, tomatoes and basil, all of which are musts for good bruschetta. This recipe was created in celebration of the first tomatoes to come out of our home garden this year. —Gina Rine, Canfield, Ohio
Crispy chicken with a sweet-tart sauce is served alongside wilted spinach for this special meal. Virginia Anthony of Jacksonville, Florida says, “I created the recipe many years ago for a contest, and it won the Grand Prize! It’s easy to make and comes off as very elegant.”
Facebook fans of my blog, Chef in Training, inspired me to make this creamy pasta casserole out of ingredients I had on hand. Success! I took the dish for another flavorful spin and added a bit of smoky bacon and toasted bread crumbs. —Nikki Barton, Providence, Utah
These chicken enchiladas put a little zip into any menu. The rolled tortillas are filled with a hearty mixture of cheese, chicken and green chilies and then topped with a creamy sauce and more cheese. I sometimes use leftover turkey instead of chicken. —Karen Bourne, Magrath, Alberta
"This melt-in-your-mouth Chicken Marsala is based on a recipe picked up in a cooking class," recalls Greta Igl in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. "But the basil and splash of lemon are my own touches. We’ve tried this dish in many restaurants, but always agree our homemade version tastes best. It’s so easy…and if we’re lucky enough to have leftovers, they reheat beautifully in the microwave.”
Cheese soup is one of my favorites, but it's a bit too rich for my husband's tastes. So, by changing the ingredients a little, I came up with a variation of potpie we both enjoy. (If I'm in a hurry and don't have the time this takes to bake, I'll leave off the crust, add extra milk and serve it as a chowder.) —Sandra Cothran, Ridgeland, South Carolina
My husband and three children love this tender chicken that has a spicy sauce. Peach preserves add just a touch of sweetness, while taco seasoning and salsa give this dish some kick. This entree can be made even zippier yet by adding more taco seasoning and using spicier salsa.
Diners will ladle out praises all around the table when you serve this flavorful soup. "My husband and three sons can't get enough of it," says Maxine Pierson of San Ramon, California. "I created this recipe for a dinner I hosted for a group of friends. The main course was Italian, and I needed a good soup, so I converted a favorite tortilla soup recipe by substituting pasta and adding different seasonings."
"A co-worker shared this recipe that was originally her grandmother's," writes Bev Dutro from Dayton, Ohio. "When I make it, I use a box of refrigerated cooked chicken and fresh zucchini my neighbor gives me from his garden."
Our family of five enjoys trying different ethnic cuisines. This Italian specialty has a little Mexican zip. Be careful not to overcook the manicotti. If the filled shells happen to break, just place them in the pan seam-side down.