BHG Delish Dish

Stirring Up Ideas In The Kitchen

Easy Dinners

Hello from Switzerland! My name is Thanh and I am the author and photographer of the blog, Eat, Little Bird. The recipes I love to cook are inspired by my Vietnamese heritage, my childhood in Australia, my husband’s French background, and our love for our new homeland in Switzerland.

Every winter, we like to make the most of the snowy European winter and spend as much time as possible in the Swiss Alps. After a long day on the slopes (or even just a few hours!), I always look forward to the classic après-ski dishes like Goulash Soup, Schnitzel with Warm Potato Salad, and this Swiss Macaroni & Cheese.

When BHG asked me to adapt one of their recipes, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to introduce a Swiss adaptation to an American classic – macaroni and cheese.

Similar to a traditional American-style macaroni and cheese, the Swiss version (called Älplermagronen) is punchy with strong Gruyère cheese and is often garnished with fried onions and lots of crispy bacon. Some versions even include diced boiled potatoes for extra carbohydrate fuel. But what makes the Swiss version unique is that it is always served with a small bowl of warmed applesauce (or apple compote) on the side.

The recipe I have adapted from BHG is a simple Macaroni and Cheese which uses a classic white sauce with cheese. In place of American cheese, I used instead Swiss Gruyère cheese which is a bit stronger and saltier in taste. I also love the crunch and sweetness of fried onions which are easily made by slicing brown onions and frying them in hot vegetable oil over medium-high heat until they are golden and crispy. Meat lovers would also appreciate a generous sprinkle of hot, crispy bacon.

Making your own applesauce (or apple compote or purée) is also very easy. Simply peel, core and dice four eating apples (such as Braeburn or Pink Lady), and place them in a large saucepan with 1/4 cup of water. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the apples have cooked and softened. You should be able to beat them into a purée with a wooden spoon. Add some more water if the purée looks too thick, and taste to check if you need to add any sugar. If you like your applesauce to be really smooth, you can blitz it in a blender or use a soup blender.

The Swiss tend to serve the applesauce in a small bowl on the side, which can be either eaten together with the macaroni and cheese, or afterwards as a light dessert.

I hope you will enjoy this Swiss Macaroni and Cheese!


Hey there! I’m Chelsea, and I blog over at Gal on a Mission. All of my recipes are simple to make, delicious, and family-approved! We actually love one-pot dishes and this One-Pot Chicken & Vegetable Three-Cheese Mac and Cheese is perfect and also a mouthful to say.

I was super excited that BHG asked me to adapt a recipe to share with you! As always, the hardest part is trying to decide which recipe I wanted to make. Isn’t that always the issue when dinner time rolls around, too? It is for me! So after searching for a little bit, I decided to adapt this Chicken-Vegetable Mac and Cheese because it sounded so interesting. – tomato paste in mac and cheese?

Oh yeah! I was a little skeptical at first but it truly makes the flavors shine through. Don’t skip it because you will certainly miss out.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL CHICKEN-VEGETABLE MAC & CHEESE RECIPE.

There were a few changes I made to the initial recipe. I started off by making the entire dish in one pot and only one-pot. I boiled the penne pasta first, drained the water and left the pasta in the strainer (hello, fewer dishes!). Once the pasta was al dente, I  cooked the mushrooms, red bell peppers, and the chicken in the same pot and placed them on top of the pasta noodles. Then I started on the sauce, which is the best part of the mac and cheese! The second thing I changed in this recipe was the cheeses. It originally only called for two kinds of cheese – cheddar or swiss and America. I decided to use all three listed in the recipe and used 1 cup of cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup of swiss cheese, and left the American cheese the same quantity.

After trying this dish, I immediately fell in love! So good!


Cheesy Apple Pasta Pie

Happy November, Delish Dish readers! Justine from Cooking and Beer here to share some fabulous twists on BHG’s original recipe of Apple and Cheddar Penne Pie! Over at Cooking and Beer, I pair bold and inspired sweet and savory recipes with the best craft beer I can get my hands on! As soon as I came across this Apple and Cheddar Penne Pie, I knew I had to try it. Once I officially made the recipe, I knew that I needed to put my own twists on it! Oh my, was it love at first bite.

Cheesy Apple Pasta Pie

If there is one thing I absolutely crave in the fall, it’s a nice and juicy apple. Oh sure, pumpkins and other squash are all the rage, but in my house apples are where it’s at. What is so great about apples are the endless amounts of things you can do with them. From apple pie to spiced apple cocktails and from pork chops to pasta dishes, apples can do just about anything you want them to. Lately, I have been obsessed with putting apples in pasta dishes, and this is why this pasta pie is right up my alley.

Cheesy Apple Pasta Pie

The original recipe was spectacular, but what I loved most about it is how easily it was to put my own spin on it. The general idea of the recipe remains the same. Pasta and a cheese sauce dotted with fresh apples are tossed together and thrown into a springform pan. It is baked to a bubbly perfection, and then ready to devour. I did a couple of things differently in my version.

Cheesy Apple Pasta Pie

Instead of using penne, I used my short pasta of choice: Cellentani. Obviously, this doesn’t change the taste of the original recipe, but does give it some pizzazz! Second, I wanted to change up the cheeses a bit. One of my favorite flavor combos is gruyere and apples. This recipe was destined for some gruyere! Of course I kept the white cheddar, but threw in some gruyere for good measure. You can never have too much cheese! I’m a firm believer that you can never have too many herbs. I love the thyme in the original recipe, but also added in some oregano and marjoram for some added flavor!

This recipe is a hit for a quick weeknight meal or an elegant dinner party. Serve it with a nice big salad on the side, and make this dish while apples are still in season!

Cheesy Apple Pasta Pie

Click over for the ORIGINAL recipe of Apple and Cheddar Penne Pie!

Here are some of the changes I made to create this cheesy apple pasta pie:

Substitute another shorter pasta shape for this recipe. I used the twisty Cellentani, but Farfalle or small shells would also work well!

Bring on the cheese! In addition to the use of cheddar and cream cheese found in the original recipe, I cut the amount of cheddar in half and added in 3/4 cup of gruyere. Gruyere and apple: It’s the perfect match.

Step up your game on herbs!  The thyme in this recipe is perfection, so leave it! Also add in a teaspoon each of chopped oregano and marjoram for some added flavor!

Optional: Add some microgreens on top for some freshness!


Weeknight Falafel

Quick and yummy weeknight dinners are a lifesaver during most work weeks and this recipe for Weeknight Falafel will be a new favorite in your house. As someone who loves falafel, but is often intimidated by making it at home, I loved how easy this recipe was to pull together. And that it’s so versatile—try it over a salad with a little feta cheese, stuffed into pita pockets, or even on their own as a quick and easy snack.

Falafel Ingredients

I added 1 tablespoon of cumin powder and cut the chili powder in half, and after a quick blitz in the food processor, the bean mixture simply gets rolled into little balls. I pressed the balls down onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. I figured that it would be easier for me to bake the whole batch at once than to have to tend to them frying on the stovetop—and it also ensured that I wouldn’t have to worry about the patties sticking to the pan, which is always my fear with frying in a skillet!

I baked mine at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes, then topped with a little shredded mozzarella and melted the cheese under the broiler before serving. There were leftovers (as I’d hoped!), so I let them cool fully and stashed them into the freezer in a zip top freezer bag with as much air removed as possible. You lose a bit of the nice outer texture when you reheat after freezing, but the flavor more than makes up for it.

Cheesy Baked Falafel

I love that these little patties are packed with flavor and nutrition—think of the parsley like a green and be satisfied that you’re getting a good dose of vitamin A without even trying!—and that they are so easy to eat. I am also sure that they’d make a wonderful lunch component both for an adult or for a kiddo, with a little dipping sauce on the side.

Get the original recipe for Weeknight Falafel here.

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ingredients for chickpea salad

I’ve been trying to up my collection of easy dinners as we head into the home stretch of waiting for baby #2 and this super simple Chickpea Salad is a recipe that my family has been loving. It can be daunting to try to serve salad to toddlers and little kids, but if you think outside standard lettuce, a whole wide world of fresh, kid-friendly meals opens up.

I was drawn to this recipe because it’s simple, of course, but also because my daughter loves chickpeas. She’ll eat them pretty much any which way, so I knew that she’d be excited to have them in the mix here. I also like that the recipe is versatile enough that you can tweak as needed according to your family’s likes and dislikes—and serve the salad alongside the pita, inside pita halves as sandwiches, or even as a “snack plate” of sorts like we did.

quick weeknight chickpea salad

I like serving meals to kids laid out like this since it gives them the chance to see exactly what’s on offer and they can help themselves to their dinner from a range of healthy ingredients. I don’t particularly mind if my daughter chooses to focus on one veggie over another because the whole point is to let her make that decision for herself.

easy vegetarian salad dinner
I took the original recipe and made just a few changes so it fit what we had on hand this spring and what my family likes:

  • I added cucumber and blanched green beans (since tomatoes aren’t quite in season here yet and the grocery store options weren’t looking so hot).
  • I used cubed mozzarella instead of feta since my daughter likes it better.
  • And I used a little basil instead of mint since we had some in our garden.

Easy chickpea salad with pita
This dinner is super quick to pull together and is flavorful and bright once tossed with dressing. It’s ideal for those nights that you come home and stare into the fridge wondering what to eat. I like to keep a bag of pita on hand in the freezer for just that purpose—it warms up so nicely either on the grill or even in the oven.

Get the original recipe for Chickpea Salad with Pita here.

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quick and easy spinach pesto

We’re lucky enough to live next door to a farmer, so when she started up her weekly markets recently, I knew that a batch of pesto was in order. This easy pesto pasta recipe is one of my family’s favorites: It’s easy to make, filled with flavor, and a nice change of pace from the more traditional red sauce. And in the spring, when baby greens are starting to pop up at local markets but basil isn’t quite in season yet, it’s the perfect dish.

ingredients for spinach pesto
I used this recipe for Angel Hair with Walnut Pestoand made just a few simple swaps to turn it into Spinach Pesto:

  1. Instead of the basil, I used baby spinach.
  2. Rather than walnuts, I traded in roasted almonds.
  3. I decreased the olive oil to 1/3 cup and added the juice of one small lemon to brighten the flavors a bit (and to add a bit of needed moisture).

blended spinach pesto

My 3 year old loves pesto. I’m not sure exactly how it became one of her favorite meals, but I’m really glad that it did because it’s a super simple way to serve up a load of nutrients in a kid-friendly form. We stock our freezer with a kale version when we have too much of it growing in our garden in the summer and eat it on pizza and pasta all winter long. This spinach version is my new go-to for the spring until the more traditional basil (and our kale) is back in season.

easy dinner of spinach pesto pasta

Angel hair pairs particularly well with pesto, though we like the quinoa-rice pasta from Trader Joe’s as a gluten-free option. I also added frozen petite peas to my strainer before pouring in the pasta and hot cooking water (the peas thaw almost immediately that way without the need of a second pot) to add a little vegetarian protein. I highly recommend that you make a double batch of this pesto—it’s so yummy, one meal won’t be enough!

Get the original recipe for Angel Hair with Walnut Pesto here.

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