Winter Recipes from the Ayla Team

Winter Recipes from the Ayla Team

This week the entire Ayla Team is sharing their favorite winter recipe! These are tried and true recipes that our team uses as their go-to meal in the winter! Let us know what you think! 


Abby’s Recipe: Zuppa Toscano Soup

The perfect comfort dish for that bitter cold winter night. This soup has it all, bacon, sausage, and potatoes! Bake some fresh bread to dip in it and you are all set!


  • 1/2 lb. thick cut bacon diced
  • 1-2 lb. ground italian sausage mild or hot*
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 5-6 small potatoes or 2-3 large russets (About 5 cups total)
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 cup heavy cream


Preheat the Instant Pot on High Saute. Saute bacon until crisp. Scoop the bacon out & set aside. Drain most of the fat out of the pot (all but about 2 T).

Add the sausage, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Saute until the sausage is about all the way cooked and the onion is translucent (5-8 minutes).

While sautéing, slice the potatoes in half lengthwise, then again into quarters (as if you were slicing long steak fries that were 1/4 of the potato). Slice into thin triangles and add to the pot.

Add 1 cup of the chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Scrape the cooked bits off the bottom of the pan into the liquid thoroughly. The soup will burn if not properly deglazed. Add the rest of the chicken broth.

Lock the lid, turn the knob to SEALING, and cook on manual high pressure for 1 minute.​

Wash & strip the kale off the thick stems, roll up in a big bundle, & slice into thin ribbons about 1/4 inch. Break up any large pieces. Massage the kale with your hands for a minute to soften it up.

When the pot beeps and it has completed pressure cooking, carefully release the pressure in short bursts. If you just flip the knob to venting, soup can spew out everywhere through the venting knob, so be careful and do it in bursts at first. After most of the pressure is out, you can flip the knob straight to venting to release the rest of the pressure. It will take a couple minutes for it to fully release pressure.

If you use hot sausage, there will be a red film on top of the soup. You may skim it off if you like. Set the pot to Saute again. Add the bacon & kale. Push the kale into the broth so it is covered. Be careful not to stir too much, or else the potatoes will break up. Simmer until the kale is wilted and cooked through, just 5 minutes or so.

Add heavy cream. Taste the broth, and add additional salt and pepper. Enjoy!

recipe by hello fresh 

Brooke's Recipe: One-Pan Trattoria Tortelloni Bake
Mix it up from traditional soup to get you warm, to this one-pan scrumptious tortellini dish. Noodles, marinara, freshly grated parmesan, nothing not to love about this one!


  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 T italian seasoning
  • 1 unit mushroom stock concentrate
  • 1.5 oz tomato paste
  • 2 units roma tomatoes
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 t chili flakes
  • 4 T cream cheese
  • 9 oz cheese tortelloni
  • 2 t olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • Salt & pepper


Heat broiler to high. Wash and dry produce. Peel and mince garlic. Dice tomatoes. In a small bowl, combine panko, Parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium, preferably ovenproof, pan (use a large pan for 4 servings) over medium-high heat. Add garlic, Italian Seasoning, and a pinch of chili flakes to taste; cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. 

Add diced tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until slightly softened, 1-2 minutes. 

Add tomato paste; cook, stirring, 1 minute. 

Stir in 1 cup water (1½ cups for 4), stock concentrate, and cream cheese. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until fully combined. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Add tortelloni to pan with sauce; cook, stirring, until sauce has thickened and tortelloni are tender, 4-6 minutes. (TIP: If sauce thickens before tortelloni are tender, add a splash of water.) Turn off heat. Stir in 2 TBSP butter (3 TBSP for 4 servings) until melted. Season with salt and pepper. If sauce seems too thick, add a splash of water. 

-TIP: If pan isn’t ovenproof, transfer mixture to a baking dish now.

Evenly sprinkle tortelloni with panko mixture. • Broil until panko is golden brown, 2-4 minutes. (TIP: Watch carefully to avoid burning.) Garnish with chili flakes if desired. Divide between plates and serve.



recipe by cornerstone cooking

Cami’s Recipe: Crunchy Black Bean Tacos

 A quick yummy meal that you probably have all the ingredients in your fridge and pantry already. Tacos are the way to our hearts!


  • 2 C. black beans, cooked
  • ½ C. red onion, minced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 4-6 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Hot sauce
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream


In a medium bowl, add beans along with red onion, cilantro, and spices. Add a pinch of salt and lightly mash all of the ingredients together. Grate your cheese and have it ready as well.

In a large, non-stick skillet or cast iron skillet, add a few tablespoons of oil and heat over medium-high heat.

Add one corn tortilla at a time and let each get hot in the oil for a few seconds. Then add about 1/4 cup of the bean filling to one half of the tortilla. Top with a sprinkle of grated cheese.

Using a spatula, carefully fold the tortilla over so it forms a shell. Press down lightly on the tortilla so it holds its shape.

As the first tortilla cooks, move it to the side and do a second one. Depending on the size of your pan, you should be able to get 2 or 3 tacos at once. If you have a griddle you can do even more at once.

Cook each taco for about 3 minutes per side until they are nicely browned and crispy.

When flipping the taco to cook on the other side, use a spatula and flip the taco toward the fold so the filling doesn’t fall out.

Serve tacos with toppings like hot sauce, salsa, avocados, and sour cream.


recipe by i heart naptime

Lindsy’s Recipe: Creamy Italian Chicken

There’s nothing not to love about this one. FOUR, yes you read that right, FOUR simple ingredients, for a yummy meal that will please everyone at your table.

  • Cream of chicken soup: The cream of chicken soup helps to give this recipe it’s creamy consistency. 
  • Cream cheese: You’ll just need 1 block of cream cheese. I like to cube mine up before adding it to the crockpot. This helps it melt evenly and not get lumpy.
  • Italian dressing mix: Make sure to get the dry Italian dressing mix packet! I like to use Good Seasons Italian dressing mix for the best flavor.
  • Chicken breasts: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts work best for this recipe. I used 4 chicken breasts, which is about 1 1/2 pounds.


Place ingredients in crockpot. Place meat in crockpot and sprinkle Italian seasoning on top. Then pour in the cream of chicken soup and add cream cheese cubes.

Cook on low. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Shred & season to taste. Shred meat with two forks and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Stir back into the sauce. If needed, add 1/4- 1/2 cup of broth or milk to thin it out. 

Serve and enjoy! Serve over cooked noodles or rice.


recipe by Lluvia Rose

Lluvia’s Recipe: Stuffed Shells

This dish is a crowd pleaser to say the least. Customize it with or without groundbeef or turkey for your family's palate. But let us warn you, it’ll be on repeat all Winter long.


  • 1 box of pasta shells
  • 32oz container of whole milk Ricotta cheese
  • 8oz bag of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano crushed between your fingers.
  • spaghetti sauce of choice 
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/3 Parsley bunch
  • Glass or cake pan 13”W by 9”L

*I do not use ground beef on my recipe but it can easily be added to the sauce if you need some protein.


Follow box instructions for pasta shells (I like to leave them a bit undercooked since you’ll bake them and don’t want an over cooked shell).

While they’re going in a pot, mix ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, oregano, salt & pepper, eggs and parsley together. 

Transfer pasta shells to a colander and add either avocado or vegetable oil so they don’t stick (don’t add cold water).

Once they’ve cooled enough, add the stuffing mixture, arrange in a baking pan, add spaghetti sauce and top with more mozzarella cheese. 

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.



recipe by: cooking classy

Nikki’s Recipe: Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers

A staple at the Day house: stuffed peppers! You just can’t go wrong with this recipe. Do yourself a favor, and double the batch and freeze some for a night when you don’t have a lot of time!


  • Brown rice
  • Bell peppers
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Canola oil
  • Chicken
  • Spices (chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper)
  • Tomatoes with green chiles
  • Black beans
  • Corn
  • Cilantro
  • Lime juice
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Mexican hot sauce

Make the brown rice according to package instructions.

Cut peppers in half, then seed and devein. Boil for 4 to 5 minutes, then drain and place in baking pan.

Sauté onions and garlic in oiled skillet, then transfer to plate.

Add chicken to skillet and season with spices, then cook.

Add onion mixture back into skillet, along with tomatoes, beans, corn, rice, cilantro and lime juice.

Stuff peppers with filling, then bake. Sprinkle cheese onto peppers halfway through bake time.

Serve chicken stuffed peppers with a dollop of sour cream and a dash of hot sauce, if desired.



recipe by Rachel Ray

Tayci’s Recipe: White Chicken Chili

This delicious dish was featured on the Rachel Ray show, and does not disappoint. Even the kids will devour this one. Side it with some scones and honey butter!


  • 1(32 ounce) box chicken stock
  • 3(8 ounce) cans  white beans, left undrained 
  • 5 cups cooked chicken (rotisserie or boiled)
  • 1(16 ounce) jar  salsa
  • 1(8 ounce) package  monterey jack pepper cheese, grated 
  • 2 teaspoons  ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • black pepper or  white pepper


Place all ingredients except the corn chips in a crockpot. Cook on high until the cheese is melted.

Chili may also be cooked on the stovetop over medium-high heat until cheese is melted.

When the chili is ready, add the crushed corn chips, if using, and simmer for 10 minutes to thicken. Garnish with more chips, cheese and/or sour cream and serve.


We hope you take one of these recipes and put it on your dinner menu this week! Let us know which one you try and what you think!