Easy Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Cream, tomatoes and shredded cheese make this easy chicken alfredo pasta dish warm and comforting. Garlic bread rounds it out nicely!

Easy Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Easy Chicken Alfredo Pasta

(Courtesy: Melissa Warren)  
Course Main Course
Servings 2
Calories 515 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)
  • 4 oz farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  •  ½ cup light cream
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • ½ Roma tomato, chopped
  • ¼ cup sharp cheddar, shredded

Instructions
 

  • Cut chicken into 1” cubes and thinly slice scallions. 
  • Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken, scallions and garlic.  Saute until no pink remains in the chicken, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions and drain.  Return pasta to the pan.
  • When chicken is fully cooked, turn the heat down to medium, add cream and bring to a simmer.  Sprinkle flour into cream, whisking constantly to thicken the sauce.
  • Add tomato and shredded cheese to cream sauce and heat until cheese is melted.
  • Pour chicken and sauce over pasta and toss to coat.
  • Hack:  Substitute your favorite cheese and/or pasta or use whatever you have on hand!
  • Hack:  Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Keyword alfredo, bowtie pasta, chicken, creamy chicken, easy meal, fast and easy, pasta, quick and easy, quick meal preparation

Did you know?  Traditional “white” pasta has gotten a bad rap lately but there are plenty of healthier alternatives out there, either with carbs or without!

Suggestion:  Serve with warm Italian herb focaccia bread!

Pan Fried Rice Noodles

These pan fried rice noodles use leftovers to make a super quick and easy meal for one. Use whatever leftover meat and/or veggies you have on hand!

Pan Fried Rice Noodles
Pan Fried Rice Noodles

Pan Fried Rice Noodles

 

2 oz rice noodles

1 tbsp vegetable oil, divided

2 green onions

1 cup Best Classic Meatloaf Recipe (4 oz)

1 dried Thai chili pepper (optional)

2 tsp soy sauce

½ tsp sesame oil

¼ tsp sugar

½ tbsp Chinese black vinegar

¼ tsp black pepper

 

Place the rice spaghetti container that allows it to lay flat.  Cover with cool water and allow to soak for 1 hour.  Drain and return to the container.   Massage a small amount of oil over the strands and set them aside.

Thinly slice green onion and crumble meatloaf.  Set aside.

Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, vinegar and black pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat oil and Thai pepper in a wok or heavy skillet over medium-high heat.

Add spaghetti, green onion and meatloaf to wok.  Cook until spaghetti is slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Use tongs to toss frequently for even browning and to prevent spaghetti from sticking together Pour in soy sauce mixture and stir to deglaze the pan.

Remove from wok immediately, garnish with additional green onions and serve.

1 serving,  635 calories per serving

Hack:  I’ve used leftover meatloaf in this recipe but you can use any leftover meat that you have on hand!

Hack:  For more variety, add some sauteed fresh or leftover veggies of your choice.

Hack:  Chop leftover green onions and freeze in a sealable freezer bag or container for future use. While they won’t retain the crispness that would make them suitable for salads or garnish, they will be fine for cooking.

Linguine with Squash Sauce

Linguine with Squash Sauce
Linguine with Squash Sauce

Linguine with Squash Sauce

 

1 small butternut squash (1 lb)

1 cup chicken broth

1 tbsp olive oil

½ cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)

½ tsp red pepper flakes

¼ tsp sage

⅛ tsp nutmeg

⅛ tsp pepper

½ tsp salt

⅓ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

12 ounces linguine

 

Preheat oven to 400℉

Coat a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place cut side down in the pan. Roast in the oven until tender, 30-45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave it until it’s cool enough to handle. Scoop squash from skins into a large bowl.

Place squash and chicken broth in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Heat oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add squash, red pepper flakes, nutmeg, sage, pepper and salt. Heat to simmer. Add Parmesan and heat until cheese is melted and well incorporated into the sauce. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

Cook linguine according to package directions. Serve with squash sauce and garnish with additional Parmesan and chives, if desired.

 

6 servings, 310 calories per serving

Hack: Frozen butternut squash can be used in this recipe.

Hack: Leftover sauce and linguine can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. They can also be stored in air-tight containers in the freezer for up to 2 months. For better quality, sauce and linguine should be stored separately.

Hack:  Uncooked winter squash can be stored in a cool, dark environment (less than 50℉) for up to 2 months so stock up when it’s on sale!  Cook, mash and freeze unseasoned winter squash for up to 12 months as a quick and easy addition to many recipes.

 

 

Fast and Easy Bacon Asparagus Pasta

Bacon asparagus pasta is a simple dish that’s quick and easy to pull together for a busy weeknight dinner! It’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

Bacon Asparagus Pasta

Bacon Asparagus Pasta

Course Main Course
Servings 4
Calories 720 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ ib rotini pasta, uncooked (6 cups)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces (4 oz)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions
 

  • Place a large pot of water on high heat to boil. Add pasta and cook to al dente, 10-11 minutes. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of pasta water, but do not rinse.
  • Heat olive oil in a heavy saute pan over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until bacon is crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon from the pan, leaving drippings, and set aside.
  • Add asparagus and onion to the saute pan. Turn heat up to medium-high and saute until the mixture begins to brown. Stir in salt and broth.
  • Turn heat down to medium, cover pan and simmer until asparagus is tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in black pepper.
  • Add balsamic vinegar, pasta and bacon to the saute pan. Continue to cook for 1 minute, or until warmed through. Add pasta water if the mixture seems dry.
  • Toss with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
  • Hack: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 months.
  • Hack:  Separate any remaining uncooked bacon slices and roll them into individual pinwheels.. Place on a cookie sheet in the freezer to freeze bacon slices.  Place in a sealable freezer bag or container. The slices can then be thawed and used in the portions desired.
Keyword asparagus, bacon, easy, easy meal, easy prep, fast and easy, pasta, quick and easy, quick prep, rotini, skillet meal

Did you know?  Traditional “white” pasta has gotten a bad rap lately but there are plenty of healthier alternatives out there, either with carbs or without!

Suggestion:  Leftover bacon?  Make a few of these heavenly bacon-wrapped crackers!

 

Leftover Turkey Meatballs

Leftover turkey meatballs are a unique, quick and easy way to use up uneaten remnants from a meal. I’ve used turkey but you can use any meat you have leftover!

Leftover Turkey Meatballs

Leftover Turkey Meatballs

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Servings 2
Calories 220 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup cooked turkey
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp dried sage
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions
 

  • Pulse turkey in a blender or food processor until finely shredded.
  • Place turkey into a small mixing bowl and add bread crumbs, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, sage, parsley, salt, pepper and vegetable broth.
  • Mix well and shape into 6 meatballs.
  • Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet or wok. Brown meatballs, turning frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160℉.
  • Hack: Leftover turkey can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Keyword ground turkey, homemade meatballs, leftover turkey, leftovers, meatballs, turkey

Always store and use leftovers safely!

Suggestion:  These this in homemade spaghetti sauce!

Shrimp Scampi With Linguine

This shrimp scampi with linguine is an elegant dish for one that pulls together in less than 15 minutes. It’s a perfect solution to a busy weeknight meal!

Shrimp Scampi With Linguine

Shrimp Scampi With Linguine

Course Main Course
Servings 1
Calories 510 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 oz linguine
  • 1 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • ½ shallot, finely diced
  • ½ clove garlic, minced (½ tsp)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
  • 6 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp dry white wine
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp parsley leaves
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions
 

  • Put a pot of water on the stove and bring to boil.
  • Add a sprinkle of salt and the linguine. When the water returns to a boil, cook until the pasta is al dente, 6-8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat ½ tbsp butter and ½ tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Saute the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes until the shallots are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Season the shrimp with salt and pepper; add to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove the shrimp from the skillet; set aside and keep warm.
  • Add wine and lemon juice to the skillet, bring to a simmer. Add ½ tbsp butter and ½ tbsp oil.
  • When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley and cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper and toss to mix. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top and serve immediately.
  • Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top and serve immediately.
Keyword dinner for one, easy dinner, fast and easy, linguine, meal for one, pasta, quick and easy, quick dinner, scampi, shellfish, shrimp

Did you know?  Traditional “white” pasta has gotten a bad rap lately but there are plenty of healthier alternatives out there, either with carbs and without!

Suggestion:  Looking for more super quick and easy “meals for one” options?  Try this spinach feta pizza for one!

Healthy Vegetable Lasagna with Bechamel

Healthy Vegetable Lasagna is a hearty dish with a sauce so delicious, you want to eat it all by itself.  Make a double batch to drizzle over veggies or pasta!

Healthy Vegetable Lasagna with Butternut Bechamel

Healthy Vegetable Lasagna with Butternut Bechamel

Course Main Course
Servings 6
Calories 480 kcal

Ingredients
  

Butternut Bechamel Sauce:

  • 3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (2 lbs)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 cup whole milk 
  • 4 cloves freshly minced garlic (4 tsp)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ cup Gruyere cheese, shredded (2 ounces)
  • ½ cup fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes (2 ounces)

Filling:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 5 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced, (1 pound)
  • 5 cups Swiss chard, leaves thinly sliced, stems chopped and kept separate (1 bunch)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted and chopped*

Lasagna:

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 lasagna noodles, cooked
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes (4 ounces)
  • cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Combine squash, 1 cup broth, milk and garlic in a medium saucepan, heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Place squash mixture in a blender. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg and blend until smooth. Add Gruyere cheese and 2 ounces of mozzarella.  Blend until cheese is well incorporated. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil. Add onion, mushroom and chopped Swiss chard stems. Turn heat up to medium-high and cook until browned and liquid evaporates (7-10 minutes).
  • Add chard leaves and 1 tbsp vegetable broth. Cover and cook 2-3 minutes or until chard wilts. Place vegetable mixture into a cheesecloth-lined colander and allow to drain for 10 minutes. Place mixture into a bowl and toss in pine nuts.
  • In a seperate bowl, mix ricotta and egg until well incorporated.
  • Coat 11 x 7-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Spread ½ cup bechamel sauce on the bottom of the pan. Lay two lasagna noodles on top of the sauce.
  • Spread ¾ cup bechamel sauce on top of lasagna noodles. Top with ½ of the vegetable mixture (about ¾ cup),
  • Add a layer of ½ cup ricotta and ⅓ cup mozzarella cubes. Top with 2 lasagna noodles.
  • Repeat the above step for the second layer.
  • Put remaining sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top of the lasagna. Spray aluminum foil with cooking spray and lay over top of the pan.
  • Cook, covered, for 25 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, until lasagna is bubbly and internal temperature is 160°. Put lasagna under the broiler to further brown top, if desired.
  • Allow lasagna to rest a minimum of 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • *Roast pine nuts in saute pan in a single layer until lightly browned.
  • Hack: Store leftovers in the redrigerator for up to 5 days
  • Hack: Place individual portions of cut, cooled lasagna into individual containers (or one container, separating portions with parchment paper) and store in the freezer for a quick grab-and-go lunch!
  • Hack: Fresh peeled and cubed butternut squash can be purchased in the produce department of the grocery store. Frozen butternut squash can also be used.
  • Hack: Pine nuts can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 months or in the freezer for 6 months.
  • Hack: Make a double recipe of Bechamel sauce. Freeze extra portion in 1 cup portions to serve over pasta or vegetables!  If the sauce separates after thawing, give it a whirl in the blender before heating.
  • Hack:  Bechamel sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Cover surface with plastic wrap to avoid forming a skin.
  • Hack:  Uncooked winter squash can be stored in a cool, dark environment (less than 50℉) for up to 2 months so stock up when it’s on sale!  Cook, mash and freeze unseasoned winter squash for up to 12 months as a quick and easy addition to many recipes.
Keyword bechamel, butternut squash, lasagna, mushroom, pasta, swiss chard, vegetable lasagna, vegetarian

Did you know?  Winter squash provides numerous health benefits that may help reduce the risk of many diseases!

Suggestion: Use leftover bechamel sauce to make creamy chicken and peas!

Suggestion:  Use leftover pine nuts to make this Roasted Asparagus with Pine Nuts, fresh green onion pesto or Baked Rice Pilaf!

Spaghetti Sauce with Italian Sausage

Homemade spaghetti sauce with Italian sausage is, hands down, my favorite dish. Like, ever. I like to make a big batch and freeze some for later!

Spaghetti Sauce with Italian Sausage

Spaghetti Sauce with Italian Sausage

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12
Calories 165 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 6 cups chopped tomatoes (4 pounds)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, sweet or hot, uncooked

Instructions
 

  • Put all ingredients, including sausage in a large pot and bring to simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour until the internal temperature of the sausage reaches 165͑͒.
  • Remove sausage and cut into slices. Remove bay leaves. If desired, the sauce can be processed in batches with a blender or food processor until smooth.
  • Return sausage to the sauce and serve with your favorite pasta or spaghetti squash.
  • Hack: Put serving-sized leftover portions in sealable freezer bags or containers leftovers and freeze for future use.
  • Hack:  If you have leftover tomatoes and no time to make the sauce, simply puree them in the blender and freeze the fresh puree in sealed freezer bags or containers to cook with at a later date.
Keyword homemade pasta sauce, homemade spaghetti sauce, pasta, pasta sauce, pasta sauce recipe, spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, spaghetti sauce recipe

Did you know?  Traditional “white” pasta has gotten a bad rap lately but there are plenty of healthier alternatives out there,  some with carbs and some without!

Suggestion:  Substitute these meatballs in place of the sausage!

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