This is one that I made some time back, but never shared. I actually made it as part of my daughter’s birthday meal. And, it is ridiculously easy to make – and so delicious.
I started with red potatoes – you’ll want enough for each person to have 2-3 potatoes. After washing the potatoes, I parboiled them to the point that they were soft enough to ‘smash’. I used the bottom of a glass to smash each potato (learn from my mistake – don’t use a potato masher, you’ll lose half of your potato, stuck to the potato masher) on a sheet pan.
After smashing the potatoes, I drizzled olive oil over top and then sprinkled with a little grated parmesan cheese. I topped with a little salt and fresh basil (feel free to use dried basil or Italian seasoning).
I finished the cooking in the oven, at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. You can even broil them for a minute or two to get them a little browned, if needed.
These potatoes make an easy and delicious side dish!
I found myself with no protein thawed out, so I tried to think of things to make with shredded chicken (since it is so easy to do, from frozen, in the instant pot!). And, I do love a casserole – so this is what I came up with!
I decided I wanted to use pasta – I chose penne (but, any pasta would do). I also had an unused container of ricotta cheese on hand, some mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
I decided to boil my pasta separate. I boiled it to al dente. Be sure not to overboil it, or it will be too chewy in the casserole. While the pasta was boiling, I started to work on the sauce (I guess that is the appropriate term when you’re going to add it to something and make a casserole? I will call it that). I started by grating 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
Then I cooked some garlic in a large skillet, with a little bit of butter.
Once the garlic was done, I added in a little bit of water and the milk. I only had skim milk on hand, but certainly, this would be so much better with a whole milk or even a bit of heavy cream! I brought the liquids up to a boil. I added in my seasonings at this time.
I then started adding in the cheeses. I started with the ricotta first and let it get mostly melted. I then added in the mozzarella and parmesan. I brought the cheese sauce up to a boil.
I then added in the shredded chicken and stirred through.
In a greased dutch oven, I poured in the al dente pasta.
Then I poured the sauce over top and stirred everything together. ** Note, I had forgotten to add my spinach to the sauce, so I just stirred it in at this point.
I, then, topped it with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese, as well as the panko bread crumbs.
The casserole was cooked in a 400 degree oven (I think I’ve mentioned this before, but my oven tends to run a little cooler – that said, feel free to drop the temperature if 400 seems a little high) for 30 minutes. I did turn the broiler on for a couple min, at the end just to brown the top a little more.
Three Cheese Chicken and Pasta Bake
1 box pasta of choice 2 chicken breasts, shredded 1 cup water or chicken stock 2 cups milk 1- 15 oz container of Ricotta cheese 2 cups grated mozzarella (reserve 1 cup) 1 cup grated parmesan (reserve 1/4 cup) 2 tbsp garlic 1/2 tbsp butter 4 cups fresh spinach 1/2 to 1 tsp salt, depending on your tastes 1/2 tsp pepper 1/2 tsp dried basil 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
Boil pasta to al dente (do not overcook)
In large skillet, saute garlic in butter
Add in water or chicken stock and then milk
Bring up to a boil
Add in pepper, basil and pepper flakes
Add in cheese – ricotta, mozarella and parmesan
Pour pasta into a greased dutch oven or casserole dish
Pour the cheese sauce over top and add in spinach, stir everything through
Top with remaining mozarella, paremesan cheese and bread crumbs
Cook, uncovered, in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes
Put under broiler for 1-2 minutes if your cheese ins’t browned after 30 minutes
Asparagus has to be one of our favorite side dishes. And this is a super easy and tasty way of making it.
Just cut the ends of of your asparagus and arrange on a sheet pan (I line mine with foil for easy clean up).
Spray with oil of your choice (I use avocado oil) and top with seasonings of your choice (I use Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning). Sprinkle on a little parmesan cheese and bake in the oven (at 400 degrees) for 20-25 minutes.
We were so ready to eat, I only have a picture from before it was cooked.
I love mushrooms – seriously love mushrooms! They are, without a doubt, one of my favorite foods. They add depth to so many dishes and, as is the case with this recipe, they can even stand alone.
The ingredients for this recipe are pretty simple. Most everything is easy to find. The most elusive ingredient may be the Alouette spreadable cheese – but, make sure you’re looking for it in the deli section of the grocery store, as many stock it there, rather than with the other cheeses.
As I had some jalapeños, I decided to stuff both the mushrooms and the jalapeños. Both worked out well, but I – personally – enjoyed the mushrooms the most. If you wanted to use this stuffing for just mushrooms, I would either halve the stuffing or use an additional dozen mushroom caps (or enjoy the extra stuffing on it’s own – my oldest daughter seemed to!).
The stems are removed from the mushrooms and the jalapeños are halved and seeded. Also, chop a small, seeded, jalapeño and the stems from the mushrooms – this will he used in the stuffing.
After prepping the mushrooms and peppers, I made the stuffing.
In a skillet over medium to high heat, I browned the sausage, along with the garlic, mushrooms and jalapeño.
Once the sausage was fully cooked, lower the heat and add in the cheeses. Stir until the cheeses have melted and are well combined with the sausage.
Finally, add in the bread crumbs and cook until the bread crumbs are nicely browned.
The next step is to stuff the mushrooms and jalapeños with the stuffing, top with a little more parmesan and bread crumbs – finally, drizzle with olive oil and into the oven the go!
It is no secret that the girls and I love pasta! We, generally, eat it at least once a week and we like to try different combinations of flavors. But, one that we always love is alfredo sauce – with shrimp or chicken or alone, we love alfredo sauce!
This time it was chicken alfredo. You, truly, can’t get much simpler than alfredo sauce. Unless you’re getting fancy, there are only 4 ingredients in it – not counting seasonings – milk or cream (we like it with heavy cream – I know it isn’t the healthiest, but it’s what we like!), butter, garlic and parmesan cheese.
I started this recipe by cooking my chicken. I tossed it, lightly, in a mixture of flour and Umami seasoning. I added it to the pan, along with some garlic, and browned it (cooking it 3/4 of the way through) in a pan with some avocado oil and removed it from the pan.
While the chicken was cooking, I chopped up some fresh broccoli for the sauce. I steamed this in a steamer basked in my pasta pot.
Back to the sauce – after removing the chicken from the pan I turned down the heat to medium-low and melted the butter. Once the butter was melted, I lowered the heat to low and added in the cream and allowed it to heat through.
Once the cream was warmed through, I started adding in the cheese, 1/4 cup at a time and stirring constantly. I find that adding the cheese a little bit at a time helps with ensuring that all of the cheese melts – and you don’t have globs of cheese in your sauce.
Once all of the cheese had been incorporated and melted, I added the chicken back into the pan and stirred.
Then I added in the broccoli from the steamer basket.
And, finally, I added in the pasta. I mixed everything together and it was ready to go.
When serving it, we add a little more parmesan (have I mentioned that we love cheese?) and we’re ready to eat!
Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Pasta
1 box pasta (I used penne) 2-3 chicken breasts (cut into cubes) 2 tbsp garlic 1 1/2 cups heavy cream (don’t judge!) 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan 2 tbsp butter 2-3 cups broccoli 1-2 tbsp Umami seasoning 2-4 tbsp Flour Avocado oil spray
In a gallon bag, toss chicken with umami seasoning and flour to lighty coat the chicken (adjust amounts depending on how much chicken you are cooking)
In hot pan, add avocado oil, garlic and chicken – cook until chicken is 3/4 way done. Remove from pan.
Add butter to pan and melt
Reduce heat and add cream to pan
Once cream is warmed through, add in cheese 1/2 cup at a time – until all cheese has been added and is melted.
Return chicken to pan and stir with sauce.
Add broccoli and pasta to sauce, mix well.
Top with more parmesan cheese, if desired, and enjoy!