Tag Archives: alfredo

One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

21 May
Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

Recently my meals have taken on a “keep-it-simple” theme, which includes finding and making new meals that only use one pot, pan, or skillet. One day I was surfing Pinterest, pondering what to make with some fresh spring asparagus I had bought and came across this delightful food blog that offered just the ticket for a quick and easy meal. I scaled it down for two people as my daughter wasn’t eating at home that night, and also added some Neufchâtel cream cheese to double the creaminess. The meal offered everything it claimed, including only one pot to clean after. And the bonus? It only took a half hour to make! Two thumbs up all the way around!

One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two
Adapted from The Nourished Peach, original recipe here

8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
Ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
4 to 6 ounces asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 cups homemade or low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup milk, any kind
6 to 8 ounces spaghetti noodles
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice (1 small lemon or 1/2 large)
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan chees
2 ounces Neufchâtel cheese or regular cream cheese
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Season the chicken on both sides with ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste. Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Browning the Chicken

Browning the Chicken

Add the chicken and cook for about 7 minutes on one side, then turn chicken over and cook for another 7 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Remove chicken to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes or so.

Browning the Asparagus

Browning the Asparagus

Meanwhile add the asparagus to the pot and cook for several minutes, stirring to evenly cook it. In the last minute or so, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Deglaze the pot with a couple teaspoons of the chicken broth and scrape up the yummy browned bits from the chicken.

Pasta and Cooking Liquids

Pasta and Cooking Liquids ~ I broke the spaghetti in half to fit the pot

Add the thyme, additional ground black pepper, chicken broth, milk, and pasta to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium high and bring up to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to medium and gently boil, stirring often with a fork to keep the noodles from sticking to each other.

Boiling the Pasta

Boiling the Pasta

Simmer for 8 to 15 minutes (we live at high altitude so pasta takes longer) until pasta is cooked to your liking.

Adding the Chicken

Adding the Chicken

Meanwhile slice the chicken into strips then cut into bite-sized pieces. When pasta is done, add the lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, Neufchâtel or cream cheese, and chicken. Stir to completely combine then top with a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Serve in bowls along with a side salad. So delicious!

Note: This recipe can easily be double or tripled, use size of pot accordingly.

Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Spinach, Artichoke, Chicken, and Mushroom Alfredo Pasta

1 May
Chicken, Spinach, Artichoke, and Mushroom Alfredo Pasta

Chicken, Spinach, Artichoke, and Mushroom Alfredo Pasta

This is the third variation I’ve made of this dish over the past couple of months, but the options are endless and it only takes a half hour to make from start to finish. That makes it my go-to recipe when I’m pinched for time. I’ve served this with just the spinach and noodles as a side dish, then I also made it a meatless main by adding artichokes. I think I’ve maxed out the ingredients this time around by also adding chicken and mushrooms to that growing list!

Getting this ready in a half-hour with chicken means you need precooked chicken. I used the leftover grilled chicken from the night before, but you can also use a rotisserie chicken from the deli.  I made way too much, as adding the chicken and mushrooms just put it over the top in quantity category for the three of us, especially since I over-eyeballed the pasta amount. Somebody PLEASE tell me how much dry pasta to boil for three?!  But it made great leftovers the next night.  All I had to do was add a little milk to the saucepan while reheating it to loosen it up, and it came out great. Since we didn’t have as much leftovers to eat as the night before, a side salad was served for round two.

Adding the Chicken and Spinach to Alfredo and Artichokes

Adding the Chicken and Spinach to Alfredo and Artichokes

Spinach, Artichoke, Chicken, and Mushroom Alfredo

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 to 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed

Plus, follow the recipe from this blog entry Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Angel Hair Pasta,   except add the mushrooms when sauteing the garlic, then add the cooked chicken when adding the artichokes. That’s it! Dinner on the table in a half hour, really! So sorry for the shortcut recipe, but I’m short on time these days.  🙂

Spicy Spinach Alfredo Pasta

30 Mar
Spicy Spinach Alfredo Pasta

Spicy Spinach Alfredo Pasta

I made this as a side dish yesterday, but by doubling or tripling the ingredients this can easily be turned into a meatless main. Add some artichokes, broccoli, or asparagus — and — Bada Bing! Dinner! However, this time around it was served as a quick and easy side paired with a store-bought lemon-seasoned tilapia baked in parchment paper. No credit for the fish goes to me, because all I did was turn on the oven to bake it. However, I will take credit for this easy-peasy spinach pasta dish. As usual, I way over-estimated the amount of pasta, and I bow down to anyone who can guestimate how much dried pasta should be used for X amount of people. Last night it was just hubby and I, and pasta for two is still eluding me.  Am I the only one with this issue?

This is another by-the-seat-of-my pants dish. I knew what I wanted to put in it, but just didn’t know the amounts, pasta aside. My brain told me I should add a “pinch” of crushed red pepper flakes, but my hand had a mind of its own and threw in three large pinches. Note to self: Do NOT add equal parts of red pepper and garlic to your recipe, as plainly noted in my photo below.

Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes

Do NOT add this much red pepper flakes. I am not leading by example with this. 🙂

I saved the day by adding another ounce of cream cheese and a splash of milk to tone down the heat factor, which I can tolerate but was worried the husband might not like it. Well he sure proved me wrong! “Wow, this is spicy!” Pause. “I like it!” Thank you, thank you. And another thing I was thrilled about with this recipe is it was ready to serve EXACTLY at the same time the fish had to come out of the oven. No lie. I was completely bewildered by this simple fact.

This recipe feeds two people as a side, and we had a serving leftover, due to my poor pasta estimate. Adjust as needed.

Spicy Spinach Alfredo Pasta

Angel hair pasta
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (a pinch, OK?)
1/4 cup white wine (or chicken broth)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 ounces fresh spinach
2 to 3 ounces Neufchâtel cream cheese
Splash of milk, if necessary
Black pepper, to taste

Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. While that’s coming up to speed, gather all your ingredients and get them all measured out and ready. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta, then add the olive to to a skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, and saute for just about a minute. Pour in the white wine, lemon juice, sprinkle in the nutmeg. Bring to a simmer, then start adding the spinach by handfuls, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted. Add the cream cheese on top, just like this:

Spinach and Cream Cheese Brick

Spinach and Cream Cheese Brick

Plop. Then smoosh it down and start incorporating it into the spinach. It looks all weird and clumpy and grainy and not very appetizing at first, but just keep stirring around and mixing it up, and suddenly it turns all creamy and yummy looking. At this point, add a splash of milk or more cream cheese if you think it needs it. Then grind black pepper all over it. By now your angel hair pasta should be done, so drain and then add to the skillet of spinach sauce. Toss to coat, and serve. Quick and easy and yummy good!

And for those who celebrate, Happy Easter! I’ll be off to a friend’s house with a dish of au gratin potatoes in hand to go with the ham.

Spinach Alfredo Sauce

Spinach Alfredo Sauce

Stuffed Sole with Spicy Spinach Alfredo Pasta

19 Mar
Stuffed Sole with Spinach Alfredo Pasta

Stuffed Sole with Spinach Alfredo Pasta

Sometimes my husband goes all out on making dinner, and last night was one of of those times. He pretty much cooked the entire meal, and the only thing I managed to help with was getting a toothpick for him out of the box while he was closing up one of the filets. Oh, and I think I put the pot of water on to boil for the pasta. This meal was EXCEPTIONAL!

What made this particularly yummy was the stuffing. He used the last of our Dungeness crab and combined it with garlic, crushed Ritz crackers, butter, and Parmesan cheese. After filling the filets and securing with toothpicks, he then coated the pieces with a cornmeal/flour mix and lightly sprayed them with olive oil. While the fish was in the oven, he made a Spinach Alfredo sauce, much like the one used in his Tilapia recipe, found here: Copycat Jalapeño Garlic Tilapia. I think the only difference is that he used frozen spinach instead of fresh since we didn’t have any.

Dungeness Crab Stuffing

The master chef at work...

I really can’t give out all the details of how to make this, since my sister and I were playing Yahtzee while he was slaving in the kitchen. But I did manage to pop off a few photos so I could not only share this meal with you, but I could show off one of the new plates I got at a thrift store to use in my photography! I got four different plates and one bowl, and I’m hoping to find more on my next thrift shop spree. Hopefully now you’ll see less and less of the same dishware.

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