The Easiest Alfredo Sauce

The easiest Alfredo- made with real ingredients and ready in under 10 minutes! #pasta

You can pretty much guarantee that if Fettuccine Alfredo is on the menu that’s what I am ordering.  I know, I’m a boring “foodie”, but my love for this stuff runs deep.  It’s delicious with pasta obviously, but I’ve also made pizza with it.

Sometimes the best ideas are born from necessity.  In my organizing frenzy last month I made it my mission to clean out the pantry and refrigerator.  This easiest Alfredo sauce recipe is a result of that… half a bag of pasta with a little leftover cheese, cream, garlic and voila!  I debated over calling this mac and cheese or Alfredo.  The first time I threw it together I didn’t use any Parmesan and had more of a white sauce mac and cheese in mind.  The second time I added just a small amount of Parmesan and instantly loved the richer flavor.

The easiest Alfredo- made with real ingredients and ready in under 10 minutes! #pasta

This recipe is so easy, and you probably already have the ingredients in your fridge/pantry right now.  It comes together in the time it takes for you to boil your pasta, and can easily be adjusted to serve more or less.  Trust me, after making your own you will never reach for the boxed stuff again. 

Next mission: homemade fresh pasta!

Simple Alfredo Sauce
 
The easiest Alfredo sauce. Ready in the time it takes to cook pasta and easily adjusted to serve more or less.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz Cabot White Sharp Cheddar, grated
  • 1-2 tbsp Parmesan, grated
  • ¼-1/2 cup whole milk
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Red Pepper Flakes, optional
Instructions
  1. Boil the water and add your noodles as directed on the package.
  2. Add the flour and butter to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Stir constantly and do not burn this mixture.
  4. Once you have made a roux (paste), add the garlic.
  5. Allow to cook 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Gradually add the cream to this while stirring to keep the paste consistency.
  7. Add in the cheddar and Parmesan.
  8. Slowly add milk as needed to return to a smooth sauce consistency.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Combine the sauce with the cooked pasta and add red pepper flakes if desired.
Notes
I made this using 6oz (half bag) of medium shell pasta (cooked in 3 qts water, 2 tsp salt, for 10-12 minutes). Double the recipe if using a full bag.

 
Find more of my favorite pasta recipes here:
-Creamy Lasagna without Ricotta
-Parmesan Tortellini and Tomatoes
-One Skillet Baked Spaghetti

emily_grace

Creamy Lasagna- Without Ricotta Cheese

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Barilla, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #JoytotheTable http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.

Creamy Lasagna recipe without the usual ricotta! Yum!

Nothing says comfort food to me like a big, hearty, plate of lasagna.  It’s one of my favorite meals to make because everyone in my family loves it so much, but also because it’s one of those dishes that looks like it took more effort than it really did.  Most lasagna recipes call for ricotta cheese, but there’s just something about the texture that ruins it for me.  I’m coming around, there’s a really yummy stuffed shells recipe that uses ricotta and I love it, but I just don’t seem to like it in my lasagna.  So while this may be lasagna without ricotta cheese, it is still deliciously cheesy and creamy.  The secret is the milky egg mixture that goes between the layers.  Everything bakes up bubbly and perfect. 

Creamy Lasagna recipe without the usual ricotta! Yum!I posted the other day that we went to the store after returning from our trip only to find the store near our house was completely bare- no milk, cheese, meat, or bread!  My husband braved the icy roads the following day and made a trip to Tom Thumb in search of provisions.  Thankfully they were in much better shape than the first store we visited.  He stocked up on ingredients to make soup, and also lots of pasta and sauce.  Even better that there was a promotion going on for $1 off the purchase of ONE (1) box of Barilla Lasagne and ONE (1) Barilla Sauce.

Creamy Lasagna recipe without the usual ricotta! Yum!After hearing about all of the empty shelves at the other stores due to the crazy ice storm, I was so glad to see these pantry staples still available!  Pasta dishes are one of my favorites, so I always keep several jars of sauce and different types of noodles in my pantry.  James picked up some hamburger meat and mozzarella and we were good to go!  (Along with some other necessities… like wine… and chocolate…)

Creamy Lasagna recipe without the usual ricotta! Yum!

Creamy Lasagna
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 jar Traditional Barilla Sauce
  • 12 Barilla Lasagne Noodles
  • 4 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp evaporated milk
  • Italian Seasoning, to taste
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Garlic Powder, to taste
Instructions
  1. Brown the meat over medium heat in a large skillet.
  2. Once the meat is fully cooked, drain and add the sauce.
  3. Add the spices and simmer over low heat.
  4. Cook the noodles as directed on the package.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Once the meat and noodles are cooked, whisk together the eggs and milk in a small bowl.
  7. Add a thin layer of meat sauce to a 9x13 glass pan.
  8. Layer with noodles, egg mixture, sauce, and cheese.
  9. Repeat this for a total of three layers.
  10. Top the final layer of noodles with the remaining egg mixture and cheese.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and melted.
Notes
I always make a few extra noodles in case any break in the process. I find it easier to use rubber tipped tongs to pick up and layer my noodles.

 

Head out to your local Safeway store and purchase some Barilla Lasagne and Traditional Sauce to make this yummy dish!  If you want more inspiration and to learn more about Barilla- be sure to check them out on Facebook.

Creamy Lasagna recipe without the usual ricotta! Yum!

emily_grace

Quick & Easy Chicken Parmesan

CB-sponsored-post-white-script-600Quick & Easy Chicken Parmesan #recipe #chickenI have been on a serious pasta kick lately.  Partly because I love it so much, but mostly because we have been super busy.  School has started back and with that comes all of the homework and extra curricular activities.  I meal plan for the week on Sunday’s and always try to plan quick and easy recipes on nights that we have a lot going on.  Like this Quick & Easy Chicken Parmesan- perfect for a night when you’re working late, or running around to kid’s practices, etc.

Quick & Easy Chicken Parmesan #recipe #chickenAnother thing I love about this pasta, is I can get all of the ingredients from Sam’s Club when I do my big weekly shop.  It’s so much easier for us to stock up on Hunt’s Tomato Sauce, Daily Chef Pasta, and Tyson Fully Cooked Breaded Chicken Patties because the ingredients are so versatile and can be used a number of different ways; which means I don’t have to worry about them not getting used or going bad too soon.

Quick & Easy Chicken Parmesan #recipe #chicken

We usually make this recipe using the breaded chicken patties, but this time I decided to switch it up and make it with Tyson’s Crispy Chicken Strips.  It’s a filling meal for the whole family and my six year old loves it.  I love that it takes almost no time to put together.

Quick & Easy Chicken Parmesan
 
A quick and easy recipe that the whole family will love, perfect for busy nights!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Daily Chef spaghetti noodles
  • 2 cans Hunt's tomato sauce
  • 4-6 Tyson crispy chicken tenders, or breaded patties
  • ¼ cup onions, chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook the chicken as directed on the package.
  2. Cook the spaghetti as directed on the package, drain and set aside.
  3. Heat the tomato sauce and add the onion, garlic, oregano, basil, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add 1.5 cups of the sauce to the noodles to prevent them from sticking.
  5. Add the noodles to a large serving dish, top with the cooked chicken, and spoon the sauce over the chicken.
  6. Top with mozzarella cheese and parsley.
Notes
We like a little heat so I sprinkled some red pepper flakes on top, totally optional.

Quick & Easy Chicken Parmesan #recipe #chicken

Be sure to check out your local Sam’s Club this week for fun cooking demonstrations:

  • Italian Style Fish & Pasta on September 17th
  • Smoked Sausage Pasta OR Quick ‘N’ Easy Chicken Parmesan on September 19th
  • Chicken Dippers on September 24th

emily_grace

Four Ingredient Chicken Rigatoni

Four Ingredient Chicken Rigatoni- weeknight meals don't get much easier than this! #dinnerWe all know that I love pasta, right?  You know what I love even more?  Super easy pasta.  This is one of our go-to meals if we need something quick on a busy weeknight, or if I am just out of ideas for dinner.  With only four ingredients we almost always have everything on hand.

Four Ingredient Chicken Rigatoni- weeknight meals don't get much easier than this! #dinnerThis recipe is also great for my husband who gets tired of too many traditional pasta meals, and it has chicken in it so he gets his beloved protein.  I am happy with pasta with or without meat, but he doesn’t think it’s as filling without.  I love to use rotisserie chicken for this meal; I like the extra flavor and I really like that I didn’t have to cook it.  Definitely speeds up the process and makes things easier!  This is also a recipe that you can up the heat on- depending on how spicy you like things.  I’ve tried variations of hot/mild sauce but I’ve found that the kiddo does better with medium. 

Four Ingredient Chicken Rigatoni- weeknight meals don't get much easier than this! #dinner

Chicken Rigatoni
 
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Quick and easy weeknight meal made with only four ingredients!
Author:
Ingredients
  • ¾ box rigatoni noodles
  • 2 cans medium enchilada sauce
  • 1½ cups shredded cheese
  • 2 chicken breast, cooked & cubed
Instructions
  1. Boil the noodles as directed on the package.
  2. Drain the water and add pasta to an oven safe casserole dish.
  3. Add the chicken and coat with enchilada sauce.
  4. Cover with shredded cheese.
  5. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.
Notes
I use a rotisserie chicken, feel free to boil/ grill/ cook your chicken as you prefer. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro- optional.

 

 emily_grace

One Skillet Baked Spaghetti

I have a relationship with Le Creuset which includes receiving products for review.  This post may contain affiliate links.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

One Skillet Baked Spaghetti- just like it sounds, easy recipe to cook everything in one pan! #recipe

It’s no secret that I love pasta.  If I had to choose between pasta and cupcakes… actually, I don’t even want to think about that.  It’s my comfort food of choice, and my go-to when I run out of ideas for dinner.  We eat some form of pasta at least twice a week, but rarely have traditional spaghetti and meatballs. 

One Skillet Baked Spaghetti- just like it sounds, easy recipe to cook everything in one pan! #recipe

So when Le Creuset asked me to try out one of their skillets, I knew exactly what I was going to make: pasta.  The best thing about this recipe is that it’s all made in one pan, and the signature cast iron skillet is perfect for the job because it can be used both on the stovetop and in the oven.  

One Skillet Baked Spaghetti- just like it sounds, easy recipe to cook everything in one pan! #recipe

Cast iron skillets are notoriously heavy, which is why Le Creuset’s new Signature skillets feature a helper handle for easier lifting and added control when moving.  I love the even heat distribution and superior heat retention of a cast iron skillet.  Perfect for everything from searing steaks to Sunday morning pancakes.  And the new creamy yellow Soleil collection?  Swoon. 

One Skillet Baked Spaghetti- just like it sounds, easy recipe to cook everything in one pan! #recipe

This is my favorite way to make spaghetti- I mean who wants to dirty more dishes than you have to?  And I don’t know what my problem is but I can NEVER have the noodles and sauce ready at the same time.  I always start them together and forget to factor in time for the water to boil.  This recipe solves all my problems.

One Skillet Baked Spaghetti
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 8oz thin spaghetti
  • 2 cups water
  • 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • ¾ cup onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic gloves, minced
  • 8oz shredded mozzarella
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large cast iron skillet, saute the onions, salt and pepper in the butter and olive oil over medium high heat.
  2. Cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the ground beef and cook through.
  4. Drain the excess fat liquid now if necessary.
  5. Pour in the can of crushed tomatoes, sugar, parsley, basil, and oregano.
  6. Add in the water and mix until well combined.
  7. Break the spaghetti noodles in half and add them to the pan.
  8. Make sure to push them down under the sauce.
  9. Bring to a slight boil, and cook 9-11 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
  10. Be sure to stir occasionally to keep the noodles from sticking together.
  11. Once the spaghetti is cooked, top with shredded cheese and bake under the broiler until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.

 

If you want to see more from the Le Creuset collection, visit them here.

emily_grace

 

Parmesan Tortellini & Tomatoes

Parmesan Tortellini & Tomatoes- one of my favorite weeknight meals #recipes #dinner  

This is one of our favorite week night meals.  It takes less than 10 minutes to prep and cook, and doesn’t require turning on the oven!  The hardest part about making this dish is keeping an eye on my kiddo to make sure she doesn’t eat all of the tomatoes before they make it in the bowl.  

Parmesan Tortellini & Tomatoes- one of my favorite weeknight meals #recipes #dinner  

I could live off of pasta and cheese (and wine and chocolate), but sometimes my husband needs a little protein.  If he’s feeling extra hungry, we grill up some chicken and toss it in with the pasta- delicious and super easy.  The tortellini alone is very filling, but without a heavy sauce like most pasta dishes.

Parmesan Tortellini & Tomatoes- one of my favorite weeknight meals #recipes #dinner

Parmesan Tortellini & Tomatoes
 
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A delicious weeknight meal that takes less than 10 minutes to prep and cook. Filling tortellini, without the heavy sauce of typical pasta dishes.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 20 oz package refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Cook tortellini according to package directions.
  2. Drain pasta, but reserve ½ cup cooking liquid.
  3. Combine the cooking liquid, oil, garlic, salt, and red pepper in a large saucepan.
  4. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes or until mixture slightly thickens.
  5. Remove from heat; stir in cooked pasta and tomatoes, tossing to coat.
  6. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
Notes
We use Buitoni tortellini and Pompeian OlivExtra Premium Mediterranean Blend oil.