• Lemon Pepper Cajun Chicken Pasta

    Adapted from Half Baked Harvest.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. linguine
    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 4-6 thin chicken cutlets
    • 2 TBSP Cajun seasoning
    • 1 1/2 c. fresh parmesan cheese + 2 TBSP fresh parmesan cheese
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • 4 TBSP butter, divided
    • 6 garlic cloves, minced
    • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
    • 2 TBSP lemon juice
    • 1 c. heavy cream
    • 1 c. milk
    • 2 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

    Directions:

    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta al dente, according to package directions. Drain.
    2. In bowl, toss together the olive oil, chicken, Cajun seasoning, 2 TBSP parmesan, and a big pinch of pepper.
    3. Melt 2TBSP butter in a large pan set over medium-high heat, add the chicken and sear until deeply golden on both sides, 5 minutes per side. Turn the heat off and pour over the lemon juice. Transfer to a plate.
    4. To the same pan, add 2 TBSP butter, the garlic, and chili flakes. Cook 1 minute, until fragrant, then pour in the cream and milk. Whisk until smooth. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and cook 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stir in 1 1/2 c. parmesan cheese and taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Then toss in the pasta.
    5. Serve immediately topped with sliced chicken and parsley.

    Lemon Pepper Cajun Chicken Pasta:

  • Penne Pomodoro

    Adapted from Midwest Foodie.

    Ingredients:

    • 16 oz. penne pasta, cooked al dente
    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 8-10 cloves garlic, minced
    • 4 tsp. dried oregano
    • 4 tsp. dried thyme
    • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. fresh cracked pepper
    • 1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper, optional
    • 2 (28 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes 
    • 2 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
    • 4 TBSP fresh basil, chopped
    • 2 TBSP granulated sugar, optional
    • Toppings: Burrata cheese, capers, basil, and/or parmesan cheese

    Directions:

    1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
    2. Add garlic, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
    3. Add crushed tomatoes, parsley, basil, and add sugar if desired.
    4. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
    5. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    6. Add cooked pasta to the pan.
    7. Toss to coat evenly.
    8. Garnish with fresh grated Parmesan, parsley, basil, capers, and burrata.

    Penne Pomodoro:

  • Asian Chicken Pasta Salad

    Recipe adapted from No Biggie

    Ingredients:

    Salad

    • 1 lb. box bow tie pasta
    • 4 chicken breasts cooked & shredded or all the breast meat of one large rotisserie chicken
    • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
    • 1/2 pack sliced almonds toasted
    • 1 bag lettuce of choice
    • 1 small bag snap peas
    • 1 small can mandarin oranges drained
    • Crunchy wonton strips

    Dressing

    • 2/3 c. red wine vinegar
    • 2/3 c. vegetable oil *or sesame oil is great here too
    • 2/3 c. soy sauce
    • 6 TBSP sugar
    • 2 TBSP ginger paste
    • 1 tsp. salt and pepper

    Directions:

    1. Shred the chicken breast meat from a rotisserie chicken.
    2. Mix up the dressing – half will be used to marinade the chicken and pasta and remaining as a salad dressing.
    3. Cook the pasta until al dente, remove the pasta from the water.
    4. In a large bowl while the pasta and chicken are still warm, add the dressing and toss. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until chilled.
    5. Marinate chicken & pasta in the fridge overnight, or for a few hours until chilled.
    6. Toast the sliced almonds in a dry pan, remove from pan.
    7. In a large bowl add the marinaded pasta and chicken, green onions, almonds, snap peas, mandarin oranges. Toss with salad dressing.
    8. In a separate bowl add the salad greens and toss with dressing.
    9. On individual plates, add the salad greens and top with the pasta salad. Top with Crunchy wonton strips.
    10. Refrigerate any leftover dressing.

    Asian Chicken Pasta Salad:

  • Lemon Orzo Salad with Chicken or Chickpeas

    You can make this salad with chicken or keep it vegetarian by adding chickpeas.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. orzo
    • Salt
    • 4 mini cucumbers, chopped
    • 2 c. grape tomatoes, sliced
    • 6 oz. feta
    • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
    • 1/2 c. mint, chopped
    • Chopped cooked chicken or 1 can of chickpeas, drained
    • Mixed lettuce greens

    Dressing:

    • 2 lemons, zest and juice (about 1/3 c.)
    • 2/3 c. olive oil
    • 2 TBSP honey
    • 6 garlic cloves, minced
    • Salt and Pepper, to taste

    Directions:

    1. Bring a pot of water to boil, add salt and orzo and cook until al dente. Once it’s done, rinse it with cool water and let it drain thoroughly. Transfer to a large bowl.
    2. Meanwhile, prep all the salad ingredients.
    3. Add the dressing ingredients to a jar or small bowl, and whisk/shake until well combined.
    4. To the bowl with the orzo, add cucumbers through chicken/chickpeas.
    5. Toss the salad with the dressing. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
    6. Serve salad over mixed lettuce greens.

    Lemon Orzo Salad with Chicken or Chickpeas:

  • Poblano Macaroni and Cheese

    Recipe from Cooking Con Claudia.

    Ingredients:

    • 4 poblanos, roasted, skin and seeds removed, chopped
    • 16 oz. elbow macaroni
    • 6 TBSP butter, divided
    • Small onion, diced
    • 8 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tsp. black pepper
    • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp. salt to taste
    • 6 TBSP flour
    • 2 c. chicken broth
    • 2 c. milk
    • ½ c. crema
    • 5 oz. cheddar cheese
    • 5 oz. pepper jack cheese
    • 5 oz. mozzarella cheese

    Directions:

    1. Set oven to broil.  On a baking sheet add the poblanos and roast all sides until charred.  Once charred place poblanos in a Ziploc bag and seal the bag. Let the poblanos steam in the bag for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, remove poblanos and peel the skins, remove the seeds and stems, and chop.
    2. Cook pasta according to box, slightly undercooked.
    3. Heat 3 TBSP butter in large skillet over medium-high heat; then add the onions and saute for 3 minutes, until translucent.  Add garlic, chopped poblanos, pepper, smoked paprika, and salt and cook for 1 minute.
    4. Create a well in the center of the skillet with the veggies surrounding the well and add the remaining 3 TBSP of butter and melt.  Once melted and the flour and stir until flour is dissolved. Then add the broth, milk, and crema, and bring to a light boil.
    5. Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the cheeses, and stir until cheese is melted.  Add the cooked pasta and stir to combine.  The macaroni and cheese will thicken as it cools.

    Poblano Macaroni and Cheese:

  • Lemon Chicken Orzo

    This dish is the complete package of comfort food. The recipe below is doubled to be served as a main dish. If you want this as a side, halve the recipe below.

    Adapted from Salt & Lavender

    Ingredients:

    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 4 TBSP butter
    • 1 medium onion chopped
    • 6 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • 2 c. uncooked orzo pasta
    • 4 c. chicken broth
    • 4 TBSP lemon juice
    • 2 c. heavy whipping cream
    • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
    • 1 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
    • 6-10 oz. fresh baby spinach
    • Salt & pepper to taste

    Directions:

    1. Add the oil, butter, and onion to a pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes.
    2. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, and orzo. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often (this infuses the orzo with more flavor and toasts it a little).
    3. Stir in the chicken broth, lemon juice, and cream. Once it starts to bubble, continue cooking for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring fairly often. You will probably need to turn the heat down a bit (to medium or even medium-low). It should gently bubble vs. furiously boil, and you don’t want the liquid to reduce too much before the pasta has cooked.
    4. Stir in the chicken.
    5. Take the pot off the heat, stir in the parmesan and spinach, and cover the pot for 3-5 minutes or until it has thickened up to your liking. Season with salt & pepper as needed and serve immediately.

    Lemon Chicken Orzo:

  • Lighter Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

    So flavorful and comes together in 30 minutes, so it’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

    Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. spiral pasta or other short cut pasta
    • 4 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 lb. chicken, cut in bite size pieces
    • 1 TBSP plus 1-2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 onion, sliced
    • 2 bell peppers, sliced
    • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 c. chicken broth
    • 1 c. milk
    • 3-4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
    • 2 TBSP basil, chopped

    Directions:

    1. Cook pasta al dente according to the package, and then drain.
    2. Meanwhile, heat skillet to medium high and add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, onion, chicken, and 1 Tablespoon of Cajun seasoning. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes, and then remove chicken from pan onto a plate.
    3. To the skillet, add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, the bell peppers, and garlic. Cook another 5 minutes, until peppers are soft. Stir in 1-2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook another minute, then add broth and milk. Then add the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Bring sauce to a gentle simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
    4. Stir in parmesan, then add the pasta and cooked chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add basil.

    Lighter Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta:

  • Greek Orzo Salad

    This orzo salad is so flavorful and perfect for potlucks, picnics, etc. since there is no mayonnaise, and I actually prefer the salad at room temperature.

    Recipe from Midwest Foodie.

    Ingredients:

    Salad:

    • 16 oz. orzo pasta
    • 1 c. cucumbers, sliced
    • 1 c. sundried tomatoes, julienned
    • 1 c. Kalamata olives, halved
    • 1 14 oz. can of artichoke hearts
    • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained
    • 1/4 c. finely diced red onion
    • 1/4 c. parsley, chopped
    • 4-6 oz. feta, crumbled

    Dressing:

    • 2/3 c. olive oil
    • 1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
    • 1 lemon, zest and juice
    • 1 tsp. dried oregano
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
    • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
    • Kosher salt
    • Pepper

    Directions:

    1. Cook pasta al dente according to package. Drain and then place in a large bowl and toss with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Place in fridge to cool.
    2. Meanwhile in a bowl, add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest and juice, oregano, garlic, mustard, and salt and pepper, and whisk until well combined.
    3. Remove pasta bowl from fridge, and add cucumber, sundried tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, chickpeas, red onion, parley, and feta. Add dressing, and toss to coat.

    Greek Orzo Salad:

  • Lemon Linguine – Instant Pot

    Ingredients:

    • 1 tsp. olive oil
    • 4 TBSP butter, divided
    • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • 1 TBSP salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp. pepper
    • 4 c. water
    • 1 lb. linguine
    • 10 oz. (or 1 1/4 c.) plain Greek yogurt
    • 1 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese (or more)
    • Milk, if desired to thin

    Directions:

    1. Turn Instant Pot to sauté. Once the Instant Pot says HOT, add the olive oil and 2 TBSP of butter. When the butter is melted, add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Hit cancel.
    2. Add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and water to the Instant Pot. Break the linguine in half and alternate the direction you place the linguine in the Instant Pot as you add more.
    3. Close the lid, and select manual for 3 minutes. When it beeps after the 3 minutes, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes.
    4. After 5 minutes, remove the lid. Stir the noodles around, and then add the remaining 2 TBSP of butter and Greek yogurt and stir to make the sauce creamy. Linguine will continue to absorb the liquid. Add the parmesan, and add any milk to thin, if desired.

    Lemon Linguine – Instant Pot:

  • Sheet Pan Mac and Cheese

    The creaminess of the mac and cheese coupled with the crispy breadcrumb topping is so delicious!

    Recipe adapted from Damn Delicious

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. large elbow macaroni
    • 4 TBSP unsalted butter
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 medium shallot, minced
    • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
    • 2 c. whole milk
    • 1 c. heavy cream
    • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 16 oz. extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
    • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
    • 1 c. Italian Panko breadcrumbs

    Directions:

    1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
    2. Preheat oven to broil on high. Arrange an oven rack 6-inches from the broiler. Lightly oil an 18 x 13-inch sheet pan or coat with nonstick spray.
    3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and shallot, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
    4. Whisk in flour and smoked paprika until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, heavy cream and Dijon until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add more milk as needed; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
    5. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, Parmesan and pasta until well combined; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
    6. In a small bowl, combine Panko and remaining cheddar cheese.
    7. Spread pasta mixture into the prepared sheet pan; sprinkle with Panko mixture.
    8. Place into oven and broil, rotating the sheet pan a few times, until golden brown and crispy, about 5-6 minutes.
    9. Serve immediately.

    Sheet Pan Mac and Cheese: