An easy meal to put together with pantry staples such as jarred Alfredo sauce (that has been languishing in my pantry for a very long time), frozen broccoli and frozen, shelled edamame, and a little bit of leftover shredded chicken and leftover sausage.
With everyone a little under the weather, I was looking for an quick and easy meal to put together. Little Bit kept telling me that she wouldn’t eat it, even though it contained all of her favorite things, especially the broccoli and edamame. Here are the quantities I used:
2 cups pasta of your choice
2/3 cup leftover shredded chicken
2/3 cup leftover sausage, diced
1 5-ounce (individual) package shelled edamame, microwaved for 2 minutes to thaw
1 10-ounce package frozen broccoli spears or cuts, microwaved for 3 minutes to thaw
1 jar prepared Alfredo Sauce
1/2 cup pasta water (I just scoop some out prior to draining with a coffee cup)
1/3 to 1/2 shredded cheese to top with. Parmesan, Fontina, Mozzarella, Romano, Asiago…any would be fine mixed together or alone.
Cook the pasta of your choice, and follow the cooking directions on the package. My pasta had a 10 minute cooking time. I reduced the cooking time to 8 1/2 minutes since it would be further cooked in the oven.
While the pasta was cooking, I quick-thawed the frozen items in the microwave, just to bring everything to an unfrozen state. The vegetables would get their real cooking in the oven.
Butter a large casserole dish.
Combine the cooked pasta with the edamame.
Add all other ingredients including the pasta water, and mix well.
I also added a little bit of water, probably about 1/2 cup, to the empty jar of sauce to get the last little bit of sauce clinging to the sides. Waste not, want not.
Top with a little grated cheese- I had Pecorino Pepato and Fontina on hand, but anything would work, and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes.
Dinner is served.
And yes, Little Bit ate it, first picking out the pasta, then the chicken when she accidentally ate some of that, and finally, went back for her favorites, the broccoli and edamame.
Would I make it again? Not anytime soon, but that is only because I’m still not a fan of jarred Alfredo sauce. Plus, with 2 lactose intolerant people in the house, it’s a pretty cheesy meal.
But, I will eventually stock up on another jar of Alfredo sauce for a night when a quick and easy dinner is needed. It allowed me to repurpose some leftovers and some freezer items into a pretty tasty meal with minimal prep work and cleanup.
And I’m all for that!
This could be assembled in advance and reheated when needed. It should also freeze well due to the stabilizers in the jarred Alfredo Sauce. Great to share with others.
*To make this vegetarian, omit the chicken and sausage. To make it vegan, omit all but the pasta and veggies. Season with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and toss.