Sundried Tomato & Spinach Scampi (GF, DF)

Dinner, Recipes

INGREDIENTS  

  • 8 oz Fettuccini (Gluten Free)
  • 2-3 tbsp Butter (Plant Based Sub)
  • ¼ cup Sundried Tomatoes (Julien Style)
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (minced or pressed)
  • 2 cup Spinach
  • 1 lb. Shrimp (Peeled and Tail Off)
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • Salt (To Taste)
  • Parmesan Cheese (Optional – Vegan options sub)
  • Red Pepper Flakes (To Taste)

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Bring pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente.
  • In a small bowl, combine vegetable broth with sundried tomatoes and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  • While sundried tomatoes are soaking, heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat and add butter and garlic. Sauté garlic until fragrant, about one minute.
  • Add pepper and shrimp to pan and cook over medium heat until shrimp start to turn pink. Add sundried tomatoes, broth, red pepper flakes and spinach.
  • Increase heat to medium high and simmer until shrimp are cooked and sauce reduces by 1/2.
  • Once pasta is done, drain and lightly salt. Add cooked pasta and mix in sauce. Serve immediately and top with cheese (optional)

Sundried Tomato & Spinach Scampi

  • 8 oz Fettuccini ((Gluten Free))
  • 2-3 tbsp Butter ((Plant Based Sub))
  • ¼ cup Sundried Tomatoes ( (Julien Style) )
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth
  • 2 Garlic Cloves ( (minced or pressed))
  • 2 cup Spinach
  • 1 lb. Shrimp ((Peeled and Tail Off) )
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • Salt ((To Taste))
  • Parmesan Cheese ((Optional – Vegan options sub))
  • Red Pepper Flakes ((To Taste))
  1. Bring pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente.

  2. In a small bowl, combine vegetable broth with sundried tomatoes and let sit for about 5 minutes.

  3. While sundried tomatoes are soaking, heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat and add butter and garlic. Sauté garlic until fragrant, about one minute.

  4. Add pepper and shrimp to pan and cook over medium heat until shrimp start to turn pink. Add sundried tomatoes, broth, red pepper flakes and spinach.

  5. Increase heat to medium high and simmer until shrimp are cooked and sauce reduces by 1/2.

  6. Once pasta is done, drain and lightly salt. Add cooked pasta and mix in sauce. Serve immediately and top with cheese (optional)

Tomato Spinach Pesto Sauce

Dinner, Recipes

This sauce is perfect over pasta or on a sandwich. It is dairy free and packed with flavor and nutrients. The best part, is it is ready in minutes! You take all the sauce ingredients and just process them, or blend them, for about 1-2 minutes and it is ready.

I personally prefer this over pasta with some salt and pepper shrimp or used as a condiment on an Italian style sandwich.

INGREDIENTS  

  • 1 cup Fresh Basil, packed
  • 2 cup Fresh Spinach
  • 3-4 Small Garlic Cloves (2 large ones)
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 10 oz Cherry Tomatoes (1 Container)
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Pepper
  • ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes Optional

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Add all ingredients in a processer and process for 1 minute. Everything should be well combined but it should not be a paste.
  • No Cooking: You can serve over hot pasta without cooking the sauce
  • Cooking: Fold into pasta and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add your protein of choice such as shrimp or chicken and then serve hot.

Tomato Spinach Pesto Sauce

  • 1 cup Fresh Basil, packed
  • 2 cup Fresh Spinach
  • 3-4 Small Garlic Cloves (2 large ones)
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 10 oz Cherry Tomatoes (1 Container)
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Pepper
  • ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
  1. Add all ingredients in a processer and process for 1 minute. Everything should be well combined but it should not be a paste.

  2. No Cooking: You can serve over hot pasta without cooking the sauce

  3. Cooking: Fold into pasta and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add your protein of choice such as shrimp or chicken and then serve hot.

Main Course

Chicken Fajita Pasta

Dinner, Recipes

I just got back from a trip to Vermont, which was lovely by the way, and the only items I had in the fridge that weren’t bad was peppers, onions and garlic. Instantly I thought of stir-fry or fajitas but I was craving pasta so that is where the Chicken Fajita Pasta was born (at least for me).

INGREDIENTS  

  • 8 oz Pasta
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 2 cup Sliced Bell Peppers (about 2 large or 13-14 mini sweet peppers)
  • 1=2 Chicken Breast
  • 2 tbsp Fajita Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Salt for pasta mix
  • 1 tsp Pepper for pasta mix
  • 3 tbsp Heavy Cream
  • ½ Cup Mexican or Cheddar Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste for chicken

Instructions:

  • Bring pot of water to boil and cook pasta until al dente. Don’t overcook because it will fall apart when combining with sauce.
  • Rinse and pat dry the chicken breast and then pound them until they are about half the thickness. This will make them more tender and cook through.
  • Salt and pepper the chicken to taste and sprinkle about 1/4th the fajita seasoning on them. Save the rest for later.
  • In a pan over medium high heat, drizzle about 1tbsp of olive oil in the pan and place chicken. Cook for about 3-4 minutes per side. Once done, cut into 1 inch strips or cubes.
  • Slice onion and bell peppers into 1/4 inch pieces and mince garlic.
  • In another large pan, drizzle olive oil and heat on high. Once oil is hot, combine peppers and onions and sauté for about 1-2 minutes but do not burn.
  • Reduce heat down to medium add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Then add cream and stir for 1 minute.
  • Add cubed chicken, pasta, 1/4 cup pasta water, fajita seasoning, cheese, tsp of salt, tsp of pepper and combine gently until sauce is thickened.
  • Feel free to top with extra cheese or some chili flakes!

Chicken Fajita Pasta

  • 8 oz Pasta
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 2 cup Sliced Bell Peppers (about 2 large or 13-14 mini sweet peppers)
  • 1=2 Chicken Breast
  • 2 tbsp Fajita Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Salt (for pasta mix)
  • 1 tsp Pepper (for pasta mix)
  • 3 tbsp Heavy Cream
  • ½ Cup Mexican or Cheddar Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste (for chicken)
  1. Bring pot of water to boil and cook pasta until al dente. Don't over cook because it will fall apart when combining with sauce.

  2. Rinse and pat dry the chicken breast and then pound them until they are about half the thickness. This will make them more tender and cook through.

  3. Salt and pepper the chicken to taste and sprinkle about 1/4th the fajita seasoning on them. Save the rest for later.

  4. In a pan over medium high heat, drizzle about 1tbsp of olive oil in the pan and place chicken. Cook for about3-4 minutes per side. Once done, cut into 1 inch strips or cubes.

  5. Slice onion and bell peppers into 1/4 inch pieces and mince garlic.

  6. Reduce heat down to medium add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

  7. Then add cream and stir for 1 minute.

  8. Add cubed chicken, pasta, 1/4 cup pasta water, fajita seasoning, cheese, tsp of salt, tsp of pepper and combine gently until sauce is thickened.

  9. Feel free to top with extra cheese or some chili flakes!

Main Course

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Veggie Shrimp Pasta

Lunch, Recipes

I should call this the clear out the fridge pasta because that’s really what it was. At the end of the week I find myself having a variety of veggies that I either need to cook or toss. I don’t like to waste food so I normally will turn it into a quick stir-fry but, per usual, I was in a pasta mood. You can take practically any veggies you have and add them to this dish. It had at least 4 cups of raw veggies and was absolutely delicious! Broccolini, zucchini, shallots, red bell pepper and garlic…so much garlic.

INGREDIENTS  

  • 1 Red Baby Bell Pepper
  • 5-6 Stocks Broccolini
  • 1 Shallot or small white onion
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 2 Cup Shrimp Prawns, Shelled and tail off
  • 8 oz Alessi Premium Italian Pasta Organic Penne
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 5 tbsp Butter
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ tsp Corn Starch, mixed with 1 tsp water
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Instructions

  1. Pasta: In a large pot, start water for pasta. Cook pasta until al dente. ~11-12 minutes. If you use a different type of pasta I would follow the instructions on the box. Sometimes 11-12 minutes is too long for small pasta shapes.
  2. Prep Veggies: Mince your garlic, thinly slice bell pepper and shallot, cut zucchini in 1/4 inch squares, and chop broccolini into 1 inch pieces. For the shallot, I actually like to keep the round shape so I just cut them into slices but don’t halve them. If you substitute with an onion you will want to cut the onion first.
  3. Prep Shrimp: rinse and pat dry shrimp, season with pepper.
  4. Turn up the heat: But not really… In a large frying pan or skillet, heat butter on low and add garlic. Do not burn the butter. Once fragrant, about 1 minute, add all veggies, increase heat to medium and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Cooking the Shrimp: Move all veggies over to one side of the pan and then place shrimp on the empty side, cook for about 1 minute each side and then mix together with the veggies. Don’t worry, they will continue to cook in the next step.
  6. It all comes together: Add cream, parmesan cheese and cornstarch mixture to pan and stir, turn heat to medium high until sauce begins to thicken and then add pasta, season with salt and pepper, stir and enjoy!

Veggie Shrimp Pasta

Veggies, shrimp, garlic and pasta!

  • 1 Red Baby Bell Pepper
  • 5-6 Stocks Broccolini
  • 1 Shallot or small white onion
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 2 Cup Shrimp Prawns, Shelled and tail off
  • 8 oz Alessi Premium Italian Pasta Organic Penne
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 5 tbsp Butter
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ tsp Corn Starch, mixed with 1 tsp water
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  1. In a large pot, start water for pasta. Cook pasta until al dente. ~12 minutes

  2. Prep Veggies: Mince garlic, thinly slice bell pepper and shallot, cut zucchini in 1/4 inch squares, and chop broccolini into 1 inch pieces.

  3. Prep Shrimp: rinse and pat dry shrimp, season with pepper.

  4. In a large frying pan or skillet, heat butter on low and add garlic. Do not burn the butter. Once fragrant, about 1 minute, add all veggies and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  5. Move all veggies over to one side of the pan and then place shrimp on the empty side, cook for about 1 minute each side and then mix together with the veggies. Don't worry, they will continue to cook in the next step.

  6. Add cream, parmesan cheese and cornstarch to pan and stir, turn heat to medium high until sauce begins to thicken and then add pasta. Stir and enjoy!

Main Course
American, Italian, Mediterranean
pasta, shrimp, veggies

Tuscan Mushroom Scampi

Dinner, Recipes

INGREDIENTS  

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 20 Medium Shrimp
  • 1 Garlic Clove, Minced
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes, Julian style
  • 2 cup Fresh Spinach
  • ½ cup Baby Bella or White Mushrooms
  • ⅔ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • ¼ Oregano or Italian seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds. Lightly salt and pepper and drizzle the inside with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet with a splash of water.
  • Cook spaghetti squash for 30-40 minutes until soft.
  • While spaghetti is in the oven, add sliced mushrooms to the skillet with a tbsp of olive oil on medium heat and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
  • Add minced garlic to skillet and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly (about 30 seconds) and then add broth, cream, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.  Stir well to combine.
  • Add broth, cream, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.  Stir well to combine.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 4-5, stirring frequently.  Add spinach and continue to simmer (while stirring frequently) until spinach is wilted and sauce is slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper
  • While sauce is simmering, rinse and pat shrimp dry and sprinkle with pepper. Saute in a pan with olive
  • Return chicken to skillet and serve topped with cream sauce.

Tuscan Mushroom Scampi

Spaghetti Squash with a Creamy Tuscan Mushroom Sauce

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 20 Medium Shrimp
  • 1 Garlic Clove, Minced
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes, Julian style
  • 2 cup Fresh Spinach
  • ½ cup Baby Bella or White Mushrooms
  • ⅔ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • ¼ Oregano or Italian seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds. Lightly salt and pepper and drizzle the inside with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet with a splash of water.

  2. Cook spaghetti squash for 30-40 minutes until soft.

  3. While spaghetti is in the oven, add sliced mushrooms to the skillet with a tbsp of olive oil on medium heat and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.

  4. Add minced garlic to skillet and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly (about 30 seconds) and then add broth, cream, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.  Stir well to combine.

  5. Add broth, cream, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.  Stir well to combine.

  6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 4-5, stirring frequently.  Add spinach and continue to simmer (while stirring frequently) until spinach is wilted and sauce is slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper

  7. While sauce is simmering, rinse and pat shrimp dry and sprinkle with pepper. Saute in a pan with olive

  8. Return chicken to skillet and serve topped with cream sauce.

Main Course
Italian
Spaghetti Squash

Chicken Bacon Onion Pasta

Dinner, Recipes

Preparation

  • Rinse and pat dry chicken, salt and pepper both sides.
  • Cut onion into ¼ inch cubes and cut bacon into ¼-½ inch pieces. trim broccolini or broccoli and cut into 1-2 inch pieces. Dice or press garlic.
  • Start a pot of water in a large pan and bring to a boil

Start Cooking!

  • Heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in a medium-large skillet. Once hot, place chicken in pan and cook for 3 minutes per side and then set aside on a plate. Don’t worry, we will finish cooking it later.
  • Using same skillet, cook the bacon until crispy and then set aside in small bowl.
  • Add onion to skillet and lower heat to low-medium. Cook for about 4 minutes stirring occasionally until softened. Add pressed or minced garlic for about 1 minute until fragrant and then add wine or chicken broth to deglaze pan.
  • Add bacon, water and cream and stir. Turn up to bring to a boil and stir for about 3 minutes, reduce heat, add chicken and let simmer until thickened. About 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente (11-13 minutes).
  • Once sauce is thickened add broccolini and cook for an additional 3 minutes until softened. and pasta is done, carefully remove skillet from heat and place on a pot holder. Don’t put the skillet on our counter. Most counters can not handle this heat.
  • Once pasta is done, carefully remove skillet from heat and place on a pot holder. Don’t put the skillet on our counter. Most counters can not handle this heat.
  • Cut chicken if desired and combine pasta with the sauce and chicken. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS  

  • 2-4 Boneless Chicken Thighs (or breast)
  • 1 cup Broccolini
  • 3 pieces Bacon
  • 1 medium White Onion
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • ⅓ cup White Wine (or chicken broth)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • ½ cup Cream
  • 8 oz Pasta (Alessi Premium Italian Pasta Organic Penne)
  • 1 cup Water

INSTRUCTIONS 

Preparation

  • Rinse and pat dry chicken, salt and pepper both sides.
  • Cut onion into ¼ inch cubes and cut bacon into ¼-½ inch pieces. trim broccolini or broccoli and cut into 1-2 inch pieces. Dice or press garlic.
  • Start a pot of water in a large pan and bring to a boil

Start Cooking!

  • Heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in a medium-large skillet. Once hot, place chicken in pan and cook for 3 minutes per side and then set aside on a plate. Don’t worry, we will finish cooking it later.
  • Using same skillet, cook the bacon until crispy and then set aside in small bowl.
  • Add onion to skillet and lower heat to low-medium. Cook for about 4 minutes stirring occasionally until softened. Add pressed or minced garlic for about 1 minute until fragrant and then add wine or chicken broth to deglaze pan.
  • Add bacon, water and cream and stir. Turn up to bring to a boil and stir for about 3 minutes, reduce heat, add chicken and let simmer until thickened. About 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente (11-13 minutes).
  • Once sauce is thickened add broccolini and cook for an additional 3 minutes until softened. and pasta is done, carefully remove skillet from heat and place on a pot holder. Don’t put the skillet on our counter. Most counters can not handle this heat.
  • Once pasta is done, carefully remove skillet from heat and place on a pot holder. Don’t put the skillet on our counter. Most counters can not handle this heat.
  • Cut chicken if desired and combine pasta with the sauce and chicken. Enjoy!

Chicken Bacon Onion Pasta

Chicken in a creamy bacon onion sauce with broccolini and large penne.

  • 2-4 Boneless Chicken Thighs (or breast)
  • 1 cup Broccolini
  • 3 pieces Bacon
  • 1 medium White Onion
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • ⅓ cup White Wine (or chicken broth)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • ½ cup Cream
  • 8 oz Pasta (Alessi Premium Italian Pasta Organic Penne)
  • 1 cup Water

Preparation

  1. Rinse and pat dry chicken, salt and pepper both sides.

  2. Cut onion into ¼ inch cubes and cut bacon into ¼-½ inch pieces. trim broccolini or broccoli and cut into 1-2 inch pieces. Dice or press garlic.

  3. Start a pot of water in a large pan and bring to a boil

Start Cooking!

  1. Heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in a medium-large skillet. Once hot, place chicken in pan and cook for 3 minutes per side and then set aside on a plate. Don't worry, we will finish cooking it later.

  2. Using same skillet, cook the bacon until crispy and then set aside in small bowl.

  3. Add onion to skillet and lower heat to low-medium. Cook for about 4 minutes stirring occasionally until softened. Add pressed or minced garlic for about 1 minute until fragrant and then add wine or chicken broth to deglaze pan.

  4. Add bacon, water and cream and stir. Turn up to bring to a boil and stir for about 3 minutes, reduce heat, add chicken and let simmer until thickened. About 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

  5. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente (11-13 minutes).

  6. Once sauce is thickened add broccolini and cook for an additional 3 minutes until softened. and pasta is done, carefully remove skillet from heat and place on a pot holder. Don't put the skillet on our counter. Most counters can not handle this heat.

  7. Once pasta is done, carefully remove skillet from heat and place on a pot holder. Don't put the skillet on our counter. Most counters can not handle this heat.

  8. Cut chicken if desired and combine pasta with the sauce and chicken. Enjoy!

Main Course
Italian
bacon, pasta

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Summer Shrimp Scampi

Dinner

Summer is almost here! Well, not really but it’s always summer in Florida! This dish was inspired by my best friend’s family. I go up to Maine for a week each summer and a few summers ago Kayla made summer pasta. It was light, garlicy and filled with summer vegetables. This pasta dish is a great change to the basic scampi you might get at your local Italian restaurant and it’s perfect with a glass of white wine.

Recommendations:

  • Pasta – For the pasta, I recommend using the Homemade Fettuccini Pasta from RAO. It’s a thicker pasta that is made of only two ingredients, durum semolina flour and water. The pasta does soak up a lot of water so be sure to fill the pot up and add some olive oil and salt to prevent sticking.
  • Shrimp – Stick with large or jumbo shrimp for this dish. The small shrimp will cook too fast and lose the texture. Take the tails off to make it an easy-to-eat meal for the family.
  • Vegetables – You can substitute the summer squash with zucchini if you would like. The taste is almost the same and zucchini can add some additional color to the dish. Go a step further and add both!

INGREDIENTS  

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 4-5 Garlic Cloves minced or pressed
  • 1¼-1½ lb Shrimp Prawns, shelled with tail off
  • ¼ cup White Wine, Vegetable Broth or Chicken Broth
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ¼ cup Chopped Parsley
  • 1 Summer Squash
  • 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Heavy Cream
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 8 oz Fettuccini Pasta, dry
  • Red Pepper Flakes optional

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Heat 6 quarts of water in a large pot, bring to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and olive oil (optional, prevents sticking).
  • Add Pasta to boiling water, stir occasionally and start sauce. Cook for 11-13 minutes.
  • Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan or skillet over medium heat. You don’t want to burn the butter.
  • Add garlic and sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds – 1 minute). Then add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper to taste and sauté for 1-2 minutes on one side and then flip.
  • Pour in broth or wine, add red pepper flakes (optional) and add summer squash, tomatoes, parmesan and cream. Bring to a simmer for 1-2 minutes or until wine reduces by about half and the shrimp is cooked through and squash is soft.
  • Drain pasta and add to sauce, stop with half the parsley. Stir to combine and then plate. Top with additional parsley and serve hot! Enjoy

Summer Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi with a twist! Parmesan, cream, tomatoes and summer squash turns the traditional shrimp scampi into a perfect summer dish.

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 4-5 Garlic Cloves (minced or pressed)
  • 1¼-1½ lb Shrimp Prawns, shelled with tail off
  • ¼ cup White Wine, Vegetable Broth or Chicken Broth
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ¼ cup Chopped Parsley
  • 1 Summer Squash
  • 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Heavy Cream
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 8 oz Fettuccini Pasta, dry
  • Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  1. Heat 6 quarts of water in a large pot, bring to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and olive oil (optional, prevents sticking).

  2. Add Pasta to boiling water, stir occasionally and start sauce. Cook for 11-13 minutes.

  3. Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan or skillet over medium heat. You don't want to burn the butter.

  4. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds – 1 minute). Then add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper to taste and sauté for 1-2 minutes on one side and then flip.

  5. Pour in broth or wine, add red pepper flakes (optional) and add summer squash, tomatoes, parmesan and cream. Bring to a simmer for 1-2 minutes or until wine reduces by about half and the shrimp is cooked through and squash is soft.

  6. Drain pasta and add to sauce, stop with half the parsley. Stir to combine and then plate. Top with additional parsley and serve hot! Enjoy

Main Course
Italian

Check out more dinner recipes here.

Creamy Pesto Pasta

Dinner, Recipes

This dish is such a delicious spring and summertime dinner! Whole wheat penne tossed in a creamy homemade pesto sauce, topped with chicken and sautéed cherry tomatoes.

Tips & Recommendations:

  • Protein – Skip the chicken and go vegetarian or add some shrimp to meet your dietary needs.
  • Pesto – When making the pesto, you can use basil or garlic infused olive oil to give it some extra flavor. Another great idea, that I got from Kellyswholelife – Health Coach, is to add spinach or kale to the pesto. You can do this by either substituting 1 cup of basil with spinach and kale or adding some in addition to the basil. Either way, you will get some extra veggies in the meal and you don’t compromise the taste.
  • Simplify – If you don’t have time to make the pesto from scratch, you can buy premade pesto at the grocery store. I recommend making it from scratch because the flavor is so fresh. However, you can simplify by getting it premade. If you do this, I recommend going for the pesto that is in the perishable section such as Buitoni Pesto with Basil.

INGREDIENTS  

Pesto

  • 2 cup Fresh Basil
  • ½ cup Grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
  • ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil Optional to used garlic or basil infused
  • ⅓ cup Pine Nuts
  • 2-3 cloves Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Pasta Sauce

  • ½ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt & Pepper

Pasta, Tomatoes & Chicken

  • 8 oz Whole Grain Pasta Penne (Half of a 16 oz carton)
  • 2 Thin Chicken Breast
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 6-10 Cherry Tomatoes Halved

INSTRUCTIONS 

Pasta

  • Bring large pot of water to a boil and then add Penne. Cook for 11-12 minutes until al dente.
  • Once pasta is done strain pasta and set aside.

Pesto

  • In a food processer or blender, combine the basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and pulse until everything is well combined.
  • Pour in olive oil and pulse until well combined and there are no large pieces of basil, garlic or pine nuts. Avoid over mixing to prevent it from separating and becoming “oily”. Set aside.

Chicken

  • Rinse and pat chicken breasts with a paper towel.
  • Salt and pepper both sides.
  • Heat a tsp of olive oil in a medium pan over medium high heat and cook for 3-4 minutes per side for thin chicken breasts. Time may vary based on chicken breast size.
  • Once cooked thoroughly, set aside.
  • Add halved cherry tomatoes to pan used for chicken and sauté them until they are soft and slightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside for assembly.

Sauce and Assembly

  • In a medium to large non-stick pan, combine heavy cream and parmesan cheese over medium heat. Wisk until it begins to thicken and bubble.
  • Once thickened, add 3/4 cup homemade pesto and whisk together.
  • Toss penne in the pesto and add to plate, top with chicken and cherry tomatoes and serve hot.

Creamy Pesto Pasta

Penne tossed in homemade pesto, cream and parmesan cheese sauce. Served with sautéed cherry tomatoes and chicken.

Pesto

  • 2 cup Fresh Basil
  • ½ cup Grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
  • ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Optional to used garlic or basil infused)
  • ⅓ cup Pine Nuts
  • 2-3 cloves Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Pasta Sauce

  • ½ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt & Pepper

Pasta, Tomatoes & Chicken

  • 8 oz Whole Grain Pasta Penne ((Half of a 16 oz carton) )
  • 2 Thin Chicken Breast
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 6-10 Cherry Tomatoes (Halved)

Pasta

  1. Bring large pot of water to a boil and then add Penne. Cook for 11-12 minutes until al dente.

  2. Once pasta is done strain pasta and set aside.

Pesto

  1. In a food processer or blender, combine the basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and pulse until everything is well combined.

  2. Pour in olive oil and pulse until well combined and there are no large pieces of basil, garlic or pine nuts. Avoid over mixing to prevent it from separating and becoming "oily". Set aside.

Chicken

  1. Rinse and pat chicken breasts with a paper towel.

  2. Salt and pepper both sides.

  3. Heat a tsp of olive oil in a medium pan over medium high heat and cook for 3-4 minutes per side for thin chicken breasts. Time may vary based on chicken breast size.

  4. Once cooked thoroughly, set aside.

  5. Add halved cherry tomatoes to pan used for chicken and sauté them until they are soft and slightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside for assembly.

Sauce and Assembly

  1. In a medium to large non-stick pan, combine heavy cream and parmesan cheese over medium heat. Wisk until it begins to thicken and bubble.

  2. Once thickened, add 3/4 cup homemade pesto and whisk together.

  3. Toss penne in the pesto and add to plate, top with chicken and cherry tomatoes and serve hot.

Main Course
Italian
pasta, pesto

Check out our other recipes below or partner this dish with my garlic pull apart bread.

Chicken Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Shells

Dinner, Recipes

This hearty stuffed shell dish consists of shredded chicken, spinach, artichoke hearts, lots of cheese and alfredo sauce.

INGREDIENTS  

Stuffing

  • 2 Chicken Breast
  • 1 Cup Mozzarella
  • ½ Cup Parmesan cheese shredded or grated
  • 1 Cup Artichoke Hearts, in water
  • ½ Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tsp Salt and Pepper

Pasta & Topping

  • 1 Box Jumbo Shells
  • 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese shredded

Alfredo

  • ½ Cup Butter
  • 1½ Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 Tsp Garlic minced
  • ½ Tsp Italian Seasoning
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ¼ Tsp Pepper
  • 2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F and start Pasta

Pasta

  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add jumbo shells and cook for 11-12 minutes until cooked al dente. Drain and set aside.

Stuffing

  • Bring a small pot of water to a boil and place chicken breast in the pot. Boil until cooked – about 12-15 minutes
  • Remove chicken breast and place into a mixer. Mix on medium until chicken is shredded.
  • Combine all stuffing ingredients in the mixer and put on low until fully mixed together and set aside.

Alfredo

  • Add the butter and cream to a large skillet.
  • Whisk in the garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper for 1-2 minute.
  • Whisk in the parmesan cheese until melted.
  • Simmer over low heat for 2-3 minutes until thickened.

Assembly

  • Drizzle olive oil or lightly butter pan to prevent sticking.
  • Stuff shells with 2 Tbsp. of Chicken Artichoke stuffing and place in rows next to each other in a 8×11 baking container.
  • Cover with alfredo sauce and top with 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Bake for 20 minutes on middle rack until cheese is lightly browned on top. Plate and serve warm.

NOTES

Storing: 

  • If you are storing these then you will want to ensure you either have extra sauce. To prevent the shells from drying out, you will want to pour extra alfredo sauce over the shells in a container and store in the refrigerator. They are good up to 3 days after cooking. 

Shredded Chicken: 

  • The best way to make shredded chicken is by cooking it and then shredding it with a mixer. This can be done with a countertop mixer or with you can place chicken in a large bowl and use a handheld mixer. You can do this with pulled pork and brisket as well. 

Alfredo Sauce: 

  • I prefer making my own alfredo sauce most of the time however, with this dish, store bought alfredo sauce is a good alternative. If you decide to go the pre-made route I recommend using Rao’s Alfredo Sauce or Buitoni Alfredo Sauce in the fresh pasta isle which is normally near the cheese and eggs.

Chicken Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Shells

Stuffed shells with shredded chicken and spinach artichoke "dip".

Stuffing

  • 2 Chicken Breast
  • 1 Cup Mozzarella
  • ½ Cup Parmesan cheese (shredded or grated)
  • 1 Cup Artichoke Hearts, in water
  • ½ Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tsp Salt and Pepper

Pasta & Topping

  • 1 Box Jumbo Shells
  • 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)

Alfredo

  • ½ Cup Butter
  • 1½ Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 Tsp Garlic (minced)
  • ½ Tsp Italian Seasoning
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ¼ Tsp Pepper
  • 2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and start Pasta

Pasta

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.

  2. Once boiling, add jumbo shells and cook for 11-12 minutes until cooked al dente. Drain and set aside.

Stuffing

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and place chicken breast in the pot. Boil until cooked – about 12-15 minutes

  2. Remove chicken breast and place into a mixer. Mix on medium until chicken is shredded.

  3. Combine all stuffing ingredients in the mixer and put on low until fully mixed together and set aside.

Alfredo

  1. Add the butter and cream to a large skillet.

  2. Whisk in the garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper for 1-2 minute.

  3. Whisk in the parmesan cheese until melted.

  4. Simmer over low heat for 2-3 minutes until thickened.

Assembly

  1. Drizzle olive oil or lightly butter pan to prevent sticking.

  2. Stuff shells with 2 Tbsp. of Chicken Artichoke stuffing and place in rows next to each other in a 8×11 baking container.

  3. Cover with alfredo sauce and top with 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  4. Bake for 20 minutes on middle rack until cheese is lightly browned on top. Plate and serve warm.

Storing: 

  • If you are storing these then you will want to ensure you either have extra sauce. To prevent the shells from drying out, you will want to pour extra alfredo sauce over the shells in a container and store in the refrigerator. They are good up to 3 days after cooking. 

Shredded Chicken: 

  • The best way to make shredded chicken is by cooking it and then shredding it with a mixer. This can be done with a countertop mixer or with you can place chicken in a large bowl and use a handheld mixer. You can do this with pulled pork and brisket as well. 

Alfredo Sauce: 

  • I prefer making my own alfredo sauce most of the time however, with this dish, store bought alfredo sauce is a good alternative. If you decide to go the pre-made route I recommend using Rao’s Alfredo Sauce or Buitoni Alfredo Sauce in the fresh pasta isle which is normally near the cheese and eggs.
Main Course
stuffed shell

Try partnering this with our our pull apart garlic bread.