Archive for ‘pasta’

November 3, 2011

Bacon Ranch Slowcooker Chicken

Copy-pasted from this blog: We’ll like unhealthify it. LOL

Bacon Ranch Slowcooker Chicken
4 Servings

2 butterball turkey bacon strips, cooked and shredded
1 tsp minced garlic
1 package ranch dressing mix
1 10.75 oz can condensed cream of chicken soup (98% fat free)
1 cup fat-free sour cream
16 oz. chicken breasts
8 oz. pasta (I used rigatoni)

Combine the first five ingredients. Place chicken in slowcooker and pour sauce over the top. Cook on high for 3.5 hours. Serve over hot noodles.

Nutritional Information: 456 calories, 61 carbs, 5 fat grams and 36 protein grams.

Review: This tasted like it was SO bad for me! I loved how creamy it came out – it almost tasted cheesy even though I didn’t have cheese. I’m going to make this again immediately – wonderful comfort food! Edited to add 9/20/11: I’ve gathered some feedback via Pinterest and wanted to share: one reviewer mentioned that unless you really like ranch, the ranch flavor could be a bit overwhelming – she suggested not using the entire packet. Another mentioned that for them it was too salty, so using less of the packet may make a difference. We love it as is, but I saw these and thought they may help! And please, if you try it and have recommendations for making it better/changes for next time, feel free to post in the comments below. Thanks!

My own notes: Only 2 bacon strips? Craziness. Use the cream of mix recipe. Regular sour cream. GF pasta.

November 2, 2011

Chicken Bacon Mac Casserole

Again, copied from 1 orange giraffe. Let’s give this a go. It looks GREAT. No measurement though? This scares me. I’ll let Joshua try to make it first, even though I think I could do it once I know how much of each to put in.

Chicken Bacon Noodle Casserole
There are no exact measurements. Make it according to your family size.
Elbow macaroni, cooked (GF noodles)
Cream of Something soup, thickened (see mix recipe below)
cheddar cheese, grated
chicken, shredded
bacon, cooked and diced
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix to combine. Pour in a 13×9 inch baking dish. Cover. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until bubbling.

August 28, 2011

Creamy Taco Mac

*edited 11/19/12 to update for dairy-free. This has quickly become a favorite meal.

Made this for the first time last night. It surprised me by actually being good.. even I liked it, and I don’t generally like “Mexican” food. (Quotes because I doubt this qualifies as real Mexican food either. *hehe*) We originally got it here, where she has a fairly healthy (healthier anyway) version. We switched it up a bit. We’re not scared of full-fat 😉 but we do need to make it gluten-free for the littlest. It says it serves 4, but it made it through all of us, despite Elliot snarfing up seconds as well.


Adapted from Annie’s Eats
Makes 4 Servings


8 oz. dry pasta (we use gluten-free elbow mac.. use your favorite shape)
1 pound ground beef
1 Tb onion powder (or to taste)
2 tsp minced garlic, jarred
1 can tomato sauce
1 pack taco seasoning
3 oz. vegan cream cheese, softened
½ cup vegan sour cream
Salt and pepper
shredded cheddar cheese


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add beef and onion powder cook until beef is no longer pink. Once meat is cooked, mix in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Mix in tomato sauce and taco seasoning and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium-low heat 4 minutes to reduce the sauce. Turn off heat. (At this point we dish up a  thus far dairy-free helping for Elliot now, plus a helping for either seconds or leftovers for him. For the rest of it, we continue on.) Top with shredded cheddar cheese and cilantro. Cover and let it sit off the heat until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.

August 13, 2011

Baked Rigatoni

Recipe found here: click me We immediately nixed the chopped onion and the eggplant, because we’re picky and boring like that, and added in a bit more sausage and some pepperoni. Today we’re trying it with andouille because that’s what we’ve got that needs to be used.


  • 1 lb dry rigatoni
  • 8 links of your favorite pre-cooked sausage (beef, pork or chicken)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 15 pepperoni slices, quartered
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Pepper
  • 2 cans thick pasta sauce
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta only 6-7 minutes. It will be firm (and will soften when it’s baked).
  • While waiting for water to boil, chop the sausages (into big pieces) and the garlic. Cook together in olive oil in a skillet 3-4 minutes (they’ll cook further when baked). Put sausages and garlic in a large casserole dish.
  • Add the cooked rigatoni (drained) and ½ cup of the pasta water to the casserole. Roughly chop or tear basil and add to casserole. Add pepperoni. Add 1 cup of mozzarella. Grind in some black pepper. Pour in pasta sauce. Stir until all ingredients are combined.
  • Sprinkle remaining cup mozzarella and Parmesan over pasta. Cover with foil and refrigerate if making ahead, or immediately bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
July 8, 2011

Creamy Garlic Chicken Pasta

From a Schnucks recipe. Says it serves 4.. may have to fiddle with amounts. But even the baby ate the veggies in the sample we had, so I’d love to try it at home.


  • 8 oz dry farfalle pasta (~3 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, each cut in half
  • 7.5 oz package Oscar Mayer carving board chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 zucchini (~8oz), cut lengthwise, then into 1/2″ slices
  • 10 oz package Philadelphia savory garlic cooking creme
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced


1. Heat large covered saucepot of salted water to boiling over high heat. Add pasta and cook as label directs. Remove 1 cup pasta cooking water; set aside. Drain pasta, then return to same saucepot.
2. Meanwhile, in 12-in skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, chicken, and zucchini and cook 5-6 minutes or until tomatoes soften and zucchini is tender, stirring occasionally. Add cooking creme and cook 2 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
3. toss chicken mixture into pasta. If desired, for a thinner sauce, add some pasta cooking water. Sprinkle with basil to serve.

July 4, 2011

Cacio e Pepe (aka Pecorino Pasta)

Seems so simple, tastes so good. From Cooks magazine.


6 oz Pecorino Romano cheese (4 oz finely grated, 2 oz coarsely grated)
1 lb spaghetti
table salt
2 Tbsp heavy cream
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1½ tsp finely ground black pepper


1. Place finely grated Pecorino in medium bowl. Set colander in large bowl.
2. Bring 2 qts water to boil in large Dutch oven. Add pasta and 1½ tsp salt; cook, stirring frequently, until al dente. Drain pasta into colander set in bowl, reserving cooking water. Pour 1½ cups cooking water into liquid measuring cup and discard remainder; return pasta to the now empty bowl.
3. Slowly whisk 1 cup reserved cooking-water into finely grated Pecorino until smooth. Whisk in cream, oil, and black pepper. Gradually pour cheese mixture over pasta, tossing to coat. Let pasta rest 1 to 2 minutes, tossing frequently, adjusting consistency with remaining cooking water. Serve, topped with coarsely grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

Make sure to use Pecorino Romano, not the domestic “Romano”.
A food processor can be used to grate the cheese: cut the Pecorino into 2-inch chunks and process until finely ground (about 45 seconds.)
For a slightly less rich dish, substitute half-and-half for the heavy cream.
Do not adjust the amount of water for cooking the pasta. Stir the pasta frequently to ensure it doesn’t stick.

July 4, 2011

Pesto Spinach Lasagna

My favorite lasagna has no meat. Crazy. But it does have pesto, and is chock-full of deliciosity. Totally a pain in the booty to prep since I’m kind of lame in the kitchen, and not used to anything that requires steps. This, with all its layering, got its share of grumbles from me. But oh man it tasted yummy after it was done. And the boys even ate it – carnivorous hubby included. I just keep trying to convince myself the layering process is worth it so we can have it again.


serves 8

1 (26-ounce) jar prepared pasta sauce
1 (10-ounce) box lasagna noodles
1 (11-ounce) container pesto (though I’m pretty sure I used two little jars, having not found an 11oz one)
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 (12-ounce) bag baby spinach
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
16 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
1/4 cup water


Put a spoonful of pasta sauce (about 1/4 cup) into the bottom of your cooker and swirl it around. Add a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (you’re going to have to break them to make a layer). Smear ricotta cheese and pesto onto the noodles. Add a handful or two of baby spinach, and top with a layer of Parmesan and slice mozzarella cheeses. Repeat layers until you’ve run out of ingredients. The spinach is fluffy, so you may have to squish it down to make it all fit.
Before closing the pot, put 1/4 cup of water into the empty pasta sauce jar and close and shake. Pour this saucy water over the top of everything.
Now cover up and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for about 3 to 4. You’ll know it’s done when the top layer begins to brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. It will also pull a bit away from the sides. Taste-test a noodle to check texture.
Uncover, and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.