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Stove Top Cauliflower Mac and Cheese | alidaskitchen.com

Stove Top Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Stove Top Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is epitome of cheesy, delicious comfort food made healthier using cauliflower in place of half of the pasta…all in under 30 minutes! Thank you to Pompeian for sponsoring this post for what’s #TrendingintheKitchen.

Stove Top Cauliflower Mac and Cheese | alidaskitchen.com

One of our weeknight staples is a simple, from scratch stove top mac and cheese recipe. It is hearty, easy to make, always delicious and oh so comforting. We enjoy this recipe often as-is, however I am always inspired by the latest food trends to make recipes healthier.

For the latest version, cauliflower came to mind. Cauliflower recipes are all the rage these days, given its versatility. Plus it goes great with cheese! But since I cook for the toughest critics (my kids!), I first floated the idea past my 7 year old. He thought Stove Top Cauliflower Mac and Cheese sounded really, really, really (REALLY) good! …

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Broccoli Pesto Pasta | alidaskitchen.com

Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Broccoli Pesto Pasta is an easy, from scratch, creamy pasta sauce made healthier with broccoli, Greek yogurt and olive oil. Thank you to Pompeian for sponsoring this post.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta | alidaskitchen.com

One of our favorite dinners is Roasted Red Pepper Pasta. It is easy, made healthier with lots of vegetables and Greek yogurt and the kids love it. Since it is such a popular recipe around our house, I use it as a base recipe for creating new ones, like this Broccoli Pesto Pasta. …

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Tomato Macaroni and Cheese | alidaskitchen.com

Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

Tracking PixelTomato Macaroni and Cheese is a healthier, from-scratch macaroni and cheese recipe with a tomato and herb twist that is easy to make in less than 30 minutes. Thank you to Hunt’s Tomatoes for sponsoring this post.

Tomato Macaroni and Cheese | alidaskitchen.com

One of our favorite weeknight dinners, that is especially popular with the kids, is Macaroni and Cheese. I make a healthier version, from scratch, that is delicious on its own but is also very versatile. Using just a few simple ingredients, my simple mac and cheese recipe can be transformed into a whole new dish, like this Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese and this Spinach Macaroni and Cheese. There are so many delicious possibilities! With its simplicity and fresh flavors, this Tomato Macaroni and Cheese recipe may have become our new favorite!

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Cheesy Beef Taco Lasagna | alidaskitchen.com

Cheesy Beef Taco Lasagna

Tracking PixelCheesy Beef Taco Lasagna puts a Mexican twist on an Italian classic, creating a fun, delicious cheesy dinner the whole family will love! Thank you to Hunt’s Tomatoes for sponsoring this post.

Cheesy Beef Taco Lasagna | alidaskitchen.com

Two of my favorite types of cuisines are Italian and Mexican. I am not a purist by any means and often enjoy them in nontraditional ways (such as these Mexican Quinoa Bites). When I saw this Cheesy Beef Lasagna recipe, a tasty-looking Italian-inspired recipe, I could not wait to put a Mexican spin on the recipe to create Cheesy Beef Taco Lasagna!…

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Pasta Pizza Pie | alidaskitchen.com

Pasta Pizza Pie #SundaySupper

Pasta Pizza Pie puts a fun twist on pizza and pasta, by starting with a pasta “crust” that is topped with sauce, cheese and favorite pizza toppings!

Pasta Pizza Pie | alidaskitchen.com

 

For Sunday Supper this week, we are partnering with Gallo Family Vineyards to celebrate National Pizza Month by sharing some pizza-inspired recipes and wine pairings. This is definitely a month long celebration I can get behind!  We have pizza at least once a week, sometimes more. Anything pizza is always a winner, and pizza inspires a lot of creativity with recipes!…

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Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese | alidaskitchen.com

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hormel Foods. All opinions are 100% mine.

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese combines a mesquite barbecue roasted pork tenderloin with a simple stove top macaroni and cheese recipe for an easy, delicious dinner the whole family will love! Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese | alidaskitchen.com One of my favorite times during the day is dinner. Our whole family eats together, and we get a chance to talk about the fun events from the day! Family meals eaten at home have been proven to benefit the health and wellness of children and adolescents, to fight obesity, substance abuse and to make families stronger – creating a positive impact on our communities and our nation as a whole. So we like to come up with fun, delicious recipes that will have everyone running to the table, like this Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese!…

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Lighter Baked Tortellini | alidaskitchen.com

Lighter Baked Tortellini

Lighter Baked Tortellini is made with a lighter garlic, fontina sauce, chopped spinach, tossed with cheese tortellini, sprinkled with Parmesan bread crumbs and baked until bubbly. Quick and easy, perfect for a weeknight (or any time!)

Lighter Baked Tortellini | alidaskitchen.com

Quick and easy dinner recipes that will please the whole family are essential – especially once school starts.  My kids request this Lighter Baked Tortellini every week,…with good reason. It is garlicky, cheesy, packed with spinach and so tasty! Fortunately it is easy to make and can be made ahead to be baked before serving. …

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Stovetop Kale Macaroni and Cheese | alidaskitchen.com

Stovetop Kale Macaroni and Cheese

Stovetop Kale Macaroni and Cheese features a simple, from-scratch macaroni and cheese recipe mixed with kale sauteed in garlic and topped with a buttery cracker bacon crumble that can be made in under 30 minutes!

Stovetop Kale Macaroni and Cheese | alidaskitchen.com

This Stovetop Kale Macaroni and Cheese is inspired by the Chopped at Home challenge with Sargento® cheese.  For this challenge, at-home cooks are asked to get creative in the kitchen with your best dish, that must include the following ingredients:

  • Sargento® Chef Blends 4 State Cheddar
  • Kale
  • Oyster Crackers
  • Bacon

The dish may  contain other ingredients, but the above must be the focus.  When I first saw this list, I was stumped for what to make. I wanted to be consistent with the theme of the show and make a recipe in (about) 30 minutes using simple ingredients.  Then I thought about one of our favorite recipes, and could not wait to get in kitchen! …

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Taco Pasta Salad | alidaskitchen.com

Taco Pasta Salad #SundaySupper

Taco Pasta Salad is a protein-packed salad filled with lean ground beef and lots of vegetables.

Taco Pasta Salad | alidaskitchen.com

 

This Taco Pasta Salad has become one of our favorite lunches. It can easily be prepared ahead of time to be enjoyed throughout the week. The tender, flavorful beef is combined with all the vegetables and a little pasta (topped with cheese, if desired). The result is a healthy, protein-packed meal that is easy to make!…

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Spinach Mushroom Skillet Lasagna | alidaskitchen.com

Spinach Mushroom Skillet Lasagna

Spinach Mushroom Skillet Lasagna is a deliciously cheesy, vegetarian lasagna made quick and easy for a weeknight…or any time!  {vegetarian}

Spinach Mushroom Skillet Lasagna | alidaskitchen.com

Pasta night is always a hit in our household, and the cheesier the better.  Lasagna is one of my favorite cheesy pasta meals, but for a weeknight (or really any night with two little ones under foot), lasagna is just not happening.  Or so I thought.  Enter >this Weeknight Skillet Lasagna recipe which has all the tasty goodness of lasagna, only it is quick and easy made right in a skillet!  Lasagna made in under 30 minutes is definitely doable!

Using that original recipe as a base, I transformed it into a vegetarian version ~ Spinach Mushroom Skillet Lasagna!…

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Stovetop Spinach Macaroni and Cheese | alidaskitchen.com

Stove Top Spinach Macaroni and Cheese #WeekdaySupper

 Stove Top Spinach Macaroni and Cheese is an easy mac ‘n cheese from scratch made on the lighter side with the healthy addition of spinach and without any butter.  {can be gluten free)

Stove Top Spinach Macaroni and Cheese | alidaskitchen.com

This Stove Top Spinach Macaroni and Cheese is one of my favorite go-to recipes for quick and easy weeknight meals.  The kids love pasta and cheese, I love that it is made on the lighter side (without any butter) and takes less than 20 minutes to make.  …

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Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake | alidaskitchen.com

Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake

Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake is an easy Italian-inspired casserole that the whole family will love, featuring Greek yogurt, chicken breast, and lots of cheese!

Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake | alidaskitchen.com

This Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake was made inspired by the “Chopped at Home” challenge with Sargento® cheese.  For the challenge, at-home cooks are asked to get creative in the kitchen with your best dish, that must include the following ingredients: …

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Spinach Pesto Pasta | alidaskitchen.com

Spinach Pesto Pasta #WeekdaySupper

Spinach Pesto Pasta is an easy vegetable and cheese pesto pasta recipe made lighter using Greek yogurt. {nut free, can be gluten free}

Spinach Pesto Pasta | alidaskitchen.com

This Spinach Pesto Pasta recipe was inspired by two of our favorite dinners – this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta and Broccoli Pea Pesto Pasta.  I make one of these recipes at least once a week, at the request of my kids.  They are all quick and easy, perfect for a weeknight.  Besides, with all of the vegetables and Greek yogurt, who am I to say no when they ask for such an easy, healthy dinner!  …

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Mom's Lasagna | an easy recipe for a classic beef lasagna | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #SundaySupper

Mom’s Lasagna #SundaySupper

Mom’s Lasagna is my mom’s prized lasagna recipe! It is a classic lasagna made with three cheeses and a simple sauce made with ground beef.  Perfect for a holiday meal, potluck or any time you want an impressive meal made easy!

Mom's Lasagna | an easy recipe for a classic beef lasagna | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #SundaySupper

When it comes to making holiday meals, or any meal for company, lasagna is one of my favorites.  Lasagna is one of those reliable dishes to serve at a potluck, or any family dinner, because it makes plenty and everybody loves it!  Plus it is easy to make ahead of time, which is a huge timesaver when preparing for special meal or party….

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Caprese Pasta Salad | tomatoes, basil and mozzarella mixed with pasta, tossed in a light balsamic vinaigrette with a protein boost from chickpeas #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

Caprese Pasta Salad #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

 

Enjoy the taste of summer with this light, refreshing Caprese Pasta Salad.  Made with garden fresh tomatoes and basil, mozzarella cheese and a bonus protein boost from chickpeas, it is quick, simple, delicious – and perfect for a weekday supper!

Caprese Pasta Salad | tomatoes, basil and mozzarella mixed with pasta, tossed in a light balsamic vinaigrette with a protein boost from chickpeas #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

Over the past month, our herb garden has grown and flourished.  I usually have to plant two basil plants, but this year our basil is towering above the rest.  Never at a loss for recipes using fresh basil, this Caprese Pasta Salad recipe is one of our favorite summertime weeknight dinners!  

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Broccoli Tortellini Salad with Arugula Pesto | alidaskitchen.com

Broccoli Tortellini Salad with Arugula Pesto #WeekdaySupper

Broccoli Tortellini Salad with Arugula Pesto is a fresh pasta salad made with a nut-free arugula pesto.  This recipe can be easily doubled (or tripled), which makes it perfect for potluck season!

Broccoli Tortellini Salad with Arugula Pesto | alidaskitchen.com

This Broccoli Tortellini Salad with Arugula Pesto is a unique and tasty pasta salad that is quick and easy for a weeknight or to make in advance for a potluck.  It’s a little different than what you might normally expect to find at a party, but tastes fresh, delicious and healthy!   I really love pesto-inspired recipes, but often have to avoid them due to my tree nut allergy.  However when I realized how quick it is to whip up an easy recipe for pesto at home, well that was a game changer….

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Three Cheese Spinach Pasta Bake | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #ShareTheTable #ad

Three Cheese Spinach Pasta Bake

Tracking PixelThis is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Barilla, but opinions are my own.

Three Cheese Spinach Pasta Bake is a tasty, cheesy veggie-filled baked pasta dish that the whole family will enjoy happily around the dinner table.  It is quick and easy to make, can be made ahead and leftovers reheat perfectly! 

Three Cheese Spinach Pasta Bake | alidaskitchen.com

As we strive to maintain a connection and grow with our kids, we find that enjoying dinners together is so important. While we frequently eat together, it is not often that we all eat the same thing, which means I am in the kitchen making custom requests instead of enjoying our together time.  So my quest is often to find something that everybody likes.  Enter this Three Cheese Spinach Pasta Bake.  Made with a delicious combination of pasta, three cheeses, tomato sauce and spinach, it is so simple and tasty and loved by my entire family! …

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Balsamic Tomato Tortellini | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #pasta #PompeianVarietals

Balsamic Tomato Tortellini

Enjoy a  healthy, light pasta recipes with this Balsamic Tomato Tortellini, made with fresh tortellini tossed with roasted tomatoes and garlic and drizzled with a light balsamic vinaigrette.  Balsamic Tomato Tortellini is so easy to make that it basically cooks itself.  

Balsamic Tomato Tortellini | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #pasta #PompeianVarietals

 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pompeian.

The other night, I was faced with the (sometimes) dreaded question – what’s for dinner?  Dreaded only because I did not have any ideas at first. We wanted something quick, easy and healthy…should be simple right?   Since we had cherry tomatoes, fresh garlic, tortellini and other pantry staples, a simple yet delicious roasted garlic and tomato tortellini came together naturally. …

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Mushroom Bolognese Kale Lasagna | alidaskitchen.com #SundaySupper

Mushroom Bolognese Kale Lasagna #SundaySupper

Mushroom Bolognese Kale Lasagna is filled with layers of three cheeses, kale and a hearty mushroom Bolognese sauce, creating a rustic, earthy pasta dish perfect for a special occasion!

Mushroom Bolognese Kale Lasagna | alidaskitchen.com

This week the Sunday Supper Movement is joining Gallo Family Vineyards to celebrate an incredible milestone.  Their Hearty Burgundy wine is celebrating its 50th birthday this year!  Today we are sharing ways to pair, cook and entertain with Hearty Burgundy.  For this celebration, I wanted to create something extra special.  While the Hearty Burgundy pairs well with chili, Italian meat sauces and grilled sausages, I thought mushrooms would also pair beautifully with this flavorful wine.

The inspiration for Mushroom Bolognese Kale Lasagna started with a mushroom Bolognese sauce.  It is a chunky sauce made with dried porcini and baby bella mushrooms, carrots, red peppers, red wine and rounded out with mascarpone cheese.   The sauce is wonderful simply served over pasta, but I wanted use it to create something fit for a special celebration.  Something special, like Mushroom Bolognese Kale Lasagna!  This lasagna is filled with layers of ricotta and Parmesan cheeses mixed with kale, mozzarella and the rustic, earthy mushroom Bolognese.  A little extra work goes into making this dish, but it is a labor of love and a delightful way to celebrate the Hearty Burgundy….

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Roasted Red Pepper Pasta | alidaskitchen.com

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta #WeekdaySupper

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta | alidaskitchen.com

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta is a creamy pasta dish made lighter by using Greek yogurt.  This is a delicious way to eat your veggies plus it’s quick and easy for a weeknight!  {can be gluten free depending on pasta choice}

After making Broccoli Pea Pesto Pasta, I was inspired to create more creamy vegetable-based pasta sauces with Greek yogurt.  Since we had some roasted red peppers in the pantry, and the rest of the ingredients on hand, Roasted Red Pepper Pasta was first on the list.  The smokey sweetness of the roasted red peppers combined with cheese, garlic and made creamy with Greek yogurt is so tasty.  The fact that it takes 15 minutes or less to make is even better!…

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Chicken Scampi with Roasted Vegetables

Chicken Scampi with Roasted Vegetables #campbellsauces

Chicken Scampi Pasta with Roasted Vegetables from Alida's Kitchen

Chicken Scampi with Roasted Vegetables puts a delicious twist on a classic, healthy favorite and is made in less than 20 minutes.   A weekend-worthy dinner made with weeknight-level effort! 

As we are in the height of the holiday season, life just gets busier and busier.  We make lists, check them twice, the gifts, the cookies the parties, it seems endless.  It is times like these when I like to have quick and easy recipes at the ready.  With a home-cooked meal made in less than 20 minutes, less time in the kitchen means more time with family and friends. That is where this Chicken Scampi with Roasted Vegetables is perfect! …

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broccoli pea pesto pasta from Alida's Kitchen

Broccoli Pea Pesto Pasta #WeekdaySupper

Broccoli Pea Pesto Pasta

Broccoli Pea Pesto Pasta is a creamy pasta dish made healthier with broccoli, peas and Greek yogurt.  The peas add a freshness to the sauce and crushed red pepper  gives it a little kick.  This is a delicious way to eat your veggies and quick to make for a weeknight!  {can be gluten free based on pasta choice}

On my quest to perfecting this Broccoli Pea Pesto Pasta recipe, I made several batches of broccoli pesto pasta (no peas).  Then I tweaked the broccoli, the yogurt, the cheese, used onions, didn’t use onions, used raw garlic, sauteed the garlic.  Finally I had it – the perfect broccoli pesto pasta recipe.  The only problem was when I went to make this ‘perfect recipe,’ we had only half a stalk of broccoli.   I couldn’t go to the store because Greta was napping, yet I promised Adam broccoli pasta for dinner (and we all know how easy it can be to explain such things to a 3 year old).  Clearly I had to come up with something.  So I tried to get into a 3 year old frame of mind – we have peas, Adam loves peas, peas are green – this should work, right?   I measured out the amount of broccoli I had and then made up the rest with peas to equal one pound.  I finished the recipe according to my plan and crossed fingers that Adam a) wouldn’t notice it’s different and b) would like it.  Obviously since I am telling you this story, you know the outcome – he loved it!…

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Lighter Stove-top Mac and Cheese topped with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic Breadcrumbs

Lighter Stove-top Mac and Cheese #SundaySupper #FamilyDinnerTable

Lighter Stove-top Mac and Cheese

Lighter Stove-top Mac and Cheese is an easy, cheesy pasta recipe made without any butter, yet remains smooth and creamy.   Roasted tomatoes, with a hint of balsamic and garlic, as well as garlic breadcrumbs are an optional topping to give this basic dish a grown-up twist!

This week, Sunday Supper has teamed up with American Family Insurance again as part of their Back to the Family Dinner Campaign.  The theme is ‘meals made with cheese.’   I could not think of a more perfect theme for my family of cheese lovers!   While I had several cheesy recipes in mind, nothing beats a basic macaroni and cheese.  Well nothing, except for this Lighter Stove-top Mac and Cheese recipe with a grown-up twist made in less than 30 minutes!  In fact, this recipe is one of the first meals we have been able to enjoy as a family, with everybody eating the same thing.  This Back to the Family Dinner Campaign is working!!…

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Chicken Marsala with Parmesan Orzo

Chicken Marsala with Parmesan Orzo #campbellsauces

15-Minute Meal: Chicken Marsala with Parmesan Orzo

Chicken Marsala with Parmesan Orzo is a delicious and easy dinner favorite made in less than 20 minutes.  A weekend-worthy dinner made with weeknight-level effort!

As we get closer to the Holidays and life gets more and more busy, quick and easy dinner recipes are always welcome.  This Chicken Marsala with Parmesan Orzo takes less than 20 minutes to make a complete dinner….

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Vegan Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce #SundaySupper

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce - heatlhy, vegan, delicious from Alida's Kitchen

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce is a protein-packed, thick and hearty pasta sauce, made vegan using lentils in place of meat. {vegetarian, vegan without cheese, sauce is gluten free}

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce a thick and hearty, like a meat sauce, using lentils instead of meat.  I love using lentils as a meat substitute in recipes.  They are very meat-like in that they are high in protein, take on flavors in a sauce (or salad) and are very versatile.  Unlike meat, lentils are high in fiber and easy on the budget.  They do not require soaking or long cooking times, making lentils a wonderful choice for quick, easy and healthy meatless meals.

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce is very easy to make and takes roughly an hour to get a thick, hearty meatless pasta sauce.  The first step is sauteing the onions and garlic.  The next step is to add the lentils and broth to cook the lentils.  The last step is to add the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients to make the pasta sauce and let it simmer for about 40 minutes, letting the flavors come together.  The result is a healthy, protein-packed,  hearty meatless tomato pasta sauce made with lentils that is delicious, nutritious and suitable for a variety of dietary needs.  Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce makes a generous amount of sauce, and leftovers reheat nicely….

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Garlicky Spaghetti with Roasted Broccoli

Garlicky Spaghetti with Roasted Broccoli #WeekdaySupper

Garlicky Spaghetti with Roasted Broccoli

With 10 cloves of garlic, Garlicky Spaghetti with Roasted Broccoli is garlic lovers dream!  This easy recipe is quick to make, healthy and perfect for a weeknight.

When pressed for time, pasta one of our go-tos for a quick and easy dinner.  While it can be simple,  pasta is also versatile enough to allow for creativity…or at least some variety.  Whenever I try a new recipe, I look at the garlic amount and typically double it.  Not necessary with Garlicky Spaghetti with Roasted Broccoli.  It has 10 cloves of garlic!  I wondered if the garlic might be overwhelming, but it is tempered when sauteed and nicely balanced with the cheese and crushed red pepper.  Roasted broccoli adds a wonderful little crunch as well. …

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Tortellini Primavera - a quick and healthy pasta dish made on the lighter side!

Tortellini Primavera #WeekdaySupper


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Tortellini Primavera is a creamy, cheesy pasta dish made with with lots of vegetables.  It is quick, easy and healthy ~ perfect for a weeknight!

Like most people, we are always looking for quick and easy recipes for weeknight dinners.  While frozen pizza or takeout seem like a quick fix for those busy nights, we always prefer something healthier, tastier, and homemade.  But like I said, it has to be easy, right?  This Tortellini Primavera is all that, plus it’s super tasty!  With all the vegetables, the cheese, the creaminess, the cheese-filled tortellini, and being easy to make, you really can’t go wrong.  …

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Baked Pumpkin Pasta

Baked Pumpkin Pasta #WeekdaySupper


Baked Pumpkin Pasta from Alida's Kitchen

Baked Pumpkin Pasta is a quick, healthy pasta dish made with pumpkin, zucchini and ricotta cheese.  This simple comfort food is perfect for a weeknight dinner.    

I’ve said it many times before, and I’ll say it again: Fall is my favorite time of year for cooking and baking.  Mainly because I love pumpkin recipes!  While I typically prefer to use pumpkin in baked goods, this Baked Pumpkin Pasta made for a delightful, easy and healthy weeknight dinner.  …

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Cheesy Broccoli Penne Pasta {Alida's Kitchen}

Cheesy Broccoli Penne Pasta

Cheesy  Broccoli Penne Pasta...made on the lighter side!  {Alida's Kitchen}

Cheesy Broccoli Penne Pasta dish is made on the lighter side with a light cheddar and Parmesan sauce and fresh broccoli.  A quick and healthy stove top meal, this is a great weeknight dinner! 

We love cheesy pasta dishes, and generally the more cheese the better, right?   In summer months we tend to gravitate to lighter meals, leaving our beloved cheesy baked pasta dishes by the wayside.  They can be a bit heavy, and while I love baked pasta, I don’t always love to turn on the oven when the temperatures rise.   That’s where this Cheesy Broccoli Penne Pasta dish is perfect.  It has a light cheddar and Parmesan cheese sauce ~ just enough to coat the pasta and broccoli.  And it’s all made on the stove top in under 30 minutes.  You can’t beat that!…

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jalapeno popper pasta

Jalapeno Popper Pasta

Jalapeno Popper Pasta is a cheesy, spicy dish where comfort food meets an appetizer favorite.  This grown-up mac ‘n cheese dish is filled with tasty jalapeno peppers, topped with garlic breadcrumbs and  is made a little lighter too!

While Mike and I were pretty sure we would enjoy Jalapeno Popper Pasta, because I mean really…between the cheese and garlic breadcrumbs and a nice kick from the jalapenos…it’s a safe assumption, right?  Well, this is how it typically goes down when I want to photograph our dinner for the blog.  I load up a plate for photos and head over to my photo spot.  I tell Mike to go ahead and start without me, but he always says he wants to wait.  (He might sneak a bite or two).  Photos take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes depending on various factors, and then we eat!  These photos didn’t take long, maybe 5 minutes.  I went to the table, and Mike had already finished.  He just smiled and went to load up for seconds.  It’s that good!

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden full of jalapenos, this Jalapeno Popper Pasta is a delicious, new and different way to use them up.


Jalapeno Popper Pasta
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces pasta (rotini, gemelli, or any other similar shape will work)
For the Garlic Breadcrumbs:
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • pinch salt
For the Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 jalapeno peppers, minced (to yield approx ¼ cup)
  • 6 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. COOK PASTA: Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. MAKE BREADCRUMBS: Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium, nonstick skillet and add breadcrumbs and (1 clove) minced garlic. Stir frequently until breadcrumbs begin to brown and garlic is fragrant. Add a pinch of salt, remove from heat and set aside.
  3. MAKE SAUCE: In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Add peppers and cook for 3 minutes, or until onion and peppers are softened. Add garlic during the last minute, cooking until fragrant.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add cream cheese to onion mixture. Stir until melted. Add milk, stirring until incorporated. Add cheese and chili powder and stir until melted and smooth.
  5. PUT IT TOGETHER: Remove sauce from heat. Add cooked pasta to sauce and toss until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. SERVE: Divide on serving plates and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of garlic breadcrumbs. Top with jalapeño rings for garnish (optional).
Notes
Adapted from Rachael Ray

 
It’s my favorite time of month again…the Eating with the Alphabet Challenge hosted by Brenda from Meal Planning Magic!  This month we were to showcase a recipe using a fruit, vegetable or grain that begin with the letters I or J.  I obviously went with J for jalapeño.

The past few months, I have been able to knock out several recipes from my bucket list with this challenge, and each of these recipes have become household staples.  Gotta love a 3 year old who can’t get enough of roasted chickpeas (we go through 1 can every 1 to 2 days!)