Tag Archives: parmesan cheese

Chicken Pasta with a Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

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I pulled out one of my old Cookbooks and turned to one of my favorites. It is a easy and tasty recipe.

**Update: I was posting this to main dishes under recipes and I already posted this recipe. I even checked the list. Oh well, it may be a little different and it shows you I really like it!

7This is a great cookbook. It has a lot of delicious recipes in it. My favorite cookbooks tend to be from Junior Leagues. They seem to have a variety of recipes. Here is my slightly altered version.

Chicken Past with a Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

  • 2 tsp. Extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 – 6 shallots, minced
  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast or tenders, cooked and julienned **
  • 8 oz jar Sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained***
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 16 oz. penne pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • 3 – 4 Tablespoons julienned fresh basil ( I have used dried when fresh is not available)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper

Get the penne started in boiling salted water. Cook until it is al dente. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet at medium heat. Add shallots and saute for around 2 minutes or until soft. Add the cooked chicken and sun-dried tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in Cream. Start with 1 cup and add more if needed. I used approximately a heavy 1 1/4 cups. Add Salt, red pepper flakes and pinch of pepper. Cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. If my pasta is not done at this point, turn down the heat;  put a lid on the skillet that is slightly vented to keep warm. Toss pasta with butter You could skip this if you are watching your figure 😉 Then toss in pasta, Parmesan cheese and basil. Serve immediately top each plate of pasta with Parmesan, if desired. This will serve 6 -8.

**I sprinkle the chicken with an Italian seasoning blend, Tuscan Sunset from Penzey Spices.  You could use any Italian seasoning blend. Then put it in a covered glass casserole and microwave until done.

***I LOVE LOVE Sun- dried tomatoes. They are packed with flavor. I usually use the ones that are not packed in oil, but I really think using the oil packed in this recipe is the best. I used the ones that are packed in oil, julienned and with Italian Seasonings.

Look at the pile of yummy goodness!

Look at the pile of yummy goodness!

Saute the shallots in olive oil.

Saute the shallots in olive oil. Saute until soft.

Add chicken and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes.

Add chicken and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes.

Add cream; cook additional 2 minutes.

Add cream, salt and peppers; cook additional 2 minutes. Toss pasta with butter; then with sauce, Parmesan cheese and basil.

Chicken Pasta with Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

Chicken Pasta with Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

I served this with Roasted Broccoli. You can click to view the recipe. Grace is my broccoli eater and I think she could eat the whole bowl 😉

Sundried tomato pasta and broc

I am trying a few new snack recipes tomorrow for Bunco. I will post them if they are keepers 😉

Have a great weekend!

~Relish Food & Life!

Got Tomatoes? Make Bruschetta Chicken!

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What a crazy busy summer! It sure flew by! I am done traveling for a bit, time to get cooking again.

I started out having a garden this year, but with the drought, it is non-existent. I was fortunate that Melissa brought me over some grape tomatoes. This recipe was great to use them in. I found it on one of favorite sites, The Pioneer Woman. click to see the original recipe.

Bruschetta Chicken

  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • 5 7 cloves Garlic,  Minced
  • 1 pint Red Grape Tomatoes, Halved Lengthwise ( I used all red)
  • 1 pint Yellow Grape Tomatoes, Halved Lengthwise
  • 1 T Balsamic Vinegar
  • 16  Basil Leaves (chiffonade)
  • Salt And Black Pepper To Taste. (Don’t add salt until ready to serve.)
  • 8 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut In 1/2, this will create 2 thin breast out of one.
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Freshly Grated Or Shaved Parmesan

In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir, lightly frying for about a minute, remove before the garlic gets too brown (it can be golden.) You really need to keep your eye on the pan. It can get brown quickly. Pour into a mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.

Add tomatoes, balsamic, basil, and pepper to the bowl. Toss to combine, taste and add more basil if needed. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or two. Add salt before serving. (I added a dash more of balsamic and a splash of olive oil.

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then grill or saute them until done in the middle.

To serve, add salt to tomato mixture, stir and taste if it needs more salt. Careful not to over salt. Arrange chicken breasts on a plate then spoon a generous amount of bruschetta topping over the top. Serve with grilled/toasted baguette with extra bruschetta on top.

The  baguette was really good: You can grill, toast in the oven OR browning then in a skillet with butter was really good. I did have a problem with the butter getting too brown. So, you really need to keep an eye on it. The next time, I just brushed the slices with butter and sprinkled some garlic on and browned them in the pan. Sooo, good. If you scroll down on Pioneer Womans link you will see how she made the bread.

Notes: I really like my bruschetta that I make better than this one, that is why I added olive oil and a bit more balsamic to it. But I really liked sauteing the garlic in this one. I will try that next time when making my recipe. Here is the brushetta I make regularly. I served it with garlic or regular toasted baugette.

Bruschetta

  • 2 cups chopped plum, grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • Garlic varies for me when making it. It can be anywhere for 1/4 tsp to 5 cloves 😉
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • pepper

Combine all ingredients. This can be made a few hours ahead of time. So good.

7 cloves of garlic, minced.

Add garlic to olive oil in a hot skillet until golden, not brown.

These grape tomatoes were huge, so I cut them in quarters. I only had red tomatoes and did could not find yellow ones locally – I am sure this was just as tasty.

Add garlic,balsamic, basil, and pepper to the tomatoes. Refrigerate.

Cut chicken breast in half to make 2 thin ones out of one. Season with salt and pepper. I also sprinkle some Italian seasoning on one side. Grill or saute them until done. I sautéed them in a pan.

Meanwhile, cut your baguette into slices.

Here I melted butter then added them to the pan. Cooked until golden brown on each side. The next time I made them, I brushed each side with butter then cook until golden brown on both sides. Which seemed to work better for me.

Before serving add salt to the bruschetta; stir and taste. Adjust if needed.

Bruschetta Chicken

While enjoying our pool, we had some visitors who also wanted to enjoy it. It was tricky getting them out of there.

Momma and 10 baby DUCKS!

A few more weeks before the kiddos are back into school, enjoy them.

~Relish Food & Life!

Chicken with 40 (43) Cloves of Garlic + Parmesan Mashed Potatoes = Delish.

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I have been eying this recipe for a long long time. It was in the a Sunday paper magazine (I thought that was a sign;) and I have an abundance of garlic, so I decided it was time. I go through a process when I choose a new recipe. I google it and check out at least 3 sites that have that recipe or close to it. I read the reviews and then I decide how I want to make it. If it has bad reviews, well then I do not make it.

I had this dish when I visited my brother in San Francisco at The Stinking Rose. It was delish. I have their cookbook, so I checked out their recipe in the book and online. Food Network also had a recipe. I went with Ina’s recipe on Food Network.


Chicken with 43 Cloves of Garlic

  • 3 whole heads garlic, about 40 cloves (43 cloves)
  • 2 (3 1/2-pound) chickens, cut into eighths (6 lbs chicken pieces)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Cognac (Brandy), divided use
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves ( I may have used a tiny bit more)
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (1/2 cup) heavy cream
  • (1 cup Chicken Broth)

Separate the cloves of garlic and drop them into a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds. Drain the garlic and peel. Set aside. ( I did not do this. I just whacked with the flat side of a knife and peeled them)

Dry the chicken with paper towels. Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the butter and oil in a large pot or Dutch oven  over medium-high heat. In batches, saute the chicken in the fat, skin side down first, until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Turn with tongs or a spatula; you don’t want to pierce the skin with a fork. If the fat is burning, turn the heat down to medium. When a batch is done, transfer it to a plate and continue to saute all the chicken in batches. Remove the last chicken to the plate and add all of the garlic to the pot. Lower the heat and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, turning often, until evenly browned. Add 2 tablespoons of the Cognac and the wine, return to a boil, and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pot with the juices and sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Cover and simmer over the lowest heat for about 30 minutes, until all the chicken is done.

Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sauce and the flour and then whisk it back into the sauce in the pot. Raise the heat, add the remaining tablespoon of Cognac and the cream, and boil for 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste; it should be very flavorful because chicken tends to be bland. Pour the sauce and the garlic over the chicken and serve hot.

Melt butter and oil in a skillet or dutch oven. Salt and Pepper the chicken on both sides. Make to really salt and pepper them! I bought 6 lbs of chicken pieces...the ones we like.

Put skin sound down; brown. Then flip over browning that side. Put in a bowl and do the next batch.

This is 43 cloves of Garlic. That is what I had peeled, so that is what I used. Grace came home from school and said what in the heck are you making? It burns my eyes. She loved the end results. Isn't this a great bowl? I made it in a pottery class and my niece Kelly glazed it.

Remove the chicken; add the garlic. Brown.

After browned, add the Brandy. I let it it sizzle for a minute.

I made an SOS text to Jim (my friend and cooking buddy)…the store did not have Cognac! He confirmed that I needed to substitute with Brandy. I read the email quickly and thought he said to let it reduce a little. Well, he actually said add a little more and reduce since cognac is stronger. I reduced, but did not increase the amount.

Then add the wine.

Make sure to scrap the bottom and sides to loosen up that yummy stuff stuck to the pan.

Return the chicken to the pan with the juices left in the bowl or platter; top with Thyme' cover. Cook approximately 30 minutes until down at lowest heat.

I decided to add some Chicken broth. We LOVE gravy and I wanted to make sure we had enough! I simmered it for a few minutes.

Whisk together 1/2 cup of the sauce and flour.

Whisk flour mixture into the sauce. Then add the brandy and heavy cream. For some reason I thought it said 1/2 cup cream. It was 2 T. I had already poured out the 1/2 cup and since I added the chicken broth. I thought what the heck. It turned out yummy! Simmer until thickened.

Make sure to take the back of your tongs or a spoon and mash around the garlic. One suggested to take some of garlic and blend it smooth and add to the sauce. Using the tongs to mash it up was my solution to get more flavor in the sauce.

Salt and pepper the sauce again. Taste and repeat if needed.

The gravy was a tad bit thin, so either I did not simmer long enough or maybe I needed to use a little more sauce/flour mixture. I decided the gravy would taste great on mashed potatoes. I was not wrong! I decided to stick with Ina and make Ina’s Parmesan Potatoes.

Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

  • 3 pounds red potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 2 teaspoons
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of salt in a 4-quart saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer covered for 25 to 35 minutes, until the potatoes are completely tender. Drain

In a small saucepan, heat the half-and-half and butter. Transfer the potatoes to an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix them for a few seconds on low speed to break them up. Slowly add the hot cream and butter to the potatoes, mixing on the lowest speed (the last quarter of cream and butter should be folded in by hand). Fold in the sour cream, Parmesan, the remaining salt, and pepper; season, to taste, and serve immediately. If the potatoes are too thick, add more hot cream and butter.

Keep the smashed potatoes hot in a heat-proof bowl set over simmering water.

NOTE: I did this pretty much to the recipe, except I used a different type of potato.

I guessed on how many potatoes was 3 lbs. I did not leave them whole.

Cook potatoes in boiling salted water.

Mix the potatoes for a few seconds.

Add the melted butter and heated half and half. Then by hand add sour cream and Parmesan cheese.

Are you ready for the photos. I could not just pick one 😉

Chicken with 43 Cloves of Garlic + Parmesan Mashed Potatoes = DELISH.

Look at those chunks of garlic....yum. The garlic was not overpowering. Well, at least I did not think so.

~Relish Life & Food

Chicken with Tomatoes and Garlic and Upside-Down Cinnamon-Apple Coffee Cake

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I was hungry for Chicken and garlic. I search and found 2 recipes I wanted to make. This is what I picked, Pioneer Woman’s Chicken with Tomatoes and Garlic. It was YUMmmy!

Chicken with Tomatoes and Garlic

  • 8 pieces Chicken Legs Or Thighs ( I used 4 thighs and 4 Breast)
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 3 4 T Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 2 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 can (14  28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
  • 2 3 Tablespoons (Heaping) Tomato Paste
  • Fresh Herbs: Basil, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary ( I used Basil and Parsley)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 8 11 cloves Garlic I ♄ Garlic 🙂
  • 16 ounces, weight Pasta
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese, For Serving
  • Âœ 3/4 cups White Wine (or Red Wine) ( I used White)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Salt and pepper chicken legs.

Heat ovenproof skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and butter. When oil/butter is hot, add chicken legs to the pan. Using tongs, brown on all sides, about 2 minutes. Remove chicken from pan.

Pour in wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any bits. Cook for 1 minute. Pour in tomatoes with their juice and add tomato paste. Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste, stirring to combine. Bring sauce to a boil, then turn off heat. Add basil and parsley, Garlic cloves that have been peeled (but whole) garlic, and the chicken. Put lid on pot and cook in the oven for 1 hour.

Remove pot from oven and allow it to sit on the counter with the lid on while you boil the pasta.

Cook the pasta to al dente, Drain and add to a large serving bowl.

Remove lid and check sauce. If it’s overly thin(mine was perfect) if not, remove the chicken from the pot and boil the sauce on the stove top for 5 to 10 minutes. Check seasonings and adjust as needed.

To serve, pour sauce over cooked pasta, then arrange chicken pieces over the top. Sprinkle generously with fresh Parmesan and serve with crusty French bread.

Ingredient line up minus the chicken.

Salt and pepper the chicken.

Melt butter with the olive oil and then add the chicken.

Brown on both sides, then put them on a plate.

Add wine to pot to deglaze the pan. This will loosen up all the yummy stuff on the bottom of the pan.

Add tomatoes with their juices and tomato paste. Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Stir to combine.

Bring to a boil.

This is the amount of basil and parsley I used.

Add chicken, herbs and garlic to the pot.

Cover. Pop into the oven. Bake for 1 hour.

Oh yeah, that smells awesome!

I served this over pasta. I re-read her recipe today and she also suggest serving it with mashed potatoes. I wish I would have served it with mashed potatoes.. I love tomato gravy on mashed potatoes. Mark commented that you really do not need the pasta. The tomato sauce was sooo good.

Another great dish from PW. This dish may look difficult, but it was really easy. Perfect for when company is coming over. You pop it in the oven and forget about it.

I found this next recipe on Pillsbury.com. I was looking for something quick and yummy. This was both of them. I took it to a dinner party. I made 2 because I knew Grace would be giving me grief about not leaving some at home. She loved it. I was afraid she was going to eat the whole thing before we even left!

Upside-Down Cinnamon-Apple Coffee Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped peeled apples ( I used Granny Smith)
  • 1  (12.4-oz.) can PillsburyÂź Refrigerated Cinnamon Rolls with Icing
  • 1/2  cup pecan halves or pieces
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • My addition: splash of vanilla

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch glass pie pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 1 cup of the apples in sprayed pan.  Separate dough into 8 rolls. Cut each roll into quarters; place in large bowl. Add remaining 1/2 cup apples and pecans.  In small bowl, combine margarine, brown sugar, vanilla and corn syrup; mix well. Add brown sugar mixture to dough mixture; toss gently to combine. Spoon mixture over apples in pan.  Bake at 350°F. for 28 to 38 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Invert onto serving platter. Remove lid from icing. Microwave icing on HIGH for 10 to 15 seconds or until of drizzling consistency. Drizzle over warm coffee cake. Serve warm.

Ingredient line up minus vanilla

Cut cinnamon roll into fourths. My sister-in-law suggested maybe cutting them into eighths. Easier to pop into your mouth 😉

Spread one cup of apples into the prepared dish.

Combine the remaining apples, pecans and cut cinnamon rolls.

Mix together melted butter, corn syrup, vanilla and brown sugar.

Add brown sugar mixture to dough mixture; toss gently to combine.

Spoon mixture over apples in pan. Pop into the oven.

Remove from the oven when done. Let it cool for 5 minutes.

Invert onto a platter.

Heat icing in the microwave and drizzle onto the coffee cake.

I search high and low in my kitchen for some caramel syrup, none to be found 😩 I thought that might be a tasty addition to this. As you can see, it is kind of like a pull apart bread. We served it warm with ice cream. I can say, it was mighty tasty cold the next morning 😉

This dish is perfect for a brunch!

What are you making for Easter? I am in charge of Salad, I will be making my favorite springtime salad, Strawberry Blueberry Romaine Salad.

Happy Easter Everyone!

~Relish Life & Food!

Chicken with a Creamy Basil Parmesan Sauce

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I have heard from several people that they loved the Parmesan Baked Potato Halves. I had them again last night at a friend’s house. Soo good. While I was on the site that I found that recipe, I decided to check out some of their other recipes. My search led me to this recipe,  Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce.

Make sure you read all the way through my postings. I usually put tips and what I would do next time through out and at the end.

Chicken with a Creamy Basil Parmesan Sauce

  • 1 cup milk
  •  Panko Italian bread crumbs
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts cut into halves (8 pieces) (see my note)
  • 1/4 cup margarine  2 T butter and 2 T olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tsp dried basil  ( heavy tsp plus a pinch more)
  • 1/8 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 1 1/4  cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place milk and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in milk, then coat with crumbs. In a skillet over medium heat add butter and olive oil. When butter has melted add chicken in butter until browned on both sides and done. Remove chicken from skillet and put into a baking dish. Then pop it into a warm oven.

Add chicken broth to skillet and stir to loosen up browned bits from pan. Stir in cream, basil, and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer a few minutes so the sauce thickens a bit. Turn heat to low and whisk in Parmesan cheese. Heat until cheese has melted and thickened up a bit; stirring occasionally. Pour sauce over the chicken and serve.

NOTE: I purchased a package of 6 thin sliced boneless chicken breast. If you purchase regular chicken breast. You will want to pound them until flattened. That way it will cook evenly throughout.

Ingredient line up minus olive oil, chicken and Parmesan cheese.

Dip the chicken into the milk, then coat it with panko crumbs.

Melt butter and olive oil in skillet.

Add chicken.

Flip after brown on one side. Then cook until done.

Remove Chicken. Put in the oven to keep warm. Add chicken broth to the skillet. Simmer a few minutes.

Add, cream, basil and pepper. Simmer.

Add Parmesan cheese. Cook until cheese has melted and thickened a bit.

Chicken with Creamy Basil Parmesan Sauce

This made a lot of sauce. I should have served it on top of pasta.

Next time: 1. After I remove the chicken from the pan, I am going to add 1 maybe 2 cloves of minced garlic to the pan. Cook it for 1 minute. Then add the chicken stock. Why? Because I love garlic 🙂 It is not necessary, but I think it might be a tasty addition. 2. Serve it with pasta.

This was a quick and tasty dish, especially if you buy the chicken already cut thin.

~Relish Life & Food

Penne with Spicy Sun-Dried Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

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Wow, we have had some  gorgeous days here in the Midwest. It has been in the 60’s for the past 4 days.I have been taking advantage of the nice weather with taking a walk, grilling, washing my car and my favorite…putting my top down on my car 🙂  I am getting Spring Fever really bad!

I planned out some meals this morning and hit the grocery to stock up on the ingredients. Tonight I made a recipe that I had saved on my recipe box on Epicurious.com, Pasta with Spicy Sun-Dried -Tomato Cream Sauce. I changed it up a bit. My version is below.

Penne with Spicy Sun-Dried Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup julienne sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pound whole grain penne pasta – I thought I would make it a little healthy with the whole grain;)
  • 1 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; saute 1 minute. Add tomatoes and peppers; saute a few minutes. Add crushed red pepper and creams simmer over medium heat 2 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup basil and 1 cup cheese; simmer 2 minute longer. Season with salt and pepper. You can keep this on low if your pasta is not done.
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Put pasta into a serving dish. Add sauce and toss around. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and basil.

Note: Kate and I decided that this would also be yummy with cooked chicken or shrimp added.

Ingredient Line up minus the half and half. I tend to make decisions to add or change things while cooking the recipe 😉

I got all the chopping done ahead of time and had Mark grate the cheese while I started cooking. The jar of peppers I had on hand were mixed red, yellow and orange.

Saute garlic, then add peppers and tomatoes. Saute a few minutes.

Stir in cream, red pepper and basil.

Add cheese.

Pour sauce over cooked noodles. Stir around.

Top with remaining cheese and basil.

Penne with Spicy Sun-Dried Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

The garlic, roasted peppers and sun-dried tomatoes are a great combination. Then a little heat from the crushed pepper flakes…soo good.

~Relish Food & Life

Baked Pesto -Tomato -Spinach Chicken Penne

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I found this recipe on Pinterest. It sounded yummy. It is a recipe from All Recipes. Click to see original recipe. After I started to make it, I ended up changing it up a bunch. I decided to make my own alfredo sauce since I had everything in frig to make it.

Baked Pesto -Tomato -Spinach Chicken Penne

  • 16 oz penne
  • 4 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 (15oz) jar Alfredo sauce or make your own (recipe to follow)
  • 1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup pesto
  • 1/2 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed) (optional, but makes it really yummy)
  • handful or more of fresh baby spinach
  • pinch of pepper
  • 2 cups Italian 5 cheese Blend
  • Italian Seasoned PANKO breadcrumbs

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the penne, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite. Drain well in a colander set in the sink. Do not rinse.

Heat the jar of alfredo (or make your own) add crushed  tomatoes, pesto and pinch of pepper.

Combine chicken, penne, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes. Add sauce. Stir to combine. Top with shredded cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for 35 minutes or until bubbly and lightly brown on top.

Alfredo Sauce

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese (if desire, you could add a bit more)

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add garlic. Saute one minute. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, add cheese and whisk quickly, heating through.

I do not have an ingredient line up photo…since I decided to change it all after I started making it.

Here I am making the alfredo sauce. Just added the cream and simmering for 5 minutes.

 

Then added cheese. Cook until cheese melts and has thickened a bit.

Add pesto and crushed tomatoes.

and pinch of pepper.

Toss together the chicken, penne

I cooked my chicken in the microwave in a covered dish. I seasoned the chicken with  Italian seasonings.

sun-dried tomatoes

and spinach. (This is a great way to sneak in spinach)

Toss in sauce.

Top with cheese and bread crumbs. ( Mark and I agreed, the bread crumbs were so tasty on top. Make sure to use the italian PANKO crumbs) Pop into the oven.

Baked Pesto-Tomato-Spinach Chicken Penne ~ really good.

You could take out the spinach and the sun dried tomatoes and it would still be good. The crunchy topping is really good. I was happy that I made my own Alfredo sauce. Alfredo in a  jar is ok, but fresh is really good.

It is a cold winter day here in the midwest. We had our first snowfall….now I am ready for spring 🙂

~Relish Food  & Life