Last week, I was looking through the fridge, trying to figure out what to make with the chicken breasts that I had defrosted. None of the usual suspects sounded good, and then I remembered I has seen a video with a recipe for Cream Cajun pasta. I couldn’t find the video again, so I decided to wing it.
It’s super tasty, quick, and easy.
Creamy Cajun Pasta
2 T. AP Flour
4 T. Cajun/Creole seasoning, divided
2 large chicken breasts, slices in half (or 4 chicken breast tenders)
2T. Olive or grapeseed oil, divided
2T. butter, divided
1 medium onion, chopped (I used a purple onion)
2 bell peppers, chopped
3 celery ribs, diced
2 small zucchini or 1 large zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 large tomatoes diced, or 1 can (about 15oz) diced tomatoes drained
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
1T. corn starch
1/2 block cream cheese
1 cup milk (I used whole milk if you want it extra thick and creamy use heavy cream)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 lb. package of your choice of pasta, cooked per package instructions, reserve 1/4 cup cooked pasta water.
Mix flour and 2T of the Cajun seasoning in a shallow dish.
Coat chicken breasts in flour/spice mixture.
In a large skillet, heat half the butter and oil. Once the butter is melted, add chicken breasts. Cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side, allowing a light golden crust to form on each side of the breast.
Once chicken breasts are golden brown on each side, remove from pan and set aside.
Add remaining butter and oil.
Saute onions, celery, and bell peppers in oil/butter until the onions are translucent, about 5-10 minutes.
Add in the tomatoes and cook covered for about 5-10 minutes.
While tomatoes are cooking mix stock and cornstarch to create a slurry. This mixture will thicken the sauce.
Once the tomatoes have cooked and broken down, add the stock slurry, milk, and cream cheese. Stir and break down the cream cheese as it melts so there are no lumps. Add in the remaining Cajun Seasoning.
Add back in the chicken breasts, and add in the zucchini, turn the heat down to low, and cook covered for about 5-10 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender.
Mix in the remaining cheese, and taste. Add more Cajun Seasoning as desired. We added black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste (about 1 teaspoon each).
Stir in reserved pasta water, and cooked pasta. Allow the entire dish to cook for about 3-5 minutes.
Serve topped with parmesan cheese if desired. This was an amazing dinner and it was done in less than an hour. I had prepped all the veggies ahead of time. I do about 2 hours worth of meal prep each week, including chopping veggies on Monday afternoons after the CSA box arrives.
To make this dish gluten-free, use Gluten Free AP flour, and gluten-free pasta.
To make this dish dairy free, use dairy-free milk, cream cheese, and parm.
Add bag of seasoning blend and carrots. Cook until onions are clear, about 5-10 minutes.
Add garlic, cook over medium until fragrant.
Add tomatoes, stock, bay leaf, and Italian seasoning. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer on low for 10-20 minutes.
After soup has simmered and adjust the seasoning as needed. Add in spinach leaves and tortellini, cover, and cook on low for an additional 15-20 minutes. The pasta will swell as it cooks. Discard the bay leaf prior to serving.
Serve topped with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and hot, crusty bread.
All ingredients that have an * next to them came from our Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box. I love these boxes- Farm Fresh produce is delivered to our door once a week, no traveling to the store, worrying that I am overpaying for produce, or that I am going to pick the wrong melon or corn.
If cheese tortellini isn’t your speed, here is a shelf-stable mushroom tortellini that sounds tasty! If you want another type of filled pasta, use the suggested cooking time on the package instead of the time in step 5.
This soup is even better on the second day, and freezes well!
When I was a kid there was a local restaurant called Piret’s. They served delicious, fresh French food that was unpretentious. One of my favorite dishes to order was their Potato Cheese Soup. They published a cookbook, which my mom bought, and while she cooked a lot of things from the cookbook, the one that was most often made was their Potato Cheese Soup. In fact, to this day when you place the book on the counter, it opens to that recipe.
Today I present my take on Potato Cheese Soup. It’s easy to make, it’s filling, and it tastes sooooo good. Like most soups, it’s better the next day. It freezes well.
You can make it vegetarian by using veggie broth/stock. I do not recommend making it with non-dairy cheese (sorry vegans). You can make it Gluten Free by using GF 1-for-1 flour.
Potato Cheese Soup
8-10 cups chicken broth or stock (I recommend using stock-homemade is best, but I’m being extra)
2 large yellow or sweet onions, peeled and diced
4 Tablespoons butter, divided in half
1/4 cup white wine (dry- don’t use sweet or cooking wine)
4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
2 Tablespoons AP flour
1.5 cups whole milk
4 cups cheese (I like medium cheddar, but you could use colby, or a sharper cheddar)
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
In a large stockpot, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter and saute onions until clear and slightly browned.
Add potatoes and cook for 5-10 minutes until potatoes are slightly translucent.
Deglaze the pan with white wine, make sure to scrape off all the yummy brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add all of the chicken broth/stock and bay leaves. Cover pot and cook on low for 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through.
In a smaller pot, melt remaining 2 T. of butter. Sprinkle melted butter with AP flour and stir until a paste forms over a low heat. The paste should brown slightly- DON’T BURN IT!
Pour milk into the flour/butter paste and whisk briskly. You do not want lumps. Cook over low heat until the mixture thickens. This may take a few minutes. As the mixture thickens and there are no lumps, add the cheese slowly, about 1/2 cup at a time, until it is incorporated/melted into the sauce. Once the sauce with complete, remove from heat.
Add the cheese sauce to the soup mixture slowly, stirring constantly. Once it is fully mixed, remove the bay leaves, season with salt and pepper to taste.
This step is optional but recommended. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender (like this one) puree the soup. Put back on the heat, and allow to simmer without the lid for another 20-30 minutes. This will give the soup some time to thicken up.
Serve Soup hot with crusty French bread. Resist the urge not to eat it all in one sitting.
This recipe is dead simple and so tasty! The best part is you can use any kind of Dinner sausage you want. We used Italian Sausages (made with pork), but you can use whatever you like (including veggie sausages if you are meatless).
You can use fresh or frozen peppers and onions (Yes, you can buy frozen peppers and onions at the store- They are often branded as “Fajita Mix”), it’s really up to you.
And you can load your yumminess onto a hoagie roll, top with cheese and chow down, or top a bed of pasta or Zoodles- It’s really up to you.
The best part is this recipe makes a lot, so there are always leftovers!
Sausage and Peppers Makes 6-8 servings
1 Package Dinner Sausages (Italian or your choice)
I made this last month while it was cold and rainy. I keep forgetting to post this recipe. It’s so tasty. And easy. The leftovers (if there are any) freezes well.
It’s vegan and gluten-free as is, but you can make changes and use bone broth if you want, or even add meat of your choices I think kielbasa pieces would be really great in this soup!
I used Right Rice in this recipe in place of regular white rice. What I like about Right Rice is that it’s made from Lentil Flour, Chickpea Flour, and Rice Flour. Those ingredients mean that this “rice” is high on protein! The “rice” thickens up the soup for sure.
I found Right Rice at Grocery Outlet, but you can also order it on Amazon. You can substitute canned chopped tomatoes for fresh tomatoes- Use what you have on hand.
Hearty Veggie Soup
1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup bell pepper, diced (I used green)
2 T. cooking oil (your choice)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 green or yellow zucchini (whatever is in season or you have on hand)
2 quarts veggie stock
2 cups chopped tomatoes (you can also use a large can of diced tomatoes)
Brussels Sprouts have a bad rap… Stinky, weird texture, gross. All of these things can be true if you boil them whole.
I’ve got a great recipe to share than turns our poor, stinky, vilified veggie into a tasty side dish! I made these for Thanksgiving and they were a HIT!
Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Bacon
2 1/2 lbs yellow or white onions, thinly sliced
1/4 c water or white wine
2 lbs cleaned and chopped Brussels Sprouts
1 lb bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped
Salt and Pepper as needed
1/4 C shaved parmesan cheese (optional)
Cook the bacon- I bake mine at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Then I drain it on paper towels. Once it has cooled, I take my super sharp knife and chop it up.
Caramelize the onions. Cook onions in butter on low for several hours, stirring occasionally. Scrape the yummy brown bits off the bottom of the pan, adding water or wine to help loosen the brown bits.
Once the onions turn a lovely brown (about 3-4 hours on low), add in the cooked chopped bacon and combine.
Add in the chopped Brussels Sprouts and cook on medium for about 10-15 minutes. Season with Salt and pepper as needed. Pour into a serving dish and top with cheese.
We had this for Thanksgiving, but it also is great any time. If you end up with leftovers, it’s also great on a homemade pizza crust, topped with some extra mozzarella and parm baked at 450 for about 10-15 minutes.