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!
I saw a video online someplace (I want to say Facebook, but it could have been on Reddit too), and it showed how to make tomato bisque using freshly roasted tomatoes.
I was excited to try it since we’ve been getting tons of big tomatoes in our CSA box over the past two weeks and I had them sitting on the counter.
This recipe is simple, but it does involve a few steps and does take some time.
It’s worth it in my opinion.
Roasted Onion and Caramelized Onion Bisque
8-10 Tomatoes, tops cut off. If the tomatoes are not a uniform size, cut them in half /into large uniform hunks
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, diced
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 can (approx 16 oz) chicken or veggie stock
1 Teaspoon each: Basil, Rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 cup half and half
dash red pepper flakes (optional)
Preheat Oven to 425 degrees. Place tomatoes/tomato hunks on an oiled-up baking sheet. Brush tomatoes with oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Roast tomatoes for 35-45 minutes.
While tomatoes are roasting, melt butter in a stockpot, and over medium/low heat saute onions. in the last 10 minutes of cooking the onions, add the garlic and stir frequently to keep from burning. You will need to stir frequently.
Place tomatoes in with onions, and add stock, and all herbs/seasonings, EXCEPT the bay leaf and red pepper.
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)
This recipe is dead simple. Make it as complicated as you want. Use jarred sauce, make your own from scratch, or take a jar of sauce and church it up yourself. Whatever.
Frozen pasta, fresh pasta, heck, you can even use the shell stable/dried tortellini. You could use ravioli if you wanted.
You can make this Vegetarian, Vegan, Chock Full o’ Meat, Gluten-Free, it’s up to you.
This is one of those recipes that’s a big hit at potlucks too. It’s pretty inexpensive, and we always have the ingredients in one form or another to make a batch.
6-8 cups of Red Pasta Sauce. I usually make a big batch of this sauce and portion some out just for this recipe. If you use jarred sauce, I recommend you add 3-4 cups of veggies (carrots, onions, celery, bell peppers, zucchini, chopped/diced tomatoes, etc.)
22-30 ounces of Tortellini/Ravioli, cooked per the package directions (this will probably take a couple packages)
2 Cups Italian Cheese blend
Cook the pasta per the package directions. Drain.
Pour pasta sauce into a baking dish (I use a 9×13), toss cooked pasta in sauce.
Sprinkle cheese on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-ish minutes until food is bubbly, and cheese is brown and delicious looking.
Serve with hot French Bread or Garlic Bread and a green salad.
This serves 8-10 people as a main.
If you are vegan, substitute in filled pasta and cheese that works for you.