One Pot Cajun Chicken and Sausage Alfredo Pasta

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope it’s been a happy one so far. I know it’s a little late in the day for posting this recipe, but I’ve had a list of things to get done on my to-do list. I always set so many goals for Mondays only to realize I only get about half way through the list. Can anyone else relate? Ugh…

Well as you know, I am continuing the freezer-friendly meals series, and today I am starting this week off with another favorite for us, Cajun Chicken and Sausage Alfredo Pasta. And not to forget to mention the bonus, “one pot” preparation that makes this meal an easy and less messy situation (yay!). Honestly, I was never a fan of spicy foods, but this Cajun kick is perfect for me, along with the hot Italian sausage. Although I have to mention, I think I’m over exaggerating on the word “spicy”, I have a pretty low tolerance, so for many people, it really wouldn’t be considered “spicy”. ūüėõ It may¬†be an overwhelming mouthful, but it’s so savory, it’ll have you go back for seconds. My husband and I sure did.

Pasta is sooo easy to freeze and freezes quite nicely if you ask me. So that’s why I thought it would be perfect to add to the list. This portion will make about 10 servings, so it can easily be divided into two meals. So freeze up, and enjoy making this easy, quick (under 30 minutes), one-pot goodness.

See freezer instructions in the recipe below.

Note:

If you just came across this recipe and realized your taste buds are watering for this meal, but you seem to be out of Cajun season, don’t fret! I’ve got you covered. I once had the same dilemma, I realized I was totally out of Cajun seasoning and didn’t want to settle for anything else for dinner, so I made my own Cajun mix! Easy-breezy.

For this portion, you’ll need the following amount each seasoning to make your own…

Homemade Cajun Mix:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

 

One Pot Cajun Chicken and Sausage Alfredo Pasta

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 pound of chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 raw hot or mild Italian sausage links, cut up
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of milk (any %)
  • 1 pound of dried penne pasta
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning* (see note)
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of parsley, minced

Instructions

  1. Begin by frying the onion, and garlic in olive oil until translucent with a large cooking pot.
  2. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper and brown in butter over medium high heat.
  3. Add sausage and continue to cook until browned.
  4. Add chicken broth, heavy cream, milk, lemon juice, dried pasta and cajun seasoning to pot.
  5. Stir together and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
  6. Reduce heat to low and let cook covered for 15-20 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
  7. Remove pot from heat and stir in parmesan cheese.
  8. Stir in chopped parsley and sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese to taste.
  9. Enjoy!
  10. *Freezer-friendly: divide portions into desired freezer safe trays, and place in freezer. Once ready to use, thaw for 1 hour, sprinkle with parmesan and place in oven at 375 F for about 30-40 minutes.
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Beef Pork Sausage Shepherds Pie

Hey everyone!

I’m excited to share that I am starting a new series on the blog today! With only 2 1/2 weeks to go in my pregnancy, I thought I’d share some of my favourite frozen meal recipes!

Since we moved away from home for my husband, Sebastian’s masters program, we are away from all of our dear family and friends. Although I have a great community of friends at my church that are willing to help, I thought it would be best to be prepared for the first few weeks…at least. Since I am a first time mom, I have noooo idea what to expect (even though I’ve heard so many stories and suggestions). I think motherhood- especially for the first time around, is just something you have to go through yourself in order to really understand and explerience.

So I thought if I could make some frozen meals, it would be very helpful, especially since my husband is not to handy in the kitchen, he he.¬†I mean, we could have eggs and peanut better toast for days… but I rather not, haha! AND not to say he isn’t helpful- he could always go out and grab something, but I know we would both appreciate a good home cooked meal. I mean, who wouldn’t?!

Whether you’re expecting your first baby, or second, or third… or not expecting at all, I am sure you’ll find these recipes handy! I know some people like to make/prepare all their frozen meals at a time, but that sounds like wayyyy to many dishes for me in one day. I like to spread it out throughout my week. I made double the portions, had some for dinner with night, and the other portion I froze. I found it easier and more enjoyable this way. Plus, there is no way my feet would be able to take all the pressure of standing up for hours on end in the kitchen! I would have probably gone into labour… lol!

I will try to post about 2-3 recipes for the next couple weeks (unless I deliver early!). All of which have been tested and true. If you want to follow along, make sure you subscribe, and stock up on a few supplies; mainly aluminum trays or tupperwear and labels for storing in the freezer. I like using aluminum trays because after being thawed, they can easily be thrown in the oven, and thrown out into the garbage. No mess, no clean up, no effort. Now that’s my kinda thing. ūüėČ

The first recipe I wanted to share is one of our favorites… Shepherd’s pie! Mmmm mmm mm. I feel like shepherd’s pie doesn’t get enough recognition, a lot of people think this dish is boring, but it’s really not! Especially when it’s done right.

Follow along to see what makes shepherds pie so special for us.

*Remember this is for a double portion, meaning there will be enough for 2- 9 inch pie dishes. Don’t feel like making twice the amount? Simply cut the¬†ingredients¬†in half!

Freezing instructions: this will apply for most of my upcoming freezer meals (unless suggested otherwise)- after placing divided portion into a freezer safe tray/container, make sure to seal with cover or aluminum foil. Label with date, name and instructions. I have listed the freezer instructions on the recipe. Scroll down to access recipe. 

Beef Pork Sausage Shepherds Pie

   

 

Beef Pork Sausage Shepherds Pie

Ingredients

    Meat mixture:
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 5 garlic gloves
  • 1 cup frozen vegtable mixture (peas, corn, carrots)
  • 1 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 3 pieces Italian sausage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic seasoning
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp parsley seasoning
  • 1 1/4 cup beef broth
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Potatoes:
  • 8-10 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup of cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 5 cloves of roasted garlic (see instructions below)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese for topping

Instructions

    Potatoes:
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain, mash, add listed ingredients and set aside.
  2. Roasted Garlic:
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C.) While oven is preheating, prepare roasted garlic by placing 5 cloves of garlic onto a piece of aluminum foil with 1 tsp olive oil. Wrap up the foil, and place in oven for about 15-20 minutes. Add into potatoe mixture.
  4. Meat Mixture:
  5. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and garlic and cook until clear. Add ground beef and sausage, cook until well browned.
  6. Then stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add spices. Next, add tomato paste, sour cream, lemon juice and beef broth. Finally add in the frozen vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Spread the meat mixture in an even layer on the bottom of 2 pie dishes.
  8. Top with the mashed potato mixture and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  10. Freezing instructions: divide portions into freezer safe Pie tray. Place lid/cover and label with title, instructions and date. Once ready for use, let meal thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.
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Zesty Cilantro Pesto Pasta

Finally my appetite is back! I can’t say how good that feels since I have been living off cheese and crackers for the past 2 months! I can finally eat almost everything off my plate before feeling the pregnancy all-day nausea kicking in. For the past few months I couldn’t stand¬†looking at food, smelling it, or cooking (even though I regularly love cooking!). One week I craved Thai food, another week it was B.L.T. sandwiches, and another week it was spaghetti. Nothing was consistent and everything left me uneasy. So I can merely explain the joy I feel now that I am able to bare sight of food, and finally enjoy cooking again. After being deprived for these last few months, I started thinking of all my favourite dishes, and here is one that I’m sure you’ll love too!

Zesty Cilantro-Pesto Pasta

Sounds interesting… right?! Well that’s what I thought when I read it off the menu when my husband took me out for my birthday dinner at Cafe Santorini (Downtown Pasadena, CA). After hearing the server explain the popular dish, and mentioning that they have¬†frequent visitors because of this particular dish- I thought it was well worth a try. And the server couldn’t be more accurate. It was ahh-mazz-ing! I never tasted the unique combination of cilantro and pesto, and I didn’t know how well they would go together, but this dish was exquisite! So the next day, I decided to make my own attempt at this recipe. And I dare say it was a fair comparison. ūüėČ

Instructions: (See full recipe below)

Start off by boiling a large pot of water for the bow tie/ Farfalle pasta.

In the mean time, prepare your sauce by combining all the ingredients until an even consistency. You can adjust the consistency by adding more or less water.

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After the pasta is complete, drain, and add 1 tbsp of olive oil.

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Mix the pasta and sauce together thoroughly, and ta-da!

It’s that simple.

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Don’t forget to sprinkle some additional parmesan cheese on top!

Enjoy ūüôā

 

Zesty Cilantro-Pesto Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 box/pkg (16 oz) of bow tie/Farfalle pasta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 cup of cilantro
  • 1 cup of fresh basil or 1/4 cup of pesto
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic- or your preferred taste
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 3 tbsp of parmesan cheese
  • salt and paper to taste
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Boil pasta according to package instructions until complete.
  2. In the mean time, prepare your pasta by combining the all the sauce ingredients into a food processor until well combined. The consistency should appear to look paste-like, although if you prefer a thicker or thinner consistency, you can adjust your water measurement.
  3. After the pasta is complete, drain, add olive oil to the pasta, and add the sauce until combined. At this time you can add more spices according your taste, and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top for serving.
  4. Enjoy!
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Left-over Bacon Butter Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I grew¬†up in a big family, who loves¬†food. There was always something cookin’ in our house…and a lot of it! Thankfully, I was taught how to¬†cook at a young age from my lovely mama, who always¬†taught me to make enough to feed everyone and have leftovers, ensuring¬†everyone would be¬†fully satisfied. I still carry that on today – even if I don’t have eight mouths to feed,¬†¬†I always make a little more, because more equals leftovers.

More food = Leftovers

(I really wanted to emphasize that! he he)

In honour of this past long weekend, I made pan-seared steak¬†(which was delicious; and I am definitely planning on posting that recipe on here soon). Along with the steak I made mashed potatoes, ’cause… who doesn’t love mashed potatoes? And of course I made a little too much, so there was leftovers for the next day.

So, yesterday I wanted to whip up something quick for lunch, and as soon as I opened the fridge a lightbulb clicked. There was bacon, parsley, feta, garlic (there is always garlic), and butter, and I thought that would make a tasty combo…my husband (being my food critic) said it was a hit!

Left overs
Voila!

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Our meals don’t slide without a salad, so I thought adding this spinach-tomato-feta salad was critical. Also, I never buy or use store-bought dressing, so look below to see how you can make your own dressing in seconds, just as I always do.

Spinach Tomato Feta Salad

  • Spinach
  • 2 Tomatoes, chopped
  • Feta Cheese
  • 1/2¬†squeezed lemon
  • Sea salt and basil or Italian seasoning for taste
  • 1 1/2 Tbs of Olive oil

And there you have it! A 10 minute lunch. Honestly it doesn’t get much easier then this. Next time make extra mashed potatoes just so you can set yourself up for¬†a quick and easy dinner for the following day!

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Left-over Bacon Butter Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Cups of Mashed Potatoes
  • 1/2 cup of chopped Parsley
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 5 slices of Bacon, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of minced Garlic
  • 1 tbs of Butter

Instructions

  1. In a small pan, fry chopped bacon until browned, and remove from heat.
  2. In a separate pan, melt butter and add minced garlic until browned.
  3. Add bacon to the butter and garlic and stir until combined.
  4. Add mashed potatoes, parsley, and feta and stir until combined and potatoes are warm enough for serving (about 5 minutes).
  5. Remove from heat, and enjoy!
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Home Made Patties

These burgers will satisfy your food craving. They are quick, full of flavor, filling and they can be done on the frying pan at home, or on the BBQ. I prefer the frying pan because it’s easy, and they turn out sooo juicy!

After making mini cheeseburger siders at a recent birthday party, I decided to make them again for dinner this week. It’s a great option for a quick dinner night and minimal mess in the kitchen…which means less dishes…hooray!

I have never made burger patties from scratch before, but I assumed it would be simple. I remember while growing up, I would help my mom make what we called, ‚Äúkatleti‚ÄĚ which are very similar, but we used them mainly as meatballs for sauces. So I put together a similar concoction that I thought would be appropriate for a burger‚Ķand they were a definite hit!

Ingredients:

Yields 5-7 depending on size

  • 1 1/2-2 pounds of ground beef
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbs of chimichurri sauce, see below for the brand I use (or you can make your own)
  • 1 egg
  • ¬ľ tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp of Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp parsley spice
  • 1/2 tsp of basil spice
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of lemon
  • 1 tsp of roasted garlic and pepper spice

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Instructions:

Mix all the ingredients together with your hand to make sure it is thoroughly mixed. Then roll them into balls and flatten the patties with your palm. Oil the frying pan, place on pan for about 10 minutes, 5 minutes on each side depending on the size.

I fried half an onion in oil to use as a topping. I also topped it with sweet roasted red peppers, chipotle sauce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and lettuce.

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Also, I always like to warm up my hamburger buns in the oven to give it extra crispness. I placed them in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Mmm!

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Or if you’re nuts like me, you can try eating it on a leaf of lettuce. I have to admit, it still hits the spot for me.:)

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