15 Minute Meal Series – Pepperoni Pizza Pasta

pepperoni-pizza-pasta-done

 

Pasta meals are often quick to fix.  They also tend to be inexpensive.  Win-win.

This recipe uses pepperoni for protein and flavor.  That means that there’s no meat that has to cook.  You can’t get easier than that.

I make mine chock full of bell peppers and onions.  Feel free to add any pizza topping that your family likes.  Mushrooms, banana peppers, olives or anything else your imagination and pantry yield.

Click here to see the recipe for Pepperoni Pizza Pasta.

15 Minute Meals for Back to School

This post is part of our new series on 15 Minute Meals.  You can find the other posts in the series linked here.

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Cajun Chicken Skillet with Pasta – a take on Basic Chicken Skillet meal builder

Cajun Chicken Skillet with Pasta

 

My family loved this meal.  Give them pasta, chicken and lots of flavor and they are happy people!

This Cajun Chicken Skillet with Pasta is a take on the Basic Chicken Skillet I showed you a few weeks ago.

You start with the basics:

Basic Chicken Skillet

 

And then you accessorize to make it something special.

In this case, I added tomatoes, creamy half & half, linguine, a little Parmesan and plenty of Cajun Seasoning from McCormick.

Cajun seasoning McCormick

 

These simple ingredients come together to create a meal that’s worth gathering around the table to eat together.  Not only that, but it’s easy to fix.  And any leftovers can be reheated for the stragglers.  In our house, we never know if we’ll have 7 or 8 people at dinner or just 3!

American Homemade meals automatically call for family and friends to gather around the table.  This summer McCormick is celebrating American Homemade and giving you a chance to share your recipe stories.  There are many recipes from all around the country shared on the American Homemade site.  And you can upload your stories here.  Also, visit American Homemade on Facebook.

Back to the story of this pasta.  This is easy, family pleasing pasta dish.  The Cajun Seasoning adds bold flavor to the meal.  Pair this with a crisp, green salad for a complete dinner.  Here’s what you’ll need to make Cajun Chicken Skillet with Pasta:   [Read more...]

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One Pot Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese

One Pot Stove-Top Mac & Cheese

 

I’ve been experimenting with mac & cheese recipes and methods.  My favorite so far is Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese.

But I started wondering if this could be made on top of the stove.  One of the things I like about the pressure cooker method is that it’s all done in one pot.  It also uses real cheese and milk, but doesn’t require the making of a white sauce.  (Not that making white sauce is hard, but sometimes you want to go even easier that that.)

What I found out is that you can use the same recipe as the pressure cooker version to make this dish on the stove.  I didn’t think it was quite as creamy as the pressure cooker type, but it was still very good.  And my stove takes forever for a pot of water to boil, so I still think the pressure cooker is faster.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker though, this is definitely worth a try.  [Read more...]

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Chicken Tortellini with Kale – a 15 minute recipe

This Chicken Tortellini with Kale has been made twice in our house so far.  Once by me and once by Jim.  He got home before I did the other night and texted asking if there was anything he could do.  I suggested he could make dinner.  I knew we had the ingredients for this recipe in the fridge and the recipe notes were still sitting on the counter.

Chicken Tortellini with Kale 15 minute meal

 

When I walked in the door, he had this dinner on the table.  I love that!

He doesn’t cook very often, but he was able to follow this easy recipe.  Actually, he was able to follow the notes, which aren’t as complete as the full recipe when I type it here.  So this is a very easy recipe.

And it’s also really good.  I wasn’t sure how my kids would react to the kale.  They love kale chips, but cooked kale is a different thing.  I didn’t need to worry though, because they loved it!

The dark, leafy kale contrasted in taste, texture and color to the pasta, cheese and chicken.  A little bit of red pepper flakes added even more flavor.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this 15 minute dish:   [Read more...]

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Cheesy Chicken Chili Mac – Make it Quick with Rotisserie Chicken and Macaroni

Cheesy Chicken Chili Mac

Earlier this week I shared lots of recipes for making use of rotisserie chicken.  Here’s another one for you.  If you keep cooked chicken in your freezer, you’ll be able to make this recipe in about 20 minutes.  All the ingredients are pantry items that we tend to keep on hand.

The recipe comes together quickly.  You’ll make a quick white sauce and add cheese to it.  I love an easy meal that also is homemade.

Cheddar cheese and tomatoes with green chilies help make this dish full of flavor.  My kids loved this one and so did I.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:   [Read more...]

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Easy Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

 

This Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake couldn’t get any easier.  For one thing, I started with rotisserie chicken.  More on that in a post coming soon.

To the rotisserie chicken, I added Alfredo sauce, sun-dried tomatoes and cooked pasta.  Top it all with provolone cheese and pop it in the oven for a bit.

The kids loved this and so did I!

This casserole is creamy, cheesy and full of flavor.

In an unrelated note, check out that casserole dish.  I use that dish all the time and it’s been in a lot of photos on the site.  It’s one of those things I don’t really take notice of.  I’m pretty sure that amber colored Visions piece isn’t being made any more.  It was a wedding gift.  Any other brides from the 1980s still using their Visions cookware?

Back to the recipe…here’s what you’ll need to make Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake with Sun-Dried Tomatoes:   [Read more...]

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Italian Sausage Skillet over Acorn Squash or Pasta

Italian Sausage Skillet over Acorn Squash or Pasta

In case you don’t catch it right away, this is an attempt to please both the kids and adults.  Not that the adults in this house don’t like pasta.  But Jim and I are both attempting a Whole 30, which means no pasta for us.

And actually, we both agreed that the acorn squash tasted much better than the pasta for this dish.  Pasta doesn’t have much flavor of it’s own really, but the squash lent a slight bit of sweetness that balanced the sausage, peppers and tomatoes.

This is a Whole 30 compliant meal (as far as I can tell).  We really enjoyed this one.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:   [Read more...]

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One Pot Roast Chicken and Tortellini – Made in New ALDI Kitchen Living Cast Iron Dutch Oven

One Pot Roast Chicken and Tortellini

 

When ALDI asked me if I would review their new cast iron cookware, I jumped at the chance.  New cookware is always fun!

They sent a big box of all kinds of fun things.  These Special Buy items will be available in ALDI stores in November.  If you’ve ever wanted some cast iron cookware, get yourself to an ALDI store!  These are great deals and the cookware is wonderful too.

aldiproductsI used the grill pan to make grilled cheese sandwiches.  Fancy, I know.  But the pan is great!  The sandwiches turned out panini-like.  It would be wonderful for steak.  There’s no seasoning required for the cast iron pans.

And I loved the Dutch Oven.  There’s so much you can use this particular piece for.  Soups, stews, roasts, whole chickens and more.  It’s a fantastic piece of cookware to own and this is the best deal I’ve ever seen anywhere.

Here’s a list of some of the Special Buy items that are available soon:

  • Kitchen Living Two Speed Hand Blender, $19.99 – Special Buy beginning 11/13
  • Kitchen Living 6 Qt. Cast Iron Dutch Oven, $29.99 – Special Buy beginning 11/20
  • Kitchen Living Cast Iron Grill, $14.99 – Special Buy beginning 11/20
  • Kitchen Living Cast Iron Frying Pan, $14.99 – Special Buy beginning 11/20
  • Kitchen Living Heat Resistant Glove or Oven Mitt (2), $4.99 – Special Buy beginning 11/20
  • Kitchen Living Cast Iron Trivet, $4.99 – Special Buy beginning 11/20

I knew I wanted to create a new recipe using the cast iron enameled dutch oven.  My youngest daughter and I hit our local ALDI store looking for recipe inspiration.

I think I’ve shared before that I sometimes create recipes by standing at the pantry and surveying the items until I come up with a new way to combine them.  Well, that’s exactly what I did at ALDI.  It was so fun!

We hit the meat department first, where I picked up a whole chicken.  Then we wandered the aisles, looking for ingredients to add to the chicken.  My first thought was rice, but as soon as I spied the refrigerated tortellini I knew we would be doing a take on an Italian dish.

I found artichoke hearts, extra virgin olive oil and diced tomatoes.  We picked up Parmesan cheese in the dairy case and garlic cloves in the produce aisle.

And this turned out to be one of the best meals I’ve ever made.  It’s really easy too!  It all gets made in one pot, so there’s not a lot of clean up.  I’ve found that the enameled interior of the Dutch Oven is really easy to clean.  It looks like you’re going to have to scrub hard, but it’s a breeze to clean.

Here’s what you’ll need to make One Pot Roast Chicken & Tortellini:   [Read more...]

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Pesto Tortellini with Cherry Tomatoes and Grilled Chicken – It doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious

Pesto Tortellini with Cherry Tomatoes

 

Make it simple.

This is almost always my motto when it comes to dinner.

You really don’t need a recipe for this.  And you’ve probably made a version of it for your family many times.  But sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder of easy meals.

Enter this Pesto Tortellini with Grilled Chicken.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more...]

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Bacon, Tomato and Basil Pasta – 20 minute meal

I love pasta for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that pasta makes a quick meal.  And it’s extremely versatile.  For this dish, I used angel hair.  It cooks in just a couple of minutes.

Bacon Tomato Basil Pasta - 20 minute meal

 

Some friends gave us a bunch of tomatoes from their garden.  Now that’s a great gift!  But they needed to be used soon.  Pairing them with pasta made perfect sense.

I also had a pound of bacon in the fridge, some white wine and fresh basil in the garden.  My original thought was to make this pasta dish. It also has bacon, tomatoes and basil, but it requires more Parmesan cheese than I had on hand.

So I decided to do a lighter sauce, with no half & half and no Parmesan.  We had just enough cheese to garnish, so it worked out great.

And this is a quick meal.  Especially if you already have the bacon cooked.  I needed to cook mine, but I still had it made in about 20 minutes.

I usually cook the bacon in the oven.  Not only is it easier and less messy, it allows me to do other things while it cooks versus stand at the skillet and get popped with hot grease.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more...]

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