Thursday, May 3, 2012

Last-Minute Meal: Chicken, Broccoli, and Pasta with Alfredo Sauce

If you're ever in need of a quick last-minute meal, I have a suggestion for you that Dave and I have found we both love.  (And Krew loves it, too!)

There are two versions of the meal:

1. The super easy, super quick version that requires only four ingredients:  Chicken, Broccoli, and Pasta with Alfredo Sauce


2. The souped-up version that tastes a bit more gourmet and takes only a wee-bit more time:  Chicken, Broccoli, and Pasta with Lemon Basil Alfredo Sauce

For both recipes, here are the basic ingredients that you need:

1) Diced up, cooked chicken (season with salt and pepper if desired)

2) Steamed broccoli florets

3) Pasta (I use gluten-free)

4) Some Alfredo sauce (any kind will do)
(sorry, no picture)

For the simple version of the recipe, just prep all these items on the stove, then pile them on top of one another on a plate. Tada! Yummy dinner. Super easy, super quick.

Now, sometimes I get a bit picky about my store-bought Alfredo sauce. It just has this certain taste to it that tastes, well, store-bought. So if you want to soup yours up and make it taste slightly gourmet (I'm just going to say slightly - I'm no Italian chef), here are the secret ingredients:

1) Fresh basil

2) Lemon juice

3) Trader Joe's lemon pepper

Don't skimp on the basil - use a good amount. Slice it up into small pieces and mix it into the Alfredo sauce until it looks like every spoonful will contain at least one piece of basil. Then add the lemon pepper - add a little and taste, add a little and taste, watching for the point where the sauce tastes on the verge of too salty. Make sure to stop before the saltiness goes over the top. If it does get a little too salty, don't worry. The lemon juice will help balance it out (at least it did for me). So after the lemon pepper, last but not least is the lemon juice. I really don't know how much I added to our sauce, but I'd guess around two tablespoons full. I just kept dumping and tasting, dumping and tasting, until I liked the flavor. Make sure to heat it all together on the stove so the flavors mix a bit. One other tip, if you want to lighten the flavor a bit and reduce the thickness of the sauce, add a little milk. We always do this to make the sauce go a bit further.

This is what ours looks like after mixing everything together.

Then, as done for the simple recipe, dump everything together on a plate and dig in!

My son and husband will attest to the fact that it's pretty scrum-diddly-umpscious. :)

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