Saturday, April 23

New favorite recipe(s)

Last week I was having some serious pasta cravings, knew I'd have a couple extra mouths to feed, and wanted to have meals I could finish before school got out so I could take the kids out on the bike trail to wear them out enjoying gorgeous weather. Phew! That was a mouthful! I've also recently felt guilty that the 4-5:30 timeframe has me in the kitchen making dinner and the kids pretty much on their own. I get so little time around Easton with his long school days, it's just not working for me. He's one darn cute good kid and I love that his brother and sister are eager to have him home every day. The cousins too - they seem to come alive when he's home. No pressure, dude!

Back to the kitchen: So I have tried many alfredo sauce recipes over the years in search of one that Ryan will think lives up to his favorite Olive Garden dish. This is the closest I've found but sadly his spring allergies have stolen his taste buds so he couldn't give me a rave review on this maiden voyage. My kids were weirded out by bowtie pasta and "stuff" in it -- bacon, green onions mostly. A couple friends helped me eat the leftovers for lunch the next day and requested the recipe so I thought it worth passing on. I liked that it was easy to make ahead, freeze, or drop off as yummy comfort food for someone else.

I made this dish with their recommended "Guiltless Alfredo" sauce and should have made more sauce for my entire 12 oz box of pasta to stretch it to a 9x13 casserole pan rather than the 8 oz of pasta for an 8x8 dish . . . and because we love extra sauce.

Baked Chicken-Bacon Alfredo
Recipe by Our Best Bites found at

8 oz. penne or bowtie pasta
1 recipe Guiltless Alfredo Sauce (1 16-oz. jar would work in a pinch)
2 chicken breasts, grilled and chopped (about 2 c. chopped chicken)
6 oz. (1/2 package) cooked bacon, chopped
1 14-oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 c. chopped green onions (about 1 decent-sized bunch)
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350F / 176C. Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, prepare Guiltless Alfredo sauce. When pasta is done, drain and add to the sauce. Toss with chopped chicken, bacon, artichoke hearts, green onions, and 1/2 c. mozzarella. Season to taste.

Transfer mixture to an 8×8″ baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is bubbly.

Serve with a green salad and breadsticks or a loaf of garlic bread made with Garlic Bread Seasoning.