After becoming a household of four the dinnertime routine got a little more complicated. Trying to adjust to having another baby in the house, as well as a two year old that is still to this day a picky eater, occasionally left me a bit flummoxed. I started cooking meals in larger quantities with the intention of having leftovers the next night or, depending on how the day had been, calling an audible and going out to eat. Another great thing was figuring out how to contain the mess of chopping, prepping, cooking and eating by making one pot meals so that clean up didn’t take forever with baths and bedtime looming.
This month the folks at Ready Set Eat asked me to check out one recipe in particular that was a breeze to make and quite filling. Their Creamy Chicken Pasta Skillet dinner combines a number of my family’s favorite things – pasta, peas and tomatoes. As soon as I read the recipe I knew that our baby girl, who is a significantly better eater than her big brother, would be all over it.
With only six main ingredients and some cheese for garnish I was able to put it together within a few minutes of the recipe’s suggested prep time. Had I started my pasta water a little sooner I’m sure I could have come in a good two to three minutes early. The only substitution I made was exchanging cream of chicken soup for cream of mushroom soup because none of us care for mushrooms. Other than that this dish is a simple, tasty way to get a satisfying dinner on the table, plus we had enough left over for lunch the next day.
One other thing I did differently was that I added the drained pasta into the skillet rather than toss them together in a bowl. I like to give pasta the opportunity to finish cooking in with any pan sauce I make and I viewed this dish in the same way.
Lastly, I found the dish to be a little thick for my tastes, so while it the pasta was finishing up I added a ladle full of the pasta water to the pan to thin it out just a bit.
You Be The Judge Contest
For the past eight months you’ve been reading about the recipes that I’ve been asked to review by the folks at Ready, Set, Eat. Now, my friends at ConAgra Foods have decided to turn the tables and want you to be the judge. All you have to do is make their Creamy Chicken Pasta Skillet (recipe and video to follow) and post a review on the Ready Set Eat website. Then, when you are done, leave a comment here on my blog and let me know that you posted a review and what your username is on their site.
Each review is worth five (5) entries into the contest and you must post a review on their site in order to be eligible to win one of five ConAgra prize packs. Valued at $50 each prize pack contains a BBQ set, plate set, outdoor table cloth, recipe cards and a sampling of ConAgra products.
After you’ve reviewed the recipe and left a comment here, you can earn additional entries by:
- Following Ready, Set, Eat on Twitter (1 entry)
- Retweeting this post and leaving your Twitter status link as a comment (1 entry each, max of 5)
- Subscribing to the Real Men Drive Minivans RSS Feed (1 entry)
All eligible entries must be received between now and 11:59PM EST on Sunday, July 31, 2011.
recipe courtesy of Ready, Set, Eat
- 8 ounces dry rigatoni pasta, uncooked
- PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
- 1-1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 can (14.5 oz each) Hunt’s® Petite Diced Tomatoes, undrained
- 1 condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- 6 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Meanwhile, spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken and onion; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in centers, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in undrained tomatoes and soup; cook 5 minutes or until hot, stirring occasionally. Add peas; mix well.
- Drain pasta; place in large serving bowl. Add chicken-tomato mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.
Disclosure: I am compensated by ConAgra Foods to review recipes for Ready Set Eat. However, my opinions contained herein are my own.