Today I am sharing one of my favorite cooking hacks with you: cooking two meals using the same base ingredients! It’s all about saving yourself some time, money, and effort while reducing food waste. I’ll show you how to make an easy Cheesy Italian Pasta with Veggies and then we will use the leftover ingredients to make Cashew Chicken!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Jewel-Osco. All opinions are 100% mine.
I love both of these recipes because you can easily adapt them to include your personal favorite vegetables. I chose to use O Organics® Shredded Carrots, Signature Farms® Broccoli Florets, O Organics® Baby Spinach, and O Organics® Free Range Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts from Jewel-Osco in both recipes.
In order to save time in the kitchen, I chose shredded carrots which saves me the effort of chopping or grating, plus it reduces cooking time. The Signature Farms broccoli florets come packaged in a bag that you use to steam the broccoli in the microwave. It saves time and reduces the amount of mess in the kitchen. I chose spinach because it cooks in just a minute. Plus, this veggie trio works well in both recipes! If you want, you could add in some mushrooms or bell peppers too.
For the pasta, I used the additional ingredients of O Organics Italian Style Blend cheese, O Organics 2% Milk, and Signature SELECT™ Rigatoni (Signature Select also makes Gluten-Free pasta options). The milk and the pasta are items that I always stock in my home. This pasta recipe has a cheesy creamy sauce, a hint of lemon, and is served with a trio of vegetables and chunks of tender chicken. It’s a complete meal that can be prepared in just 30 minutes.
For the Cashew Chicken, I needed O Organics Long Grain Thai Jasmine Rice, and O Organics Roasted Unsalted Cashews. We already had the cashews since we like to snack on them. I’ve been making this Cashew Chicken for years! I make it with diced chicken and vegetables in a slightly spicy sauce with lots of cashews and I serve it over white rice.
I was able to shop these affordable high-quality products at my local Jewel-Osco. I regularly shop and Jewel-Osco and am always seeking out their exclusive in-house brands like O Organics and Signature brands. These brands deliver high-quality at affordable prices, and Jewel-Osco offers Grocery Delivery and DriveUp & Go™ options which save me time. During the month of January, you can find deals on these products throughout the store.
I shopped at Jewel-Osco but O Organics, Signature Farms, and Open Nature products are also available at the Albertsons Companies family of stores, including Albertsons, Safeway, ACME Markets, Vons, Randalls, Shaw’s Supermarket, Star Market, Tom Thumb and Vons.
O Organics products are non-GMO and 100% USDA-certified organic. Signature brands, which includes Signature SELECT and Signature Farms, has the cooking from scratch ingredients that I stock in my fridge and pantry. Both O Organics and Signature brands products can be found throughout Jewel-Osco and they are backed with a 100% money back satisfaction guarantee.
I prepared both the Cheesy Italian Pasta and the Cashew Chicken on a Sunday afternoon. It made enough for us to have dinner for four nights! Having dinner ready and in the fridge made the week so much easier – especially since Gwen has been a little fussy in the evenings. After we did her bedtime routine we just needed to heat up our dinner. Taking the time to meal prep on the weekend made our weeknights far more relaxing.
The recipe for the Cheesy Italian Pasta is below. You can find the recipe for the Cashew Chicken here – this time I swapped the snow peas out for spinach and garnished with some toasted sesame seeds.
Easy Cheesy Italian Pasta Recipe:
- 1 ¼ pounds O Organics Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 4 cups Signature SELECT Rigatoni
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- 2 tablespoons Flour
- 1 ½ cups O Organics 2% Milk
- 1 cup O Organics Shredded Carrots
- 2 cups Signature Farms Broccoli Florets
- 4 cups O Organics Baby Spinach
- 1 cup O Organics Italian Style Blend cheese
- 3 tablespoons Lemon Juice
- ½ cup Pasta Water
First, prepare the chicken. Cut the chicken into one-inch pieces and season with salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Once hot, add half of the chicken. Brown the first side of the chicken, then flip it over, place a lid on the skillet, and reduce the heat to low. Let the chicken cook for another 5 minutes. When it has finished cooking, remove it from the skillet using a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. Repeat this process cooking the rest of the chicken. Leave the chicken drippings in the skillet.
Meanwhile, steam the broccoli in the bag in a microwave following the instructions. You want the broccoli to be slightly undercooked since it will cook more in the sauce so reduce the cooking time by 30 seconds.
Put a pot of salted water on to boil to cook the pasta. Cook the pasta until it is al dente, following the directions on the box.
Before you drain the pasta, take 1/2 cup of water out of the pot to stir into the sauce. Drain the pasta.
Meanwhile, work on the sauce. Using the same skillet that you used to cook the chicken (no need to wash it), melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Whisk constantly while the flour mixture cooks for one minute. Then whisk in the milk and bring to a slow and steady boil for one minute, letting the sauce thicken.
Once the sauce has thickened, whisk in the lemon juice and cheese, stirring until the cheese melts. Reduce heat to low. Season with salt and pepper. Add the shredded carrot, letting it cook in the sauce for 2 minutes.
Add the broccoli and chicken to the sauce, stir to combine, and keep warm on low heat.
Pour the pasta, pasta water, and spinach into the sauce and stir to combine. Let the pasta simmer in the sauce for 1-2 minutes while the pasta soaks it in. Then serve!