Easy Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Bake (for two)
23 April 2024 | 5:00 am

 

Easy Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Bake


It is not very often that you find a casserole recipe out there that doesn't use canned cream soups in it. I don't have anything against them, myself, but when I am cooking for just one or two people it is a bit of a waste to open a full can.


I found this recipe on a blog called Skinny Spatula and it did not have any soup included in the recipe.  Instead you created a creamy sauce with some very simple ingredients. Chicken stock and cream cheese.  


Easy Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Bake
 



This gets stirred into some diced cooked chicken, onions and garlic, and then the whole lot gets tossed together with broccoli and macaroni pasta and a small quantity of Mozzarella cheese, prior to baking. Simple.


I cut the recipe back to make only two delicious servings. I loved that it included one of my favorite vegetables for added nutrition, was low in fat and so easy to make. The fact that it also ended up being delicious was a bonus!


Easy Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Bake 





WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE EASY CHICKEN & BROCCOLI PASTA BAKE


Just a few very simple ingredients. If you choose low fat or light cheeses then this will be a bit healthier than it would otherwise. 


  • 4 ounces (1 cup/150g) macaroni pasta
  • 1/3 of a broccoli crown (about 1 cup) chopped
  • 1 tsp light olive oil
  • 2 small or 1 large (150g) chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces/90g) cream cheese
  • 6 TBS grated Mozzarella, divided
  • salt and black pepper to taste
For the buttered crumbs:
  • 8 crackers made into crumbs
  • 1 TBS melted butter

Easy Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Bake 




If you like you can use frozen chopped broccoli in the place of the fresh broccoli.  You can use leftover cooked chicken in the same amount if you have it, as the fresh chicken breast meat. This makes it a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken.



You can use elbow macaroni as I did, or any short cut of macaroni for this.  All will work well.


I used low fat cheeses for this casserole, but if you are not too overly worried by the calories, by all means use the full fat cheeses. You will have a much richer result.


The buttered crumbs on top are my own addition. I always enjoy a casserole much more if it has something buttery and crunchy on top!



Easy Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Bake 





HOW TO MAKE EASY CHICKEN & BROCCOLI PASTA BAKE


This is a really simple casserole to make. It goes together very quickly and makes for a great mid week supper. You could also put it together ahead of time to the point of baking and chill in the refrigerator overnight, ready to pop into the oven when you get home from work or whatever.  Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or so before baking so that your casserole dish doesn't crack from the sudden heat change.



Cook the macaroni in a large pot of lightly salted water to al dente, according to the package directions. adding the chopped broccoli to the water for the last 2 to 3 minutes of cook time.



Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Set aside.




Easy Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Bake 




Preheat the oven to 375*F/190*C/ gas mark 5. Butter a 4 cup/1 liter shallow casserole dish and set aside.



Heat the oil in a medium sized non-stick skillet. Add the chicken breast pieces and cook over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through and starting to brown.



Add the onion and garlic and continue to cook for a few minutes, until the onion is softened. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.






Easy Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Bake 




Add the chicken stock to deglaze the pan and then take off the heat and whisk in the cream cheese, until it melts. Stir in the cooked broccoli and pasta., along with half of the mozzarella.



Spread into the prepared casserole dish, smoothing the top over. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese.



Whisk the crumbs and butter together and sprinkle over top of the cheese.  Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and the cheese has melted.




Easy Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Bake 

True confessions here, I used leftover cooked chicken in mine and it worked very well. Just cube the chicken and pop into the skillet with the onions and garlic and sauté until heated through and the onions soften without browning.


This was creamy and delicious. I think I probably made my sauce a bit creamier than the original, but I really liked it that way!  It was really tasty with a salad on the side and a slice of garlic toast.  Yummy!




Easy Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Bake 




If you are fond of chicken casseroles, and I am for sure, then you might also enjoy the following delicious bakes!



GRANDMA'S CHINESE CHICKEN CASSEROLE -  I think we all grew up with a version of this tasty casserole.  Cooked chicken, rice, and veggies in a homemade cream sauce and topped with crunchy chow mien noodles and toasted cashew nuts! Delicious and simple. A great way to use up leftover cooked chicken.


LOADED CHICKEN AND CAULIFLOWER CASSEROLE - A low carb riff on a chicken and baked potato casserole.  Trust me when I tell you that you won't miss the potatoes. This is is low carb, gluten and sugar free and is very diabetic and keto friendly! Bacon, chicken, spring onions, cauliflower, cheese and some seasonings, put together in a really delicious way!



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Yield: 2
Author: Marie Rayner
Easy Chicken Broccoli Pasta Bake

Easy Chicken Broccoli Pasta Bake

Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 40 Min
Creamy, cozy, delicious and healthy. A perfect casserole to hide your veggies in, easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces (1 cup/150g) macaroni pasta
  • 1/3 of a broccoli crown (about 1 cup) chopped
  • 1 tsp light olive oil
  • 2 small or 1 large (150g) chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces/90g) cream cheese
  • 6 TBS grated Mozzarella, divided
  • salt and black pepper to taste
For the buttered crumbs:
  • 8 crackers made into crumbs
  • 1 TBS melted butter

Instructions

  1. Cook the macaroni in a large pot of lightly salted water to al dente, according to the package directions. adding the chopped broccoli to the water for the last 2 to 3 minutes of cook time.
  2. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375*F/190*C/ gas mark 5. Butter a 4 cup/1 liter shallow casserole dish and set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a medium sized non-stick skillet. Add the chicken breast pieces and cook over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through and starting to brown.
  5. Add the onion and garlic and continue to cook for a few minutes, until the onion is softened. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  6. Add the chicken stock to deglaze the pan and then take off the heat and whisk in the cream cheese, until it melts. Stir in the cooked broccoli and pasta., along with half of the mozzarella.
  7. Spread into the prepared casserole dish, smoothing the top over. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
  8. Whisk the crumbs and butter together and sprinkle over top of the cheese.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and the cheese has melted.
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Easy Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Bake





This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at: mariealicejoan at aol dot com  


 Thanks so much for visiting! Do come again! 


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10 Perfect Weeknight Dinners for Two
22 April 2024 | 6:00 am

 

10 Perfect  Weeknight Dinners for Two


Its easy to whip up these weeknight dinners which are perfectly sized for just two people!  With more and more people becoming empty nesters or just starting out in their lives, cooking for two people can often present a challenge.


If you are an empty nester,  you may be used to cooking for four or five people every night. You may be newly wed and lacking in inspiration or the know how to tailor your meals just for two people. Most recipes out there are tailored to feed four to six people and it can be difficult to get your mind around the math required to reduce the quantities for just two people.


Who wants to be eating leftovers for 3 or 4 nights on the trot! Boring! Then there is the waste involved.  I hate waste and I am sure you do too!  


Today I have put together an ensemble of delicious recipes that are easy and quick enough to cook on a weeknight, when most of us are pressed for time, but are also tailored just for two people, for the smaller family without any leftovers and the need to eat the same thing for day after day after day.


These meals are perfectly sized and mean that you can eat delicious, healthy, budget friendly meals every night of the week without a repeat in sight, and no leftovers to clutter up your refrigerator.  Fresh, new, innovative and healthy, perfectly sized meals for every night of the week and then some.  The fact that  they are also quick and easy to make is a real bonus!  Count me in!


Savory Garlic Chicken


1. SAVORY GARLIC CHICKEN


With its delicious white wine and garlic sauce, this recipe takes the humble chicken breast to a special level of tastiness. Chicken breasts are a very versatile and adaptable ingredient. I always keep boneless skinless breasts in the freezer to use in recipes like this one. This is a simple and delicious recipe.  Don't be afraid of the amount of garlic in it. The garlic mellows out in the cooking and adds a beautiful level of savory sweetness to the dish.



Sheet Pan Roasted Sea Bass Dinner



2. SHEET PAN ROASTED SEA BASS DINNER


If you like fish and enjoy Sea Bass, you are going to fall in love with this delicious dinner for two that all cooks easily on one sheet pan. No fuss, no muss, and with very little clean up involved you end up with two perfectly cooked pieces of fish and everything you need to go along side.  Roasted potatoes, onions and tomatoes.  That delicious tender and moist fish is garnished with some toasted cashew nuts for a beautiful finish. 


Sheet Pan Beef and Broccoli


3. SHEET PAN BEEF & BROCCOLI

Once again, no fuss no muss. This old favorite has been  cooked on a sheet pan in the oven for a low fat, quick and easy way to enjoy one of our most beloved Chinese dishes. It lacks none of the flavors of the original Wok fried version and is a lot less hands on. Delicious. Simple to make with perfectly tender and flavor filled pieces of flank steak, combined with crispy tender pieces of fresh broccoli. All you need on the side is some steamed rice.


Tuna Patties

 

4. TUNA PATTIES

Easy to throw together at the last minute, these tuna patties are quick to make and a real store cupboard favorite. You can put them together in the morning and have them ready and chilled for frying when it comes to supper time. Fried in a mix of oil and butter to a perfectly crisp exterior and juicy flavorful interior, these are lovely served with a dab of tartar sauce, either ready or home made (you decide!)  I like to serve them with macaroni cheese and an assortment of vegetables for a quick and easy meal that is always very much enjoyed.



White Chicken Chili



5. WHITE CHICKEN CHILI


If you are a fan of Tex Mex flavors prepare yourself to fall in love with this quick and easy white chicken chili which is sized perfectly for two people. A hearty soup that is not only incredibly tasty but also very healthy as well.  Serve in heated bowls with a sprinkle of low fat cheese and a dollop of low fat sour cream for a quick and easy supper that will please on all levels! Quick, easy and delicious!


Tender Beef and Noodles


6. TENDER BEEF AND NOODLES


This tasty supper can be cooked long and slow in the crock pot, or you can cook it in a small Dutch oven on top of the stove. What you have here are tender melt-in-th-mouth chunks of beef in a lush flavor-filled gravy, ready to be ladled on top of buttered noodles.  A veggie on the side and dinner is served!


Crispy Baked Chicken & Slaw


7. CRISPY BAKED CHICKEN AND SLAW 

There is something deeply satisfying about a tender and juicy, perfectly cooked chicken breast, crispy coated in a flavor filled crumb served along side of an incredibly crunchy, tangy and crisp fennel slaw.  The two go together like peas and carrots.  A couple wedges of lemon to squeeze over top of that delicious chicken and you have a match made in heaven!


Pasta with Pink Sauce

 

8. PASTA WITH PINK SAUCE


Very simple store cupboard ingredients put together in the most delicious way.  This creamy tomato sauced pasta dish is quick and easy to make, and is especially perfect to cook on a busy weeknight.  Rich and creamy, comforting and  delicious, this makes a great weeknight supper for those nights when you really can't be asked to cook, but you still want to enjoy something indulgent.  All you need is a salad on the side and maybe some bread sticks, and dinner is served!


Sausage and Peppers


9. SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS


A delicious combination of smoked sausage, onions and peppers, cooked to perfection on a single sheet pan in the oven. Ready to enjoy in a butter toasted bun with some honey mustard perhaps, or along side a baked potato.  Sausage in a bun!  I love it! The vegetables get all caramelized at the edges, the sausage, golden brown and heated through to perfection. However you choose to enjoy this simple meal, you can rest assured it will be enjoyed very much!



Crispy Sheet Pan Chicken Milanese



10. CRISPY SHEET PAN CHICKEN MILANESE 


With this one you get lovely tender, crisp golden crumb and cheese chicken breasts, flavored with garlic and lemon. They are baked rather than fried, which makes them a bit healthier. You also have crisp golden brown potatoes, again flavored with butter and garlic. Add to the mix, beautiful crispy tender green beans, again baked on the same baking sheet. Near the end baby plum tomatoes are added. The tomatoes are drizzled with a bit of Balsamic vinegar, to help bring out their natural sweetness.  Perfect timing of all the ingredients results in a beautiful meal with lovely caramelized vegetables and moist and tender chicken.


And there you have it, 10 perfectly delicious weeknight meals, perfectly sized for just two people.  Quick and easy to make as well as being pretty easy on the budget for the most part!  The fact that they are all incredibly delicious is a happy bonus!


This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at: mariealicejoan at aol dot com  


 Thanks so much for visiting! Do come again! 


 If you like what you see here, why not consider signing up for my newsletter and/or subscribing/following me on Grow. You can also bookmark my recipes via the Grow platform. Check out the heart on the right hand side of the screen.

Meals of the Week, April 14th - 20th, 2024
21 April 2024 | 6:00 am

 

Meals of the Week, April 14th - 20th, 2024

 

I can't believe that it is Sunday again. The weeks just seem to roll around very quickly. I think that is true of anyone who leads a busy life and that is me. I do lead a very busy life. This past week was filled with medical appointments and the like. I think that the only day I had free really was Wednesday and I ended up taking my sister to have a shot at the local pharmacy on that day as well. 


I am not complaining!  Not by a long chalk. I like to be busy.  A busy life is a life filled with goodness.  I have no time to be bored!  I could not stand to be bored.


Anyways, on Sundays I like to share with you all of the main meals I have enjoyed over the past seven days along with any recipes pertaining to them, and my suggestions for what you can enjoy on the side.  I do have supper at my sister's place most Sundays, and I usually have dinner out with my dad and his friend Hazel on Wednesday's. For those days I have included "like" recipes for what I have enjoyed eating outside my home.


These recipe round-ups are some of my favorite posts to do. It helps me to stay aware of the things which I am eating. I don't repeat things very often.  Not that I don't enjoy what I cook, I really do, but I enjoy a large variety in what I cook and eat, which helps to keep things interesting for me.


That is really important when you live on your own as I do.  I don't ever want to be a person who eats only ready made meals or frozen dinners. I want to eat real food.  Food prepared by my own hands without a lot of salt, sugar and preservatives.  Especially now that I am getting older.


My diet matters more now than ever.  Too many older people don't eat properly and suffer health problems because of it. I never want to be that person if I can help it!  And so to that end, I try to menu plan and cook my own meals every week, as much as possible.  And I like to take you along with me, hoping that you will also be inspired to want to cook for yourself as well!


And without any further twaddle, let me present my meals for the past seven days. Everything delicious I have enjoyed for my main meals along with any pertinent sides.  Enjoy!


Best Oven Barbequed Ribs


SUNDAY, April 14th - Family dinner at my sister's


Most Sundays I go to my sister Cindy's place to have dinner with the family. There is just me, my father, Cindy and her husband Dan.  Usually she cooks a roast or chicken.  A number of weeks back though I had gotten a good deal on some Baby Back Pork Ribs. I had given them to my sister and said, "Invite me over sometime!"  She makes the best ribs. I do make them at home from time to time, but there were two full racks in the pack, so it made better sense for me to give them to her.  


These are the Best Oven Barbequed Ribs. It is my sister's recipe and process. The ribs always end up fall of the bone tender and juicy.  I would never bake ribs any other way now. It really is the BEST!  We had them with some roasted vegetables and potatoes.  So yummy.  Then we had sugar free jello for dessert with some whippy cream on top! 


Chicken Tikka Alfredo



MONDAY, April 15th - Chicken Tikka Alfredo

I took some chicken thighs out of the freezer and made myself some Chicken Tikka Alfredo. This is a small batch recipe which feeds two people generously. I took the liberty of cutting it in half yet again so that I had only one serving.


If you enjoy a good curry, then you will really enjoy this tasty riff on the traditional alfredo. Nicely spiced, with a rich and creamy sauce, along with plenty of pieces of marinated grilled chicken. This is a winner!


Because you have a protein and starch in one all you need on the side of this is perhaps a nice leafy salad. You could also have a warmed up mini-naan bread or two. This is fabulously delicious!



Simple Scottish Tattie Soup




TUESDAY, April 16th - Simple Scottish Tattie Soup


I was wanting something really simple on Tuesday so I made myself some Scottish Tattie Soup, which I enjoyed with some crisp crackers and butter.  I love simple soups like this.  Delicious and simple to put together and incredibly hearty. Also economical.   We are all watching our pennies these days.

I had been out with my sister during the day to do some stuff for our dad. While we were out we each picked up a slice of chocolate cake at the shops.  They sell the La Rocca cakes by the slice.  We love, LOVE the Chocolate Fudge one.  

I knew I had a nice big piece of cake to look forward to after the soup so I did not really feel deprived having a bowl of soup for my supper. I wouldn't have felt deprived anyways as this is a delicious and hearty soup!


Baked Western Sandwich



WEDNESDAY, April 17th - Dinner out with Dad and Hazel

On Wednesday nights I usually go out for dinner with my father and his friend Hazel.  Some weeks my sister joins us. This week she didn't  


We usually go to a local eatery called The Big Scoop Family Restaurant and Take Out.  We have been doing there for years. Its comfortable and the food is quite good and reasonably priced. Plus they know us and we are always treated very well.


This week I had the Denver Sandwich with home fries.  I wasn't feeling like much really. I just wanted a sandwich and I do really love a Denver Sandwich.  It is like an egg omelet sandwich, with a filling of an egg omelet which has ham, peppers and onions in it.  


In its place I am sharing my recipe for a Baked Western Sandwich with Oven hash.  This is another small batch recipe and makes enough for two sandwiches.  The omelet bakes in the oven on a small sheet pan. Some hashed potatoes and onions bake separately. Altogether this makes for a really delicious meal that I always really enjoy every once in a while. Economical too. 



Cherry Tomato and Sausage Bake





THURSDAY, April 18th - Cherry Tomato and Sausage Bake.  Beautifully baked sausages on a bed of sweet cherry tomatoes, flavored with balsamic and herbs. Oh so scrummy! You'll want some crusty bread with this to help sop up all the juices!


Dinner doesn't get much easier than a tray bake! And this one is a real winner. I served it simply with some boiled baby potatoes and green beans on the side.  Supper was delicious.  One thing that I like about this recipe is that you can easily make only enough for one or two people, which is what I did.  I was  missing the crusty bread but all of those pan juices were lovely smashed into the potatoes.


Elizabeth's Salmon Casserole



FRIDAY, April 19th - Elizabeth's Salmon Casserole


Fish for Friday with Elizabeth's Salmon Casserole.  This is a simple and hearty casserole which makes great use of store cupboard ingredients.  I love this, and there is no cream soup used either.  Tinned salmon is mixed with cubed and boiled potatoes along with some vegetables and a simple cream sauce and baked with a crispy buttered bread crumb topping.

It goes together quickly and easily and is quite economical as well.  All you really need on the side of this is a salad.  Simple.


Smothered Chicken

 
SATURDAY, April 10th - Smothered Chicken .   This delicious chicken dish only tastes high in fat and calories.  This is the ultimate in comfort food, but its actually low in fat, calories and carbs.  

Diabetic friendly.  Serve with brown rice if you are diabetic, otherwise it goes very well with mashed potatoes.  Yesterday I enjoyed it with some leftover boiled potatoes from the other night. I had been going to make a potato salad with them, but simply broke up the leftover potatoes (not wanting to waste them) and heated them in a warm skillet with a bit of butter to keep them from sticking.  I had steamed broccoli with it as well, but any vegetable would do!


And there you have it, all of the deliciousness of my last seven days. I ate quite well. I kept everything within budget as well as trying to eat fairly healthy.  If you have any suggestions, questions or comments please leave them below in my comments section!


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