Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chicken Ranch Pasta

Being a busy mom, I usually don't feel like cooking at the end of the day, so I LOVE meals that don't require much preparation, are quick to cook and include lots of veggies.

I got this recipe from my friend Joann and it is a perfect kid-friendly and mom-friendly meal. It will be added to our regular meal rotation. And FYI- I don't like cottage cheese in the slightest- but when it melts you cannot tell that it's cottage cheese, so don't let that ingredient stop you from trying it.

I halved her recipe because I only had half the cottage cheese required, we fed all 5 of us and still had a bowl of leftovers... so I'm including the halved version here...but she says it freezes well, so check out her site if you have a big family or are doing freezer meals.

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & Pepper
1/2 box Farfalle pasta (or any other pasta)
1-2 carrots, diced
1 crown broccoli, chopped
1 cup frozen peas or lima beans
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1/4 cup ranch dressing (made from packet or other high quality brand)
Parmesan cheese, grated

Cube chicken and cook in saucepan over medium heat with a dash of olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, and about 1/8 teaspoon of salt and pepper or other garlic seasoning. Cover and cook until chicken is no longer pink- about 10-15 minutes.

In a large pot, cook pasta according to directions. Add carrots and broccoli and cook until tender. Drain.

Add cottage cheese to the saucepan with the chicken. Stir until cheese is completely melted (mixture will be runny). Add ranch dressing and stir in pasta and veggies. Let sit 5 minutes until thickened.

If you have small children, this is where I stir in the frozen peas because they act as little ice cubes and cool the meal down. If you don't have heat-sensitive munchkins, go ahead and add the peas when you first stir in the pasta to the sauce.

Top with grated parmesan cheese (I didn't have any on hand and used feta- tasted just as delicious).
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