Cajun Alfredo Sausage Pasta

Hi friends!

Happy Tuesday; I hope your week is going great.

I have a super quick and yummy recipe for you today: Cajun Alfredo Sausage Pasta.

So. Dang. Good.


This pasta dish comes together quickly, which is great for a busy weeknight, or if you’re like me and just super hungry after work (ha!).

This recipe can also easily be doubled so you can stick a second casserole in the freezer for another night (which is what I did!).

The spicyness of this dish can be adjusted to the level you prefer. So use less or more Cajun seasoning, your choice!


You could also easily sub chicken for the smoked sausage, that would be delish too. Or make it a meatless Monday meal (say that 5xs fast!).

Hope you enjoy this hearty, comforting pasta recipe. Try it this week!

Cajun Alfredo Sausage Pasta

Servings: 4-5 (depending on your portions)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
  • 8 oz. pasta (any kind; I used penne)
  • 22 oz. jar Alfredo sauce*
  • 1/2 large yellow or white onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3-4 tsp. Cajun seasoning (more or less if preferred)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet on medium high.
  4. Add butter, diced onion, sliced sausage, and seasonings.
  5. Cook until sausage and onions are slightly browned, about 6-8 minutes.
  6. Stir in Alfredo sauce. Taste and add more seasonings if needed.
  7. Add pasta and mix well.
  8. Pour into a large baking dish, sprinkle with mozzarella and bake for about 20-25 min.*

*You could skip the baking part, if desired, and just stir the mozzarella into the mixture and be finished.

**If you choose to double this, cover your other baking dish with foil, and once completely cooled freeze for up to 1 month. You can thaw the casserole and then bake as above, or bake at 350 until warmed through (1-1 1/2 hours).

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Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches

My husband and I have been cracking down on our spending recently. We’ve desperately needed to find ways to cut costs! A couple of things we’ve found that help tremendously are meal prepping and making more meals from scratch rather than buying pre-made and/or frozen items.

Oftentimes we would buy those frozen breakfast sandwiches offered at grocery stores. They’re great when you’re in a rush during the work week. But, the calories and the cost can add up. So, I’ve started making these same sandwiches at home and freezing them. Not only are we saving money by doing this, we’re cutting out calories and additives that make up those frozen sandwiches. And my homemade ones taste even better!

By taking just an hour or two on the weekend to prep these sandwiches, you can have a quick breakfast in the mornings and feel good about what you’re eating.

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You could prep these Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches with any of your favorite things: mini bagels, English muffins, croissants, bacon, sausage, etc. Our go-to are English muffins with bacon or sausage patties, egg, and cheese. Delish I’m telling you!

We make our eggs the Pioneer Woman way. But simple fried eggs would work too! Also, when I use bacon I like to cook it in the oven to save time. Its cooking along while I’m making the eggs.

We usually prep about 10 at a time so that we both can have one each morning of the week. Feel free to change that amount based on what your family needs. These keep in the freezer for a whole month. Try them out this weekend!

 

Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 10 English Muffins, or bread base of choice
  • 10 sausage patties or 20 strips of bacon (1 lb. is fine)
  • 10-12 eggs
  • 10 slices cheddar cheese
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Plastic wrap + Freezer bags

 

Directions

**Again, we make our eggs the Pioneer Woman way, so check out her site for details or follow along below.

For the eggs:

  1. Melt a tbsp of butter in a small skillet on medium heat.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, add your eggs, a splash of water and a few sprinkles of salt and pepper. Beat until well combined.
  3. Pour just enough egg to cover the bottom of your pan and cook for about 1 minute.
  4. Flip egg over and cook the other side for 10-30 seconds (depends how hot your skillet gets; you want the eggs to be firm but not overcooked).
  5. Fold your egg in half then quarters and set aside.
  6. Repeat until you have 10 folded eggs.

If using sausage, follow instructions on package.

If using bacon:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a large cookie sheet with foil.
  3. Lay strips of bacon on foil. They can overlap a little if needed.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bacon reaches desired crispness.
  5. Drain on paper towel-lined plate.

To assemble:

  1. Split English muffins, bagels, or whatever you’re using in half.
  2. Add a folded egg.
  3. Top with a slice of cheddar cheese (I buy the blocks of cheddar when they’re on sale and slice that up, but pre-sliced cheese would work too).
  4. Top with a sausage patty or two strips of bacon.
  5. Let sandwiches cool on counter for about 30 minutes.*
  6. Wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap and store in freezer bags.
  7. Freeze for up to 1 month.
  8. To reheat, line a microwave-safe plate with a paper towel and heat on high for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes (The egg takes the longest to warm up. I check mine after 1 1/2 minutes and add additional time as needed).

*You want the sandwiches to cool completely before freezing. Otherwise, when you wrap them up the steam will cause condensation on the plastic wrap, which will then cause ice to form on the sandwiches. This will make the sandwiches soggy when re-heated.

Simple Grilled Chicken Marinade

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope you all  had a great weekend. Last week was jam-packed for us, and I was feeling under the weather most of the week. Thankfully, I had a much better weekend! And we got in some great family time.

Not to mention, Friday my husband and I celebrated 5 years of marriage – woot woot! That’s an achievement in my book lol. I have so enjoyed doing life with my husband! He is my perfect match, and an awesome daddy to our little girl. Love you babe!

But, back to our busy week discussion… It seems most of our weeks this summer have been busy, but you know, I’m OK with that! We couldn’t afford to take a “summer vacation” this year, so our weekends have mainly consisted of swimming and grilling out. And that’s really made for a great summer!

Our daughter is 2 1/2 and she’s been LOVING the water. We’ve been putting a swim jacket on her in the pool, and encouraging her to swim on her own. Its taken a few weeks, but last weekend she finally let go and swam without our help! She would get so nervous when you let go of her hand or if she knew you weren’t holding onto her. But for whatever reason, after we put some goggles on her she just went for it. I don’t know if they made her feel more secure, but she hasn’t needed us since to swim! Either way, I’m excited she’s not scared of the water and has enjoyed herself. I really feel that even if you can’t afford to take a long vacation somewhere, if you make the time you spend with family feel special, that’s all that matters.

As I mentioned, another thing we’ve done a lot of this summer is grilling. And one of our favorite things to grill is chicken! As a kid, I wasn’t a big fan of grilled chicken because it always seemed dry and didn’t have much flavor. I love chicken, but cooking it on the grill was not my favorite when I was younger.

I think the key to delicious grilled chicken is to marinade it first. Even if its just for a few minutes, having a sauce or a rub on it before grilling really gives it flavor and keeps the inside moist.

This Simple Grilled Chicken Marinade that I do is delicious, and really is what the title says – simple! It requires just a handful of ingredients, most of which are probably in your kitchen already.

So, if you’re in need of more flavor for your grilled chicken, then try this recipe out!

Have a great week!

 

Simple Grilled Chicken Marinade

*Recipe makes enough marinade for 4 large chicken breasts*

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper

Directions

  1. Whisk all ingredients in a medium to large bowl (that comes with a lid).
  2. Add chicken to bowl and mix well, massaging marinade into chicken as you mix.
  3. I suggest letting the chicken marinade for at least 30 minutes before grilling.*
  4. We grill our chicken on high heat for about 15 minutes. But use an internal thermometer if you’re unsure – be sure if reads at least 165 degrees before removing the chicken.

*Note: You can also bake the chicken after marinading if you prefer. Grilling just keeps the house cool during hot summer days!