Creamy Peanut Thai Noodles

Creamy peanut Thai noodles is a quick and delicious dinner that’s perfect for busy weeknights. Noodles are tossed in a quick peanut sauce along with our favorite veggies; carrots, peppers and cabbage. 

If your family is like mine, finding a dish everyone loves can be a challenge but everyone always agrees on homemade takeout from Mongolian beef to Bang Bang Shrimp and this super quick noodle dish!

A bowl of thai peanut noodles with fresh limes.

What’s In Thai Noodles?

  • Sauce: An easy Thai-flavored peanut butter cream sauce with a hint of heat and lots of flavor. You can make it as spicy (or mild) as you like.
  • Noodles: Linguine or spaghetti work well in this recipe (whole wheat noodles work too). You can also use rice noodles if you prefer.
  • Veggies: Julienned or shredded veggies are great in this dish. Use whatever you have on hand.
  • Toppings: My favorite part! Lime juice, peanuts, cilantro and green onions all add a big punch of flavor!

Ingredients for thai peanut noodles arranged on a working surface.

Tips For Making Peanut Thai Noodles

  • Once you start cooking this recipe comes togehter FAST! Prep all ingredients before getting started.
  • Add leftover oven baked chicken breasts or shrimp to this recipe.
  • If the sauce is too thick, just add a little pasta water or chicken broth to thin it out.
  • The sauce does thicken up a bit when it sits on the pasta, so it’s best to serve this dish right after tossing the pasta and sauce together.
  • The amount of salt you’ll ultimately need in this dish will be greatly affected by the soy sauce you use. I use a low sodium soy sauce.

2 process shots of thai peanut noodles being made in a saucepan.

My Favorite Thai Peanut Noodle Toppings

If you’re looking for some quick and easy toppings for these Thai peanut noodles, try some of these:

  • meat: chicken, shrimp, beef, or pork
  • peanuts
  • cilantro
  • lime juice
  • green onions

A pot of creamy thai peanut noodles ready to be served.

 

Looking for a few more Asian inspiration?

How about some crazy delicious, teriyaki chicken. Serve these over rice and you’ve got another dinner your whole family will love. Sesame Ginger Snap Peas or Sesame Bok Choy make great sides with this meal.

This dish is a great alternative to our fave Chicken Pad Thai.

Creamy Peanut Thai Noodles

This thai noodles recipe is a quick and delicious dish.

  • 8 ounces dry pasta (linguine or spaghetti)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (grated)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup carrots (julienned)
  • 1 1/2 cups cabbage (thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 cup bean sprouts (optional)
  • green onions, peanuts, and cilantro for garnish

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha (or to taste)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well, do not rinse.

  3. Meanwhile, cook ginger and garlic in vegetable oil until fragrant.

  4. Add carrots and cabbage and cook 2-3 minutes or until slightly tender. Add sauce while stirring over medium heat and simmer until thickened, about 2-3 minutes.

  5. Stir in noodles and bean sprouts. Garnish with crushed peanuts, cilantro and green onions (add lime wedges).

More Noodle Dishes We Love

Creamy Peanut Thai Noodles is one dish our whole family agrees on! This easy pasta dish is smothered in a Thai-flavored peanut butter cream sauce and loaded with chicken, red peppers, carrots & green onions for a great family meal.
A pot of creamy thai peanut noodles garnished with limes and peanuts.
A pot of creamy thai peanut noodles garnished with limes and peanuts.
Top photo - A bowl of thai peanut noodles with fresh limes. Bottom photo - Ingredients for thai peanut noodles arranged on a working surface.

Quick & Easy Orecchiette with Brussels Sprouts!

Orecchiette is an easy one pot pasta dish that you can get on the table fast! Bacon, brussel sprouts, and orecchiette pasta are tossed in a quick creamy sauce to create delicious dish.

It’s a quick-and-easy pasta recipe that can easily be served as a meal. For a heartier dish, top with a diced oven baked chicken breast and a side of garlic bread.

What is Orecchiette?

Orecchiette is pasta in the size and shape of tiny saucers and  translates to “small ears”.

The indented shape cups and holds sauces and anything it is cooked with, making it ideal for combining with other ingredients. As you cook orecchiette, the starches also slightly thicken and meld with the sauce it’s in to produce a wonderful creaminess.

Prepping Brussels Sprouts

For this recipe the brussels sprouts are thinly sliced and pan fried in a bit of bacon fat. I use a knife to cut them but you can also use a mandolin.

Some grocery stores sell shaved/sliced brussels for brussel sprout salad or slaw. Those will work great in this recipe.

How to Make Orecchiette and Brussel Sprouts

This dish comes together in no time flat, it really as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Cook pasta and bacon (see recipe below).
  2. Reserve the bacon fat to cook sliced brussel sprouts.
  3. Add broth, wine and cream and briefly simmer.

Crumble bacon on top and serve hot. With all of the fresh brussel sprouts mixed right into the pasta this dish is best served with a slice of garlic bread or cheesy breadstick!

Other Delicious Additions

  • Vegetables: Lots of other vegetables can be used instead of, or in addition to the brussel sprouts. Try shredded broccoli florets (or broccoli slaw), or broccoli rabe. Sundried tomatoes provide it some welcome tartness and texture. Chopped zucchini or yellow squash are other terrific options.
  • Cheese: Bump up the flavors with grated cheese such as parmesan, romano and asiago.
  • Meat: Turn orecchiette with brussels sprouts into a one-pot meal by adding meat. It’s a terrific way to use up and stretch any poultry or meat left over from last night’s dinner. Diced chicken, ham or Italian sausage are excellent choices.

The Best Sides for Orecchiette

Serve orecchiette with brussels sprouts with cheesy pull apart garlic rolls or 30 minute rolls. A zesty tossed cucumber tomato salad or a simple tossed salad with balsamic vinaigrette can also complete the meal.

Delicious and easy orecchiette with brussel sprouts is a filling and flavor packed dish that’s sure to satisfy your family.

More Creamy Pastas

 

Orecchiette with Brussels Sprouts

An easy one pot pasta dish that you can get on the table fast.

  • 8 oz orecchiette pasta
  • 8 oz brussels sprouts
  • 4 slices bacon (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • parsley for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 lemon (optional)
  1. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain while reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
  2. With a sharp knife or mandoline, slice brussels sprouts very thinly.
  3. Cook bacon over medium heat until browned and crisp. Remove from pan and set aside reserving drippings. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  4. Stir in white wine and chicken stock. Simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

  5. Stir in lemon zest and heavy cream. Simmer 5 additional minutes. Add brussels sprouts and 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese and cook for 2 minutes. Add pasta and heat through (add pasta water if needed).

  6. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Then sprinkle with bacon, parmesan, and squeeze half a lemon over top (optional). Serve immediately.

Orecchiette with brussels sprouts topped with parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon in a serving dish.
Orecchiette with brussels sprouts topped with parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon in a serving dish.
Top photo - Close up of orecchiette with brussels sprouts in a frying pan. Bottom photo - Close up of orecchiette and sliced brussels sprouts in a frying pan prior to tossing together.

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells (Freezer Friendly)

Taco stuffed pasta shells are a great twist on classic stuffed shells Jumbo pasta shells are filled with a creamy seasoned beef & vegetable mixture and topped with cheese. 

All you need to add to this delicious taco inspired casserole is a simple tossed salad, or some roasted broccoli!

A serving of taco stuffed shells on a plate garnished with parsley.

What Pasta To Use

Jumbo shells are sold with the pasta and are available in most supermarkets (or online at Amazon).  They often come in a box (to keep them from breaking) next to the lasagna. They are called conchiglie, because they resemble conch shells.

If you can’t find them, try substituting for the smaller shells and creating a casserole (layered like I do with my baked ziti), rather than stuffed shells.

How To Make Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

To make these stuffed pasta shells:

  1. Cook the pasta shells to al dente (they’ll cook a bit more in the oven).
  2. Brown the ground beef and onions and drain fat.

Two images showing taco stuffed shells filling in a pan then mixed and combined with cream cheese.

  1. Add tomatoes, taco seasoning, water, and veggies (per the recipe below). Cook until all of the water is evaporated.
  2. Fill each pasta shell with a few tablespoons of the beef mixture. Add them to a casserole dish.

Two images showing jumbo pasta shells being filled with the taco mixture and then lined up in a casserole dish.

  1. Top with salsa. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Then, add cheese and bake an additional 10 minutes to melt the cheese.

You bet, these are even freezable! You can prepare these up until step 5, and store them in the fridge for up to 24 hours or freeze them (more on that below).

Two images showing taco filled pasta shells on a casserole dish topped with sauce and then with shredded cheese.

To Make This a Freezer Meal

This meal can be made ahead of time and frozen.  Prepare as directed but don’t add the cheese on top and don’t bake it. Ensure the filling is cooled and cover tightly with plastic wrap and then wrap in foil.

To Cook: Remove it from the freezer the night before and refrigerate overnight.  By dinner time the next day it’s ready to top with cheese and bake.

Storing and Reheating The Leftovers

Have leftovers? No worries! They will last about 3 days in the fridge, covered.

These reheat pretty well. To reheat this stuffed taco casserole, microwave for a couple minutes, or reheat in the oven at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes.

More Tasty Taco Takes

We love traditional ground beef tacos and often cook the meat up in batches for meals. Add taco meat to your regular ground beef dishes to spice them up like taco lasagna or taco casserole.

Leftover meat is also great on Taco Salad or in a taco soup recipe!

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells. Jumbo pasta shells filled with a creamy seasoned beef & vegetable mixture and topped with cheese.  This is the perfect weeknight meal and fun twist on Taco night!

Filling

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 2 envelopes taco seasoning
  • 1 14.5 oz can of ((low sodium) diced tomatoes with juice)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped veggies ((red, yellow or green peppers, corn, zucchini… whatever you have on hand))
  • 1 package ((8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed)

Other

  • 24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 Cups Salsa
  • 2 Cups grated cheddar and/or monterey jack cheese
  • Sour cream for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Cook pasta shells al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

  3. Brown ground beef and onion in a large pan until no pink remains.

  4. Add in undrained tomatoes, taco seasoning, 3/4 cup of water and veggies. Cook 5 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Stir in cream cheese until melted.

  5. Fill each pasta shell with about 2-3 tablespoons of the beef mixture. Place into a casserole dish.

  6. Top with salsa. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

To Make Ahead: Prepare up to step 5. Refrigerate or freeze overnight.

To Cook Frozen Shells: Defrost in the fridge overnight and proceed with baking as directed.

 

 

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells served on a white plate.
Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells served on a white plate.
Top Photo - Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells served on a white plate. Bottom photo - Pasta shells in a casserole dish.

A Delicious Sesame Ramen Noodle

Sesame Ramen Noodles are a flavorful quick dish and it may just become a lunchtime staple for you! Tender crisp green onions are sauteed in sesame oil and tossed with instant ramen in a delicious ginger sauce!

You can try serving this dish as a companion to easy pepper steak or pineapple teriyaki chicken. Or, serve it up alongside garlic grilled shrimp, and make several other pretty side dishes to go with it for a fun Japanese-themed supper!

Sesame ramen noodles prepared in a serving dish.

To Make Ramen Noodle Sauce

It’s best to have all your ingredients ready ahead of time so that you can just toss everything in the hot pan.

  1. Prepare green onions, garlic, and ginger.
  2. Boil the instant ramen (see recipe below).
  3. Make the sauce and toss with the noodles. Top with extra green onion and sesame seeds

Two images showing the steps to prepare sesame ginger sauce with noodles.

How to Toast Sesame Seeds

When it comes to sesame seeds, toasted definitely has the best flavor. You can also purchase toasted seeds to keep on hand.

To start, preheat a dry skillet on medium. To save dishes, use the same pan you plan to make the noodles in.

  • When hot, sprinkle the raw sesame seeds in the pan and shake or move the seeds around with a spatula until they start to turn slightly brown. Watch carefully that the seeds don’t burn. This should only take about 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Once you see a color change, scrape the seeds into a bowl immediately.

Try making enough to keep on hand in the freezer in a ziplock bag, so that next time, you can skip this step!

What to Add to Sesame Ramen Noodles

Though these noodles are so delicious they need no additions and I often serve them as a side dish but of course you can add proteins and veggies to make a ramen stir fry.  Feel free to mix it up any way you choose!

  • Try adding in some thinly sliced beef, or some shredded chicken.
  • Bamboo shoots or baby corn would taste so authentic!
  • Spicy chili bean paste…why not?
  • Add lots of broth and a soft boiled egg with a drizzle of tamari on top for the perfect meal!

Overview of sesame ramen noodles prepared in a pan.

More Amazing Asian Dishes

Sesame Ramen Noodles

This recipe has all the incredible umami flavor of a Japanese noodle house; you’ll want to make it again and again!

  • 2 packages ramen noodles (seasoning packets discarded)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 green onions (finely sliced & whites/greens divided)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Toasted sesame seeds (for serving)

Sauce

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar (or honey)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (or sriracha)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  1. Boil ramen noodles 3 minutes or just until tender, drain well. Do not overcook. Meanwhile, whisk sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

  2. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add ginger, garlic and whites of green onions. Cook just until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add remaining sauce ingredients and 1/2 of the remaining green onions. Simmer 1 minute.
  4. Stir in ramen, cook 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Top with remaining green onions and sesame seeds.
  • Vegetables are great added to this recipe. Simply stir fry cabbage or other favorite veggies before adding the sauce.
  • Leftover protein can be added to make this a full meal.
  • Ramen noodles can be substituted with an equal amount of any other thin noodle.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

 

Sesame ramen noodles in a white serving dish.
Sesame Ramen Noodles in a white serving dish.
Top image - sesame ramen noodles in a white serving dish. Bottom dish - sesame ramen noodles in a frying pan, garnished with green onions.

Creamy Pesto Mac and Cheese

Pesto Mac and Cheese takes your mac and cheese game to the next level! This fun twist on a traditional mac and cheese recipe is made with creamy havarti and a couple of spoonfuls of pesto for a great flavor boost! 

Get creative and add in your favorites; chicken, bacon, broccoli or any mix-ins you have in the fridge or pantry! Think of the ‘pasta-bilities!’

Pesto mac and cheese in a serving bowl with a serving spoon, garnished with basil.

A New Favorite

I’m so excited to be sharing this recipe with you today because it’s one of many recipes I’ve fallen in love with from my newest gem in my cookbook collection!

This bowl of love is from The Two Peas & Their Pod Cookbook written by my good friend Maria who blogs over at Two Peas and Their Pod.

I’ve waited so long to get my hands on a copy and it was well worth the wait! This book is filled with amazing fresh recipes that are not only easy to make, they’re family friendly! I love that most of the ingredients are things you likely have on hand (just like this mac and cheese, which is crazy easy and insanely delish)!

Two Peas & Their Pod Cookbook has easy to follow recipes with gorgeous photos that your entire family is going to love! I’ve got a big ol’ list of recipes dog eared in this book already!

Two peas & their pod cookbook with pesto mac and cheese ingredients around it.

What is Pesto?

Most people think of basil pesto but, pesto is a style of sauce, and can be made with nearly any herb or vegetable. Spinach and basil are the most common kinds of pesto, but it can also be made with sundried tomatoes, bell peppers, and even mushrooms!

How to Make Pesto Mac and Cheese

This easy pasta dish is so creamy and it’s a quick and delicious family meal.

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Combine butter and flour in a stockpot to make a roux (see recipe below). Whisk in milk and cook until thickened.
  3. Stir in shredded cheese until sauce is smooth and creamy.
  4. Gently fold in the pasta and enjoy!

Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. This mac and cheese dish is delicious served with a slice of homemade garlic bread or cheesy garlic breadstick to soak up every drop of that yummy sauce.

Two images showing the steps to create the pesto mac and cheese sauce.

My Favorite Add-Ins

This recipe is super flavorful made as written but Maria also has lots of great add-in suggestions; it’s will be like a new recipe every time!

Close up of pesto mac and cheese being scooped out of serving dish.

How To Store Mac and Cheese

Pesto mac and cheese is easily stored in the fridge in a zippered bag or airtight container.

  • Freeze it the same way, use a zippered bag or airtight container. Be sure to write the date on the outside of the bag or container.
  • Thaw in the fridge overnight. Pesto mac and cheese might not be as firm because the freezing process breaks down the pasta, but it can still be refreshed by draining any liquid that may have accumulated.
  • Reheat by putting the mac and cheese in a pot and heating gently. Refresh the flavors by adding a little salt and pepper or some new add-ins and it’s a whole new recipe!

Mac and Cheese Lover Recipes

Pesto Mac and Cheese

This stovetop mac and cheese is super creamy, cheesy, and full of flavor! It is easy to make but tastes gourmet! 

  • 12 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups Havarti ( or mozzarella cheese, shredded)
  • 3 Tablespoons pesto (or store bought basil pesto)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook just until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the flour to create a paste.

  3. Add the milk and whisk until smooth. Increase the heat to medium and continue whisking until the sauce starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.

  4. Stir in the shredded cheese and continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Fold in the pesto.

  5. Add the pasta, stirring to combine, and cook just until the pasta is warmed through.

  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Recipe published with permission from Two Peas & Their Pod Cookbook.

Pesto Mac and Cheese in a white bowl.
Pesto Mac and Cheese in a white bowl.
Top photo - Pesto Mac and Cheese in a white bowl. Bottom photo - Pesto sauce being made in a saucepan.

Easy One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta!

Chicken Fajita Pasta is one meal your family won’t want to miss. A creamy fajita sauce is tossed with bell peppers, seasoned chicken, and pasta for a delicious, filling and a quick weeknight meal.

Loaded with all your favorite parts of chicken fajitas, this one pot wonder is also the perfect balance of comfort and fresh seasoned with homemade fajita seasoning.

Close up of Chicken Fajita Pasta in a pan, garnished with parsley.

What’s In Fajita Pasta?

Pasta of course and all of the flavors of our favorite fajita recipe!

  • Seasoning: I use homemade seasoning but you can use store bought or even use taco seasoning in a pinch.
  • Fajita Veggies: We use a combination of bell peppers for color; red, green, yellow and orange can be used interchangeably.
  • Meat: I love chicken fajitas so I’ve used chicken breast in this recipe but it’s great with shrimp or even leftover steak!
  • Pasta Sauce: A little bit of cream (I use half and half), a sprinkle of cilantro and of course, lots of cheese!
  • Pasta: Any medium pasta will do. I’ve used penne but other great choices include rotini or cavatappi (corkscrew pasta).

Overhead view of ingredients in Chicken Fajita Pasta.

To Make Fajita Pasta

Just a few easy steps are all it takes to pull this meal together in minutes.

  1. Cook the pasta al dente and set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, brown the seasoned chicken and then add the sliced veggies (see recipe below).
  3. Stir in the cream and cheese and toss with pasta to serve.

Two images, left image shows chicken fajita mixture with sauce and right image shows creamy chicken fajita mixture with pasta.

What to do with Leftovers

Chicken fajita pasta can be stored in the fridge for a quick lunch or supper. Or frozen for an easy weeknight dinner!

  • To refrigerate, cool then place in an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for up to four days.
  • To freeze, cool then store in freezer containers, leaving an inch of headspace for expansion. It can be stored in the freezer for up to four months.
  • To reheat, take directly from freezer and place in microwave on a low setting on short cooking cycles, gently stirring between cycles until it is hot through and through.

More Fajita Favorites

Creamy Chicken Fajita Pasta

Chicken tossed in homemade fajita seasoning, cooked with bell peppers, pasta and mixed in a creamy sauce.

  • 1 pound chicken breast ((boneless, skinless) 1/2 inch diced)
  • 2 tablespoons fajita seasoning (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper (seeded and thinly sliced)
  • 1 green bell pepper (seeded and thinly sliced)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (seeded and thinly sliced)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup half and half ((or cream) )
  • 1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese (shredded)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (minced)
  • 8 ounces pasta (cooked al dente)
  1. Combine chicken breast and fajita seasoning in a medium bowl.

  2. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken for 7 minutes or until almost fully cooked.

  3. Add in the peppers and the onion. Cook until the chicken is completely cooked and peppers and onion are slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.

  4. Pour in the half and half and the shredded cheese, stir to combine until slightly thickened.

  5. Add cilantro and cooked pasta and stir to combine.

  6. If not thick and creamy continue to cook until it reaches desired consistency.

Close up of Chicken Fajita Pasta in a pan, garnished with parsley.
Close up of Chicken Fajita Pasta in a pan, garnished with parsley.
Top image - close up of Chicken Fajita Pasta in a pan, garnished with parsley. Bottom image - creamy chicken fajita mixture with pasta

Creamy Stovetop Mushroom Orzo

Creamy Mushroom Orzo is a delicious departure from a regular rice side dish that looks as elegant as it tastes!  Made with orzo, mushrooms, and peas in a creamy parmesan sauce this dish is a must-try that comes together easily in a pinch!

Because orzo is actually a pasta, it takes far less time to cook than rice and is perfect tossed with a creamy sauce. Serve with oven baked chicken breasts for a hearty & satisfying meal.

Creamy Mushroom Orzo being scooped out of a bowl.

What is Orzo?

Orzo looks like rice but it’s actually pasta! The word orzo is Italian for barley.

This pasta may look like rice but it has a lovely firm texture when cooked al dente and is a great addition to soups. Just like other pasta shapes, it can be serve hot like this side dish or cold in an orzo salad!

How To Make Stovetop Mushroom Orzo

This creamy stovetop pasta dish is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Saute onion and mushrooms in oil. Add garlic and oregano and cook until fragrant.
  2. Stir in orzo, chicken stock, and half and half (light cream). Simmer until the pasta is al dente.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in parmesan cheese and frozen peas (which will thaw and heat up with the pasta).

First image - mushroom orzo ingredients in a pot. The second image - adding in the peas and cheese to make the mushroom orzo creamy and cheesy.

A Side or Entree

This dish makes for a great and filling side dish. If you’d like to serve it as an entree, make some baked chicken breasts or even garlic shrimp to add in. Don’t forget the  homemade garlic bread!

This cheesy mushroom orzo goes with everything!  As a side this is great with Crispy Baked Chicken Legs or pork tenderloin! Even baked salmon is wonderfully complemented by this savory side dish.

For a completely vegetarian entrée, scoop orzo over a bed of sautéed spinach and garnish with a handful of toasted sliced almonds and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette!

Creamy Mushroom Orzo being scooped out of a bowl.

What To Do With Leftovers

Mushroom orzo reheats easily on the stove or in the microwave. Add a little bit of half and half and parmesan cheese to restore its creaminess. To refresh the flavor, a little splash of lemon juice and maybe a dash of salt and pepper are all you need! Mushroom orzo is even great as a cold side salad! Add some chicken and scoop it into a wrap for an easy, tasty workday lunch!

Can You Freeze Mushroom Orzo?

Orzo is a pasta and while it can be frozen, it freezes best when the sauce is added to it. Be sure to freeze it in labeled zippered bags or airtight freezer containers. Mushroom orzo will keep up to three months in the freezer.

Easy Rice Side Dishes

Creamy Stovetop Mushroom Orzo

Made with orzo, mushrooms, and peas cooked in a creamy sauce, it comes together in a pinch!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion (diced)
  • 4 ounces baby bella mushrooms (sliced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (minced)
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (more as needed)
  • 1/2 cup half and half (or light cream)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 cup petite peas (frozen)
  1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are tender. Add in garlic and oregano and cook for 30 seconds.

  2. Add in the orzo pasta, chicken stock, half and half, and stir to combine.

  3. Lower the heat to medium and let the mixture lightly simmer until the pasta is cooked al dente, about 10-15 minutes. You don’t want to mixture to boil rapidly as it will scorch the dairy.

  4. If the pasta is not fully cooked and the mixture is low on liquid add a little more chicken stock to help cook the pasta.

  5. Once cooked, remove pan from the heat and stir in parmesan cheese, frozen peas and salt & pepper to taste.

Recipe can easily be doubled to feed a crowd or as an entree.

Mushroom Orzo being served with a silver serving spoon
Mushroom Orzo being served with a silver serving spoon
Top photo - Mushroom Orzo being served with a silver serving spoon. Bottom photo - ingredients for creamy orzo pasta in a pot.

Lasagna Roll Ups (Freezer Meal)

Lasagna Roll Ups are a simple twist on a traditional lasagna recipe! Rolled lasagna noodles are filled with a flavorful spinach and ricotta mixture and baked with a quick homemade meat sauce.

Turn a traditional lasagna or a chicken lasagna into a easy roll up following this recipe. Already individually portioned these rolls ups are perfect for a potluck or a family gathering!

A lasagna roll up on a plate with meat sauce and garnished with parsley.

What’s in a Lasagna Roll Up?

Lasagna is a classic dish that most of us grew up on and a meal that my whole family loves! Layers of pasta, hearty meat sauce, fresh or frozen spinach, and cheese baked until warm and gooey.

A lasagna roll up is reminiscent of one of our favorite stuffed shells recipes with the spinach and cheese stuffed filling.

This roll ups recipe adds in an amazing homemade meat sauce and of course cheese for a great ooey-gooey dinner that everyone loves!

Ingredients for the cheese mixture in a bowl before being mixed.

How to Make Lasagna Roll Ups

This easy lasagna roll up recipe comes together in a few simple steps.

  1. Beef Mixture: Brown beef mixture, drain, and stir in pasta sauce. Prepare lasagna noodles per package directions.
  2. Cheese Mixture: Combine remaining ingredients, reserving a portion of cheese for topping.

Lasagna noodles topped with spinach and ricotta mixture, and rolled up.

  1. Assemble: Top prepared lasagna noodles with cheese mixture and roll jelly style. Layer meat sauce, lasagna rolls, and remaining meat sauce in casserole dish.
  2. Bake: Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil, top with remaining cheeses. Bake another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Two images showing lasagna roll ups layered with meat sauce and cheese before and after being baked.

Serve with a slice of homemade garlic bread and a caesar salad for any easy supper.

Tips for Lasagna Roll Ups

  • Cook noodles al dente so they don’t get mushy
  • Ricotta can be swapped for cottage cheese
  • Make into a freezer meal, prepare as directed and freeze before baking
  • For a vegetarian option, replace ground beef with 2 cups of vegetables finely chopped

Got Leftovers?!

Lasagna roll ups are perfect as leftovers! Just serve them with some garlic bread and a green salad and they are like new again!

  • Freezing: Line dish with foil before freezing, once frozen, remove it from the dish. Wrap it well and use freezer labels to label (freezer labels don’t fall off when they’re frozen).  These will last in the freezer for a few months.
  • Reheating:
    • In the Oven, defrost overnight in the fridge and bake as directed below.
    • In the Microwave, put in a microwave safe dish and top with a little extra parmesan or shredded mozzarella cheese. Microwave about one or two minutes and serve away!

Favorite Lasagna Inspired Dishes

Lasagna Roll Ups

Lasagna Roll Ups are a quick and easy twist on a traditional lasagna. Tender lasagna noodles filled with a creamy cheese and topped with a shortcut meat sauce and mozzarella.

  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach (defrosted and squeezed dry)
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese (shredded, divided)
  • 1 egg
  • 9 lasagna noodles (cooked and drained)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups pasta sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic until no pink remains. Drain and stir in pasta sauce. Cook and drain lasagna noodles according to package directions.

  3. In a small bowl, combine egg, spinach, cottage cheese, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
  4. Lay out cooked lasagna noodles and divide ricotta cheese mixture over noodles. Roll jelly roll style.

  5. Half of the meat sauce in a 9×13 dish. Place roll ups in dish and top with remaining sauce. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes.

  6. Remove foil and top with remaining cheeses. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

A lasagna roll up on a plate topped with meat sauce and parsley.
Lasagna Roll Up on a plate with meat sauce and parsley.
Top image - lasagna roll up topped with meat sauce and parsley. Bottom image - lasagna rolls ups in a casserole dish topped with meat sauce and cheese.

Easy Ramen Stir Fry

This Ramen Stir Fry is an easy, inexpensive, and flavorful dish that’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal. Hoisin sauce, sesame oil, ginger and garlic combine in a sauce that will elevate your humble ramen noodle stir fry to new heights of deliciousness! 

A couple packs of ramen noodles can usually be found for 50 cents or less, and will be enough for a tasty side dish to feed a family or a simple lunch for two. Add in leftover baked chicken breasts, grilled shrimp, or veggies to this easy and delicious noodle stir fry.

Ramen Stir Fry with veggies in a frying pan ready to serve

To Make Ramen Stir Fry

Here’s all you have to do for this quick and delicious meal:

  1. Discard the flavor packet and boil the noodles until slightly al dente and drain.
  2. Stir fry cabbage and other vegetables until tender crisp.
  3. Toss noodles with the cooked vegetables and sauce to coat, and serve.

adding sauce to an easy ramen stir fry

My Favorite Add Ins

Stir fry with ramen will accommodate just about any vegetable that is easy to sauté. I especially love it with sliced mushrooms, onions, julienned carrots, bean sprouts, broccoli florets and shredded bok choy or Napa cabbage.

Chopped peanuts will add some welcome texture, flavor and protein, without preventing vegetarians from enjoying this dish. Add in any leftover meats such as teriyaki chicken thighs. Sprinkle the finished dish with chopped fresh cilantro or green onion for extra taste and eye appeal.

Reheating Ramen Stir Fry

Ramen stir fry will keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to four days, or in the freezer for up to four months. Thaw first before reheating, covered, in the microwave. You can also reheat in the oven in a foil-covered oven safe dish or pan at 350°F for about 10 minutes or until steaming hot throughout.

More Easy Stir Frys

Easy Ramen Stir Fry

This ramen stir fry is an easy, cheap, and flavorful dish that's perfect for a quick weeknight meal.

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt & black pepper to taste

Stir Fry

  • 6 ounces ramen noodles (2 packages (discard flavor packet))
  • 1 cup cabbage (sliced)
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 4 cups vegetables (sliced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger (grated)
  1. Whisk sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Bring 4 cups water to a boil and stir in ramen. Cook 3 minutes and drain reserving 1 cup pasta water.
  3. Cook vegetables in a skillet until tender crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  4. Add sauce and simmer until thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Stir in noodles. Add pasta water a little at a time to reach desired consistency.

For vegetables I used bell peppers, carrots, snap peas and bean sprouts.

Ramen stir fry in a frying pan.
Ramen Stir Fry in a white bowl.
Top image - Ramen stir fry in a white bowl. Bottom image - ramen stir fry ingredients on a cutting board.

Try this Easy Chicken Alfredo Bake Tonight!

chicken alfredo bake plated

This Chicken Alfredo Bake is make-ahead friendly and perfect for busy weeknights. Made with pasta, a creamy Alfredo sauce, and chicken breasts, this baked pasta dish is perfect for the freezer too!

Having Lasagna, Spaghetti Casserole, or a dish of Chicken Alfredo Pasta in the freezer to simply pop in the oven when we’re short on time is a lifesaver. The whole family loves it and the leftovers are great for lunches!

chicken alfredo bake in casserole dish

How to Make Chicken Alfredo

We love easy pasta recipes like this Chicken Alfredo Bake for a number of reasons. Although it can seem like a little more prep may be required with pasta bakes, it pays off in the end when you have a hearty meal in the fridge or freezer and almost no dinner time clean up.

  1. Chicken: This recipe calls for cooked, chopped chicken and is great for using up leftovers from a whole chicken or shredded chicken. If you don’t have any leftover, simply make some baked chicken breasts and chop them up.
  2. Pasta: Cook in boiling, salted water until al dente. Don’t overcook the pasta as it will cook further in the oven! Use any short cut of pasta you like, and white or whole grain will both work just as well.
  3. Sauce: This chicken Alfredo recipe includes a homemade sauce. Let me say that Chicken Alfredo sauce from scratch is definitely worth the extra time! However, if you’re short on time and need to cut something out, use a store bought Alfredo sauce and skip this step, with zero guilt!
  4. Combine: Stir it together and refrigerate, freeze, or bake.

Prep is done and you decide when to serve the chicken Alfredo!

chicken alfredo bake close up

Can I Freeze Chicken Alfredo?

You can store it in the fridge for 2-3 days, in the freezer for 3 months, or you can bake and enjoy right away. There are a few secrets to freezing this Chicken Alfredo Bake, but it can be done and it can be done well!

  • Don’t overcook your pasta: As it freezes, thaws, and is baked, the pasta will become softer. If freezing this casserole, undercook pasta by 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Use higher fat dairy: High fat dairy suffers less from separation after freezing. So opt for whole milk in the sauce instead of low fat.
  • Seal well: Cover the chicken Alfredo with plastic wrap and foil as it helps to create a good seal and prevents freezer burn. Or store in an airtight container.
  • To bake: For best results, thaw the chicken Alfredo casserole at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator before baking. It can be baked right from frozen, but the pasta can become even softer as it requires a longer bake time from frozen.

chicken alfredo bake plated

What to Serve With Chicken Alfredo

The best part of this baked chicken Alfredo recipe is that it is perfect on it’s own. But you can never go wrong with a slice of homemade garlic bread and a delicious side of caesar salad! Don’t forget to make an easy strawberry shortcake for dessert!

More Pasta Recipes You’ll Love:

Chicken Alfredo Bake

Made with pasta, homemade Alfredo sauce, and chicken breasts. It's make ahead and freezer friendly, so it's perfect for busy weeknights.

  • 1 pound chicken (cooked & chopped (about 3 breasts))
  • 5 cups short pasta (about 12 ounces (340 grams), cooked al dente)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Alfredo Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (1-2%)
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  1. In a 9×13″ baking dish or two 8×8″ baking dishes, place chicken and pasta. Set cheese aside for topping.

Make the Alfredo Sauce:

  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in the flour until absorbed, and cook 1-2 minutes.

  3. Gradually whisk in the milk and cream until combined and smooth. Stir in the salt, Italian seasoning, pepper and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking frequently, until thickened and smooth.
  5. Pour over pasta and chicken in baking dish and top with mozzarella and Parmesan.
  6. Follow directions in post above to store for later, or cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes until hot and bubbly, then broil to brown the cheese if desired. Serve.

Chicken Alfredo in a white baking dish.
Chicken Alfredo in a white baking dish.
Top photo - Chicken Alfredo in a white baking dish. Bottom photo - a serving of chicken alfredo on a white plate.