This isn’t really a recipe, more like a freezer tip/technique called flash freezing. So if you have a favorite way of preparing chicken broccoli Alfredo then try it with this freezer technique. I’m using a quick version to prepare this dish. I’m also going to show you how to make frozen sauce cubes if you prefer a really creamy alfredo.
Flash freezing is simply taking cooked/uncooked food, spreading it in a single layer on a baking sheet and freezing it rapidly in the freezer. Once frozen the food is then transferred to freezer-friendly bags or containers. Flash freezing make reheating frozen food MUCH easier and quicker. Instead of having a big frozen blob of food to unthaw you have individually frozen pieces. You can flash freeze meats, veggies, fruits, cookie dough, waffles, all kinda stuff!!!
OK, I’m sure you’ve had one of those frozen Skillet Sensations/Easy Express Skillets/ meals from the grocers right? They run about 4-8 bucks a bag and says it’s suppose to feed 2 people. Um….try 1 person in my household! I always have to get two bags. I love the fact that they are pretty tasty and cooks in 12-14 minutes but you definitely don’t get that bang for your buck like when you prepare them yourself.
It’s pretty quick to make as well. I usually pick one lazy Sunday a month and prepare several varieties. They taste so much better than the store-bought bags and you get soooo much more. It comes in handy on those super busy days when you need a quick, healthy, homemade lunch/dinner. I like to make these up and take it to my chicas during that last month of pregnancy. You’d think I’d brought over diamonds! You can use any combination of your favorite pasta, sauce, meats and veggies.
Some of my favorite combinations are:
Potatoes, Steak, Broccoli, and Garlic Butter Sauce
Bow-tie Pasta, Mixed Veggies, Turkey, and Cheddar Cheese Sauce
Macaroni, Tomato Basil Sauce, Spicy Italian Sausage
OMG the possibilities are endless!!! OK let me hush and get on with this post.
Make Ahead Skillet Sensations: Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
2 chicken breasts (diced)
1 bag of broccoli
1 box of penne pasta
1-2 15 boz jars of alfredo sauce
Step 1.) Cut two large chicken breasts into cubes. Season generously with your favorite seasoning. I used black pepper and seasoning salt. I sometimes like to use that Montreal Grill Chicken seasoning. Gives it an excellent chargrilled taste.
Step 2.) In a saucepan add 1/3 cup of water and 4 tablespoons of butter. When butter is melted add chicken and cook over medium high heat until done (the cook time will depend upon how thick your chicken chunks are.)
Step 3.) Fill a large pot with hot water, add about a Tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil. When water comes to boil pour in the pasta and set your timer for however long it says on the box for al dente. For penne pasta it’s 11 minutes.
Step 4.) When pasta is al dente remove from heat and drain. Then drain the chicken.
Step 5.) Return the pasta to the pot and add in the chicken & cooked veggies (for the veggies I used Steam Fresh Broccoli. I just microwaved for 6 minutes like the package says.) Give it a stir.
Step 6.) Pour on your favorite Alfredo sauce & stir!! Add salt & pepper if needed. Now let it sit until it cools. This will give time for the sauce to get creamier and cling to the pasta, chicken & broccoli.
*Sauce tip technique* A lot of the sauce will absorb into the noodles once it’s been frozen. If you like a real creamy Alfredo sauce, here’s what you do. Use about a cup or more of additional sauce and pour into an ice cube tray. Only fill the tray about 1/4 -1/2 inch full (we want the sauce cubes to be thin so that they will melt easily when we make our meal.) When they are frozen simply put them in the freezer bag with your frozen pasta meal.
Ok here’s the freezer tip that I like to use for these frozen skillet meals. It’s gonna prevent your meals from being one big frozen blob when you go to prepare it. And if you’ve ever froze a skillet meal then you know what I’m talking about. You go to cook it and it takes FOREVER!! The bottom part is always overcooked..it’s a mess.
Step 7.) Line a cookie sheet with foil paper and spread the pasta mixture in a single layer. It must be in a single layer.
Step 8.) Cover with plastic wrap or foil. Just make sure you cover it tightly. You don’t want it to pick up that nasty freezer taste. Place into the freezer and freeze until completely frozen (you can get away with freezing it partially Just make sure the sauce is frozen).
Step 9.) When it’s frozen remove from refrigerator and use a spatula to scrape up the pieces. You can use your hands to break them apart as well.
Step 10.) Place into freezer bags.
Look at all this we get!! 5 bags!!
To prepare simply place in a saucepan and heat for approx. 12-15 minutes on medium heat or until thoroughly heated.
Add additional salt, pepper if needed. Garnish with diced tomatoes, parsley flakes, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. Yummy!!