About 10 Minute Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta
I feel like I’ve been waiting all year for the holiday season to arrive, and now that it’s finally here, I’m getting exactly what I asked for: I’m busy. I’m busy making all sorts of festive holiday plans, I’m busy working on a million and one little side projects, and I’m busy because this blog is (thankfully!) really starting to pick up. So as much as I absolutely love this time of year, I can already see that I have my work cut out for me if I’m going to make the most of it.
But you know what? I’ve totally got this. My holiday plans are shaping up to be pretty epic, all those side projects are slowly but surely getting knocked out, and I’m really getting good at juggling all the new responsibilities that come with running a happenin’ food blog.
And speaking of those food blog responsibilities, you know which one I love the most? Coming up with fast, tasty recipes to share with all of you. Because with as crazy as my life has been lately, I’m in need of no-hassle dinner options just as much as you are.
Which brings me to this new recipe, and I gotta be honest: if you had told me a week ago that I could make a chicken cordon bleu pasta in 10 minutes, I never would have believed you. I would have gone so far as to channel my inner 90’s teen and claim that you must be “joshing” me, because 10 minutes for a completely cooked pasta dish is just crazy talk, right?
Well, as it turns out – apparently not! I recently stumbled across Barilla’s new “Pronto” pasta, which allows you to do exactly what we all wish we could do with pasta: put it in cold water and cook it without having to wait for the water to boil first. Seriously, this is an actual thing. Boiling (and draining!) water for pasta could now be a thing of the past.
I had to see this for myself, so I headed out to the brand new Walmart down the street (confession: I absolutely love shopping stores shortly after they’ve opened! They’re always so orderly and clean) and headed straight for the pasta isle. I found the Pronto pasta mixed in within the other Barilla pasta options. I was feeling a little fancy, so I went with the Rotini.
Next, I headed over to the frozen food section, because I already had a vision in mind of the dinner I was going to create with the Barilla Pronto Rotini and I needed some hearty protein to go with it. After browsing around, I picked up some of Tyson’s new Grilled and Ready Strips – they were by far the best choice for a fast, convenient way to kick up the flavor in our dinner.
To test my theory, I started making dinner as soon as I got home. I wanted to see how long it would take me before everyone was fed and I was cleaning up the dishes.
Usually, dinner takes me about 45 minutes to put together from start to finish, what with all the preparation, heating, and cooking, but for this dish of chicken cordon bleu pasta it took me all of 15 minutes. Seriously, in just 15 minutes after walking in the door from the grocery store, I was doing this:
Then I had this plate in front of me. It lasted about 5 minutes before I was reaching for my second helping.
By the time it was all said and done, dinner was cooked, served, and eaten in 30 minutes. I was shocked! Not only was one of my biggest chores (dinner) out of the way, but I now had 20-30 “free” minutes in my usually air tight schedule.
So, I decided to make use of those minutes the best way I knew how: spending time with my furry, four legged kids. Our dogs sleep at my feet while I work during the day, but when evening arrives and they’re ready to play, my day is usually still tangled up in all my other responsibilities and obligations, so they have to entertain themselves.
But not today! Today I was going to treat my dogs to some outside playtime.
Most of our dogs were just waking up from their daily naps by this point, so they weren’t nearly as excited as I was to be outside with them. Lily, for instance, was content to just lay on the hot patio and bake a bit in the sun. As I followed her around the yard with my camera, she clearly wasn’t as enthused about my presence as I was hoping.
Not to be discouraged, I moved on to Pepper (pictured below, on the left) – however, I think the Phoenix heat is still a little much for her dark, shaggy coat. She just sat there in the yard, sulking, looking at me as though I was the Grinch That Stole the Air Conditioning. Taking the hint, I quickly turned my attention to Sadie (pictured below right). I’ve talked a little bit about Sadie’s moodiness before – it’s always a bit hit or miss with her, as you never know which one of her personalities you’re going to get. But Sadie couldn’t seem to care less that I was outside spending time with her, being perfectly content to just bask in the sun and pretend the rest of us weren’t there.
I was starting to feel a little downtrodden, thinking this outside excursion was a complete failure… until I checked on Jack. Because, you see, Jack loves everything. Jack is always happy. Anything you want to do, he is beyond thrilled to do it with you. He is that dog.
And he is my sunshine.
It didn’t take much to get him going, and before long he was chasing The Husband and I as we ran around the yard, happy as could be. No, I take that back – he was as majestic as could be.
Just look at him go! Attaboy, Jack!
So there you have it! Dinner ready in 10 minutes and your life back in 30, leaving you with extra time in your day to do all the things you wish you could – such as run around in your yard with your dogs all crazy-like with as if you’re neighbors aren’t watching. Because everyone should spend a few minutes each day being as happy as Jack. Or, better yet, having dinners as fast and tasty as this!
Check out more inspiration for #EverydayEffortless here http://cbi.as/smz6!
More great chicken recipes
10 Minute Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta
Choose Your Serving Dish
If you have a 12 inch skillet that you like to serve dinner in, you're already good to go! Go ahead and move on to the preparation steps. Be sure to cook the pasta in the 12 inch skillet for serving.
If you would like to serve the pasta in a casserole dish (as pictured), set your oven to 250 F and immediately set the empty casserole dish inside (you do not need to wait for the oven to preheat). Doing this will get the dish hot so that the cheese will melt easier in the final steps.
- In a 12 inch skillet, add dry Pronto pasta, garlic powder, dried mustard, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Add 3 cups water to skillet and stir until spices are dissolved and pasta is completely submerged water. Set heat to high and cook pasta for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While pasta cooks, add frozen chicken and ham to a large pan and warm over medium heat, stirring frequently. As chicken thaws, use a pair of tongs to remove strips and cut them into bite sized pieces, then place them back in the pan. After 5-6 minutes (or when chicken is thawed) cover skillet and reduce heat to low until pasta is done.
- Once pasta has cooked, turn off heat but keep skillet on the burner. Check the water - there should be about 1/4 cup left in the skillet. If you have less, add hot water to the skillet so that it would equal about 1/4 cup. The extra water will help keep the pasta moist.
If Serving in a Skillet
- Sprinkle 1/2 swiss and 1/4 mozzarella on top of the pasta in the skillet. Pour chicken and ham on top of cheese. Next, sprinkling the remaining 1/2 swiss and 1/4 mozzarella on top of the meat. Finish by sprinkling bread crumbs on top.
Immediately cover dish with aluminum foil and let sit for at least 5 minutes or until ready to serve.
If Serving in a Casserole Dish
- Pour 1/2 of the pasta into the casserole dish and spread it out in an even layer. Next, pour in half of the chicken and ham. Sprinkle 1/2 cup swiss and 1/4 cup mozzarella on top of meat. Finish by repeating the first two layers (pasta then meat) and top it off with the remaining 1/2 cup of swiss and 1/4 cup of mozzarella. Dust top of dish with the bread crumbs.
- Immediately cover dish with aluminum foil and let sit for at least 5 minutes or until ready to serve.