Sometimes the aim of a dish is simply to get something on the table that everyone will eat. Add-in that you have a house full of kids who cringe at the thought of anything made with vegetables and it can become an issue. The answer? Cover those veggies in something they’ll gobble up so that the dog doesn’t get fed under the table.
This is one of those dishes that has its roots in necessity more than any plan of culinary greatness. it was designed to be something that my whole family would eat with a minimum of funky faces or groans about how nobody in the house but me likes broccoli or mushrooms. (They do like mushrooms, but not if they know they’re there.)
The simple solution was to smother everything in a nice, creamy Alfredo sauce, with the addition of some lightly sauteed mushrooms for some extra body. Not only did the kids eat their vegetables, but they asked for more!
This recipe was created for the FoodBuzz Family Bites series, sponsored by Newman’s Own products, so the sauce used was not my usual classic Alfredo, but in this case I don’t think that was an issue at all. The kids loved it, from the 11 year-old picky eater to the 3 year-old with a diet of four items total, all enjoyed this dish. (And the sauce was pretty darned good for a cream based Alfredo.)
In the end, I’ll give this meal a 5 for creativity, but a 10 for kid-friendly, and that’s what it was all about. Give it a try with your picky eaters and I hope you get the same results!
What’s your favorite simple kid friendly meal? We’d love to hear about it. (Especially me, because my kids are extremely picky!)
- 1-pound chicken breast tenderloins cut in bite-sized pieces
- 10 ounces crimini or button mushrooms, chopped fine
- 1 package frozen broccoli cuts
- ½ cup frozen seasoning blend (onions, bell peppers, parsley)
- 1 jar Newman’s Own Alfredo Pasta Sauce
- 1 package fettuccine
- Olive oil, for cooking
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook Pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile: Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in oil until well browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add 3 Tbsp olive oil to the same skillet and add the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are fragrant and have reduced in size by at least half, adding more oil as necessary.
- Add seasoning blend and broccoli. Cook, stirring often until onions are translucent. Return chicken to pan and toss to heat through.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Pour Alfredo Sauce over all and mix well. Add noodles and toss with sauce, adding a ladle of pasta water if necessary for consistency.
- Share and Enjoy!
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
I think peas might have been a better choice than broccoli, but I was out of peas. If anyone gives that addition a try, I’d love to hear about the end results.
Links to other recipes like this:
- Parmesan Chicken Alfredo, from Genesis of a cook
- Chicken and Lemon-Broccoli Alfredo, from YumSugar
- Fettucini Alfredo with Peas, Mushrooms and Onions, from Cooking for My Family