Compensation was provided by General Mills via Federated Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of General Mills. For more easy dinner ideas, visit http://progresso.com/Products/Recipe-Starters.
I recently had the opportunity to try Progresso’s new Recipe Starters. They sent me a box with all five to try and a chance to make my own recipe using one of them. Not just any recipe, but a family friendly recipe made in under 30 minutes.
Keeping with my typical style, I chose to make something with a little kick. Not a big kick, mind you. But a baby one; I restrained myself.
Think of this as a deconstructed Jalapeno Popper made into a cheesy pasta dish. All the flavors are there – jalapeno, cream cheese and bacon with the addition of Progresso’s Creamy Three Cheese sauce. It’s pretty fantastic.
You can add more jalapeno peppers if you want more heat – but keep it to a few if your family isn’t into the mouth burn. I kinda have a little jalapeno obsession.
If you aren’t familiar, go here, here, here, oh and here. That’s just a few examples.
When making this, you can either use rotisserie chicken to make it easy and just shred it and throw it in, or cook your own. Even without the chicken, the pasta itself is really good. Also, keep in mind that I used two blocks of cream cheese – which made it really creamy. If you like your pasta sauces more on the “dry” side, try one block first. You can always add more later.
I have a few mores ideas for these Recipe Starters –
- Creamy Parmesan Basil – Throw this and a stick of butter in a stand mixer with hot, cooked potatoes for creamy, sophisticated mashed potatoes. (I already did this, and it’s awesome.)
- Creamy Portabello Mushroom – Combine with ground beef for juicy burgers.
- Creamy Roasted Garlic – Pour over a pork tenderloin and cook until tender.
- Fire Roasted Tomato – Mix with a packet of taco seasoning and combine with browned ground beef, add to tacos or burritos.
- 1 package Progresso Three Cheese Recipe Starter
- 2 8 oz blocks cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 jalapeno peppers, diced
- 1 lb box large elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
- 1 store bought rotisserie chicken - bones removed and shredded, but use about a pound, (you could always cook 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and shred them but buying it precooked saves more time!)
- 1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Fresh Italian parsley (optional)
- Whisk the three cheese sauce, cream cheese and jalapeno together.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat and add the cheese sauce, pasta, chicken and bacon.
- Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes, until bubbly and hot.
- Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.