at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!

Freezer Meals - Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake

I'm trying to get into the whole idea of freezer meals -- where you make larger batches of whatever you're making and freeze some as an easy meal to reheat at a later date.  I've been doing some of these for friends who have babies as an easy way of providing meals for them even though I'm not able to drop off a hot meal (with my job and all).  But I decided I should make some for home, too.  The past couple years I've been freezing soups and chili and using those as an easy dinner or even taking smaller portions in for lunch at work.  But I've shied away from much else, not sure how it would turn out.  Recently, I've decided that there are a few other things that should be fine and easy to do as freezer meals: pasta bakes and enchiladas.  I've done a few variations of pasta as freezer meals, including lasagna and my veggie pasta bake.  This weekend I decided to try a different pasta bake: chicken Alfredo with broccoli.  It's a little different twist on my normal fettuccine Alfredo recipe, because I don't normally bake it.  I made like a triple batch so that I could make two freezer meals and also have dinner for Saturday night (plus leftovers!).  I added several crowns of broccoli and grilled chicken, which you can leave out or substitute other veggies if you want.  Here's what I did:

1. Grill Chicken
I marinated three boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a simple balsamic vinaigrette (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, basil) for maybe 45 minutes, then grilled until done.  Cut or slice chicken into small pieces that can be tossed with pasta.

2. Make Fettuccine Alfredo
Because I wasn't fully prepared, I ended up having to make three separate batches of noodles, because I didn't have any two boxes of the same thing!  So I had one package of actual fettuccine noodles, one package of linguine and one package of some veggie-infused pasta.  You can really use whatever you want. I made about a quadruple batch of the Alfredo sauce, I realized...which was probably good so that the freezer meals could have a little extra liquid in them, since some of it will probably bake off.  You can use the Alfredo Sauce recipe I posted from my Alfredo Lasagna Primavera recipe:

Alfredo Sauce
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
¾ cup *real* Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flour

Melt butter in a small sauce pan.  Whisk in flour until well combined.  Add heavy whipping cream and heat over medium low until sauce thickens slightly.  Remove from heat, and add cheese very SLOWLY, stirring constantly.  If you like, you can add some spices.  For this recipe, I added black pepper, red pepper and garlic.

3. Add Veggies, Toss, and Add Cheese
I steamed some broccoli while I was cooking the pasta and tossed that and the chicken along with the noodles.  I made two freezer meals, which I placed in 9x13 foil pans.  After filling the pans with the pasta and whatnot, I topped with a thin layer of mozzarella cheese.  I then covered the freezer meals with a couple of layers of foil and placed in the freezer.  

4. Bake and Enjoy!
I don't know for sure, because I haven't tried it, but I assume the best way to cook the freezer meals is to thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bake, covered, for one hour at 350 degrees, or until the sauce is bubbly.  Since I hadn't tried baking the fettuccine Alfredo before, I decided to try it for that night's meal, too.  I put some of the pasta in two small baking dishes and covered with mozzarella cheese.  I baked them, uncovered, along with some garlic bread, just until the cheese was melted.  Then I broiled it for a couple of minutes to make the cheese bubbly and to brown it a bit.  Since I had some fresh parsley growing in the garden, I topped it with that.

The mess didn't take as long to
clean up as I expected!
The final verdict: YUM!  It was nice to have something a little bit different from the normal fettuccine Alfredo.  The extra cheese did make it very filling, though!  I did not need a big serving.  Tom completely cleaned his pasta dish, so I assume that means he enjoyed it :) The mass quantities of food made wreaked havoc on my kitchen, but it was nice to be able to make so much food all at once.

**Freezer Meal Recipe Ideas**
I'll post here links to other recipes that I think would freeze well, for your reference (and mine, too!):

Easy Garlic Bread - I actually made/froze this this weekend, too!
Cheesy Vegetable Soup
Garlic-Dill Breadsticks
White Turkey Chili
Alfredo Lasagna Primavera
Classic Lasagna
Classic Chili
Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!