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Magic Sauce Veggie Pasta

If you’ve ever struggled to get your kids to eat their veggies – and pretty much every parent can relate to this struggle – then we’ve got just the recipe for you. Our creamy noodles are served with broccoli, carrots, and corn they’re made with a secret ingredient: evaporated milk, but don’t tell the kiddos! This magic sauce is so good, the plates will be practically licked clean, without a single morsel of food left behind. And, if we’re being truly honest here, we love this dish too, so it’s not just a kid-friendly meal, it’s a family-friendly meal, one where food disappears almost as if by magic.

A can of evaporated milk might seem unusual, but most of us are familiar with its magic. What we love is not only the rich and creamy consistency that it brings to a sauce, we also love that it is a great way to lighten up a dish that would normally be made with heavy cream. So we’re kind of getting the best of both worlds: a rich sauce that is a lighter alternative to heavier versions.

Another amazing element to the dish is how quickly it comes together. If you’ve got leftover chicken then this is a great way to repurpose it for another dinner. Frozen veggies are a big time saver, so we’ve thrown in frozen broccoli florets and corn, added diced carrots and we’ve got a trifecta of vegetables that will soon disappear from the plate. You can make this with or without chicken, even tuna would be delicious here. So there’s a little flexibility with how you mix up the magic.

We feel like we’ve pulled off one of the greatest illusions with this magic sauce veggie pasta by disguising our veggies with a rich and creamy cheese sauce. In doing so, we’re able to sneak in some broccoli, carrots, and corn into our reluctant veggie eaters, and don’t be afraid to sneak a bite or two for yourself because it’s too good to not enjoy!

Magic Sauce Veggie Pasta

30 minutes to prepare serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb rotini noodles (or penne, bow tie, etc) cooked
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli florets
  • ¾ cup frozen corn
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
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Preparation

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Season chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and sauté until cooked through. Transfer to plate.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the same skillet and sauté carrots, corn, and broccoli until corn and broccoli are heated through. Set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a large pot over low heat. Add evaporated milk, garlic powder, and salt and stir. Bring to a simmer then stir in 1 cup parmesan cheese.
  4. Pour cooked noodles into the pot and toss until noodles are evenly coated.
  5. Add sautéed vegetables and chicken to the pot and stir until well-mixed. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Spoonful Of Flavor.