Tag Archives: quick

Quick & Easy Meal: Lemon & Herb Blackened Chicken w/ Cheesy, Garlic Spaghetti

As you may have noticed, a few of my previous posts reflect my love for quick and easy meals – you know, the ones that are perfect for weeknight dinners when you’ve rushed home from work or the gym and need to cook it up quickly.  Well, yesterday’s dinner was satisfying (so good that I ate too much), but only took me 15 minutes total to make the dishes (not counting the 2hr marinate time for the chicken, since I was away from home when that occurred).

The blackened chicken (which could have been a little darker if I left it in the skillet for a minute or two longer) was moist and tender due to the lemon juice and garlic-infused grape seed oil, and it had a nice lemony flavor too.  (The recipe called for olive oil, but I had used the last on the pasta, so I used the grape seed oil instead, with great results I might add.)

I was skeptical about the spaghetti side dish, because we normally don’t eat pasta without a thicker sauce, but it actually exceeded my expectations.  The flavors of the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper blended well, and the cheese added a light creaminess to the pasta.  (By the way, Barilla® makes a gluten-free pasta which is comparable in taste to its regular ones.  If you are gluten-sensitive or intolerant, you can check out my previously posted recipe for gluten-free rotini cooked with charred green onion pesto, cranberries, and toasted cashews.)

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Easy Lemon & Herb Blackened Chicken*

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS:

    • 1 cup lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons garlic-infused grape seed oil
    • 2 tablespoons dried marjoram
    • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, or as needed
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Whisk 1 cup lemon juice, olive oil, and marjoram together in a glass or bowl. Add chicken and toss to evenly coat. Place in freezer bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over high heat. Cook chicken in hot oil until almost burned on each side and no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 4 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

My Review: The flavors were good – lemon was prominent but not overpowering, and the seasoning tasted good with the lemon. These came out moist and tender. The only changes I made were to marinate it in a freezer ziplock bag, because I feel that coats the chicken better and to use garlic-infused grape seed oil in the marinade, because I ran out of olive oil. This is a simple recipe, perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. I threw the chicken in the marinade before the gym and cooked chicken for 10 minutes after the gym. I could have maybe cooked it another minute on each side for an even darker color, but it was still very tasty! I will definitely make this chicken again soon! 

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Thin Spaghetti with Garlic, Red Pepper, and Olive Oil

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS:

    • 1 (16 ounce) box Barilla PLUS(R) Thin Spaghetti
    • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
    • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
    • 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
    • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, parsley and red pepper flakes; saute 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Cook Plus(R) Thin Spaghetti according to package directions.
  4. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Immediately add hot pasta to skillet. Stir in reserved pasta cooking water. Mix well. Add cheese and toss lightly.
  5. Transfer to a serving platter or bowl.

My Review: I was skeptical about this dish, as we don’t normally eat pasta without tomato sauce so I was hoping it wouldn’t be too bland, but this exceeded my expectations. The flavors of the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper blended well together, and the cheese added a light creaminess to the pasta. In fact, I ate way too much in one sitting! I didn’t change a thing. It only takes 10-15 minutes including prep time, so this was perfect for our weeknight dinner.  

For more recipes from Barilla® check out their collection on Allrecipes.  There’s a lot of good ones there!

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I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews on Trickle of Consciousness. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Jacolyn.

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