Homemade Alfredo, Spinach, & Pasta

When dinner needs to happen in a rush and your pantry is lacking, pasta is a great plan.  (We do brown rice pasta now, being gluten-free, and it's delicious!)  Obviously, pasta with premade tomato pasta sauce is a terrifically simple solution, but alfredo sauce is also a great option--and it's not as involved as you may think. 

Danny, somehow(?!), doesn't really like cheese.  He eats cheese on pizza, but that's about it.  I, on the other hand, like cheese melted, crumbled, or in squares.  I'm not sure if it's because my gram is from Wisconsin, but my family LOVES cheese.  Macaroni and cheese isn't a regular staple for me, but I do have fond memories of this delicious comfort food.  Making homemade alfredo sauce is a way to get that macaroni and cheese idea without the bright orange cheese powder.

This Homemade "Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce" recipe is not my own and comes from AllRecipes.com:

1/2 c butter
1 (8 oz) cream cheese
2 t garlic powder
2 c milk
6 oz grated parmesan cheese
ground black pepper

Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with wire whisk until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in Parmesan and pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken rapidly, thin with milk if cooked too long. 

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If you are intimidated by the idea of alfredo entirely by hand, Simply Organic makes a pretty good organic Alfredo Packet (thanks for the taste test, Sheil!).  You simply add milk (I've tried almond milk with successful results), butter, and parmesan cheese to the powder packet and stir as directed.

Image Source: Amazon

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When I recently made homemade alfredo sauce, I prepared the pasta and spinach in one pot, while stirring the alfredo in a non-stick pan simultaneously.  With it ready at the same time, I just poured the alfredo on top of the drained pasta and spinach and topped with red pepper flakes.  Yum!

Although not the healthiest recipe you can make, with the addition of vegetables (such as spinach, broccoli, or roasted red peppers), high fiber pasta, fresh garlic, use of low fat dairy options, (maybe adding grilled chicken), and you can create a quick, easy, and reasonably healthy weeknight dinner.