Cheese

How To Make Classic Chicken Alfredo Pasta: The Easiest, Simplest Method — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/The Kitchn)

Chicken Alfredo pasta was my favorite "fancy" restaurant order as a kid — luxe sauce clinging to fettuccini topped with crispy chicken. It was about as close to macaroni and cheese and chicken fingers as a 6-year-old could get at any good Italian-American restaurant. Perhaps this is why most takeout Alfredo falls short for me — it's too entwined in my own culinary memories. Or it could just be that the rich sauce gets too cold and clumpy while waiting for delivery.

Hellbent on enjoying my childhood favorite from the comfort of my own couch, I set out to recreate the Alfredo of my memory (and I bet yours too — whether it was eaten at your family's favorite Italian-American restaurant or your local Olive Garden). We've eschewed the authentic "no cream" Alfredo for a reliable take on this classic that's just as creamy, garlic-rich, and fun to slurp up as you remember.

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Recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars — Easy Dessert Recipes

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/The Kitchn)

A slice of classic cheesecake is one of those desserts that takes nicely to added flavors and tinkering. If you love both pumpkin pie and cheesecake, these creamy bars are the perfect hybrid. There's a sturdy graham cracker crust on the bottom, then a layer of classic white cheesecake, and finally a delicate pumpkin cheesecake layer fragrant with cinnamon and pumpkin pie spices. One pan makes a lot of bars that you can take to your next party or potluck; I promise the pan will come home empty.

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Recipe: Garlicky Parmesan Sweet Potatoes — 3-Ingredient Recipes

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/The Kitchn)

For this super-simple side, thick chunks of sweet potato are roasted and then dusted with a snowy layer of nutty Parmesan that turns irresistibly crisp around the edges after a few minutes under the broiler. A hit of garlic only makes them even more delicious. Make these Parmesan-coated sweet potatoes once and you will never go back to plain roasted sweet potatoes again. They will make you the hero of dinner and the talk of your next potluck.

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Recipe: Mediterranean Tuna Noodle Casserole — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/The Kitchn)

When I set out to create a lighter, healthier tuna noodle casserole recipe that was still as easy as the beloved childhood classic, my thoughts turned, naturally, to France.

Wait — France? Why? I had just returned from a trip with my husband to the south of France (ooh la la — okay, it was for his job!) and I could still taste the olives, artichokes, olive oil, and other Mediterranean ingredients that were a part of so many sunny meals. When I thought about tuna, Nicoise salad was top of mind, and so naturally a tuna noodle casserole packed with briny pops of capers, artichokes, and olives sounded amazing.

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Recipe: Polenta Florentine — Quick and Easy Weeknight Sides

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/The Kitchn)

Ever eye those shrink-wrapped tubes of polenta in the grocery store and wonder what to do with them? Turns out they're the perfect base for casseroles — all you have to do is cut them into rounds first. The sauce, which I've been dreaming about for a while, is inspired by eggs Florentine. It's a basic Parmesan white sauce fragrant with garlic, onions, and, of course, a whole bag of sautéed baby spinach. Baked in a trusty casserole dish, this polenta Florentine is vegetarian comfort food at its finest.

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Recipe: Chicken Divan Casserole — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/The Kitchn)

Chicken divan is the ultimate old-school medley of chicken, broccoli, and cheese sauce. It originated in the early 20th century in a New York hotel restaurant, Divan Parisienne, and it hits all the right notes: hearty, creamy, and comforting. While the type of cheese used varies from recipe to recipe, what is not negotiable is the use of cream sherry, which adds a tiny bit of sweetness and richness to the cheese sauce.

There's no doubt that this dish is rich, but this lightened-up version skips sour cream and condensed cream soups in favor of some chicken broth and milk for the sauce. And if you start with leftover cooked chicken or a store-bought rotisserie chicken, this casserole can be yours even on a busy weeknight.

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