In winter (even warm ones), I like making meals that remind me of home, especially classic favorites like chicken Parmesan. Is there anything better than hearty sauce and fresh mozzarella on a cold winter’s night? (If your answer is “yes,” please let me in on your secret immediately!)
When I’m cooking for friends, I pull out all the stops—no jarred sauces. But when cooking for myself I don’t always have the already-made sauce in the freezer (or the hours to spend over the stove).
Now that I work at FreshDirect, I’ve been cutting a lot of corners to save time on weeknight meals, mostly in the form of precooked items. So this time I wanted to try combining some of our ready-to-cook/precooked components to make an easy, healthier version of one of my favorite meals.
I used FreshDirect’s panko-and-parmesan-breaded chicken cutlets, which saved me time on the most annoying part—the dredging. Avoiding the flour and egg clean-up was worth it alone. After pan-cooking both sides of the cutlets in olive oil for a few minutes each, I let them cool a little before topping them with FreshDirect’s San Marzano marinara sauce. The taste isn’t overpowering—perfect for a dish where sauce is an addition rather than the star. After topping with some fresh unsalted mozzarella and grated Parmesan, I stuck the four cutlets in the oven to brown the cheese and make sure they were cooked through.
While the chicken was in the oven, I boiled water for fresh spinach linguine. In addition to tasting delicious, fresh pasta takes only a few minutes to cook. As soon as I popped the pasta into the boiling water, I heated up our “Sides in a Snap” sautéed spinach with garlic. And that was that—a wholesome, comforting meal in 20-25 minutes. Plus plenty of leftovers!
With all the time I saved, I had enough to throw together my first lasagna with some leftover materials—the shredded mozzarella, grated Parmesan (for the pasta), some meat sauce from another cooking adventure, and my new favorite thing in the world, oven-ready lasagna noodles (talk about a time-saver). Another shockingly easy meal for later in the week—assemble, bake, enjoy!