April 2, 2013

Weeknight Wins: Chicken & Spinach Spiral Pasta

Weeknight Wins: Chicken & Spiral Pasta


One of the most frequent recipe requests I get from parents is for something new to please their picky eaters. The parents are usually tired of serving chicken fingers and oven pizzas and want to feed their children something wholesome, delicious, and above and beyond everyday children’s fare. My answer is usually to combine vegetables, a lean protein, and pasta and coat it all in a light palate-pleasing sauce. I created something just like this last weekend when I was experimenting with the new Sauté Express® Sauté Starter from Land O’Lakes.

Today, I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be participating in the Weeknight Wins Blogger Challenge by Land O’Lakes Sauté Express® Sauté Starter. During April, four other lovely food bloggers and I will be sharing our weeknight go-to recipes with you. On busy weeknights, many families have just 30 minutes or less to get a wholesome dinner on the table. This challenge should give us all some great, delicious meal ideas to whip up in a hurry. Together, we can score little wins in the kitchen! (Follow along on the Weeknight Wins Pinterest Board.)

Sauté Express® Sauté Starter is this cool new first-of-its-kind seasoned butter and olive oil sauté starter that comes in convenient squares and can be used to cook and season any protein, such as chicken, fish, or pork in one easy step.

Land O' Lakes Saute Express

 They are perfect for cooking and flavoring meats and poultry that can then be used as the base for a light pasta sauce. I usually am happy to toss together my own seasonings from scratch but it is so nice to have these on hand in a pinch. They take the guesswork out of measuring ingredients and save a ton of time!

Land O' Lakes Saute Express

Back to the challenge! The first week’s challenge is “Please Your Picky Eater,” something that many moms and dads will identify with! For this picky eater–pleasing dish I simply sautéed some lean chicken breasts in the melted Savory Butter & Olive Oil square.

Land O' Lakes Saute Express

When the chicken was cooked I scraped all of it, including the melted butter, into a bowl with spiral pasta (my daughter’s favorite), wilted spinach, and a pinch of Parmesan and tossed the ingredients together. It was perfection!

Land O' Lakes Saute Express

Our favorite part about this meal is that it is sophisticated enough for the adults but simple enough for the kids. My daughter, not exactly a spinach enthusiast, eagerly devoured her plateful.

Land O' Lakes Saute Express

Now, it’s your turn to participate in Weeknight Wins. Each week I’ll be sharing a new recipe featuring Sauté Express® Sauté Starter and hosting an awesome sweepstakes for you!

This week’s prize pack includes:

  • Four coupons for Sauté Express® Sauté Starter
  • Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet
  • Three hand towels
  • Set of six divided dinner plates


Now, share your idea for Pleasing Picky Eaters for a chance to win the Sauté Express® Sauté Starter Picky Eater Prize Pack. Bonus: Tell me what you would make using Sauté Express® Sauté Starter to Please Your Picky Eater. Each week, Land O’Lakes will also pick a few of favorites, which will be featured on Land O’Lakes Weeknight Meals Pinterest Board. *When you enter, Land O’Lakes may select your comment to feature for promotion, social media and/or other related marketing materials.

Here’s how to enter–> Simply leave a comment below answering one of the following questions:

What is your weeknight win to please a picky eater?


What would you make with Sauté Express® Sauté Starter?

Enter The Weeknight Wins by Sauté Express® Sauté Starter Sweepstakes

Open to legal U.S. residents 18 years and older. No purchase necessary to enter or win. One entry per person (that includes email address & IP address) per day. Required information is first & last name and valid email address. Entries obtained by mechanical or spamming mechanisms will be disqualified. One winner will be chosen at random from all of the qualified entries submitted. Sweepstakes ends on Friday, April 5, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST. Winner will be contacted via email supplied in the entry & will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. Approximate retail value of prize: $150 Sweepstakes is sponsored by Land O’Lakes. The Naptime Chef and the sponsor reserve the right to cancel the sweepstakes at any time. Contact The Naptime Chef for winner list or with any questions. By participating in this Sweepstakes, you agree to be bound by these rules and the decisions of the Sponsors, which shall be final. All federal, state, and local laws apply; void where prohibited.

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Land O’Lakes for an exclusive endorsement of Sauté Express® Sauté Starter. This blog post is sponsored by Land O’Lakes. All opinions are my own.


Chicken & Spinach Spiral Pasta



¾ pound rotini pasta
1 square Savory Butter & Olive Oil Sauté Express® Sauté Starter

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch strips
1 cup baby spinach, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese


Cook the pasta according to directions and drain well. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

In a large non-stick skillet melt the Sauté Express® Sauté Starter over medium-low. Then, add the chicken strips and cook them on both sides until just cooked through and lightly browned on the outside, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Place the pasta and spinach in a large bowl and pour in the chicken and melted butter from the pan. Then, add the Parmesan cheese and pour in a very small amount of pasta water. Then use a wooden spoon to toss everything together. Add a little more pasta water if necessary. Serve!


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