5 Easy Pasta Recipes Using Alfredo Sauce

Updated: May 2021. As I update my blog archives, it is easy to notice a pattern in my parenting. I was always looking for something to make for dinner that my kids would eat.  It's odd.  When they were younger, they were more daring at the dinner table than they are now.  They would at least try something that I put in front of them to taste. That five-year-old pictured below will soon be a sophomore in high school. It pains me to admit that he absolutely hates my cooking in 2021, aside from a few things.  

One thing that has not changed, though, is his taste for alfredo sauce.  If I serve alfredo "something," then I know he will eat it.  Meanwhile, my soon-to-be-middle schooler will not eat alfredo sauce at all these days.  When it comes to this updated 2021 Garden Chicken Alfredo Recipe

Garden alfredo recipe that will have your kids eating the rainbow and asking for more.

I saute her chicken with souvlaki seasoning and butter.  She gets plain pasta while the rest of us eats this classic Alfredo chicken recipe that I can prepare in less than twenty minutes. One item you need in your kitchen, though, is an Epicure Steamer. And it will change dinnertime for the better, especially if you have little ones like I did in 2011.  I really wish I had that silicone cookware item in my kitchen back then.  

Do you ever come home and say, “What can I cook tonight?” Do you then dig into your pantry or freezer to see what you can find to cook? Or are you a meal planner that has a calendar with that night’s meal listed on it?  I prefer to plan meals, but I must confess I have an unusual way of going about it.  Most people probably wouldn’t opt for my plan.  Let’s look at last week as a typical example of how meal planning goes in my house.

On this particular day, I was about ten minutes away from needing to leave my house to arrive at my massage appointment on time. The massage was a much-needed gift from my husband and children. Coincidentally, the appointment happened to be next to the Trader Joes in my area. Since this would be my opportunity to go grocery shopping child-free, I put on my coat and scarf, grabbed a pencil, paper, and started writing down the items I needed to make one or two meals that I’ve made so frequently that I know exactly what I need off the top of my head.  I also picked out three cookbooks from my very crowded recipe book cupboard and opened the books I picked on the kitchen counter.  I flipped through the pages and waited for recipes to say, “Make me!”

a rainbow of bell peppers which are great in alfredo sauce

This haphazard menu planning is my way of trying new recipes, and it is also why my husband says that he rarely sees the same thing twice on our table unless it becomes part of the coveted “What can I fix quickly” menu file.  Those are my "Go-To" recipes that I can recite by heart.  With just six minutes to spare before I needed to leave, I came across a recipe my friend, Betty Crocker, had given me when I got married but never made.

I thought, “This is perfect! I can find all of these items at Trader Joe's.  And I’m going to add this and that."

kid-friendly foods

If you have ever read any parenting food websites or even nutritional sites, it will tell you that you need to try to eat a rainbow color of fruits and vegetables daily. I’m really optimistic and all, but it’s hard for me to see a rainbow daily on our table.  At one given time, I may have blueberries, bananas, apples, frozen green beans, kiwi, broccoli, carrots, and some corn in my house, but I certainly don’t serve them all in one day. We tend to eat two or maybe three colors in a rainbow a day, and sometimes, some colors are totally left out weeks at a time. I feel as if I"m denying my family a whole rainbow.   Shame on me!

I’ll be the first to tell you, I love fruits and vegetables.  My Grandma Powell, whom you heard about earlier this week, had a large garden.  She would cook about eight to ten vegetables a day. No joke!  Her spread of turnips, turnip greens, eggplant, sweet corn, field peas, green peas, and carrots daily created a table rainbow-like something in the "Wizard of Oz."

I don't cook like a grandma, so you can imagine my excitement when I found the idea for a “rainbow connected” meal. Since I created this meal by taking ingredients from several sources,  I  renamed this colorful dish “Rainbow Inspired Capellini with Alfredo Sauce. ” Isn’t that chic?  It’s basically my version of pasta primavera with alfredo sauce bought from Trader Joe's, but those who know me well know that I like to name things from my daughter’s baby dolls to random stray cats see on my travels. Hence, renaming a recipe is only natural in this case. 

kids like the creaminess of alfredo sauce

I must warn you now that when I put my new culinary rainbow in front of my five-year-old, he said, “That looks YUCKY!” Sometimes you just want to put tape over a food critic’s mouth!!

However, I quickly said, “Well, it is Kermit the Frog’s favorite meal.”  If you’re old enough to remember the Muppets, then you may just be humming his little famous song.  Am I right?

My strength may not be in food presentation, but this pasta dish tasted good.  JH ate most of it, and my daughter liked it, too. The Alfredo sauce may have been a little rich for her, but I bought a lighter version with about 90 calories per ¼ cup. Since it came from Trader Joe's, it was free of preservatives and healthier than some other processed versions, but you can use any store-bought sauce of your choosing.  (In 2021, I now use Epicure's gluten-free Alfredo Sauce  Mix. You can control the sodium with this sauce mix, and there are NO preservatives at all.)

If your kids eat Alfredo Sauce, then the meal choices are endless.  Here are a few of my family favorites: 

stuffed carbonara chicken alfredo shells

garden vegetables with alfredo pasta

      I use frozen salmon fillets that I buy from Whole Foods. 

bow-tie alfredo salmon


This is a very simple Betty Crocker Recipe, and of course, in 2021, now that I have discovered            Epicure, I use its jarred taco seasoning.  It is more economical than the packets in the grocery store and better for your health with less sodium. This seasoning has some heat to it which works great when you pair it with the alfredo sauce. 

Add some heat to alfredo sauce with a taco pasta mix.

Denise Austin's Alfredo Pasta tossed with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil. 

This recipe is a take on the Garden Pasta recipe from above, but even more simple.  Add halved cherry tomatoes to the alfredo sauce and toss with pasta and basil.  It is delicious. This is a Denise Austin recipe I've been making for years. 

Classic Fettucine Alfredo tossed with basils and tomatoes

5 Easy Pasta Recipes Using Alfredo Sauce

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