Creamy Maple Bacon Dijon Chicken Pasta

Lately, Joe and I have been working on cutting back on our eating-out spending and putting more thought into our meal prep. One of our tried-and-true favorite inexpensive recipes is this maple bacon dijon chicken pasta! This pasta is made to be really sweet, although if you prefer the spicy bite of dijon, you can adjust the ratios to add more and take away some of the sweetness.

Something that I think is really important is that you do marinade the chicken overnight in the maple syrup and dijon mustard. I tried it with a quick 20 minute marinade before, and the flavor just didn’t soak in and stick as well, and the chicken seemed more dry. For juicier, more flavorful chicken, I always suggest an overnight marinade!

I do recommend bite-sized pastas… longer noodles make this a little stranger to eat. I prefer mini shells, orichiette, or penne, but regular elbow macaroni would work well too. Another thing that could easily brighten the meal up is to add fresh, shelled peas right into the mixture for the last 5 minutes of cooking… just enough to cook them through. I would have done this, but we didn’t have any fresh peas on us this week.

Recipe after the jump

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Baked Buffalo Chicken and Shells with Cheddar and Gouda

I think we all get into a rut a lot when it comes to cooking. We find two or three dishes that are super easy and fast and cook them often (I can’t even tell you how many times this week I’ve made myself homemade General Tso’s Chicken with rice). Sure, we can add variety by mixing up vegetables and such, but the core recipes are still the same.

I have been planning a lot this month to start actively trying to create and eat different foods. I want to find joy in flavors again rather than just eating because I know I need to eat something. That’s a huge problem with having depression and anxiety; sometimes if I have nothing to remind me, I will forget to eat all day until all of a sudden my hunger hits all at once. It sucks.

This is the first of many recipes I hope to share here. It’s super simple, and I was honestly just trying to throw something different together to satisfy my PMS craving for hot wings. It worked pretty well, and I got the added bonus of cheese as well. My husband even approved enthusiastically, and he’s usually confused by my pms craving induced meals!

I hope you all enjoy!

Recipe after the jump.

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