Visiting our family in Louisiana, I have been introduced to some new brands of fast foods. Romano’s Macaroni Grill is a chain restaurant in the area, and the local grocery stores sell their boxed Restaurant Favorites boxed dinners. These remind me of the typical Hamburger Helper style meals, and everything is included in the box except for margarine and chicken. Their Restaurant Favorites are meant to taste like their restaurant favorites, but easily made so they can be enjoyed at home.
How To Make
To prepare this Creamy Basil Parmesan Chicken & Pasta meal, you will need 1 pound of uncooked boneless chicken, 2 tablespoons of butter and 3/4 cup of milk. While the pasta is cooking in boiling water for 10 minutes, you prepare the chicken by cooking 2 x 1/4 inch chicken strips in melted margarine in a skillet, until the outside of the meat turns white. Then you add the milk and seasoning packet, boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until chicken is no longer pink in the center.
The last step is to stri in the sun-dried tomatoes and the packet of creamy sauce, and cook the meal until it is thoroughly heated through. After draining the pasta, you stir it into the sauce mix and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese packet.
One box makes 5 servings, (1 cup each), and it contains 300 calories and only 3.5 grams of fat. Cholesterol is 5 mg, sodium 830 mg, fiber 1 gram, sugars 2 grams and protein 5 grams.
Truly this does not taste like something that came out of a box. The basil and cheese packets contain ingredients that are rich and succulent, tasting nothing like those boxed meals that use powdered cheese. Of course, the creamy sauce packets help to make this a homemade tasting meal. We made two boxes to serve four adults, and had enough leftover for an additional fifth person, so the standard of serving five people per box wouldn’t have been true in our case. You might want to add a salad or vegetable with it as well, to make a rounded meal. We served ours with bread and green beans.
The recipe calls for boneless chicken breast, but we used boneless chicken thighs, as our family prefers the dark meat to white meat, and this really tasted delicious. The sauce was plentiful, and although it seemed a little thin the directions said it would thicken upon standing. We helped it along a bit by thickening it up with cornstarch and water. If you like a thinner sauce this would not be necessary.
All in all, I would give this meal 4 out of 5 stars. It retailed for around $5.00.