Getting kids to eat their veggies may be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. The trick, according to recipe creator Leah Singer of Leah’s Thoughts is simple: add a veggie puree to your dish. This recipe for jambalaya also swaps the traditional rice for pasta, making it extra hearty.


Ingredients for Pasta Jambalaya Recipe:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
1 kielbasa sausage, sliced
2 cups of shrimp (we use frozen)
1 chopped onion
1 – 2 teaspoons of garlic
2 cans diced tomatoes (undrained)
Pinch of chili flakes
Cajon/Creole seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound penne pasta (or whatever you have around)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup carrot, spinach, or other veggie puree (optional)

1. Saute the kielbasa with olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Remove sausage from the pan and replace with chicken. Do not empty the oil–it gives the chicken great flavor. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the skillet.

2. Add a bit more olive oil and add onion and garlic. Saute until cooked through. (If you’re a fan of peppers, you could add chunks of peppers at this point.) Add cans of diced tomatoes, spices, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add back into the pot the chicken and sausage. If you’re adding a hidden veggie, do it now!

3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, and add to the meat and tomato mixture. Taste of seasonings. At this point, add the frozen shrimp and let them steam cook for a few minutes. Stir and add the cream.

Leah Singer is a freelance writer and editor. She shares many family-friendly recipes, as well as stories of motherhood, craft ideas, writing, and other such topics at Leah’s Thoughts

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