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Easy Family Dinner, Two Ways

Gather the fam around the table with these easy weeknight dinners and some refreshing Coca-Cola.

Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

This recipe takes pesto pasta to the next level by adding walnuts, spinach, and mini mozzarella balls.

INGREDIENTS

Servings: 4 

16 oz. dried pasta, fusilli or rotini 

2 chicken breasts 

1 garlic clove 

2 cups spinach 

1 cup fresh basil leaves 

½ cup walnuts, lightly toasted 

¼ cup Parmesan cheese 

¾ teaspoon salt 

¼–⅓ cup olive oil 

3 tablespoons sundried tomatoes, chopped 

½ cup fresh mini mozzarella balls 

2 teaspoons ground black pepper 

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar 

1 lemon, zested 

PREPARATION

1. Cook the pasta to al dente according to the instructions on the package. Drain cooked pasta and rinse well with cold water immediately. Set aside to cool completely. 

2. Preheat the oven to 450ºF and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly oil each chicken breast and place it on the baking sheet. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked through (165ºF if reading temperature with a meat thermometer). Remove chicken from the oven, cool completely and chop into ½” cubes. 

3. To make the pesto, place garlic clove, spinach, basil, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, and salt in a food processor. Pulse together for 15–30 seconds, or until most of the ingredients are broken down. Turn the processor on low speed and drizzle in ¼ cup of olive oil, until pesto is smooth and runny. 

4. To assemble the pasta salad, combine the cooled pasta with the pesto sauce in a large mixing bowl. Toss together and add in the chicken, mozzarella, black pepper, red wine vinegar, and lemon zest. Serve topped with more Parmesan and basil. Enjoy!

Homemade Pepperoni Sheet Pan Pizza

Everyone loves pizza night! And this sheet pan pizza is as easy as it is cheesy.

INGREDIENTS

Servings: 4

4 cups all-purpose flour 

1½ teaspoons instant yeast 

1½ cups warm water 

¼ cup olive oil 

2 teaspoons salt 

2 teaspoons sugar 

1 cup tomato sauce 

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 

8 oz. sliced pepperoni 

Fresh basil leaves and red pepper flakes, for serving 

PREPARATION

1. Prepare a stand mixer with a dough hook. In the mixing bowl, combine the warm water, olive oil, yeast, and sugar. Place the flour on top, followed by the salt. Knead on low to bring together, about 2 minutes, then continue kneading on medium speed for 5 minutes. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. 

2. Heavily grease a half-size baking sheet with olive oil. Place the risen dough on the sheet pan and stretch it out as far as it will go. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then stretch it again. Continue doing this until it fills the entire pan. Once it does, let it rise for a final 20 minutes. While it rises, preheat the oven to 400ºF. 

3. Top the pizza dough: spread the tomato sauce evenly over the dough, then sprinkle with cheese and sliced pepperoni. Bake the topped pizza in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and sides have browned. 

4. Cool pizza for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Top with basil leaves and red pepper flakes, if desired. Enjoy!

Dinner tastes better with Coca-Cola and Coke Zero Sugar.

Recipes By: Alexander Roberts

Food Stylist: Jacqueline Tris

Food Stylist's Assistant: Hip Torres