Quick & Easy (cheater) Chicken Ravioli w/ Meatballs

Who says great meals can't come from a busy body!? Sure I didn't get the great pleasure of feeling truly accomplished that I made everything from scratch but sometimes in life when things get busy... preparing every last ingredient from scratch is just not possible... sometimes we have to cheat a little.

This, however, does not mean we can't be creative about it! In a recent trip to Costco, I picked up a few "ingredients" and made this incredible looking dish (quite tasty too).

Why settle for plain chicken ravioli when it can be great!? Just like dressing up, that's exactly what it needed. Some spinach for added nutritional value (yes that's always going to be the case), sauce for flavor, and meatballs for a bit more protein.

The trick?
  • 1 bag of precooked/pre-prepared chicken ravioli (or any pre-prepared pasta
  • 1 container of prepared soup of choice, usually in 16oz clear containers (Not the canned stuff, and depending on the pasta and what flavors I want to have, I usually use tomato based soups). 
  • precooked spicy mango chicken meatballs (or meatballs of choice)
  • fresh baby spinach chopped 
  • handful of cheese
  • about 1 tbsp of olive oil (optional)
Prepare everything via instructions on package.

Then I gave the pasta and meatballs a quick saute with some olive oil, add in about 1/2 container of soup ( I'd say about 8oz or less, I just use enough to coat the pasta well. Soup is meant to be sauce here, NOT soup) plus the cooked spinach. Let it all cook together for about 5 minutes then add in the cheese and you have a great meal ahead of you!

It might not be the greatest thing in the world nutritiously speaking but its better than a frozen dinner or something you'd pick up at the fast food place.

Note: I haven't used jar/canned pasta sauce in years...frankly I don't even bother. High in sodium and not even a good trade off for flavor/ingredients so I use soups ("fresh" soups in clear containers, not the canned stuff) as sauces for pastas instead. Many of them are meant for as meals so they tend to have all the usual ingredients you might want to add onto your pastas anyways. I don't know about other people, but those soups are usually not that satisfying...they lack volume and depth for me... so what better way to make things better than to dress that up too!

P.S. you do NOT need to add salt to anything, thanks to the high sodium content in everything else there is no need

....and lastly was this an excuse for taking pictures? You betcha!