A rich and creamy chicken pasta dish that’s ready in less than an hour and only 12 ingredients. A good source of protein with over a serving of vegetables per portion.
The recipe is rather heavy so it’s suited best for winter months when you’re craving comfort food, or for a cheat day.
The pasta dish also is a crowd pleaser – a recipe that looks like it took a lot of effort but comes together before you even put in any real effort.
This week, I had a lot of pasta in the cupboard. We also had chicken, spinach and mushrooms from last weeks leftover groceries. This led me to choose a recipe using up what I had that was inspired from The Recipe Critic.
I changed the recipe slightly based on what was at the house and my own personal preferences. The creamy-ness of this pasta dish is very rich, plan sides according to how heavy of a meal you can handle.
Planning a Meal with at Hand Food
Recently, I’ve started planning meals based on what I have at the house. This involves looking over what we have, specifically what’s about to go bad, and finding recipes that work around that.
I have a Word document bookmarking all recipes online that I want to try. My word document also has an index of all my cookbooks to find recipes based on keywords. This is especially helpful to me when I’m trying to use up an ingredient.
If you don’t want to go through all that work, Supercook may be a good option for you. You input all your ingredients and the website suggests recipes based on what you have at home. I don’t have a partnership with them, they’re just a service I love.
Prep and Time Management
The recipe from The Recipe Critic claimed it took 5 minutes of prep and 20 minutes of active time. After following it, I imagine it’s more around 35 – 40 minutes total. This number varies dependant on your knife skills as well as your ability to plan and prep.
Personally, I always do a mise en place to keep me focused when cooking. I find it very helpful to do all of the prep work before even turning on the stove to make sure that everything is ready to go as needed.
After getting everything set up, I start the cooking by setting a pot to boil. The pot was about ready after the first of two rounds of chicken browning. If you start with the pasta, it will be ready slightly before everything else is done. Alternatively, you can heat everything up together after the noodles are cooked so that time management isn’t an issue. If you prefer to serve it over pasta like I have rather than mixed in, you should try to time putting the pasta in boiling water by the end of the second batch of chicken.
My partner and I both loved this meal and will probably add it into the regular rotation. I’ll most likely try and adapt it into being slightly healthier, though. It’s a very rich dish, especially during this heat wave we’ve been dealing with in Atlantic Canada. Personally, I don’t usually love chicken in pasta dishes but this dish does it very well. My issue is the chicken usually is bland in comparison to the sauce or becomes overcooked. This recipe does a great job of keeping things balanced and cooked to the right degree. I do recommend not using a light hand while salting the chicken to get a flavourful outcome for the final meal.
Side Dish Ideas and Variations
The photo below is the dish before being laid over noodles. I imagine this would also delicious served with rice, or cauliflower rice to lower the calories of this rich dish. You could also have it as is with vegetables if you follow a low carb diet. Had I practised better time management I would have served this with a light salad – most likely spinach and a vinaigrette with minimal ingredients. For inspiration, check out my sides or have one of my summer meals as another course of the night.
If you want to lighten the recipe or make it more rich, change the ratio of stock to cream. You can also make this dairy-free by using coconut cream. If substituting coconut milk, add in extra flour or thickening agents. A good option would be a cornstarch slurry to avoid the flour-y taste.
Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken Pasta
- 12 oz spaghetti
- 4 chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz mushrooms
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp flour all purpose
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 3/4 cup cream heavy
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup spinach
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup parsley chopped (optional)
- Fill a large pot with water, salt generously and let come to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large skillet preheat olive oil over medium/high heat. Cook the chicken, in batches if needed, for 3-5 minutes per side or until brown and cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate.
- While cooking the chicken (preferably during the second batch if two were required), add the spaghetti, or noodles of choice, to the boiling water. Cook until al dente or to your doneness preference. Remove from heat and drain – rinse to stop the cooking process.
- Add the sliced mushrooms to the same pan and cook for a few minutes until tender. Try to move them as little as possible so they get a bit of a crust. If needed, add a bit of pasta water so they don't burn. Remove and set aside in a bowl.
- To make the sauce, add the butter and melt. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant but not browned. Be careful to not burn. Whisk in the flour until it thickens.
- Whisk in chicken broth, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, pepper and salt. Add in the spinach, and let cook until desired level of wilted-ness.
- Add the chicken and mushrooms back to the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over pasta – if desired, garnish with fresh parsely.
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