Creamy Chicken Pasta with Mushrooms & Roasted Red Pepper

Before I launch into this creamy chicken pasta recipe, let me tell you a little secret: In an attempt to find balance, I basically gave up cooking dinner for the entire year after my daughter was born. It’s seemed like a reasonable thing to do at the time: The toddler’s bedtime was super early, so when I would get home at 5 p.m., it was 90-minute race through dinner, bath, books, and bedtime. Taking time to cook a meal for the family seemed kind of impossible and unnecessary.

But now Emme goes to bed at the late hour of 7 p.m. or so, freeing up a solid hour between 5 and 6 p.m. when I can (in theory) cook. It’s been super hard to get back into a habit of actually making meals, but I figure there’s no time like the present to start incorporating family dinner into our routine — you know, once or twice a week… at best.

My point is, I’m trying, and I need easy weeknight dinner recipes to make it happen, and this creamy chicken pasta dish fit the bill.

I came up with the recipe after having leftover ingredients from this Cooking Light recipe, a bag of mushrooms from the farmer’s market, and no polenta. I added chicken for a little protein and roasted red peppers for extra flavor. The creamy chicken pasta was a hit with both the toddler and husband. (And just so we’re clear, by “hit with the toddler,” I mean that her entire dinner did not end up on the floor.)

Creamy chicken pasta with mushrooms and roasted red peppers is an easy weeknight dinner recipe that the whole family (including any picky toddlers) will love!

Creamy Chicken Pasta with Mushrooms & Roasted Red Pepper

Servings: 3-4

6 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
1 TBSP olive oil
½ lb chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
8 ounces cremini mushrooms (or other variety), sliced
2 TBSP Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Peppers, chopped
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 TSP salt
½ cup bottled Alfredo sauce (I used Classico)
¼ cup basil, chopped
3-4 TBSP Fontina cheese, shredded (optional)

  1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  2. Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add chicken. Cook for approximately 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add mushrooms to skillet. Cook for 2 minutes stirring frequently. Stir in garlic and roasted red peppers and salt. Cover, reduce heat and cook for 2 more minutes. Uncover, stir in Alfredo sauce, basil, and cooked chicken.
  4. Add cooked and drained spaghetti to skillet to coat with sauce, veggies and chicken. Top each serving with 1 TBSP of fontina cheese.

A few tips to make this recipe even easier: You could make this a vegetarian meal and skip the chicken or use leftover, already cooked chicken from earlier in the week. And if you want less chopping, go for the pre-sliced mushrooms.

Add my favorite (super easy, no-chopping required) salad for a legit meal.

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