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 & Roasted Red Pepper
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)
- Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.