Creamy chicken pasta in less than 30 minutes

The word around the food blogger water cooler is, most folks are looking for simple family-friendly meals they can throw together in under 30 minutes. Great! Me too.

I have previously confessed my work-in-progress time management skills. Sometimes I get busy doing things right before dinner time. Unfortunately, once my stomach starts growling I am already in trouble. I am going to either snack until I come up with something or talk myself into heading out to a restaurant. For moments like these I have a few quick meals that can be made from ingredients I almost always have on hand.

Recently, we had a near hangry situation after a long afternoon of errand running. By the time we finished running around naps had been skipped, tummies were rumbling, and our resolve to eat healthily was tissue thin. On the drive home I began a mentally scanning my pantry and refrigerator for ingredient combinations. Once at home I didn’t even take my jacket off before beginning to pull the meal together. Before Mr. Second Helpings finished unloading our purchases from the car I had a pot of salted water heating for the pasta and my chicken thighs sliced and ready to go into the warming sauté pan.

Less than 30 minutes after walking through the door we sat down to a complete hot meal. The sauce was thick and creamy with a mild basil flavor. A generous helping of vegetables lent the dish additional texture and tummy filling volume. It was so good we all agreed it should join the regular collection of go-to meals. We think you’ll agree.

Creamy Chicken Basil Pasta

Prep Time: 5 minutes, Cook Time: 20 minutes; Yield 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless-skinless chicken thighs
  • 8 oz whole grain pasta
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Gourmet Garden Chunky Garlic (or 3 medium cloves minced)
  • 1 can Progresso Recipe Starters Cooking Sauce: Creamy Parmesan Basil
  • 1 cup (8 oz) Chobani Greek Yogurt (non-fat or 2%)
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, loosely packed
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

1) Fill your pasta pot with water and add a few generous pinches of salt. Cover and bring the water to a boil.

2) Slice the uncooked chicken into bite sized chunks, around 2×2 inches each. Brown the chicken pieces in a large sauté non-stick pan over medium high heat. If needed add a few tablespoons of water to keep the chicken from sticking to the pan.

3) Once the pasta water has begun to boil add the pasta and cook for 2 -3 minutes less than the instructions on the box.

4) When the chicken has cooked though toss the chicken with the garlic and pour over the Progresso Recipe Starter. Simmer for 3 – 4 minutes then reduce the heat to low and stir in the yogurt. Add the pasta and let everything simmer together for 5 minutes. Stir in the parmesan and most of the basil, reserve a few pinches.

5) Let the finished pasta dish rest for 5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. Finish with cracked black pepper and the remaining basil, serve immediately.

To make this a meal: Stir 2 cups of vegetables that have been steamed or sautéed in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper (zucchini &onion pictured). Add with the pasta. Additional suggestions include: chopped asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower, peas, green beans or summer squash.

Approximate nutrition per serving: 385 calories, 12 g fat, 515 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 31 g protein, PP= 10

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