A simple one pot dinner — a skinnier version of chicken alfredo pasta with no butter or heavy cream. Well, it has officially felt like Fall is here this past week! We’ve had rainy, stormy days every single day, the air is crisp in the morning and late evening, and the husband was able to see his breath on his early morning run yesterday. All signs of impeding Fall-time right? That and I bought about 800 miniature pumpkins and placed them in every single nook and cranny of the house. And the pumpkin spice candle that was brand new about a week ago is almost completely gone. I recognize I’m a little crazy about Fall. How about you? Is it cooling down where you are at? Feeling like Fall? Have you broken out any pumpkin yet or still finishing your summer zucchini’s off? 🙂 Or maybe on to apples? Well, finally, I have a recipe for you today that doesn’t require anything seasonally in 🙂 It’s the perfect cozy comfort Fall/Winter food, but it’s also perfect for the summa time because: LIGHTENED-UP (!!!) and no oven required. It’s all made in just ONE skillet with no butter or heavy creams. One of my favorite parts of this dinner is the breaded chicken. So, technically for this dinner you’ll use one pot, plus two small bowls if you want to bread your chicken first (which I highly recommend). I tried some new breading packets by The Good Table in this dish.
I think this alfredo with the breaded chicken is even better than the Olive Garden (and for far less calories too). After the chicken is cooked in the skillet, you’ll set it aside to make the cream sauce + pasta in the same skillet. I like to remove the chicken at this point to keep it from over-cooking and to leave that nice crisp exterior on. The sauce mixes up in that same skillet and then you throw in the uncooked pasta. I’ve tested this recipe with both bowtie + penne pasta, but haven’t tried any other varieties.
While I’m sure similar shaped pastas will work great, I’d recommend sticking to the penne or bowtie just to ensure it works out perfectly for you 🙂 Once that pasta is cooked, the sauce is all thick + creamy, you add in some cheese (cream cheese + freshly grated Parmesan cheese) and top it with some fresh herbs. Fresh parsley is the BEST on this dish!! And then add a little sprinkle of red pepper flakes if you like a little bit of a kick!
- 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 package The Good Table Parmesan & Herb sauce and crust mix*
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- scant 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup white flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 cups 1% milk (2% or whole will work, but not skim)
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/4 teaspoon chicken seasoning optional
- 2 cups bowtie or penne pasta uncooked
- 2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese or full fat
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Optional: fresh parsley, freshly ground pepper, red pepper flakes for a little kick
Remove any fat from the chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces.
If you are breading your chicken, follow package directions to place in the sauce and then the prepared breadcrumbs/parmesan cheese.
In a large skillet over medium heat, place the breaded chicken pieces (no need for oil or anything else). Cook, flipping occasionally (but not too much as it will remove the breading) until the chicken pieces are completely cooked through.
Set aside the cooked chicken on a plate.
In the skillet, add in the olive oil. Heat to warm and then add in the garlic and stir until fragrant. Add in the flour and briskly whisk until a thick dough forms. Cook for about 1 minute over medium heat.
VERY slowly, pour in the chicken broth while vigorously whisking. Whisk until completely smooth.
Again, very slowly add in the two cups of milk (at room temperature preferred) whisking constantly.
Add in the salt, chicken seasoning, and pepper (I add about a heaping 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Allow to slightly thicken.
Stir in the uncooked pasta, turn up the heat to high, and bring the mixture to a boil.
Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover.
Cook for 13-16 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the pasta is completely cooked through. (If you use penne pasta instead of bowtie, it cooks 1-3 minutes quicker)
Near the end of the cooking time, cut the cream cheese into chunks and place on top of the pasta to melt.
Stir in the cream cheese and the Parmesan cheese. Taste and add any additional seasoning.
Return the chicken and stir that in.
Garnish with fresh parsley if desired and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a little touch of heat.
*If you can't find this breading packet and still want breaded chicken: grab 2 bowls and fill up one with an egg (lightly beat with a fork) and fill up the other with 1/2 cup breadcrumbs + 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Place the pieces in the egg wash and then into the breadcrumbs. Alternatively you can leave the breading off altogether.
Highly adapted (particularly the method) from Gimme Some Oven
More easy one pot dinners: