Chicken Penne Pasta with a Lightened-up Parmesan Cream Sauce
A (Lighter) Creamy Penne Chicken Pasta Dish with mushrooms, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes. Easy, 30-minute dinner that can be made in ONE pot!
Course Main Course
Keyword penne pasta
Prep Time 20minutes
Cook Time 10minutes
Total Time 30minutes
12 ouncesPenne Pasta (use Barilla Pronto for super quick prep!)
1/2cupsundried tomatoes packed in oil,coarsely chopped
8ouncescremini mushrooms,thinly sliced
1cup(prepared/leftover) rotisserie or grilled chicken,shredded
2cupspacked baby spinach
1tablespoonolive oil (or oil from the sundried tomatoes)
1cupchicken stock (or chicken broth; stock has more flavor)
1cupmilk(1%, 2%, or whole milk; 1% for the lightest version)
Salt and Pepper,to taste
Optional: fresh thyme
Cook the penne pasta according to package directions*. Drain and set aside.
In the same pot, over medium heat, add in 1 tablespoon of oil from the sundried tomatoes. Add in the mushrooms and stir for 3-4 minutes. Add in the coarsely chopped tomatoes and stir for another 1-2 minutes. Dump this mixture on top of the set aside Penne.
In the same pot again (return to the burners and put at medium-high heat), add 1 more tablespoon sundried tomato oil OR olive oil and the butter. Once the butter is melted, stir in the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Slowly add in the flour, whisking constantly. Whisk for one minute.
Slowly add in the chicken broth while whisking and then slowly add in the milk while continuing to whisk. Increase the heat and allow the mixture to get to a boiling point and then reduce and allow to simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally. Add in the Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Once the sauce is thickened, add back in the pasta + veggie mixture. Add in the leftover rotisserie chicken (or leftover grilled chicken) and spinach to warm through (get the spinach to wilt) for 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat. Stir the ingredients until combined and add in the 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
Stir and enjoy immediately garnished with fresh thyme if desired.
*If you want this dish a little quicker and don't mind dirtying another pot, cook the pasta in one pot and as soon as that's going, start the mushrooms cooking in another pot.