A few simple ingredient swaps making this colorful Chicken Pasta Primavera healthier than its counterparts and still every bit as flavorful, loaded with veggies and a spicy kick of pepper.
- 1 1/4 lbs diced chicken breast
- 3 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for pasta water
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided, plus extra for seasoning sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided, plus extra for seasoning sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 12 ounces gluten-free angel hair or spaghetti pasta*
- 2 cups broccoli florets, chopped and cooked
- 3 roma tomatoes, chopped
- 2 serrano peppers, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 (8 oz) container baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, sliced
- 4 sprigs parsley, minced, plus extra for garnish
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour (I like Pamela’s)*
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk**
- 4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese**
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Toss chicken breast with 1 teaspoon olive oil, granulated onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and cayenne.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sauté just until cooked through. Transfer to a clean plate or bowl and set aside.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil with a dash of olive oil over high heat.
- Cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the past water, and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil to the same skillet used for the chicken and sauté the broccoli, tomatoes, serrano peppers, bell pepper, mushrooms, and parsley until vegetable have softened, 5-7 minutes. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Whisk in the flour for about 30 seconds, or until the mixture is smooth and smells nutty, making a roux. Whisk in the milk and bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in the cream cheese and parmesan. Continue to stir until smooth and slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
- Combine the chicken, vegetables, pasta, and alfredo sauce in the pot used to cook the pasta and toss over low heat until evenly combined, adding reserved pasta water as/if needed to reach desired consistancy. Serve warm, garnished with fresh parsley if desired.
*If you’re not concerned with keeping this recipe gluten-free, healthy alternatives for the pasta and flour would be high-protein pasta and white whole wheat flour.
**While this recipe is intended to be a “lightened-up” version of pasta primavera, you can of course feel free to use low-fat or whole milk and full fat cream cheese instead.
Recipe adapted from Skinny Suppers