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Cheesy Chicken Pasta

November/December 2008

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (70 votes)

This ooey-gooey pasta dish is a crowd-pleaser for adults and kids alike—think rich and creamy macaroni-and-cheese tossed with cauliflower and chicken. Serve with a spinach salad.



READER'S COMMENT:
"Somehow this 35 minute dish turned into an hour. Basic recipe, nothing to spectacular about this, lacked in any bold flavor. Although adding some hot sauce was a good remedy, you can pretty much do any add ons to this. Good, but not great...
Cheesy Chicken Pasta Recipe

Makes: 6 servings, about 1 1/3 cups each

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole-wheat penne
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch cauliflower florets
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups low-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyère, or Swiss cheese
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken, or turkey (12 ounces; see Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, or scallion greens

Preparation

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 5 minutes. Add cauliflower florets and cook until the pasta and florets are tender, about 4 minutes more. Drain, rinse and return to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine and cook until reduced slightly, about 1 minute. Whisk milk, flour, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl and add to the pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheese until smooth. Stir chicken (or turkey) and mustard into the cheese sauce; cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir the sauce into the drained pasta and cauliflower. Serve sprinkled with chives (or scallion greens).

Tips & Notes

  • Tip: To poach chicken breasts, place boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a medium skillet or saucepan. Add lightly salted water to cover and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes.

Nutrition

Per serving: 433 calories; 13 g fat (5 g sat, 5 g mono); 75 mg cholesterol; 42 g carbohydrates; 34 g protein; 5 g fiber; 491 mg sodium; 483 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (38% daily value), Calcium (35% dv), Potassium (20% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 low-fat milk, 3 lean meat


More From EatingWell

Recipe Categories

Ease of Preparation
Moderate
Ethnic/Regional
American
Total Time
45 minutes or less
Health & Diet Considerations
Low cholesterol
High calcium
Servings
6
Main Ingredient
Chicken
Turkey
Preparation/ Technique
Saute
Meal/Course
Dinner

Season
Spring
Fall
Winter

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