Tuscan Chicken Pasta


With all the baking this time of year comes lots and lots of sugar! So anything savory, with some salt and a little spice is soo welcomed in my kitchen! Don’t get me wrong, the excuse to eat cookies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is absolutely fabulous, and I am DEFINITELY not complaining, however, my body occasionally needs a little balance! And what better than a delicious, big creamy, homey, chicken & pasta dish? This was so yummy! Pretty quick to whip up between all that baking, and made for even better leftovers..trust me..(I’m not a huge leftover fan, and this was even better the next day!)

The crunchy chicken on top of the creamy, cheesy pasta was perfectoo! I highly recommend you go home and make this tonight! You’re kids won’t even realize there’s delicious spinach cooked in there! 😉 To make it a little bit better for you, you can use multigrain or whole wheat linguine, which is what I usually would do, but I was totally feeling the carbs…because its not like I’m not getting enough already! ha!

I hope all your Christmas shopping is done hehe and all you have left is wrapping! My hat is off to those who are on the ball and have everything done already…it feels like no matter how early I start, there are ALWAYS last-minute things to pick up or finish! I am still totally enjoying the season though, it has been an absolute blast, and I hope you all are as well!! Happy Cooking!!

Tuscan Chicken Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Panko
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 large boneless chicken breasts
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic, 4-5 cloves
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 tsp. cayenne
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups pecorino romano cheese, freshly grated (you can use parmesan too)
  • 1 pound linguine or fettuccine

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a plate with edges combine panko, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian Seasoning.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat your egg.
  4. Rinse the chicken breasts, dry them, dip in beaten egg followed by the panko mix.
  5. Heat up a nonstick skillet with three tablespoons of olive oil, then add the chicken. Cook approximately 2 minutes on each side, enough to brown both sides.
  6. Transfer to a baking pan lined with aluminum foil, and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Once its done, remove, cover with tin foil and set aside.
  7. While the chicken is in the oven start boiling your water and cook your noodles.
  8. In the wiped down skillet, add the remaining olive oil, the garlic, and red bell pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes.
  9. Add the flour to the mix while stirring continuously for a minute.
  10. Add the chicken broth and cayenne to the skillet, and whisk together until slightly thickened, 4-5 minutes.
  11. In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and the cream. Add it to the skillet along with the milk and spinach.
  12. Bring the mix to a simmer, occasionally stirring until the spinach is wilted and the sauce is slightly thickened. (With the fresh spinach it will take some time to wilt down, anywhere from 5-10 minutes, but it will get there!)
  13. Towards the end, add the pecorino romano cheese, and stir until the cheese is well melted and combined.
  14. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  15. Pour over drained pasta and toss to coat.
  16. Slice up your chicken into strips and top the pasta and sauce, serve and Enjoy!!

Adapted from: Mels Kitchen

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