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Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta

Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta


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Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta with penne, sautéed strips of chicken breast, broth, cream, goat cheese, parmesan, lemon, and asparagus! Easy midweek meal, perfect for spring!

Photography Credit:Elise Bauer

When springtime rolls around I find almost any excuse to cook fresh asparagus we bring home from the market. This is an easy pasta dish with asparagus and chicken breasts.

Goat cheese melts into the cream sauce to make it even creamier.

The lemon juice brightens the sauce, and a glance of nutmeg adds a final note.

Feel free to play around with this one! Swap out a different cheese, or experiment with different herbs like thyme or basil, or even add some heat with a few chili pepper flakes.

Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb asparagus spears, tough ends cut off and discarded, spears cut on the diagonal in 1-inch to 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3/4 lb penne or bow tie pasta
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat and sinews, and cut into strips 1 1/2 inches by 1/2 inch
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 5 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Method

1 Blanch the asparagus Bring a large pot of salted water (1 teaspoon salt for every quart of water) to a boil. Add the asparagus and blanch for 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside

2 Cook the pasta: In the same water you used to blanch the asparagus, add the pasta and prepare according to the package instructions for al dente, while cooking the chicken.

Reserve a half cup of the cooking water for adding back to the pasta if needed.

3 Sauté the chicken strips and shallots: Heat butter in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the chicken strips to the pan in an even layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Do not stir, cook until lightly browned on one side. Add shallots, cook for a minute longer.

4 Add the chicken broth, cream, nutmeg, goat cheese, lemon zest, oregano, thyme, and most of the Parmesan cheese (reserve some Parmesan to sprinkle on top when serving). Cook, stirring, until the cheese has fully melted and incorporated into the cream.

5 Add the blanched asparagus. Let come to a simmer and simmer for a minute.

6 Stir in the lemon juice. Sprinkle with more black pepper to taste.

7 Place pasta in a serving bowl. Stir in the chicken asparagus cream sauce. Add as much of the reserved pasta cooking water as needed for a creamy texture for the pasta. Serve with reserved grated Parmesan.

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Chicken Asparagus Pasta Bake

Chicken asparagus pasta bake is a recipe I first cooked years ago when I was part of the Secret Recipe Club. The recipe came from Fantastical Sharing, a recipe I&rsquove changed only very slightly over the years and which I keep making every spring.

It is simple, it only requires a few ingredients, and the kids love it, despite the asparagus, which is not really the first choice when it comes to children and vegetables.

This asparagus chicken casserole is one of the few bakes I make without a creamy sauce, probably the only one, I cannot really remember another one right now.

It only needs some good olive oil, but trust me, that is enough, you will not miss any cream, white or cheesy sauce, the dish is perfect just as it is. The olive oil enhances the delicate asparagus flavor, while a too cheesy sauce will slightly overpower it.


Choosing what shape of pasta to use

Have you ever wondered why there are so many different shapes of pasta? It’s not just for looks! Each of the shapes has its own purpose in the pasta world. They all interact with the sauce in a different way!

Of course, a lot of it has to do with regional cuisine differences too, but outside Italy, that makes less sense. You should still try using different pasta shapes with the kinds of sauce they are meant to pair with and see how awesome it is. Here are some of the ways pastas specialize:


Ratings & Reviews

There are some things I would change: used fresh ingredients.

I made my own white mushroom sauce instead of using canned soup to keep the salt level down. Also used fresh asparagus since it is in season. This is a quick way to serve a 'one pot meal' which is tas ty when you add fresh herbs.

Starter Recipe

I enjoy recipes such as this. I think recipes like this are made to make it the way you like. This round I added lots of garlic, salt and pepper, thyme, basil and oregano. I also used some leftover sa lmon instead of chicken. At the end I added so grated frozen lemon zest. Always a great way to may everything pop. Make it your own and what you have in your refrigerator and pantry.

Asparagus Chicken Pasta

Did not like it. No distinct flavor. Canned Asparagus was mushy. I would use fresh veggies.

Asparagus Chicken Pasta

My wife and I enjoyed this recipe very much.

Asparagus Chicken Pasta

Everyone loved it! Thank you!

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Recipe Summary

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken-breast halves, split and patted dry
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks, trimmed, thinly sliced, and well rinsed (4 cups)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound very small red potatoes (each 1 inch diameter), halved
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Dill sprigs, for serving

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large, straight-sided ovenproof skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet, skin-side down cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes a side. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium. Add leeks to skillet cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in wine cook until almost evaporated, 1 minute. Add broth and potatoes season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then add chicken, skin-side up transfer to oven. Roast 15 minutes, then remove and add asparagus season with salt. Cover and return to oven roast until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a plate. Stir cream into skillet, then return chicken. Serve, with dill.


One Pot Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Casserole

It appears I’m all about the one pot/skillet meals this week and why shouldn’t I be? They’re easy to make, minimal dishes to wash and generally comfort meals that everyone tends to like. Monday I made us healthier Chinese takeout and today it’s all about comfort food with this One Pot Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Casserole.

I mentioned last week that you would be seeing at least a couple more recipes using seasonal spring asparagus in them, because quite frankly I can’t control myself when it’s around. I’ll roast a bunch of it on Sunday saying I’m going to add it to my salads or snack on it during the week, but the next thing I know I’ve already eaten half of it and I’ll be lucky if it lasts through Monday. This time around I decided to take a classic comfort food that I’m sure many of you have had, chicken and broccoli casserole, and give it a lightened up spring makeover.

On top of being excited to take a classic, lighten it up AND add one of my favorite vegetables to it, I was even more excited to cook this one pot meal in my new Wolf Gourmet cookware set. When the wonderful folks at Wolf Gourmet approached me with the opportunity to try out their 10-piece cookware set I jumped at the chance! My current pots and pans were starting to show some wear and tear and I had been considering upgrading. At first I was nervous about using stainless steel cookware because I had only ever used non-stick. However, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how evenly everything I cook has turned out and how durable the cookware set is, not to mention it’s gorgeous to look at!

Another feature I like are the longer and ergonomically designed handles, making lifting and pouring a breeze! I ended up using the 11.5 inch skillet to cook the One Pot Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Casserole, but the 3.5 quart sautè pan would also work great. The 10-piece cookware set can be found at Bloomingdale’s.

So let’s get back to the casserole and what I did to lighten it up, but still keep that creamy cheesiness that you expect. First up was to replace higher fat milk or even cream with part low-sodium chicken broth and part unsweetened almond milk, skim milk would also work. To get the extra creamy flavor I wanted I added an ounce of 1/3 less fat cream cheese and plain Greek yogurt. The sauce was so thick and creamy I almost didn’t add in the cheese, but of course I couldn’t resist. A combination of Gruyere and sharp cheddar both melted in and on top of the casserole rounds out this one pot family friendly dinner and it is delicious!

Thanks to Wolf Gourmet for sending me their 10-piece cookware set to test out and review. As always all opinions are my own.


How to make Chicken and Asparagus Pasta

CHICKEN. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté your chicken for approximately 15 minutes.

PASTA. Cook pasta according to directions on the package. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the asparagus to the water. Drain and set aside while reserving a cup of the pasta water.

COMBINE. Once chicken is cooked add minced garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Sauté for 5 minutes.

SAUCE. To your skillet combine the broth, half & half, cream cheese and half of your parmesan. Add pasta and asparagus to your skillet and stir until well combined. If pasta seems too dry, add reserved cooking water a little bit at a time. Stir over med heat until desired consistency.

SERVE. Add salt, pepper and extra Parmesan to taste


Giada's 30-Minute Pasta with Mushrooms and Asparagus — Meatless Monday

The beauty of pasta is that, like a pizza crust or a slice of bread, it's a culinary blank canvas just waiting to be dressed up with your choice of flavors. The usual standbys, like marinara and Alfredo sauces, may be go-to picks for topping noodles, but there's nearly no limit to the ingredients you can use to create a sauce all your own.

In her quick-fix recipe for Creamy Farfalle with Cremini, Asparagus and Walnuts (pictured above), Giada De Laurentiis reinvents the idea of a traditional cream-based sauce by using — believe it or not — no cream at all. She starts with a base of earthy mushrooms and in-season asparagus, then adds the noodles and the mascarpone cheese, which will not only hug the bow ties but also provide the richness and silky texture you know and love. Follow Giada's lead and keep some of the pasta water on hand you may need it to thin the sauce as you combine it with the pasta. For a bit of welcome texture, add crunchy toasted walnuts to round out the dish before serving.

Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.


One Recipe, Two Meals: Creamy Chicken Pasta

I feel like creamy chicken pastas should be a staple in your winter-meal rotation. Actually, your all-year rotation. Your all-day rotation? Your right-now rotation? The sauce makes the dish here. It’s buttery, creamy and cheesy for the kids. For adults, it’s adorned with a tiny kiss of vodka, right at the end. These are the good things in life.

It’s all very straightforward. Seared and chopped chicken — for the kids and you. Easy. Next comes cooked curly pasta glory. I found this crazy pasta called mafalda, but if you can’t find it, any small, wacky and curly pasta will do. If your kids eat veggies, congratulations. Add some to their plates. If not, save them all for your hoarding tendencies.

Chicken and cheese for them, chicken and veggies for you! And the pasta — you get pasta too. As a bonus, yours has vodka in the cream sauce. You’re welcome.

One Recipe, Two Meals: Creamy Chicken Pasta

Yield: About 4 servings (2 kids, 2 adults)

12 ounces mafalda pasta, or any small curly pasta

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 medium carrots, thinly sliced

1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces (ends trimmed and discarded)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions, until it reaches al dente.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Sear the chicken, covered, for 5 minutes. Flip and sear another 5 minutes, covered. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to rest. After a few minutes, give the chicken a good chop.

Back in the skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the carrots and saute for about 4 minutes, until they start to soften. Add the onions and asparagus, continuing to saute another few minutes, until the asparagus is crisp-tender. Now add the garlic and saute until it becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds. Season the veggies with a pinch of salt and pepper, then reduce the heat to low.

In the meantime, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once the foaming subsides, add the flour and whisk until the color changes from cream to a golden brown, just a few minutes. Slowly add the milk, continuing to whisk over medium heat, until it becomes a bit thicker and creamier. Now, add the Parmesan cheese and a good pinch of salt. Keep whisking until the cheese is melted and the sauce is good and creamy. Taste it and add more salt if needed.

Ladle out about 2/3 cup of cream sauce and add it to a cup of cooked pasta, tossing to coat. For the kids’ plates, serve the creamy pasta topped with chopped chicken and extra Parmesan cheese. Done! (Feel free to sprinkle the veggies on the kids’ plates, if they’ll remotely let you.)

Now, back to the cream sauce. Stir in a shot of vodka and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.

For your adult plates, serve the creamy pasta with chicken and a good helping of sauteed veggies. Garnish with extra cheese and fresh parsley.


How to Make Chicken Asparagus Pasta

You&rsquoll start by browning your chicken breast, then sautéing the asparagus until tender. I love how bright green and vibrant it is!

Next you&rsquoll make a delicious and creamy parmesan sauce. Try not to eat it all with a spoon before the pasta is cooked. 🙂

Finally, you&rsquoll toss the delicious sauce with the chicken, asparagus, and rotini pasta. It&rsquos a one dish meal that&rsquos filling yet light, and sure to please the whole family!


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