Everyone loves pasta, and it’s never been much of a secret that I’m one of the biggest pasta hounds around. It’s delicious and super easy to throw together on a busy weeknight. However, because pasta is such a perfect go-to, it can be easy to fall into a bit of a pasta rut. If you’ve had one too many spaghetti Wednesdays, try mixing things up with this easy Chicken Pasta Primavera. It’s just as easy to make as your go-to spaghetti and red sauce, but it offers a fresh new flavor and plenty of veggies.
Pasta Straight From The Garden
Alright, so maybe the pasta itself isn’t from the garden (I for one am fresh out of penne seeds.) But fresh veggies are the number one staple of any pasta primavera dish. If it’s not bursting with a bright color palette of mixed veggies, it’s not pasta primavera.
This emphasis on veggies is what makes pasta primavera, well, pasta primavera. It’s also what makes it such a great dinner option for health-conscious pasta lovers like myself. Sure, it’s easy enough to whip up a leafy green side or add some veggies to your favorite recipes. But with a recipe like this Chicken Pasta Primavera, the veggies are already the star of the show, so adding veggies is one less thing you have to think about while meal prepping.
This recipe features all the classic pasta primavera choices. Zucchini, summer squash, asparagus, grape tomatoes, and thin-sliced bell peppers all bring fresh, healthy flavor and color to this delicious pasta dish. And while veggies are the main event here, I like to add some extra protein by throwing in some lean strips of chicken breast cooked and seasoned along with the veggies.
Light And Creamy
I love pasta in just about all of its incarnations, but I have a particular weakness for rich, creamy pasta dishes. Unfortunately, as most pasta hounds know, those rich, creamy, cheesy pastas are HEAVY, calorically and otherwise. (Alfredo lovers need not despair, however. We do have this life saving recipe for Skinny Alfredo Sauce.)
Pasta primavera is the perfect solution, offering a dish that is creamy and cheesy without being overly heavy. This easy Chicken Pasta Primavera recipe keeps things extra light and healthy with a rich, secretly skinny sauce made with skim milk and parmesan.
Between the plethora of healthy fresh vegetables and the light yet creamy parmesan sauce, this easy Chicken Pasta Primavera is the perfect healthy go-to dish for pasta lovers. Whip up a batch this week and enjoy an easy, fresh and delicious dinner!
Yield: 8 servings | Serving Size: 1 cup | Calories: 325 | Total Fat: 7 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Carbohydrates: 44 g | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 4 g | Protein: 20 g | Cholesterol: 36 mg | Sodium: 249 mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 8 |
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 (6 ounce) boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch strips
- 1/2 cup zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch half moons
- 1/2 cup yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4 inch half moons
- 1/2 cup red onion, cut into thin strips
- 1/2 cup asparagus tips, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 cup bell peppers (any color) cut into thin strips
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 4 cups penne pasta, cooked
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- In a large skillet with high sides, heat the olive oil. Once hot, add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, summer squash, onion, asparagus, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Season with the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
- Add the milk and bring to a simmer. Once simmering stir in the parmesan cheese and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and add the penne pasta. Stir until coated in the sauce and vegetables and pasta are mixed together well. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
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