Cheesy Chicken Pasta

3.9 (79)
Cheesy Chicken Pasta

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.

Yield: 6 servings, about 1 1/3 cups each
Active Time: 35
Total Time: 35

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

Nutrition Per Serving

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

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

Carbohydrate Serving 2 1/2

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

From EatingWell November/December 2008