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Creamy Chicken Mozzarella Pasta

Creamy Chicken Mozzarella Pasta: A Luxurious Twist on a Classic Dish

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with our Creamy Chicken Mozzarella Pasta recipe. This dish combines tender chicken, flavorful sun-dried tomatoes, and rich, creamy sauce, all tossed with perfectly cooked penne pasta. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal or planning a special dinner, this recipe is sure to impress. So, grab your ingredients and get ready to elevate your pasta game to a whole new level of deliciousness!

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of penne pasta
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (from sun-dried tomatoes jar)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil (optional), for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Cook Pasta: Cook the penne pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Prepare Chicken: Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Saute Sun-Dried Tomatoes: In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the minced garlic and sun-dried tomatoes (drained from the oil) to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant and the tomatoes are softened.
  4. Make Creamy Sauce: Pour the heavy cream into the skillet with the garlic and tomatoes. Stir in the dried Italian seasoning and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it cook for 2-3 minutes, until slightly thickened.
  5. Add Chicken and Pasta: Add the cooked chicken and drained penne pasta to the skillet with the creamy sauce. Stir well to coat the chicken and pasta evenly with the sauce.
  6. Melt Mozzarella Cheese: Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over the top of the pasta mixture. Cover the skillet with a lid and let it cook for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Garnish and Serve: Remove the skillet from the heat. Garnish the creamy chicken mozzarella pasta with fresh basil leaves if desired. Serve hot and enjoy!

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Add Vegetables: Incorporate your favorite vegetables into the dish for added flavor and nutrition. Try adding spinach, mushrooms, or bell peppers for a colorful and hearty meal.
  • Spice it Up: For a bit of heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the creamy sauce.
  • Make it Creamier: Stir in a dollop of cream cheese or mascarpone cheese to the sauce for an extra creamy texture.

Keto and Low Carb Versions:

  • Keto Option: To make this recipe keto-friendly, substitute the penne pasta with zucchini noodles or shirataki noodles. Use full-fat heavy cream and ensure the sun-dried tomatoes are unsweetened. Reduce the amount of tomatoes to lower the carb count further. Serve with a side of roasted vegetables or a crisp green salad.
  • Low Carb Option: Follow the keto option above and further reduce the carb content by omitting the sun-dried tomatoes altogether. Instead, use fresh cherry tomatoes or roasted bell peppers for a burst of flavor without the extra carbs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?

A: Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in place of chicken breasts for this recipe. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly, as thighs may take slightly longer to cook.

Q: Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of sun-dried tomatoes?

A: While sun-dried tomatoes add a unique flavor to the dish, you can certainly use fresh tomatoes if preferred. Simply chop them and sauté them with the garlic until softened before adding the cream.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time?

A: Yes, you can prepare the components of the dish ahead of time and assemble just before serving. Cook the pasta and chicken separately, and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Prepare the sauce as directed, but wait to add the chicken and pasta until ready to serve. Reheat the sauce gently on the stove, then add the chicken and pasta and continue with the recipe.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers of Creamy Chicken Mozzarella Pasta?

A: While the dish can be frozen, the creamy sauce may separate upon reheating, resulting in a less creamy texture. If freezing, store the pasta and sauce separately in airtight containers. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stove or in the microwave.

Q: Can I use a different type of cheese?

A: Yes, you can customize the dish by using your favorite cheese or a blend of cheeses. Try using shredded provolone, fontina, or Gouda for a delicious variation.

Creamy Chicken Mozzarella Pasta is a delightful fusion of flavors and textures that is sure to satisfy your cravings for comfort food. With its creamy sauce, tender chicken, and sun-dried tomatoes, this dish is a true crowd-pleaser that will have everyone asking for seconds. Whether enjoyed for a cozy dinner at home or served at a special gathering, this recipe is guaranteed to impress. So, gather your ingredients and prepare to delight your taste buds with this irresistible pasta dish. Bon appétit!

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