CHEESY CHICKEN PASTA
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A creamy chicken pasta that’s loaded up with three cheeses – YUM! All the cheesy indulgence is balanced out with plenty of green veggies.

Creamy chicken pasta with three cheeses, leeks and toasted almonds.

This is one of those ideal winter weeknight meals. I’m sure you know the type… the ones you can throw in a bowl, sit down somewhere comfortable, let the bowl warm up your hands and dig in with just a fork.

If this sounds appealing, check out these other pasta recipes too:

Ricotta, cheddar AND feta all make an appearance in this cheesy chicken pasta. It’s not exactly health food, but you’ll at least inhale a decent quantity of greens at the same time!

 

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Creamy chicken pasta with three cheeses, leeks and toasted almonds.

CHEESY CHICKEN PASTA

Keyword: CHICKEN, MAIN MEALS
Difficulty: Easy
Ready In: 40 minutes
Serves: 4

A creamy chicken pasta that’s loaded up with three cheeses (ricotta, cheddar and feta) - YUM! All the cheesy indulgence is balanced out with plenty of green veggies.

QUICK PRINT

Ingredients

CHICKEN

  • 600 g boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1lb 5oz)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

PASTA

  • 1 leek
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup frozen peas (160g)
  • 1 tsp chicken stock powder dissolved in 1 cup boiling water (250ml)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 300 g dried pasta shells (10.6oz)
  • 200 g ricotta cheese (7oz)
  • 2/3 cup grated tasty cheddar cheese (67g)
  • 100 g baby spinach (3.5oz)
  • 100 g feta cheese (3.5oz)

Instructions

  1. COOK CHICKEN

    Preheat oven to 190ºC (375ºF) fan bake. Place a large piece of foil or baking paper on an oven tray. Cut each chicken breast into three smaller pieces and place on foil. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with garlic powder and season with salt and pepper. Wrap up in the foil / baking paper and bake for 25 minutes, until cooked through.

  2. COOK PASTA

    Meanwhile, clean and thinly slice leek. Crush garlic. Heat a large frying pan on medium-high. Add almonds and cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted (2-3 minutes). Remove from pan into a bowl.

  3. Add butter to pan to melt. Add leek, garlic, thyme, rosemary and lemon zest. Cook until leek is soft. Stir in peas, stock and lemon juice. Simmer for 2 minutes.

  4. At this point, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Stir in pasta and cook for 10 minutes, or according to instructions on packet, until al dente.

  5. Add ricotta, cheddar and spinach to frying pan, stirring until cheddar has melted and spinach has wilted. Reduce heat to low.

  6. Use two forks to shred cooked chicken. Add to frying pan. Drain pasta, reserving a little of the pasta water. Add pasta and a splash of pasta water to frying pan. Crumble feta over the top and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  7. SERVE

    Divide pasta between warmed serving bowls and top with almonds. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

WINE MATCH: Go for a Chardonnay.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Use gluten-free chicken stock powder and gluten-free pasta.
INGREDIENT SWAPS / NOTES: For a quicker meal, swap the chicken for 250g / 8.8oz diced bacon. Pan fry before you add the butter and leek to pan (and leave in the pan).
STORING AND REHEATING: Store individual portions in containers in the fridge and reheat in the microwave. Almonds are best added after reheating.

 

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