This easy creamy Parmesan Chicken Spinach Pasta Recipe is a quick comfort food dinner that comes together in about 30 minutes. With cheesy, creamy pasta this is one weeknight dinner the whole family will be excited to gather around the table for.
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Why You'll Love This Spinach Chicken Pasta!
I love a quick dinner I can whip up in a hurry, but this dinner feels more like a special occasion dinner. Tender chicken and pasta all smothered in a luscious creamy sauce with a little spinach to offset the richness of the cream. Yes, this is far from an ordinary, boring chicken dinner. This dinner is pretty much perfect and still can be on the table in just 30 minutes. Sounds like a winning recipe to me.
- Quick And Easy- Comes together in just 30 minutes.
- Family Favorite- Pasta is always a dinner that will get everyone excited to get around the dinner table
Love Pasta Dinners? Try These Next!
penne pasta- any type of pasta will work. I also like farfalle, rigatoni, and cavatappi.
spinach- wilts perfectly in the pasta.
chicken breast- I prefer boneless skinless chicken breast, but you could use chicken tenders or chicken thighs.
butter- is the fat that is needed to make the roux for the sauce.
flour- is essential in a basic roux because it thickens the sauce.
parmesan cheese- melts into the sauce and adds a salty flavor.
gruyere cheese- is another great melting cheese.
half and half- is part whole milk and part heavy cream. This makes the sauce creamy and delicious. For an even richer flavor you can use heavy cream.
shallot- is milder than onion but adds great flavor.
garlic-adds so much flavor to the sauce. I prefer to chop fresh garlic cloves for the best fresh flavor.
Cook pasta according to the package directions in a large pot of salted boiling water.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat with the olive oil. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Add the chopped chicken and cook for several minutes, flipping occasional until chicken is browned and cooked through. Add the garlic and shallots when the chicken is close to cooked through and sauté with the chicken. Remove everything from the pan and set aside. Cover to keep warm.
In the same pan add the butter to melt. Add the flour to the skillet and cook in the butter for 2 minutes to remove the raw flour taste. Slowly add the half and half to the flour mixture. The mixture will begin to thicken and make a sauce. Continue to drizzle the half and half into the flour mixture while stirring.
Once the sauce has thickened stir in the cheese and continue to stir until melted. Next add the pasta to the sauce and stir to coat. Remove the pan from the heat.
Return the chicken, garlic and shallots to the skillet. Add in the spinach. The heat from the pasta and sauce will wilt the spinach.
Substitutions And Additions
gruyere- I love gruyere because it has a great flavor and melts well, but you can add all parmesan cheese if you prefer.
penne pasta- there are so many types of pasta that will do well in this recipe. Farfalle, cavatappi, fusilli or any other short pasta.
shallots- I use shallots often because they are a bit milder in flavor than onions. You can always use a ¼ cup of thinly sliced red onion or white onion if you prefer.
half and half- is part whole milk and part heavy cream. You can use heavy cream for a richer sauce.
chicken- you can use chicken tenders or boneless chicken thighs. Shrimp would also be a delicious option. Or leave the protein out for a vegetarian pasta dinner.
Store leftover chicken spinach pasta in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat until chicken and pasta are warmed through. Add a splash of half and half or milk to thin the sauce out if needed.
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Easy Creamy Parmesan Spinach Chicken Pasta Recipe
- large pot
- 8 ounces penne pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into pieces
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup half and half
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan
- ½ cup gruyere, grated
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- Cook pasta according to package directions in a large pot of salted water.
- While pasta is cooking, season chicken with salt, pepper and Italian seasonings.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the tablespoon of olive oil.
- Add the chicken to the hot pan and cook for 3-4 minutes undisturbed so that chicken gets a good sear, then flip and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through and no longer pink. During the last minute of cooking add the minced garlic and shallot to sauté along with the chicken. Remove everything from the pan and cover to keep warm.
- Return the pan to the stovetop over low heat and melt the butter. Add the flour and cook the flour to remove the raw flour taste (about 1 minute). Slowly add in the half and half while stirring to create the bechamel sauce. Once the sauce has completely thickened add the cheese to melt into the sauce.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce along with the cooked chicken and spinach. The heat from the sauce and the pasta will wilt the spinach. Stir well until everything is coated in the creamy sauce.
- Serve with extra grated parmesan cheese.