December 31, 2009

Penne With Chicken, Spinach and Parmesan Cheese Sauce

I really can't even tell you how many chicken and pasta dishes I have made. It seems like those two items are our trusty dinner go-tos. We really never seem to get tired of the rotation though...ok so never say never, but there's enough variety to keep us happy. It's a very rare occasion that neither of us will be in the mood for a hearty chicken parmesan with spaghetti or lemony chicken francese over linguini. The truth is that there is just so much variety amongst those two ingredients alone that the possibilities are endless.

Truth be told, I'm a sucker for pasta and I'm not picky. I've mentioned before that I'm not a big meat-eater, I could eat pasta every night and be wonderfully happy. I have this mental security that as long as pasta is served along with dinner I know I'll like it -- and if not I can always pick around everything and just eat the noodles! So when I found this recipe I had absolutely no reservations about adding another chicken and pasta dish to our kitchen. And I have definitively concluded that anything with the phrase 'parmesan cheese sauce' just has to be good!

This dish will go into our regular week night rotation because it is just that quick and easy to throw together. The sauce whips up in a snap while the pasta is cooking. By the time I had the pasta drained and back in the pot it was time to toss everything together, and I love it when a plan comes together seamlessy (especially when I spent just a tad too much time browsing the fresh produce section and wound up getting home 20 minutes late). Not only is this recipe a speedy one, but all of the ingredients were on hand, straight forward and nothing special. So I say get to cooking, this one is a plate licker (no I didn't lick my plate, come on now).

Penne with Chicken, Spinach and Parmesan Cheese Sauce (adapted from the Big Book of Easy Suppers)

8 oz penne, or any other pasta you have on hand
2 C cooked chicken breast, cubed
5 oz frozen spinach, thawed and well drained

Parmesan Cheese Sauce

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 C whole milk (I used 2% and had beautiful results)
1/4 C chicken broth
1/4 freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C sour cream
pinch of pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. Stir in chicken and spinach and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir until bubbly. Add milk and broth and stir until smooth and thickened, about 2 min. Add the cheese, salt & pepper. Stir until cheese is melted, about 1 min longer. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream.

Add hot cheese sauce to pasta pot and toss to blend all ingredients. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.

FYI: The recipe says it serves 4 but I halved it and it generously fed 2 1/2 with plenty of leftovers.


  1. This looks so good and easy!!! Pinning! Here from Required Ingredient Linky!

  2. Thank you! It is super easy, one of our favorite dinners!


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