A fresh, light chicken pasta dinner with zucchini, peas and two cheeses. Ready in just 20 minutes and very budget-friendly!
This may have been one of the best holiday seasons yet. ❤️
The husband and I got to get away to Aruba for a few days to celebrate his 40th birthday, we returned to Christmas celebrations, had tons of family pass through town over the past couple of weeks and the kiddos were very into Santa this year, so that made it all seem more magical and joyous. #blessed
And now it’s winding down and I can’t believe we are at the end of the year.
Mostly in a shocked way. Cause I wouldn’t change much about this past year and I’m super excited for everything that’s coming our way in 2016. #soveryblessed
I’m also ready to slow it way back down on the food front.
We have eaten so well these past few weeks and had so many special dinners and occasions to celebrate with family and friends — not to mention all the cookies and treats — but I’m missing my simple, healthy, home cooked meals and I’ll be glad to get back to them (after the last few parties and New Years celebrations over the next few days!)
In the plans for that first week of January is one of my go-to, easy, fast, budget-friendly chicken pasta dinners, this cheesy chicken pasta with veggies. Serious goodness going on here, you guys.
It’s got zucchini and peas, which just pair so perfectly in my book. (And I can find them easily all year long. I’m never without a bag of frozen peas in the freezer.) Beyond those veggies, we’ve got whole wheat pasta, rotisserie chicken (from the store, or leftover if you’ve got some extra on hand) and two cheeses. It’s always a good idea to double up when it comes to things like cheese. 😉
It’s light, bright and fresh with the lovely stretchy cheeses that work their way around the pan to grab hold of the veggies and chicken and pasta and bring everything together.
You can’t give me a fork big enough.
And everything else for this dish is ready by the time the pasta cooks, so it’s super fast. I make the whole batch, even if it’s just the two of us for a late dinner, and we all enjoy the leftovers for lunch or dinner later in the week.
Speaking of family-friendly pasta dishes, you might also want to check out chicken penne pasta with broccoli. Simple but so satisfying.
Here’s to a happy, healthy, family-filled New Year! Enjoy!
- 1 lb. whole wheat pasta (I use penne or rigatoni)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil plus 1 tablespoon for drizzling (optional)
- 1 cup onion, diced small
- 2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced in 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken (skin removed)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or more to your liking)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and zucchini and saute for 3-4 minutes, until slightly tender. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
- Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
- Add the chopped cooked chicken and the frozen peas and stir to heat through, 1-2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low.
- When pasta is finished cooking, reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the skillet along with 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid.
- Add cheeses and stir to combine. Stir in extra splashes of the reserved cooking liquid, if needed, to help everything combine.
- Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, taste and adjust seasoning.
- Drizzle with extra tablespoon of olive oil, if desired. Serve with extra Parmesan cheese for passing.
If your skillet isn’t big enough to hold everything (and be able to stir it), add the pasta and other ingredients back to the big pot you cooked the pasta in.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 591Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 134mgSodium: 1333mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 8gSugar: 8gProtein: 51g