Low Fat Chicken Florentine Pasta is a delicious dinner that’s ready in just 30 minutes. Kid-friendly, weeknight-approved, and perfect for leftovers.
Healthy Chicken Pasta Recipe
Sautéed chicken and pasta tossed in a decadently creamy Florentine sauce with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. This quick, delicious dinner tastes super decadent, yet has a favorable nutrition profile. Both kids and adults will love it, and it will undoubtedly become a family favorite.
This is one of my go-to recipes for both entertaining and easy weeknight dinners. The sauce is a simple mix of cream cheese and unsweetened cashew milk, which produces a velvety-smooth consistency. To thin the sauce out, simply use as much (or as little) pasta cooking liquid as necessary. Also in the mix is sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and pancetta. Pancetta adds salty richness, while sun-dried tomatoes add a bright burst of umami. And, in my opinion, you can’t have a pasta dish without garlic.
Low Fat Creamy Pasta Sauce
Here’s the thing: I’m typically not very big on cream sauces. Most times, I prefer a red sauce or olive oil-based one over anything white and creamy. However, I have to make an exception for this sauce, because it’s THAT delicious. Truly, my definition of nutritious comfort food at its finest.
You may wonder why the sauce calls for a mix of cream cheese (dairy) and cashew milk (non-dairy). Cashew milk has a thick consistency, yet super neutral flavor, making it a great contender for creamy sauces. It’s also really low in calories and fat, plus rich in minerals. You can, however, choose to use whole milk instead. I just love the flavor and consistency that cashew milk provides.
What to Serve with this Italian Chicken Pasta Recipe
This dinner is delicious with a crisp green salad on the side, or some crusty Italian bread. Though the best thing about it is that you really don’t HAVE to serve it with anything. It combines protein, carbs, and lots of veggies, creating a well-balanced meal.
If you are serving anyone that is gluten-intolerant, I recommend using brown rice pasta or chickpea pasta. I personally love Banza chickpea pasta for it’s neutral flavor and wheat-like consistency. In terms of shapes, I love using shells because they act like catchers gloves to catch all the delicious sauce. This recipe is also fabulous with penne pasta, or rigatoni. I hope you give this deliciously flavorful recipe a try for make-ahead lunches or weeknight dinner. And if you do, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations.
More Easy Weeknight Pasta Recipes to Try
- 12 oz. pasta of choice
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 oz. diced pancetta
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4 oz. light cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup unsweetened cashew milk
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup jarred sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach
- ⅓ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup finely chopped italian parsley
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions.
- While pasta cooks, heat oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add pancetta and cook until crispy, about 3 minutes. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden, stirring often, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add sun-dried tomatoes and garlic; cook 1 minute, or until fragrant.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer (or a food processor), combine cream cheese and cashew milk; Blend until smooth. Gently pour cream cheese mixture into pan and reduce heat to medium-low.
- Use a glass measuring cup to remove 1 cup of pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain pasta and add to saute pan, along with spinach, parmesan cheese and parsley. (The spinach should wilt pretty quickly as you mix it into hot pasta, but you may need to add it in increments.)
- Gradually stream in pasta water until desired consistency is achieved. (I ended up using ~1/2-2/3 cup). Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.