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30 Minute Chicken Florentine Pasta

Chicken and pasta tossed in a creamy Florentine sauce. This 30 minute dinner will become a weeknight family favorite.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 420kcal

Equipment

  • Stock pot
  • Blender or food processor
  • Large, high-sided skillet

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. dry pasta of choice (I use orecchiette)
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces (sub peeled and deveined shrimp)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil (sub avocado oil)
  • 2 oz. diced pancetta
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1/2 cup jarred sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 to 4 handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 4 oz. light cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened cashew milk
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley or basil

Instructions

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water before draining.
  • While pasta cooks, heat oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken (or shrimp) evenly with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Add to skillet, and cook 6 to 7 minutes, turning to brown all sides, until cooked through (shrimp will only need 3 to 4 minutes total). Transfer to a plate.
  • Add pancetta and shallots to pan; cook 3 minutes, until pancetta is crispy and shallots are soft. Add sun-dried tomatoes and garlic; cook 1 more minute. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 more minute. Add chicken back to pan, and reduce heat to medium-low.
  • To a blender, add cream cheese, cashew milk, Parmesan, 1/2 cup of reserved pasta cooking water, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper; blend until smooth. Pour sauce into skillet with pancetta and vegetables. Add cooked pasta and toss to combine. Cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and begins clinging to noodles. Stream in more pasta cooking water as needed.
  • Garnish with parsley or basil and extra Parmesan cheese.

Notes

MAKE DAIRY-FREE: Swap the cream cheese for Kite Hill brand cream cheese-style spread. (Or, alternatively, your favorite dairy-free cream cheese.) Then, swap the Parmesan cheese for nutritional yeast, which adds the same savory, cheesy flavor.
MAKE MEATLESS: Omit the pancetta and chicken, or sub for meatless grounds (of your favorite meat alternative). 
TO REHEAT: Add a splash of water or broth to rehydrate, and reheat in the microwave or in a small saucepan stovetop. 
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve with a garden side salad and crusty Italian bread. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 690mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g