Chicken and pasta are most commonly found in every kitchen and they’re not terribly expensive items to buy.   Below are several recipes that I enjoy making with both chicken and pasta of different flavors give them a try. 

Lemon Chicken Pasta

Something about lemon and chicken changes up every day into a yummy dinner day

Ingredients

Directions

French Onion Chicken Pasta

French Onion Chicken Pasta is an easy to make tasty one-pot pasta dish!  Full of tender chicken, caramelized onions, pasta, and smooth cheese!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Large Onions Peeled and Sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Pound Chicken Breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Pound Penne
  • 3 Cups Beef Broth
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Provolone or Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan, Shredded

Instructions

  • Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally until onions are tender and caramelized. About 15 minutes.
  • Remove the onions to a bowl.
  • Season the chicken with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.
  • Heat the olive oil in the same skillet.
  • Add the chicken to the skillet and cook and stir for 5 minutes until the chicken is seared on all sides.
  • Add the onions back to the pan along with the pasta and beef broth.
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer over low heat until most of the liquid is absorbed and pasta is tender.
  • Stir in the heavy cream, provolone, and parmesan cheese.
  • Top with parsley if desired.

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo Video

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

Cook a complete dinner in one pot with this Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta, using mostly pantry-stable items. Perfect for an enjoyable meal that doesn’t cost a lot.

Ingredients

Cajun Seasoning

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 1 tsp oregano 
  • 1 tsp thyme 
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder 
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt 

Chicken Pasta

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 Tbsp butter 
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 yellow onion, diced 
  • 1/2 lb. penne pasta 
  • 15 oz. fire roasted diced tomatoes 
  • 2 cups chicken broth 
  • 2 oz. cream cheese 
  • 3 green onions, sliced 

Instructions

  • Combine the ingredients for the Cajun seasoning in a small bowl. Cut the chicken into 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes. Place the cubed chicken in a bowl, pour the Cajun seasoning over top, and stir to coat the chicken in spices.
  • Add the olive oil and butter to a large deep skillet. Heat the oil and butter over medium-high until the skillet is very hot and the butter is melted and foamy. Add the seasoned chicken to the skillet and cook for a couple minutes on each side, or just until the outside gets some color. The chicken does not need to be cooked through at this point.
  • Add the diced yellow onion to the skillet and continue to sauté for about 2 minutes more, or just until the onion begins to soften. Allow the moisture from the onion to dissolve any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  • Next, add the pasta, fire roasted diced tomatoes (with the juices), and chicken broth to the skillet. Stir just until everything is evenly combined, then place a lid on top and allow the broth to come up to a boil.
  • Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the pasta simmer for about ten minutes, stirring every couple of minutes, until the pasta is tender and the liquid is thick and saucy.
  • Add the cream cheese to the skillet in chunks, then stir until it has melted into the sauce. Top the pasta with sliced green onions and serve.

Notes

  • The deep skillet I use is a 4-quart capacity.
  • Depending on your cookware, you may need to adjust the heat up or down to maintain a simmer in the broth. Be sure to stir often to prevent the pasta from sticking.

 
Here are the tips that make deciding a whole lot easier.

Check the "best by" date.

It's always good to be in the habit of giving the "best by" date a once-over — especially if you're a meal planner. Since I grocery shop just once a week, I've learned to get in the habit of always checking the "best by" date on meat. Often I buy chicken that I won't cook until days later, so it's important to select a package that will hold up until I need it.

Select chicken with a pinkish hue.

Don't rely on that "best by" date alone. It's also helpful to take note of the chicken's coloring, which will give you some insight into the freshness of the package. No matter what cut you're buying, look for chicken that has a pink, fleshy-colored hue. As chicken spoils, its coloring fades from pink to dull gray. So, it's best to skip over any packages containing chicken with even a hint of grayish coloring.

For skin-on, the pieces, make sure the skin covers each piece.

If you're planning on searing that package of skin-on chicken thighs or breasts, the one important thing you really want to examine in the package is, well, the amount of skin. Some stores will package thighs skin-side down, but I always like to look for ones with the chicken skin-side up. Anytime you're going for crispy skin, look for a package that has an ample

Buy based on the number of pieces when the cuts will be served whole.

Perhaps the trickiest part of buying chicken is selecting a package based on the number of pieces or the weight of the package since the two don't always coincide with your needs. I think the most helpful way to decide is based on how you'll cook and serve the meat.
If you're cooking something like whole chicken breasts or bone-in thighs, where the pieces will be kept whole and everyone around the table will get a specific number of pieces, buy chicken based on the number of pieces in the package.

Buy based on weight when the meat will be cut before cooking.

On the other hand, if you're making a recipe where the chicken will be shredded after cooking (like chicken tacos, shredded BBQ chicken, or soup), or where it will be cut into pieces before cooking (like chili, chicken curry, or stir-fries), select a package of chicken based on the weight. Since the meat won't be served as whole pieces, the number of pieces in the package isn't as important.
Pasta Tips

Fill your pot properly.

Use enough cold, fresh water that once the pasta begins to cook and expand, there will still be plenty of room for the noodles to move freely. You also want enough water to balance the heat once the pasta is added, allowing it to come back to a boil quickly. The rule of thumb is at least three liters of water to every 250g of pasta.

Salt your water.

Salting the water is your only opportunity to season the pasta itself. The water needs to “taste like the sea,” in order to flavor the pasta. Three liters of water requires a minimum of 1 tbsp salt.

Bring water to a rapid boil before adding the pasta.

Starches absorb water instantly and you want the water temperature to be extremely hot to begin cooking the noodles properly. Noodles that are added too soon with be soggy and improperly cooked.

Drop and stir 

As soon as you drop your pasta in the water, stir it. This prevents the pasta from sticking together, or to the bottom or sides of the pot. Stir occasionally during the cooking process.

Check the package for timing.

There are lots of methods for testing if pasta is properly cooked, but your best starting point is to read the package. Every variety and brand of pasta designates a proper cooking time and it’s indicated on the package.

The drain doesn’t dry.

Drain your pasta enough to remove most of the water, but don’t let drained pasta sit and “dry off”. As it cools, the starches will firm up and the pasta will stick together.

Add pasta to the sauce — not the other way around.

Always have your sauce prepared before you cook your noodles. Pasta cooking should be the last step in making your dish. Keep your sauce warm in a large, wide saucepan, big enough to add your noodles too. Add immediately after they’ve drained.