Creamy Chicken Pasta & Baked Zucchini
These recipes are so simple and easy to make. Creamy Chicken Pasta & Baked Zucchini blend together perfectly, with none of the ingredients overpowering the other. They make a quick and easy meal. I love that! This meal could easily be made and served in a half hour, give or take a few minutes.
Let’s Get Started
Next, I would recommend prepping for all three recipes. Gather together all the ingredients and keep them readily available. Begin preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll be making penne pasta and that’ll require a large pot filled 2/3rds with water and heating over high heat.
Pots, Pans and Trays
We’ll be sauteeing up some chicken fillets and making a creamy garlic sauce. That’ll require two medium to large saute pans. The oven baked zucchini is best made on a large baking tray, foil wrapped for easy clean up, of course! Oh yeah, and a cooling rack to set into the baking sheet. That’ll allow the oven heat to move freely around the baking zucchini.
Hey, We’re Doing Great!
I don’t know about you, but I strive to have a meal come together all at once. So, I always try to set myself up for success. That may mean chopping, mincing, or slicing ingredients in bulk. Lol, I just mean mentally combining my ingredient quantities and then prepping them all at once. I’m not rushing madly around our kitchen, oh gosh, no way! I don’t always achieve my goal, but I give it my best, lol.
Clean and Slice
Rinse, dry and slice up those zucchini. After slicing off the top stem and bottom end of the zucchini you can just dispose of those pieces. Lay your zucchini on your cutting board and cut them in half lengthwise, then cut each half right down the center and continue slicing until you’ve created little wedges. Place them into a medium sized mixing bowl and set aside.
Rinse, Pat Dry and Fillet
We buy boneless, skinless chicken breast and I’m going to assume everyone does that, too. No worries if you don’t, you’ll just have a few extra steps to do. Here’s a little tip for chicken with the skin on; Place your chicken on a cookie sheet and pop them into your freezer for about 10 minutes. This will start to freeze up the skin and you can then easily pull it away and off your chicken pieces.
Rinse and pat dry with paper towels each piece of chicken breast. Lay them down onto your cutting board and hold it flat with the palm of your non-knife hand. Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice the chicken in half horizontally this will create two chicken fillets. Continue the steps until all breast pieces have been fillet.
Back To The Baked Zucchini
Retrieve the mixing bowl with the zucchini in it, add the oil and mix to evenly coat each zucchini piece. Combine the dry ingredients, except your freshly chopped parsley, and sprinkle over oil coated zucchini. Mix to thoroughly coat zucchini with dry ingredients. Arrange zucchini pieces on your baking sheet with a cooling rack inserted. Make sure to place the skin or green side down. Then into the oven they go and set that timer for 12-15 minutes. Time will vary from oven to oven.
Is The Pasta Water Boiling?
By now your water should be at a rolling boil and it’s time to add that box of tri-colored penne pasta. I don’t dump the entire box in at one time. Instead, I’ll slowly pour them in while stirring them with a large serving spoon.
The water may briefly stop its rolling boil, so you’ll need to make sure it is boiling again. A medium-high to fast boiling water will also help prevent the pasta from sticking. Set your stove top timer to 16 minutes and the heat can be reduced to medium high. Just make sure that water continues to fast boil.
By now you’re aware that I’ve deviated from the blog post format I usually use. I hope you don’t mind. Don’t hesitate to send me a private message or drop a comment to let me know what you think…good or not so good.
My mom and grandmothers had this ability to make a meal come together simultaneously. It seemed natural and effortless. I always had a bit of, “meal come together envy”, lol, and why I’ve written this post a bit differently.
Where was I?
Time to start the buttery lemon chicken. Place the correct amount of butter into the saute or frying pan. Once the butter is heated and well, foaming. Yep, that’s what it looks like. Add the minced garlic to the pan and saute until a lightly golden brown.
When your garlic is golden, add in the lemon juice, pepper and begin dipping your chicken fillets into the milk, then flour and placing them into the saute or frying pan. Be sure your butter, garlic, lemon juice mixture is bubbling before adding in your chicken.
Time to Start your Pasta Sauce
While your chicken is frying go ahead and start your pasta sauce. Begin by adding in 2 tbsp of butter to your saute or frying pan and get it to its foaming stage. Add in your garlic and saute until it is golden brown.
Keep an eye on your chicken and turn when it’s golden brown.
Once the garlic is golden brown begin slowly adding your flour. It’s best to use a whisk as it will help prevent lumps. You want to cook your flour and use a whisk to gently stir it as it browns. Once golden brown begin adding your chicken broth and milk, stirring slowly, but consistently with a whisk until sauce thickens.
Pasta and Zucchini
It may be time to check the pasta for doneness and also the zucchini. Use a slotted spoon to remove a few pieces of pasta from the boiling water. I’ll usually cool it by running cool water over the penne pasta shells. If it’s ready, drain off the water using a colander and set aside until your creamy pasta sauce has thickened.
Test the zucchini by inserting a fork to test its tenderness. If it’s ready, place it back into the oven and turn the broiler on for 2-5 minutes or until the zucchini is a golden brown. After it’s done transfer zucchini to a serving plate and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.
We’re Almost Done!
By now, the chicken should be ready and can be sliced into strips. When your creamy pasta sauce is thickened, reserve a small amount to drizzle over the top of your chicken and begin gradually adding your drained penne pasta into the sauce, stirring to thoroughly coat each piece of pasta. Continue adding in the pasta until all or most of the pasta has been added.
Plating Your Creamy Chicken Pasta
Transfer your pasta to a large serving bowl and top with the sliced chicken. Drizzle with the sauce you reserved and sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese. It’s time to enjoy your Creamy Chicken Pasta and Baked Zucchini.
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Creamy Chicken Pasta
- 1 box tri colored penne pasta
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp flour
- 3/4 cup chicken broth can be substituted with vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 tsp parsley flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a large pot of water to boil over high heat
- Once water is at a rapid and full rolling boil add the box of penne pasta to the water. Be sure water returns to a rapid boil. To cook pasta there must be enough water for the pasta to move and this will prevent any lumping or sticking together. You must also, have a large pot to prevent overflow. Cook pasta until it is al dente. This is when pasta is cooked, but slightly firm when bitten. Our perfectly cooked al dente pasta is 16 minutes.
- Once pasta is al dente cooked, drain away water using a colander.
- While pasta is cooking begin preparing the creamy pasta sauce.
- Using a medium to large saute pan, heat over medium heat. Once heated add the butter and melt. Heat butter until foaming.
- Once the butter is heated and foaming add garlic and saute until golden brown. Salt and pepper to taste.
- When garlic is sauteed a golden brown slowly sprinkle in flour, while constantly whisking the butter, garlic, and flour mixture until flour is lightly browned.
- It is now time to add the liquid. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and then the milk. Keep whisking until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Note: If your sauce becomes lumpy you can spin it in your blender or food processor until creamy.
- When the sauce has thickened whisk in the parsley.
- Reserve a small amount of creamy pasta sauce. You will use this once the sliced chicken is added to the pasta.
- Begin slowly adding in your prepared and drained pasta to the sauce. As you add in the pasta stir it into the creamy sauce. Continue adding the pasta until it has been thoroughly coated. Pasta can now be transferred to a serving bowl.
- Slice your chicken and add it to the pasta. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
Lemon Garlic Chicken Breasts
- 2 Chicken Breasts Boneless, skinless and fillet
- 1 cup butter
- 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp dried cilantro can subsitute with fresh chopped cilantro
- 1 cup flour Used to coat chicken fillets. Add more if needed.
- 3/4 cup milk used to dip chicken in before dredging in flour
- Rince, clean, and pat dry chicken breasts.
- Remove and trim off any excess fat. Place chicken breast on cutting board, hold it flat with the palm of your hand your non-knife hand. Using a sharp chief's boning or fillet knife, carefully slice chicken breast horizontally into two even pieces. Repeat for each chicken breast.
- Once all breasts have been fillet salt and pepper them to taste and set aside.
- Prepare a paper plate, plate or pie plate, and fill with flour and set aside.
- Heat a medium to large-sized skillet over medium heat and add butter and melt.
- When butter is foaming add minced garlic and saute until a light golden color.
- Once garlic has sauteed and is golden in color add fresh lemon juice to the skillet
- Pour milk into a small to medium-sized mixing bowl. One at a time, dip a chicken fillet into milk. This is so the flour has something to stick to.
- Coat fillet chicken breasts with flour, one at a time, and add to skillet. Saute first side until it is a golden brown, then turn and saute other side until also golden brown.
- Once boths sides of chicken have browned and chicken is cooked, remove from heat, sprinkle with cilantro and allow to rest and cool on cookie rack.
- Chicken breast can be served whole or sliced and added to creamy pasta.
Crispy Oven Baked Zucchini
- 4-5 zucchini halved and quartered
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp freshly chopped parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp basil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line baking tray with foil and set a cookie cooling rack within or resting onto of baking tray. You may spritz non-stick spray on your cooling rack, if needed.
- Wash and clean the zucchini. Cut, remove, and dispose of both ends of zucchini. Cut zucchini in half and then cut each half into quarters. Making zucchini wedges.
- Place zucchini wedges into a mixing bowl and thoroughly coat with olive oil.
- In a small bowl combine all of your dry ingredients, mix to combine.
- Sprinkle dry ingredients over your olive oil coated zucchini wedges and mix to coat and cover zucchini wedges.
- Arrange coated zucchini wedges onto your prepared baking tray and cookie cooling rack. Be sure to place green side down.
- Place into oven and bake until tender, approximately 15 minutes. Test for tenderness by gently inserting a fork into zucchini pieces.
- Once zucchini is cooked and tender (not mushy), turn oven to broil and broil for 2-5 minutes or until coating is crispy and golden brown.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and serve immediately.