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I don’t know about you, but there isn’t much more frustrating to me than having a long wait at a restaurant! Maybe it is because I am typically disappointed by restaurants and wish that I would have just made something of my own at home. I guess that is the food blogger in me 😉

When it comes to holidays, especially Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, it is that much worse!! I have first-hand knowledge of the long hours, rude people and overall frustration that restaurant employees go through during these holidays (since hubby runs one), so I just can’t bring myself to go to a restaurant during those times!! Besides the fact that he is working crazy long hours every Valentine’s and Mother’s Day!!

Well if you are anything like me and would rather enjoy your Valentine’s Day at home with a yummy meal that will taste like it was made in a restaurant without actually having to go to one, give my Creamy Garlic Spinach Chicken Pasta at try!!

Full disclosure, my Creamy Garlic Spinach Chicken Pasta is a bit more indulgent that most recipes that you will find on my blog, but it is a special day and you and your Valentine deserve it!! It is still sooooo much better for you than most anything you are going to get in a restaurant 😉

My Creamy Garlic Spinach Chicken Pasta starts with this new whole wheat pasta that I found with quinoa, amaranth, millet, sorghum and teff that I wanted to try out (uber healthy and yummy) Then you add lean boneless skinless chicken breasts, onion, garlic, lots of fresh spinach (all nice and healthy, right?).

Then the healthy train comes to a screeching halt!! To make this pasta dish nice and creamy, all of those healthy ingredients are swimming in a sauce made with garlic herb cream cheese 😛 Top it off with some yummy parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes (if you like…totally optional)!!

Creamy Garlic Spinach Chicken PastaINGREDIENTS :

  • 12 oz. (1 box) of whole wheat penne pasta
  • 10 oz. fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 large, yellow onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • ½ cup garlic and herb cream cheese
  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flake, more or less depending on your preference
  • sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste.

INSTRUCTIONS :

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving one cup of starching cooking water.
  2. Drain and return to hot pot, add chopped spinach, cover and set aside to let spinach wilt.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
  4. Once hot, add chicken to the skillet and sauté for approximately 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Add onion and garlic to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes or until the onion has softened and beginning to turn translucent.
  6. Add cream cheese and reserved cooking water to chicken.
  7. Stir to combine and melt cream cheese.
  8. Add chicken/cream cheese mixture to pot with pasta and spinach.
  9. Add parmesan, crushed red pepper (if using), salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  10. Serve with additional parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes for garnish.
  11. A simple green salad and warm whole wheat bread would be lovely with this pasta!!

You can find complete recipes of this Creamy Garlic Spinach Chicken Pasta in beckysbestbites.com

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