I love pasta and can’t imagine a life without it. Creamy pastas are something both my husband and I adore, but they can be really high in fat and calories. But there are ways to make creamy pasta sauces that are lighter and healthier. All it takes is a little know-how. That’s where this recipe from Pam Anderson’s, The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight and Eating Great comes in.
Instead of loads of butter and cream, low fat evaporated milk and chicken broth thickened with a little butter and flour is used to make a nice satisfying rich and creamy tasting sauce.
This skinny cream pasta with spicy chicken broccoli, and basil is easy to make too, requiring just 2 pots and coming together in about 35 minutes. It’s a great way to use up leftover chicken.
I used a fancy mushroom linguini from the farmers market because it’s what was in the pantry, but any dried pasta will work.
The photo of this pasta so doesn’t do it justice. I snapped it quickly with my iPhone as an afterthought before it was too late. Rod went back for seconds twice. Always the sign of a winning recipe!
- 12 ounces dried pasta
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup 2% evaporated milk
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1-1/2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
- ½ cup drained canned petite diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook according to the package instructions, until al-dente. Add the broccoli during the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the cooking water.
- While the water is coming to a boil and the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. To speed up the process, place the broth, milk, and garlic in a 1-quart glass measuring cup or small microwave-safe bowl and heat until steamy, 3 to 4 minutes, then let stand for a couple of minutes.
- Place the butter in a large sauce pan over low heat. When the butter melts, whisk in the flour, then the hot broth mixture, whisking constantly until the sauce thickens, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Stir in the Parmesan.
- Add the shredded chicken, tomatoes, basil and crushed red pepper flakes and stir.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and then simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
- Add the drained pasta back to the pasta pot and pour over the cream sauce and enough of the reserved pasta cooking water to coat and moisten the pasta. Toss and serve immediately with a light sprinkling of additional grated Parmesan, if desired
If you liked this post and recipe for skinny creamy pasta with spicy chicken, broccoli, and basil, check out these links: