When I think of comfort food, I think of bubbling pasta dishes that ooze cheese and are bursting with flavor and savory goodness. After a long day of work, there’s nothing more relaxing to me than settling down at the table with a big plate of warm noodles and eating to my heart (and stomach’s!) content.
But here’s the caveat: after a busy day, I don’t want to spend too much time slaving over a stove top when there’s the couch and Netflix calling my name! When I want my pasta, I want it as fast as possible while still getting maximum yum factor.
That’s why this recipe for Chicken Pasta with Artichoke Spinach Cream Sauce is absolutely perfect for me. I mean, c’mon! Just reading the name itself makes me want to lick the screen!
While it sounds complicated and fancy, this dish is easy enough to make on a weeknight, but still impressive enough for company.
The other day I tiredly came trudging in to my apartment feeling drained and exhausted. I was starving, so I made a beeline to the fridge, saw nothing already made, and resigned myself to heating up a microwave turkey dinner that had been sitting in the freezer since the Ice Age.
And yup, food bloggers have those day too! Luckily, I have a habit of rechecking the fridge every two seconds when I’m hungry (as if somehow more food would magically appear), and after my third sweep I realized that I had the ingredients to put together a pretty killer pasta dish.
All it took were a few staple ingredients, and presto! My pasta dreams were about to come true.
I pulled out a mess of ingredients and got to work. Into my pot went a few pats of butter, some chopped onion, garlic, that half-and-half I usually use for my morning coffee, and a tiny bit of flour to get everything all thickened up and groovy.
Then, it was time for the good stuff! Yeehaw! I had plenty of fresh parmesan on hand, so it made a happy appearance in my white sauce. As I stirred it in and watched it melt smoothly, all I could think about was how glorious melty cheese is.
I made a mental note to prepare my tastebuds for a party, then got back to work. Looking back in the fridge, I pulled out some fresh spinach, pre-cooked chicken, and mushrooms.
By themselves, just boring ingredients, but together, a masterpiece of flavors! Am I being too dramatic? Nah.
I let all the ingredients meld together before topping the sauce on some fusilli pasta noodles because fun shapes taste better. It’s a fact. That’s why spongebob-shaped Kraft mac and cheese is so much more delicious and rewarding to eat than their original noodles.
Also, please don’t let the fact that I’m a food blogger who eats microwavable meals and Kraft mac and cheese on a regular basis affect our friendship. The moral of this story is that you could have a big, steamy plate of cheesy pasta in front of you in no time at all.
Ditch that freezer food and throw this recipe together! Then, open up your windows so my pasta-senses start tingling and I know to come over to have a bite. Our tastebuds can have that party together and everyone will be happy. Hooray!
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 1½ tbsp flour
- 1¼ cup half and half
- ¾ tsp italian seasonings
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup roughly chopped canned artichoke
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- ¼ lb cooked rotisserie chicken
- 8 oz cooked pasta
- Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add in the chopped onion, garlic, and mushrooms and cook until the onion is translucent, 2-4 minutes.
- Whisk in the flour and cook for 30 seconds. Add in the half and half, stirring so that no flour clumps remain. Bring to a soft boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the Italian seasoning, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add in the artichoke, spinach, and cooked chicken, stirring to combine. Serve over cooked pasta!