Chicken broccoli and ziti and pasta primavera are just two of the many dishes that use an alfredo sauce. It is full of cream and overly heavy. Often times people mess this sauce up because of the roux needed to thicken the sauce or the over reduction of the heavy cream. Forget the overly complicated techniques. A quick and painless way to a creamier alfredo sauce is using “Greek” Cream Cheese and Yogurt.
As with most of my recipes, they are easy and home cook friendly. Feel free to adapt the flavorings and ingredients to fit your personal preferences like this Chicken Pasta Primavera Recipe. It is such an inexpensive dish that is always a family favorite.
Chicken Pasta Primavera
- 1 lb. whole wheat penne (use which ever pasta shape you like, and the whole wheat adds a really nice nuttiness to this dish)
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breast, small diced
- 1 cup low sodium chicken stock (this amount is varied depending on how much sauce you like!)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4-6 ounces of “Greek” Cream Cheese and Yogurt (I say 4-6 because the more you put the thicker the sauce will get)
- 1/2 onion, sliced thin
- 1 cup broccoli florets, blanched
- 1/2 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced (any variety of mushroom will do, i also love oyster mushrooms)
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 bunch white or green asparagus, blanched
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 lemon, zested
I seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and some Italian seasoning. Feel free to play with the amounts on these
Saute the chicken in olive on medium heat until the chicken starts to get some color. Season with salt and pepper. (always important to season as you go) Add in your onion, mushrooms and garlic. Continue to saute these until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms start to gain some golden brown color.
Add in remaining vegetables and season to your liking. Pour in your chicken stock and let this come to a boil and reduce by 1/4. Stir in your “Greek” Cream Cheese Yogurt until combined and creamy. Feel free to reduce this if you want a thicker sauce. The cream cheese addition is lighter than adding all that heavy cream, butter and cheese. The tang from the cream cheese also sets this dish apart. Finish by adding the lemon zest and immediately serve. (this way the vest stays bright and aromatic)
*Go ahead and use any vegetables you want. The star of this dish is the sauce and is complimentary to most any vegetables or meat.