Creamy Chicken Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

Creamy Chicken Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

I’ve never done a product review here (which is a discussion for another day) but when BlogHer and Knorr invited me to create something with their new Homestyle Stock, I jumped at the chance. I use chicken stock practically daily, and I’ve been using Knorr’s bouillon cubes for my whole life, so I was betting that this was going to be something I liked. I was totally right.

Knorr Stock

The stock comes in little tubs like you’d dip your chicken nuggets in, in a concentrated gel. You can dilute it with water to make chicken stock, or you can dilute it with any other liquid to make creative sauces and broths. I was the most excited by the versatility, so I wanted to make something that really highlighted that feature.

When I was in cooking school, my chef’s mantra was “Never Miss An Opportunity For Flavor!” anytime we had a call to use water, he’d scowl at us if we didn’t at least toss some herbs into the liquid. Since then I’ve become a major fan of poaching. A little chicken stock, some herbs, a bunch of salt and instead of waterlogged vegetables you get something that sings.

I also loved how I could use the concentrate as an ingredient all by itself. You can’t precisely measure bouillon, and using chicken stock in a sauce then requires thickening. I came up with a pasta sauce that is incredibly easy and doesn’t even require dirtying a pot because the Homestyle Stock added all the flavor I needed without a lot of liquid.

Creamy Chicken Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 – 8

1 C roasted red pepper, chopped (about 3 peppers before roasting)
2 C roasted butternut squash, chopped (about 1 whole squash before roasting)
olive oil
3 C green beans, cleaned and cut into 1″ segments
2 chicken breasts
12 oz farfalle or bowtie pasta
2 tubs Knorrs Homestyle Stock
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 C cream
1 tsp Knorrs Homestyle Stock concentrate
1/2 C parmesan cheese

Prepare your poaching liquid by dissolving two tubs of the Knorr stock into 7 cups of water. Add your cleaned and chopped green beans, and cook until al dente. About ten minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare your roasted vegetables. To roast a red pepper, cut it in half and clean out the seeds and veins. Put it cut side down on a parchment lined cookie sheet and place it under your broiler until the skin is charred and bubbly. Take it out of the oven and immediately into a brown paper bag to cool. The paper bag steams the pepper and allows that skin to slide right off. Remove the skin and chop into 1″ pieces.

To roast the butternut squash, peel off the rind, remove the seeds, and chop into 1″ pieces. Toss with olive oil and salt on a tinfoil lined cookie sheet, and bake in the oven at 400 for ten minutes, or until the squash gets soft with a crispy crust.

Remove the green beans from the poaching broth with a spoon, and add the chicken breasts. Cook on a low heat for 15 minutes or until the chicken is gently cooked through. Remove with a spoon and cut into 1″ pieces.

Add the pasta to the poaching broth and cook until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Heat the cream cheese in the microwave if necessary until it’s soft enough to stir. Add the cream, stock concentrate, and cheese and whisk together.

Toss all the ingredients together in a big bowl, top with a little more cheese, and stuff your face.

Creamy Chicken Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

I’m always racking my brain for great food to make in these hottest days of the year when I want to be far from the kitchen, and this is a great, simple solution. One pot, barely any oven time, and lots of really satisfying, fresh, summer ingredients. This would be a great pasta to take to potlucks. Since the sauce isn’t mayonnaise based, it will hold up great in the heat.

This cream sauce is so easy, it’s basically like we’ve just made a thick Cream of Chicken soup without turning on the burner. If you come from a heritage fond of casseroles, like I do, this is a great substitution for that gelatinous can stuffed with salt and preservatives. Now I can have my comfort food with fresh ingredients.