Healthier 30 Minute Chicken Spinach Alfredo


INGREDIENTS

1 lb. penne pasta
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. all purpose flour
2 cups skim milk
2 Tbsp. light cream cheese
1.5 cups parmesan cheese
2 cupscooked shredded chicken
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Cook the penne in very salty water until al dente.
  2. While the pasta cooks, melt butter in a separate large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and sauté until fragrant and cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add flour to butter and whisk to combine and form a roux. Let roux cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add milk a little at a time, whisking to incorporate roux and work out any lumps. Milk will thicken up quickly at the beginning, but as you whisk the rest of the milk in it will loosen the sauce. Cook sauce, whisking occasionally, until sauce has thickened, about 6 minutes.
  5. Add cream cheese to sauce and whisk until cheese has melted. Let sauce continue to cook until pasta is ready.
  6. Before you drain the pasta, reserve a few ladlefuls of the pasta water (about ½ cup) and set aside. Once you've done that, transfer the pasta to a colander, drain the rest of the pasta water, and set the pasta aside while you finish the sauce.
  7. Stir parmesan cheese, shredded chicken, and spinach into sauce. Stir until cheese has melted.
  8. The sauce might be a bit thick at this point - add reserved pasta water a ¼ cup at at time and stir until combined to loosen the sauce. You may not need all of the pasta water - use just enough so that the sauce reaches your desired consistency.
  9. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper as necessary. You may not need to add much salt, since the pasta water is quite salty.
  10. Add cooked pasta to sauce and stir until the sauce evenly coats the noodles. Serve immediately.


Original Recipes: Healthier 30 Minute Chicken Spinach Alfredo @ lifeasastrawberry.com

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