Welcome to Direct Your Dining! This cooking series will introduce you to energy-efficient recipes full of tips to keep your meals delicious without using every appliance in the kitchen. Preparing recipes with energy efficiency in mind at least once a week will make cooking a little easier, and may even help reduce your monthly electricity bill. Check in every week for a new recipe full of flavor and creativity that will surely impress your friends and family.
One of the easiest – yet most flavorful – dinners you can make at home is a one-pot pasta dish. Not only are the preparation and cleanup easy, it cooks on the stove-top in a relatively short amount of time!
This week’s energy saving dish is my twist on chicken spaghetti, as it utilizes fresh produce, leftover rotisserie chicken breast, and quick-cooking angel hair pasta. The old version of this dish used a lot of canned ingredients, a lot of cooking time, and a lot of heavy ingredients like tons of cheese. Today’s chicken pasta recipe uses fresh mushrooms, peppers, onions, garlic, and herbs instead. When you use fresh ingredients instead of processed ones, the dish feel lighter and better for you while not requiring a lot of extra effort or cooking beyond some knife work.
The chicken used in this recipe is from a rotisserie chicken I picked up at the grocery while shopping for my produce and pasta. This purchase makes for a super-easy and energy-saving substitute for cooking chicken breasts at home. You can definitely make your own chicken breasts for this dish using your own recipe, especially if your family buys your meat in bulk or you have a couple extra chicken breasts on hand.
I also switched from classic spaghetti noodle to thinner angel hair pasta to reduce cooking time. Angel hair pasta is thin so you can break it in half, add it to the boiling pot, and have it cooked up in about five (5) minutes.
If you want to make this recipe even lighter and healthier, skip the addition of heavy cream and just substitute in more skim milk. You can also go super-light on the cheese (I already cut ¾ cup of cheese out from my original recipe) and just sprinkle it on the served pasta instead of adding it in once the noodles are cooked.
And don’t be afraid of the jalapeno pepper! This dish can really carry peppers and their flavor without being too spicy. The pasta, liquid, and vegetables really mellow out the pepper to the point if you served this meal to someone, they may not even be able to tell there is jalapeno in it. That being said, you can easily double the amount of jalapeno or even add in some serrano pepper to deliver more noticeable spice.
One-Pot Rotisserie Chicken Pasta
- 1 ½ c. Cremini mushrooms, diced
- ½ c. Red bell pepper, diced
- ½ c. Yellow onion, diced
- 3 tbsp. Jalapeno pepper, finely diced (approx. 1 large jalapeno)
- 2 Large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp. Fresh oregano leaves
- 1 tbsp. Fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp. Butter
- 1 tbsp. Olive oil
- ¼ tsp. Cajun seasoning blend
- ¼ tsp. Sea salt
- ¼ tsp. Black pepper
- 1 tbsp. Flour
- 2 c. Rotisserie chicken breast, diced
- 1 tbsp. Fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 c. Chicken stock
- 1 c. Skim milk
- ¼ c. Half and half
- 12 oz. Package of angel hair pasta, broken in half
- ¼ c. Shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tbsp. Grated parmesan cheese
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1) Prep the produce and chicken as directed in ingredients list.
2) Melt butter and add olive oil in large Dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat.
3) Add in the mushroom, bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, garlic, oregano, and parsley. Sauté this mixture for four (4) to 5 minutes.
4) Add the salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, and flour to the sautéed vegetables. Cook for one (1) minute.
5) Add in the diced chicken breast and lemon juice and cook for 1 more minute.
6) Pour in the chicken stock, milk, and half and half.
7)) Once the liquid begins to boil, add in the angel hair pasta and cook for 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and pasta is soft. I recommend no more than six (6) to seven (7) minutes of cooking or else the noodles will stick to the bottom of the pot.
8) Turn the heat off and add in the shredded mozzarella cheese. Fold the cheese into the pasta.
7) Top the finished pasta with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, the diced Roma tomatoes, and a little extra chopped fresh parsley.
I always save the diced Roma tomatoes for a topping at the end instead of adding them while the pasta is cooking so they remain fresh. There is something refreshing about keeping the tomatoes out of the pot until the end to just let them heat up with the finished meal. When I serve the chicken pasta, I tell people to fold the diced tomatoes in into the pasta as they eat it. If you choose to add the tomatoes to the pot while cooking, the dish will still be tasty, but saving them until plating keeps them juicy!
Check back in every week for more Direct Your Dining recipes to help reduce your energy use in the kitchen while getting creative with delicious dishes!
Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan