Here is one of my go-to pasta dishes! I make this all the time, whether it’s for a quick weeknight meal or for company. It’s a no-fail recipe that uses ingredients that you can easily have on hand. Besides, who doesn’t love creamy, cheesy pasta?
Smoky Chicken Alfredo Pasta (serves 2-4*)
- 1 Package Chicken Sausage (I like to use tomato basil, smoky bbq or spinach & feta flavored chicken sausage)
- Penne or Bow Tie Pasta
- 1 Jar Alfredo Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Chicken Broth
- 1 Cup Fresh Spinach
- 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 3 oz. Rotel Tomatoes (diced tomatoes with green chilies)
- Parmesan Cheese
Boil the pasta 2-3 minutes less than the package directions. Heat a tablespoon of Olive Oil in a a deep skillet. Slice the chicken sausage and add it to the pan along with the garlic powder. Cook for a few minutes until the sausage is brown. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside. Add the chicken broth to the pan and allow it to deglaze the pan, getting all the browned bits from the sausage.
Chop the spinach and add to the boiling broth. Cook for a minute and then add the alfredo sauce and tomatoes. Turn the heat down to low and stir in the sausage. Drain the not-quite-done pasta and add it to the sausage pan. Stir to coat everything with the sauce and let it hang out in the pan for a couple minutes. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper over the pasta. Serve in shallow bowls with extra Parmesan cheese on the top!
This serves 2 people with leftovers if you’re serving it on it’s own. Add in a Caesar salad, bread or another side (roasted asparagus, garlic green beans) and you have plenty for 4 adults.
My husband doesn’t like many vegetables and he never wants them mixed in with his food. However, he doesn’t mind the spinach in this dish at all! Make sure to remove the stems and chop the spinach so there aren’t large pieces in the dish. When you give it time to wilt down before you add the sauce, the texture and taste of the greens is almost invisible.
I would never force my husband – or any picky eater – to eat something they didn’t like. I’ve found it’s really helpful to serve something “plain” at least twice so that he knows he likes the dish. With this pasta, I made it without the spinach several times and then gradually added in a little bit of greens until I found the right amount that didn’t bother him.
If your family doesn’t mind veggies in their food, you can saute red onion and sweet bell pepper strips along with the sausage or add in 1/2 cup of frozen peas when you return the sausage to the pan. You could substitute sun dried tomatoes for the Rotel if your family prefers those instead! Top it with chopped green onions for extra crunch.
This dish is really customizable for your family’s taste – and for what’s in your pantry. I hope you get the chance to make it soon!