This Gluten Free Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta with Broccoli and Kale is a quick 30-minute meal that is perfect for a weeknight dinner. Melt in some goat cheese and mozzarella for some extra tang and cheesiness.
I just can’t help myself.
I just can’t help myself.
I have so many other things to do right now (the most important being: TAKE A SHOWER!), and so many backed up recipes to post, but YOU GUYS…I just made the most amazing pasta tonight, and I want to share it NOW!
Usually I can’t post the same night I make dinner because I procrastinate meal prep and by the time I’m done cooking, it’s too darn dark to take pictures. So I just end up hoping and praying there are a few leftovers that I can assemble together the next morning for a mini photo shoot. Sometimes it work, sometimes it doesn’t. Eh.
Well Tuesdays and Thursdays are going to be a little different around here for the next month. I’m going to have to learn how to…DUN DUN DUNNNN…PLAN AHEAD!!!
I’ve been on Ben’s case to find some kind of workout regimen since moving here to Hawaii. Before our big move, he was pretty diligent about going to Body Pump and RPM (spin) classes. He didn’t even care that he was one of very few men in the classes because he was getting a killer workout.
Here where we live now, there aren’t any ideal options close by for decent gym classes. We have a YMCA down the street, but most of the classes are catered to women and aren’t quite the workout pace that Ben is used to. And the 24 Hour Fitness is a 20 minute drive away. Who wants to do that at 5:30 in the morning?!
Sooooo…Ben has revived his love for Crossfit and found a Crossfit gym within biking distance. To be approved to do the workouts, he has to complete a month long training in the evenings. Ain’t nobody want to eat dinner and then barf it all up at Crossfit.
Long explanation short, I promised him I would have dinner ready by 5:00 on his training evenings so his little tummy could settle before he goes to his big boy workout sessions.
And it’s a good thing I had this Gluten Free Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta with Broccoli and Kale waiting on the stove when he walked in from work today because it was freaking amazing and it was still light enough outside my front door to take pictures. Double score!
A friend of mine that I’m doing a preschool co op with asked me today if I could use some fresh kale. Uh yeah, I haven’t gone grocery shopping for a few days, so I was running low on produce. Plus my family isn’t a huge fan of kale, hence I don’t usually buy it, even though I like it. I took her up on the offer and thought I could for sure trick my people into eating it and LOVING it.
Yep, trick’s on them.
Nobody even mentioned kale. I had to tell Ben (after 2 helpings) that it contained his green leafy arch nemesis. Because it was cooked, and covered in all kinds of creamy, saucy goodness, he couldn’t even taste the 2 full cups of chopped kale that I threw in.
Speaking of that sauce, it’s THE BOMB! For reals, it’s insanely good. How can it not be with cream, lemon juice, and all kinds of Italian-y aromatic spices???
Italian seasoning, rubbed sage, garlic powder, and more! But the secret ingredient here is the touch of cayenne pepper. Just the right amount gives this pasta a slight kick. BAM!
Besides the sauce, the vegetables also make this pasta shine. Now I already mentioned the kale, but this broccoli also steals the show. It’s cooked perfectly to a tender crisp texture. Not too crunchy, not too mushy. And plus, all those florets soak up this stellar sauce I was talking about. There’s one way to get your kids to eat their broccoli!
Oh, and we can’t forget the onion that I browned in some butter before this whole pasta party came together. Letting the onions cook in butter for 5-10 minutes before you throw in the chicken really brings out a nice almost caramelized flavor. Soooooo good!
Once I finished the pasta, I threw together a quick fruit salad and toasted some ciabatta rolls (except for Braelyn Boo; sorry Sweets!) and was out the door with a plate full of food for my neighbor. She gives us fresh mangoes all the time and they are delicious! But besides returning that favor, the poor lady has shingles! Ugh, can you imagine??? I hear they are terrible.
Anyway, by the time I came back (which had only been about 10 minutes) Ben had already downed 2 entire servings and was debating going for thirds. Luckily he resisted and no pasta upchucks were spilled over the Crossfit gym floor tonight. I’m sure it’s not quite as savory coming up as it is going down. Haha!
What are some of your pasta favorites?
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ½ large onion, diced
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- 2 raw chicken breasts, cubed (about 2 cups)
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 1½ cups grape tomato halves
- 3 oz. goat cheese
- 1½ cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 package gluten free rotini noodles (12 oz.)
- For the Sauce:
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup milk (I used 1%)
- ¼ teaspoon plus a few shakes of garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ rounded teaspoon rubbed sage
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
- Begin salted water boiling for pasta. Prep sauce by combining whipping cream, milk, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, sage, pepper, salt, and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter on medium heat. While butter is melting, chop onion. Once pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles, add chopped onion. Generously season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat with butter. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until onions are browning, stirring occasionally to avoid burning.
- While onion is cooking, cut broccoli, kale, grape tomatoes and chicken (keeping chicken on a separate cutting board). Once onions are cooked, add chicken and cook until outside is no longer pink, seasoning with salt and pepper. Start boiling the pasta at this point. Add broccoli and kale to the chicken mixture, seasoning with a few shakes of salt and pepper one more time, and continue cooking 3-5 minutes more or until chicken is cooked through.
- Add sauce mixture to chicken and bring to a simmer. Allow sauce to simmer until broccoli is crisp tender.* Reduce heat to low and add goat cheese. Stir until cheese has melted throughout.
- As soon as pasta is finished cooking, according to package directions, drain and toss into pan with chicken. Stir to coat pasta in sauce. Add mozzarella cheese and grape tomato halves and stir until cheese is completely melted. Salt and pepper to taste, adding more cayenne if desired.
- Serve immediately while warm.