10 Minute Dinner: Creamy Pasta
A 10 minute dinner? What can you cook in 10 minutes? I’ve got an idea….
There’s a scene that repeats itself far too frequently in my house. I wander into the kitchen around 30-45 minutes before I get ready to eat and begin to think about what we’ll have for dinner. Then I remember that it’s Wednesday night and we are supposed to be at church in 20 minutes! Or something like that. Planning ahead is not one of my strong suits.
More often than not, we end up going out for fast food when this happens. Blech. We live in a tiny town with only a handful of fast food restaurants, so the choices are pretty limited. It’s burgers and fries…or tacos.
Last year, we challenged ourselves to go 100 days without eating out. We did it! We learned a lot of tricks along the way! For example, I had never heard of a “cereal supper” (my friends tell me you can just eat cereal and call it supper). We still haven’t gone that far.
I did up my homemade pizza game and, I came up with some recipes to throw together in a hurry! They’re not fancy, but they’ll get your family fed in 10-15 minutes!
Ten Minute Dinner: Creamy Chicken Pasta
This is my favorite! I often whip it up for lunches too. It’s creamy and decadent with a little Italian flavor that makes my heart happy! You can make it from ingredients you probably have on hand. Here’s all you need:
Begin, with pasta!
You can use whatever you have on hand. I usually use spaghetti or angel hair. Bowl a whole pound (or half the sauce recipe) according to your package directions.
Time Saving Tip:
If you really need this to be a time saver, buy angel hair pasta in advance to keep on hand. It cooks to al dente in only 4 minutes!
Also, you can get away with a little less water than it calls for (so it will boil faster) if you stir the pot while the pasta is cooking.
Be sure to salt your water for flavor.
Grab some chicken broth. You’ll need one can or that leftover 2/3 of a box from the back of the fridge. The amounts really aren’t that specific on this recipe, which makes it super dee duper simple to whip up.
Heat your chicken broth in a large skillet. Sprinkle in some pepper, garlic powder and dried basil. If you happen to have fresh basil on hand, chop it and save it for the end.
Next, take about 2/3 of a package of cream cheese (approx 4oz) and break it up in the skillet with the broth. It will look really weird and unappealing at first. Like this:
Whisk it while the pasta cooks and pretty soon, you’ll have a creamy, beautiful sauce. As soon as the cream cheese is all melted, ladle a bit of the pasta cooking water into the sauce. There’s a bit of starch in there that helps the sauce come together.
Now, your sauce is fine as it is, but if you have a little time or want to get “fancy” you can add a splash of white wine, a bit of nutmeg, or halve some grape tomatoes. Taste your sauce with a testing spoon to see if you think it needs anything. If it seems bland, add more garlic and basil.
This is also the moment to add some canned chicken if you want.
I have mixed feeling about canned chicken.
I know I should despise it. It smells weird, and come on, canned meat? On the other hand, it’s SO easy to add a bit of protein into some dishes like this one. I think as long as you have some other flavors to spruce up the canned chicken, it works.
Remove the pasta from the pot with tongs and drop it into the skillet.
Mix the pasta and sauce up real good, and serve!
If you have more than 10 minutes, a grilled/sauteed chicken breast, grape tomatoes, and a salad really completes this dish!
Do you have any kitchen shortcuts?
Be sure to pin this one for when you’re in a pinch! Next time you find yourself wondering what you could cook in just 10 minutes, give this one a try!
If you try it, let me know what you think!
- 1 lb Pasta (spaghetti or angel hair)
- 4-6 oz Cream Cheese
- 2 Cups (or one can) Chicken Broth
- Garlic Powder (about 1/2 tsp)
- Basil (dried or fresh) about 1/2 tsp
- Optional: white wine,
- grape tomatoes,
- grilled chicken or canned chicken
- Serve with side salad.
- Boil pasta according to package directions.
- Heat chicken broth in large skillet. Add cream cheese, garlic powder, basil and pepper. Whisk til combined.
- Optional: add a little white wine, chicken, or grape tomatoes.
- Ladle in a 1/4 C pasta cooking water. Whisk to combine.
- Add cooked pasta and toss to coat.
Spring Salads and Flip Flop Weather,