On a diet? Or just working to stay trim n’ fit? Well, who says you can’t enjoy creamy, decadent pasta while accomplishing those goals? The recipe calls for using Whole Grain Linguine, which, like other whole grain products, offers the benefits of higher fiber and naturally occurring B vitamins and folate.

For anyone who hasn’t tried one of Today Show Nutritionist Joy Bauer’s recipes, you’re in for a treat. You’d never guess that her creations are as healthy as they are delicious. And this means you can make them for friends and family members who aren’t necessarily on a diet. Oh, and did I mention her recipes are incredibly delicious? This particular recipe is featured in Joy’s new book, The Joy Fit Club: Cookbook, Diet Plan and Inspiration, which is chock full of delicious creations (as well as inspirational weight loss stories, menu plans and healthy diet tips from Joy, herself). I am honored Joy has allowed me to share this recipe with you. I hope you enjoy it!

Chicken with Creamy Garlic Pasta and Fresh Basil

Oil spray
3 medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound total)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
6 ounces dry whole grain linguine
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth (if needed)
8 ounces assorted fresh mushrooms (such as button, cremini, and stemmed shiitake), thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced, or 2 teaspoons jarred minced garlic
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
3/4 cup nonfat milk
1/2 cup jarred roasted red sweet peppers, drained and cut into thin strips
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or thyme

1. Coat a large nonstick skillet with oil spray. Heat the skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, season the chicken with the salt and pepper. Add chicken to the hot pan. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until chicken is browned, turning once halfway through cook time. Remove the skillet from the heat and carefully add the water. Return to the heat and bring the water to boiling. Reduce the heat and cover the skillet. Cook for 9 to 12 minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink (170˚F).

2. Meanwhile, cook the linguine according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

3. Remove the chicken from the skillet, reserving any liquid in the pan. Cover the chicken and keep warm. If necessary, add enough of the chicken broth to the pan to make 1/2 cup total liquid in the pan. Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic to the liquid in the skillet. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until mushrooms and onion are tender. Add the cream cheese and stir until cheese is melted and combined with the vegetables. Stir in the milk, roasted pepper strips, and drained linguine. Cook and stir about 1 minute or until mixture is heated through and well coated with the sauce.

4. Divide the pasta mixture among four serving plates. Thinly slice the chicken. Place the chicken on top of the pasta on the plates. Sprinkle with the basil, oregano, or thyme.

Makes 4 servings
Serving Size: about 1 cup pasta mixture with 3 1/2 ounces cooked chicken and 2 tablespoons fresh basil
Prep Time (start to finish) 40 minutes

Nutrition Information
Calories: 446, Protein: 42 g, Total Fat: 13 g, Saturated Fat: 4.5 g, Cholesterol: 112 mg, Sodium: 534 mg, Carbohydrate: 42 g, Fiber: 7 g

Copyright © 2012 Joy Bauer. Reprinted with permission from, The Joy Fit Club: Cookbook, Diet Plan and Inspiration by Joy Bauer (Wiley)

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One Response to “Recipe: Chicken with Creamy Garlic Pasta and Fresh Basil”

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