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10 Chicken Pasta Recipes You Can Make in 30 Minutes or Less

When you want a delicious, high-protein, and low-calorie meal, you simply can’t go wrong with chicken.

It’s tasty, packed with protein (~6 grams of protein per ounce!), and lends itself to endless variations, ranging from sweet and sour to salty and savory.

Chicken is also extremely easy to make. So much so that I would say that with a little practice, it’s almost impossible to screw up!

It goes well in any number of healthy pasta recipes, which are one of my favorite food indulgences. You get a ton of taste that is actually pretty easy to fit into any type of meal plan (you generally have more room for carbs than fats).

I also love how versatile chicken pasta dishes are. While you can’t go wrong with staples like bolognese, pesto, and vodka sauce dishes, you can get quite creative with different cuts of chicken and a few new condiments, veggies, and spices.

So, if you aren’t sure where to start, then I’d recommend the Chicken Pot Pie Skillet Pasta–it’s simple and extremely satisfying. If you want to try something totally new, make the Lightened Up Buffalo Chicken Pasta. And if you want to make a lighter version of a classic pasta dish, try the Crockpot Chicken Alfredo Pasta with Broccoli.

Enjoy!

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Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta with Baby Kale

Serves 4

Rather than heat up a skillet of frozen pasta, make your own one-pan meal. This cheesy chicken ziti comes together in under a half hour – and that includes the time needed to prep.

Everything is cooked in a single skillet, starting with the onions and chicken. Once those are browned, add the pasta and liquid, put on the lid, and simmer on low to finish. Stir in the cheese, and serve.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

611

Calories

53 g

Protein

36 g

Carbs

28 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1” pieces

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup diced yellow onion

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

2 1/2 cups (about 10 oz.) dry penne pasta

2 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup water

3 heaping cups baby kale

4 oz. cream cheese

1/2 cup (about 2 oz.) shredded mozzarella

1/4 cup (about 1 oz.) grated Parmesan

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

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Chicken Pot Pie Skillet Pasta

Serves 6

When you’re craving comfort food, but don’t have time to make your favorites from scratch, try infusing those flavors into some pasta.

To make chicken pot pie pasta, you can use the same tasty ingredients you’d put in the filling: veggies, corn, and even bacon. But because there’s no pastry dough, just simple pasta, this recipe is easier to make and lower in fat.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

419

Calories

29 g

Protein

45 g

Carbs

13 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

3 slices bacon, chopped

8 oz. (about 2 cups) dry wide egg noodles

1 bag (12 oz.) frozen vegetable mix, thawed

1/2 cup frozen sweet corn

2 cups whole milk

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 Tbsp. Ranch seasoning mix (optional)

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

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Healthy Chicken Pasta Salad

Serves 4

Chicken and pasta are a staple meal that can be enjoyed year-round. In the summer, you don’t even have to heat it up, especially if you grab a rotisserie chicken from the store.

It’s easy to turn shredded chicken into a delicious pasta salad. To reduce the fat, make a lighter dressing by replacing half the olive oil with Greek yogurt, or make it with an oil-free dressing like balsamic with fat-free yogurt as the base.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

503

Calories

18 g

Protein

36 g

Carbs

34 g

Fat

Ingredients

Salad:

1 heaping cup (about 4 oz.) miniature penne pasta

1 cup cooked shredded chicken (leftover or rotisserie)

4 oz. baby spinach, stems removed

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Dressing:

Zest and juice of 1 large orange

Zest and juice of 1 large lemon

3 Tbsp. pure honey

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/3 tsp. salt

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Chopped fresh parsley

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Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Serves 4

No time to make marinara from scratch? Opt for a creamy pesto instead. It comes together in just a few minutes using a food processor.

To make it even healthier, Greek yogurt helps reduce the olive oil and Parmesan cheese. No matter how you prefer to make homemade pesto, this creamy chicken pasta recipe will be ready to eat in a half hour.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

458

Calories

25 g

Protein

51 g

Carbs

18 g

Fat

Ingredients

12 oz. dry spaghetti

3 cups fresh basil

2 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts

1 clove garlic

1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. (about 0.5 oz.) grated Parmesan

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 8 oz.)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 dashes cayenne pepper

Lemon wedges to serve

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Lightened Up Buffalo Chicken Pasta

Serves 3

You can enjoy the flavor of Buffalo chicken – and skip the grease of eating fried wings.

This bowl of spaghetti skips the marinara in favor of a creamy, dairy-free Buffalo chicken sauce. The result is a healthy chicken pasta recipe that’s loaded with protein, without overloading on carbs and fat.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

439

Calories

32 g

Protein

44 g

Carbs

15 g

Fat

Ingredients

6 oz. pasta (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

8 oz. cooked shredded chicken breast

1/4 cup dairy-free cream cheese

1/2 cup diced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup Buffalo sauce

1/4 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth)

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Green onion, sliced for garnish

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Caprese Chicken Pasta

Serves 4

Love fresh tomatoes and basil? Take it beyond caprese salad and crusty bruschetta.

This Italian chicken pasta dinner uses cherry tomatoes instead of marinara sauce, and it includes other nutritious ingredients like fresh spinach, basil, and chicken breast.

To keep it lean, bake the chicken instead of pan-frying it. That way you can use less oil without sacrificing flavor.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

744

Calories

48 g

Protein

93 g

Carbs

21 g

Fat

Ingredients

8 oz. whole-grain pasta

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 1/4 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed 1/2”

1/2 tsp. salt, divided

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided

2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, tightly packed, sliced into thin strips

1 cup (about 4 oz.) fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes

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One-Pot Creamy Mushroom Chicken Pasta

Serves 6

Serving a well-balanced pasta dinner only requires one pot. And it’s not for boiling water.

Start by searing the chicken, and then set it aside while you make the creamy mushroom sauce. After it comes together, which takes about 10 minutes, add the pasta to the simmering sauce to cook. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, slice the chicken, and serve.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

437

Calories

33 g

Protein

38 g

Carbs

17 g

Fat

Ingredients

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 4 oz. each)

1 tsp. dried basil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup dry white wine

8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 quart chicken broth

1 can (about 12 oz.) evaporated milk

1/3 cup low-fat milk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

10 oz. (about 4 cups) dry penne pasta

1 cup (about 4 oz.) freshly grated Parmesan

Handful of fresh parsley, chopped

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Crockpot Chicken Alfredo Pasta with Broccoli

Serves 4

This hearty pasta dinner can be prepared in a Crock Pot, so it’s quick to start before you leave home for the day. Put chicken in the slow cooker with broth, and head out the door.

Finishing dinner will be even easier by prepping it the night before. Chop the broccoli, measure out the seasonings, and grate your Parmesan cheese. Then when you get home, add the rest of the ingredients in there, and the Crock Pot will do the rest.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

536

Calories

43 g

Protein

52 g

Carbs

18 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 3/4 cups chicken broth, divided

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 jar (14.5 oz.) creamy alfredo sauce

2 cups dry rigatoni pasta

1 Tbsp. cornstarch + 1 Tbsp. water

1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli

1/4 cup (about 1 oz.) freshly grated Parmesan

Salt to taste

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Handful of chopped fresh parsley

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake

Serves 8

Since the main flavors of classic cordon bleu are butter, ham, and cheese, it seems like it has to be high in fat. Luckily this pasta recipe for chicken cordon bleu keeps it lean, yet still hits all the right notes for a comforting dinner.

The best part of this comforting chicken pasta dinner is that it’s mostly protein with only 10 grams of fat.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

336

Calories

31 g

Protein

31 g

Carbs

10 g

Fat

Ingredients

8 oz. dry whole-wheat penne

4 Tbsp. light butter, divided

3 Tbsp. flour

2 cups skim milk

3/4 tsp. salt

8 reduced-fat Swiss cheese slices, torn into strips

1/3 cup fat-free sour cream

2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped or shredded

6 oz. lean cooked ham, diced

1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 cup (about 1 oz.) grated Parmesan

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Chicken Penne Casserole with Corn & Zucchini

Serves 8

Had enough veggie pasta, and missing the real thing? You don’t have to choose between zucchini pasta and enjoying regular whole-wheat varieties.

This healthy chicken pasta recipe serves up both for a lower-carb bowl of penne that’s boosted with extra vitamins and minerals from the vegetables.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

316

Calories

20 g

Protein

36 g

Carbs

13 g

Fat

Ingredients

8 oz. whole-wheat penne pasta

1 Tbsp. butter

2/3 cup white whole-wheat flour (or all-purpose)

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup 1% milk

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried)

1 1/2 cups (about 9 oz.) cooked diced chicken

1 zucchini, diced very small

1 1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

1 1/2 cups (about 6 oz.) shredded mozzarella, divided

1/4 cup (about 1 oz.) grated Parmesan

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