Balsamic Chicken Pasta

This is a recipe that I like to make when we have company over because it always looks so nice. You may wish to add the red pepper flakes at the end, if you're not sure whether your guests like a little heat! There are a lot of variations you can do on this recipe to meet your health goals, too. I'd recommend omitting the pasta and cheese! It's still soo good that way.

Balsamic Chicken Pasta 21 Day Fix

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup light Italian salad dressing
6 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
1 1/4 lbs chicken breast tenderloins, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 Tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed of tough ends, chopped into 2-inch pieces
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
8 oz. (half package) of whole wheat spaghetti (I use Bionaturae Spaghettini)
Optional: grated pecorino romano cheese (about 4 Tbsp.)

 

Directions:

  1. Start a pot of water on the stovetop for the spaghetti. Bring water to a boil over high heat.

  2. Cut your chicken tenderloin into bite-sized pieces.

  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper to taste, then place chicken evenly in skillet. Cook about 3-4 minutes, rotating once halfway through cooking, until the chicken is cooked about halfway through.

  4. While the chicken is cooking, whisk together salad dressing, balsamic vinegar, honey and red pepper flakes in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

  5. As the chicken continues to cook, chop the asparagus into 2-inch pieces and halve the tomatoes.

  6. If your water is boiling, add your pasta (about half a package) to the water to cook.

  7. Add half the dressing mixture to a small pot over medium high heat and cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally. Mixture should coat the back of a spoon when thickened.

  8. Add the remaining half of the dressing mixture to the skillet and rotate chicken to evenly coat. Cook another 3-4 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the dressing mixture begins to thicken. Transfer chicken to a large mixing bowl while leaving sauce in skillet.

  9. Add asparagus to the skillet, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook, and stir frequently, until crisp tender, about 8 minutes.

  10. Add tomatoes and cook another 1-2 minutes. Transfer veggies and any remaining dressing mixture to bowl with chicken.

  11. Drain the pasta when it is cooked al dente. Add the pasta to the large bowl with the chicken and veggies.

  12. Drizzle the thickened dressing mixture from the pot over the chicken, veggies, and pasta and toss to coat. 

  13. Optional: serve with grated pecorino romano cheese.

Makes about 4 servings.

21 Day Fix Containers: 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green, 2 tsp. (1/2 blue if using cheese)

Note: to be certain of your container coat, keep the chicken, veggies, pasta, dressing mixture, and optional cheese separate and measure out your portions in your containers