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Chicken Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach in a Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

Healthier version of a regular fettuccine alfredo.  Low-calorie, low-fat cauliflower alfredo sauce mixed with sun-dried tomatoes, basil, spinach in this delicious chicken fettuccine pasta recipe. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Author Julia

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil , reserved from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 4 oz sun-dried tomatoes in oil from the jar
  • 1 lb chicken breast , thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoon paprika divided
  • 3-4 cups spinach fresh
  • 1 cup cauliflower alfredo sauce
  • 1 cup reserved cooked pasta water
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 8 oz fettuccine pasta (for gluten free, use gluten free brown rice pasta)

Instructions

  1. Drain sun-dried tomatoes from oil and chop them into smaller bits. 

  2. In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil (reserved from the sun-dried tomatoes jar) on medium-high heat and saute garlic, chopped sun-dried tomatoes (drained from oil), and thinly sliced chicken breast (lightly covered in about ½ teaspoon of paprika, for color) for 2-3 minutes until chicken is cooked through, turning it over a couple of times. Sprinkle the salt over the chicken and more paprika while cooking. 

  3. Remove from heat. Immediately add fresh spinach, cover the skillet with the lid, and let everything rest off heat, until spinach wilts.

  4. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve some cooked pasta water - at least 1 cup (even though you will likely not use it all). Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water (to stop cooking).
  5. Add 1 cup cauliflower sauce and 1/4 cup reserved cooked pasta water to the chicken and sun-dried tomatoes. Add 1 tablespoon basil, 1 teaspoon paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Mix with the sauce and add more salt and crushed red pepper if needed.
  6. Add cooked pasta to the skillet with the creamy sauce, and stir to combine. 

  7. At this point, you might have to add more reserved cooked pasta water because the creamy sauce will be too thick (do not add all water at once - you might need just a small mount). 

  8. Again, taste and season the pasta with more basil and salt, if needed. Add more paprika if you want your sauce to have a nice red-ish color.

  9. Make sure to salt the dish just enough to bring out of the flavors of basil and sun-dried tomatoes.