Today I’m sharing my Tuscan Chicken In Red Sauce with HEALTHY Penne Pasta recipe…oh yeah!
I call myself Shortcut Sally on those days when there isn’t time or I’m just to tired to cook everything from scratch. If I can take a good recipe and make it faster and easier without compromising flavor or overall healthiness too much, I will without remorse or shame.
So what exactly do I mean by that? I’m so glad you asked!
While I eat very healthy most of the time, I’ve never claimed to be a food purist. I happily take shortcuts, like using jarred sauces, canned or frozen veggies and real bacon bits instead of frying up bacon. To be honest they are both processed and full of nitrates anyway, right? I’m pretty sure I just heard a few food purists pass out reading this.
I do stick to an unprocessed diet most of the time…
But there are those days that it just isn’t feasible and keep my sanity, too! I am not a full time food blogger who spends all day in the kitchen. I am a wife, mom, ♥ grandma, backyard chicken wrangler, essential oils nut, wanna be small town homesteader, kinda crunchy mama and a mostly natural living blogger. Once in a while I do take shortcuts. So sue me.
Last night I was drooling over a recipe at Cafe Delites blog. It was Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese. This is not on my Trim Healthy Mama eating plan. On the THM plan (read about it here) you can have full fat creamy cheesy sauces and you can have low glycemic healthy carbs, but you just can’t combine them in the same meal.
But by then, I wanted pasta and chicken in the worst way, so I improvised and came up with my own recipe for Italian style chicken and pasta dish.
Now, how about some magical Pasta???
In this recipe I used Dreamfields Healthy Carb Living pasta. Dreamfields Healthy Carb Living is pretty awesome. While you still can’t eat all the pasta you want any time you want, this does help to eat great (normal tasting) pasta occasionally without blowing it.
Dreamfields makes their pasta in a magical way that processes very slowly so you don’t get a huge rush of carbs all at once. This keeps it from quickly turning to sugar in your blood then become stored as fat because your blood sugar is too high. It does this through some mystic voodoo thingy I can’t begin to explain, but I know it works.
Want to cancel out half the carbs that you eat?
And of course anytime I eat pasta or carb meal, I use this natural carb blocker that blocks up to 48% of the carbs consumed at a meal. That means a lot when you are watching your weight and your blood sugar.
My family has been using BLOCK for several years with great success. It really helps prevent blood sugar spikes and weight gain when I go off plan a little at holidays, birthday parties, and the occasional pizza night.
So on with my Trim Healthy Mama:E recipe…
Tuscan Chicken in Red Sauce With Penne Pasta
Dreamy Italian chicken and pasta in a fabulous red sauce.
- 4 Chicken breasts
- 1 25 oz Jar of Marinara sauce (no sugar low fat )
- 1 14.5 oz Can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 Cup Fresh sliced mushrooms (can substitute canned mushrooms)
- 2 Tbsp Grated Parmesan cheese (in the green can)
- 1 Tbsp Celene's house seasoning (see the recipe below this one)
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 2 Tsp Fresh minced or dried garlic
- 1 10 oz Bag of frozen seasoning blend (chopped onions, bell peppers and celery
- 2 Tsp Chicken Better Than Boullion or 1-2 boullion cubes (I prefer Knorr's and use 1 because they are bigger)
- 1 Tbsp Real bacon bits (my fav is Oscar Meyer)
Pounded and flattened, or slice larger breasts in half to make to skinnier breast pieces.
Spray your pan well with olive oil or coconut oil cooking spray.
Sprinkle chicken breasts with Celene's House Seasoning (see below) and brown on both sides until done. Approx. 8 minutes. on medium high heat.
Remove chicken from the pan. Add frozen seasoning blend and cook 2-3 minutes. There should be enough chicken juices from the breasts to cook the seasoning blend but if not, add just enough water or broth to keep it from sticking.
Add minced garlic and stir for about 30 seconds or so with the seasoning blend.
Pour Marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon bits and Italian seasoning Stir well. Simmer 10 minutes.
Add grated Parmesan cheese (remove lumps with your fingers before adding) and stir well. Simmer 5-10 more minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, boil water and cook pasta according to instructions on the box. DO NOT overcook or rinse. This removes the coating on the outside of the pasta that makes it slow glycemic which will increase the carbs digested and processed, which defeats the purpose. Drain pasta while still very al dente.
Combine Into One Pot
Stir into sauce and top with chicken breasts. Heat about 2 minutes, warming the chicken and allowing the pasta to soak up some of the sauce.
Serve with a nice salad and enjoy!
Optional: You can top with a tiny bit of shredded Parmesan cheese. Just enough to garnish but not enough to add extra fat.
Here’s Celene’s House Seasoning….
This is the seasoning I use on everything I cook. I mean everything.
1 – 6 oz jar of Aldi’s Steak seasoning (like Montreal Steak Seasoning)
3 Tbsp Onion powder
3 Tbsp Garlic powder
Grind together in spice or coffee grinder until the steak seasoning is about the size of table salt. I use my BELLA Rocket Extract Pro Blender.
Pour into a shaker and keep it handy because you are gonna want to use this every time you fire up the stove!
Such an easy recipe that makes everything taste so good. See why I call myself Shortcut Sally? Cooking shouldn’t have to be hard to be good.
WelLove, love, love our Rocket Pro! It’s so handy to have on my counter and doesn’t take up much room at all. We’ve had it for over 3 years, use it multiple times a day and it still works perfect. Great price for such a quality product.
We use it to make bulletproof coffee, smoothies, ice cream, shakes, finely chop veggies and grind spices just to name a few.
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Talk to you soon,
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