Caprese Chicken Pasta
In my imagination, I’m one of those ultra-organized super women who uses her Sunday mornings to fold the laundry, prep an entire week’s worth of meals, and do sunrise yoga. In actuality, I use my Sunday mornings for Bloody Marys, then compensate with Caprese Chicken Pasta on Monday nights, while wearing yoga pants, and I’m OK with that.
Pasta and self-acceptance: the makings for a long, happy life.
Caprese Chicken Pasta is fast and easy to prepare, made with simple, wholesome ingredients, and everything I could ask for in a weeknight dinner. It comes together quickly, tastes wonderful reheated for lunch the next day, and is healthy enough to atone for any weekend excesses of the Bloody Mary variety.
The inspiration for this chicken mozzarella pasta originated from the grand empress of summer dishes herself, Caprese salad. Bright tomatoes, fragrant basil, and gooey mozzarella cheese unite to form a trifecta of sunny summer flavor. The tomatoes are cooked in olive oil until they burst into an instant “sauce,” which when combined with the melting hunks of mozzarella and a splash of tangy balsamic vinegar, tastes like an escape to the Italian countryside.
To make the Caprese pasta filling and hearty, I added sautéed bites of Just BARE® Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Fillets. I love the fact that the chicken is USDA-certified organic; every fillet is neatly trimmed, comes from the Midwest, and is a quick, convenient way to transform a dish as simple as this Caprese pasta into a satisfying, protein-packed dinner.
If you are interested, you can read more about the Just BARE organic line here, including information about how Just BARE chickens are raised and the importance of your satisfaction with each product. As my third helping of this Caprese Chicken Pasta would testify, I am very, very satisfied.
No matter your Sunday style, it’s elating to know that in less than 30 minutes, you can end any day with a simple, scrumptious plate of Caprese Chicken Pasta.
Yoga pants welcome, actual yoga optional.
Caprese Chicken Pasta
- 8 ounces whole grain pasta — any shape you like (I used rotini)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil — divided, plus additional for the pasta
- 1 1/4 pounds Just BARE Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Fillets — cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt — divided, plus additional for cooking the pasta
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper — divided
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes — or grape tomatoes, halved if large
- 3 garlic cloves — minced
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach
- 1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves — sliced into thin strips
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese — cut into cubes
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid, then drain the pasta. Toss the pasta with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over high in a large, deep skillet. Add the chicken, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate, then carefully wipe the pan with a paper towel, being careful not to burn your fingers.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Let cook 1 minute, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 to 7 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to soften and wrinkle. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook 30 seconds.
To the skillet, add the drained pasta, reserved chicken, and spinach and let cook just until the spinach begins to wilt. If the pasta seems too dry, add a bit of the reserved pasta water. Remove from heat and stir in the basil and mozzarella. Serve immediately.
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I’m thrilled to be partnering with Just BARE Chicken this year to share this and more recipes with you, and have been compensated for my time. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own, and thank you, for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to continue creating quality content for you!
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