One Pot Pasta with Chicken and Squash

IMG_5091Have I mentioned my Pinterest addiction? With a now four month old baby in the mix I have spent a lot of time ‘iPadding’ while nursing which translates to a lot of time on Pinterest browsing toddler activities, crafts and, of course, recipes. Lately there have been a ton of recipes in my feed claiming to be one pot pasta meals – what?!

That just sounds weird doesn’t it? Isn’t pasta always two-pot? One for cooking the pasta and one for cooking the sauce. I was skeptical to say the least.

But, what if? What if I could throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot and leave it to simmer and still end up with a delicious bowl of pasta? Amazing. Especially while multitasking cooking, nursing baby and toddler wrangling. I thought that a One Pot Pasta with Chicken and Squash would make a great addition to our weeknight dinner line up.

So I tried it. And I failed. Every time I tried it my pasta just came our mushy. Yuck. Then I came to the realization that the recipes were just calling for too much water for my taste in pasta texture. I also found that the squash needed to be added right away along with the pasta to achieve the soft texture that coats the pasta like a sauceĀ (what you should get is an almost creamy effect where the squash substitutes as a sauce, coating each piece of chick and pasta – yum!) .

The result? Delicious and super easy clean up afterwards. It probably still wouldn’t pass the Italian cook’s test, but definitely good enough for our family table.

The recipe I have posted calls for chicken, but I also make this with sausage that has been removed from its casing as a variation. I like to buy the family size for meats and then freeze, so in this case I use whatever is on hand…mix it up!

Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4):

2 TBSP OIL – I always use Canola, but obviously Olive Oil would be appropriate

1 ONION – Finely chopped

2 CLOVES GARLIC – Minced

2 CHICKEN BREASTS – Cut into one inch strips

2 CUPS BUTTERNUT SQUASH – Diced

4 CUPS CHICKEN STOCK

1 PACKAGE PASTA – I always use Catelli Smart pasta, and bow ties are popular around our house

2 CUPS FRESH BABY SPINACH – i.e. two large handfuls

1 CUP GRATED MOZZARELLA CHEESE

DIRECTIONS

Add the oil, onions, chicken and garlic to a large pot and saute over medium heat until slightly browned. Meanwhile, dice the squash and measure out the stock.

Remove the chicken and onions to a bowl and set aside. Add the pasta, squash and stock to the pot and stir a little, scraping up the delicious caramelized bits on the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer until the stock is absorbed. Add the chicken mixture, spinach and mozzarella and stir until the spinach has wilted and the cheese is melted. Serve and enjoy the quick and easy clean up!

Prep Time: 10 min

Cooking Time: 20-30 min

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