Originally Posted 7/19/18; reposter 6/2/20
Sometimes you want to taste a little bit of nostalgia in your food: notes of my mom’s chicken and biscuits and traces of my favorite elementary school lunch, chicken pot pie. This Homestyle Chicken and Pasta recipe has definitely satisfied that craving for me and I hope it does for you, as well. This is comfort food…a throwback ode to the belly-warming repose of cheese, meat and carbs 🙂 And it can be made in 28 minutes, of course.
Your kids will love this homestyle chicken and pasta
This is definitely one of our easiest recipes. It’s a good one for getting your kids involved. One really cool thing is that this recipe contains 4 of the 5 food groups: veggies, grains, dairy, & protein. This provided me a great opportunity to explain food groups to the kids. On top of that, I felt like I didn’t need a side dish because the recipe has everything on its own! Although, I did pop some Pillsbury biscuits in the oven while I cooked. Any excuse to make those addictive things!
Make this Chicken and Pasta dish gluten free
To make the meal gluten free, simply swap out the noodles. The only ingredient in this dish that contains gluten for sure is the noodles. You can remedy this very easily. Some of the gluten-free noodle products I like are Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta (just be careful not to overcook cause it can get mushy) and Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli Pasta. Another option is rice noodles, although small rice noodles that aren’t mai fun style might be hard to find.
You should also double check the ingredients in the chicken broth you’re using. Some broths and stocks contain gluten or traces of gluten.
How kids can help make Homestyle chicken and pasta
This dish involves many kid-friendly tasks. Here are some ways for your lil’ sous chefs to help out:
- Help chop onion and garlic. We’re big fans of these Curious Chef kid-safe knives.
- Monitor chicken as it cooks. Grown-ups can explain how to check whether chicken is fully cooked.
- Stir in frozen veggies. Kids may enjoy seeing how the veggies add color to the mix.
- Add water/cornstarch mixture to pan. Grown-ups can explain how cornstarch can thicken the sauce. We like this Pyrex Measuring Cup.
- Taste noodles! Let kids decide if the pasta is done. Hungry toddlers love this job!
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Final Tips To ensure smooth sailing!
Mimi’s Cooking Tips:
Need cooking advice? Check out these tips from our in-house expert/Mom:
🍅When disposing of chicken grease, never pour it down the sink drain. Pour the grease into an empty can and then dispose of it once it’s cooled.
🍅I would highly recommend Better than Bouillon for the chicken broth/stock. It’s a condensed stock (1 tsp per 8 oz water) and it comes in a tiny jar. 3 benefits: (1) cuts back on space in the fridge, (2) saves money, (3) less waste/recycling on your conscience. The product comes in so many flavors (Chicken, Beef, Mushroom, Fish, etc.), with some varieties available in vegetarian, low sodium and organic.
OUR “kidify” Tips:
Have picky eaters? We can help.
🍅Kids pick the noodles. Let your kids select the noodle type for this meal. Any kind of small noodle with grooves works really well, i.e. shells, macaroni, orecchiette, farfalle (bowtie), rotini, etc.
🍅Make a face! Some kids can’t handle sauces with potentially unidentifiable ingredients. To ease this, have fun and make a face on their plate with the food. I made eyes and nose with dollops of the chicken mixture, and then used the noodles to make a mouth and eyebrows.
Note: This post contains affiliate links.
- 1 t salt
- 1 lb box of noodles (shell, macaroni or orechiette)
- 2 T cooking oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion (chopped)
- 2 large cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut into small 1" pieces)
- 1 cup chicken broth/stock
- 5 oz sour cream
- 1/2 cup milk or cream
- 1 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)
- 10 oz frozen vegetable mix (peas, green beans, corn, carrots)
- 1/2 t paprika
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/4 t pepper
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 T cornstarch
Heat water for pasta. Once boiling, salt the water and add pasta. Cook according to package. When done, strain and set aside.
Heat medium-sized pan on medium-to-high heat. Once heated, add 2 T cooking oil and onion, garlic, and chicken. Mix together in pan. Cook for 10 minutes (or until chicken is no longer pink), stirring occasionally.
If applicable, tip pan to the side and use a baster to suck up the chicken grease. Discard grease.
Add chicken broth, sour cream, milk/cream, parmesan, frozen veggies, paprika, salt and pepper to the pan with the chicken. Cook on medium for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Combine cold water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk with a fork until slightly thickened and pour into chicken mixture. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Scoop noodles on individual plates or bowls, and pour creamy chicken mixture atop noodles, like a sauce.
We recommend that all meals for children be served with milk.