What can be better than some cheesy chicken pasta goodness? White cheddar chicken pasta is not only the ultimate comfort meal, it’s also a great lunch or dinner for the whole family and a delicious snack for when you’re not sure what to eat. It’s not difficult to make, and hits the spot when you’re feeling some cheesy and creamy pasta.
One challenge you might face in this recipe is cooking everything to the right consistency. You cannot undercook the chicken, as that is dangerous to your health. At the same time, you shouldn’t overcook it, as it will become rubbery and tasteless. Same goes for pasta! Overcooked pasta turns to mush really quickly.
How to make the White Cheddar Chicken Pasta?
Mix your herbs and spices in a small bowl.
Use the resulting seasoning to sprinkle your chicken breasts.
Add some olive oil to a large skillet and cook your chicken breasts until cooked, for approximately 5-7 minutes. Set the cooked chicken aside.
Boil your pasta until al dente according to the package directions. Drain it and set aside.
In the skillet where you cooked the chicken, melt some butter and add flour to it. Mix it in.
Add some white wine, garlic, onions, and Dijon mustard to the skillet. Combine all the ingredients and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the onions soften.
Step by step, add in your milk. Do it slowly, so it has time to thicken. Cook on low for 4-6 minutes and keep stirring.
Add your white cheddar cheese. Keep mixing it in until it’s fully integrated.
Add the chicken and pasta to the skillet. Mix everything together to integrate the chicken and pasta into the sauce.
Sprinkle some fresh thyme and red pepper flakes on top and serve immediately.
How can I make my pasta recipe better?
One thing you should always do when cooking pasta with a sauce is save some pasta water. Add a bit of that pasta water to the sauce before you incorporate the pasta. Doing this adds starch to the sauce and makes it virtually wrap around the noodles. It’s such a simple hack, but it can really elevate your recipes and make the meal more cohesive!
Should I salt my pasta water?
You should always salt your pasta water before adding in the pasta, as the water comes to a boil. The reason for that is that the noodles absorb the salt when they’re boiling, which brings out the individual flavor of the pasta. Salting the pasta when it’s out of the water is pointless, as the salt won’t absorb. Keep in mind how much salt you’re adding to the sauce too, so you don’t over-salt your dish!
How should I prepare chicken for chicken cheese pasta?
Before cooking, cut your chicken into small strips. Bite-size pieces cook faster and are easier to eat. Don’t forget to season your chicken!
- For the chicken:
- 2 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless.
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil.
- 1 tsp dry mustard.
- ½ tsp dried thyme.
- ½ tsp dried oregano.
- salt, to taste.
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
- For the pasta:
- 1 pound short-cut pasta.
- For the cheesy and creamy sauce:
- 2 tbsp butter.
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour.
- 2 cloves garlic, minced.
- 1 yellow onion, diced.
- ¼ cup dry white wine.
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard.
- 8 oz white cheddar cheese, grated.
- 2 cups whole milk.
- 1-2 tbsp fresh thyme.
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes.
In a small bowl, combine dry mustard, dried thyme, dried oregano, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
Slice chicken breasts into thin strips or cut into 1-inch cubes. Sprinkle with seasoning mixture.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil, and cook chicken for a few minutes or until cooked and browned.
Transfer cooked chicken to a plate. Set aside.
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add salt and rotini. Cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Melt butter in the same skillet in which you cooked chicken. When melted, add all-purpose flour and mix it together. Then, add dry white wine, minced garlic, diced onions, and Dijon mustard. Mix to combine.
Cook for 3-5 minutes or until onions soften. Then, slowly pour milk in a few additions. Stir after each addition. Cook on low for 4-6 minutes or until thickened. Then, add shredded white cheddar cheese. Mix and cook until melted. Finally, add cooked chicken and pasta. Mix until completely covered with creamy and cheesy sauce.
Serve immediately. Sprinkle with fresh thyme, crushed red pepper flakes, or smoked paprika.