15-Minute Cheesy Chicken Pasta and Vegetables
This post may contain affiliate links.
15-Minute Cheesy Chicken Pasta and Vegetables – EASY and ready in minutes!! The cheesy pasta is COMFORT food while all the veggies add a HEALTHIER twist! Family-friendly and perfect for busy weeknights!!
How To Make This Easy 15-Minute Chicken and Pasta Recipe
This recipe is as simple as boiling pasta and adding broccoli and cauliflower florets for a few minutes at the end.
While the pasta cooks, to a separate skillet add bite-sized pieces of chicken breast, shredded carrots, green onions, and garlic.
Combine the cooked pasta, broccoli, and cauliflower with the chicken and carrot mixture.
Then add fresh baby spinach, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese before digging in and devouring.
It’s an easy family-friendly recipe that is perfect for busy weeknights and sneaks in more vegetables than you’d think.
Comfort Food Pasta + Lots Of Vegetables = The Best Of Both Worlds
This time of year, I know we’re all trying to eat more veggies.
But it’s cold outside and pasta tastes so good, especially when there’s melted cheese coating every bite.
Between the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green onions, and baby spinach, there’s plenty of veggies so you don’t have to feel guilty about eating cheesy pasta when you’re trying to stick to those resolutions.
Mix And Match
I use recipes like these when I am trying to clean out my pantry and fridge and this one is very flexible and forgiving.
Some optional tweaks and substitutions include:
- Rather than penne pasta, use rotini, ziti, small shells, wheels. Healthy bonus points if you use whole-wheat pasta variations
- Use a white or yellow onion rather than green
- Swap the baby spinach for kale
- Add fresh basil or cilantro if you have it on hand
- Omit the cheese altogether, use only one kind, or use less of both the mozzarella and the Parmesan
- Add lemon zest, lemon pepper seasoning, or a spritz of lemon juice. If that sounds good to you, try Lemon Pepper Basil Chicken and Pasta
- Up the veggie quotient by adding bell peppers, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, zucchini, or yellow squash
- Add more plant-based protein with edamame, peas, or garbanzo beans
- 8 ounces penne pasta (ziti, rigatoni, rotini, wheels, small shells, etc. may be substituted)
- one 12-ounce package broccoli and cauliflower florets (or all broccoli or all cauliflower)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots, loosely measured
- 4 to 5 green onions, thinly sliced (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup)
- 3 to 5 cloved garlic, finely minced or pressed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, loosely measured
- 1 to 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- Boil pasta according to package directions in salted water in a very large skillet or pot. In the final 2 to 3 minutes of cooking, add the broccoli and cauliflower florets. Drain but reserve 1/2 cup pasta water in case you need it in step 6.
- Return the pasta and vegetables to the cooking pot; set aside.
- To a large skillet, add the olive oil, chicken, and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add the carrots, onions, salt, pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables have softened; stir and flip intermittently to ensure even cooking.
- Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant; stir nearly constantly.
- Add the chicken and carrot mixture to the large pot with the cooked pasta, broccoli, and cauliflower.
- Add the spinach, cheeses, and stir until cheese has all melted and spinach has wilted. Taste and check for seasoning balance and if necessary, add additional salt and/or pepper. Serve immediately. Recipe will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 423Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 781mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 6gSugar: 4gProtein: 38g
Favorite Chicken Skillet Recipes
Asiago Chicken and Pasta – EASY comfort food to feed a crowd that’s ready in 25 minutes!! Tender chicken and penne pasta with red peppers, green beans, and everything is coated with Asiago CHEESE for the family dinner win!!
Lemon Pepper Basil Chicken and Pasta – EASY and ready in 15 minutes with comforting pasta, juicy chicken, and there is so much ZESTY flavor from the lemon, basil, and spinach!! A family favorite that’s perfect for busy weeknights!!
Honey Lemon Chicken Pasta – Ready in 20 minutes, making it the perfect weeknight meal! Pair with a simple salad or veggies and extra lemon wedges to amp up the lemon flavor. Your family will love this easy pasta recipe!
Lemon Basil Orzo and Vegetables – An EASY vegan recipe ready in 30 minutes that makes it easy to eat your veggies while enjoying the comforts of pasta, too!! The lemon and basil make the dish taste fresh and light!!
Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo – EASY, ready in 25 minutes, and feeds a crowd!! Juicy lemon chicken with orzo, fresh spinach, cucumbers, and tomatoes make this a dinnertime WINNER! Great for parties, picnics, and potlucks!!
One-Bag Lemon Chicken and Pasta – An EASY lemon chicken and pasta recipe that’s family-friendly and perfect for busy weeknights!! Everything cooks in ONE bag! The chicken is juicy, the pasta is tender, and cleanup is a breeze!!
Chicken Orzo Salad – Juicy chicken tossed with orzo, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and a super flavorful lemon vinaigrette!! Easy, healthy, ready in 30 minutes, and a perfect way to use your garden fresh veggies!!
Skinny Italian Chicken Pasta Salad – EASY, ready in 30 minutes, feeds a crowd, and is on the SKINNY side!! Juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and the pasta are tossed in a light and tangy homemade Italian lemon vinaigrette!!
Chicken, Rice, and Vegetable Skillet – EASY, ready in 20 minutes, made in ONE skillet with everyday ingredients you probably have on hand!! A HEALTHY weeknight dinner the whole family will LOVE!!
15-Minute Chicken, Vegetable, and Ramen Noodle Stir Fry – Don’t call for takeout when you can make this EASY Asian stir fry in minutes!! HEALTHIER and faster than takeout and great for busy weeknights!!
Skinny 15-Minute Sesame Chicken and Broccoli – Skip takeout and make this Asian favorite at home in just minutes!! So EASY and HEALTHIER than what you’d get in a restaurant but tastes just as AWESOME!!
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.