12 healthy chicken pasta recipes that will streamline your dinner routine
Nothing says comfort food quite like a combination of chicken and pasta. Everyone’s favorite carb sorbet plus the perfect mellow buns of rich protein – it’s hard to beat, isn’t it? Here’s the thing, though: While I don’t (again: never) turn down a plate of packaged pasta, there are times when the carbs overload makes me feel… less than my optimal self. me. What does a pasta lover like me do when she craves her favorite food but wants to avoid the craving at all costs? She digs deep into the internet — and uncovers the healthiest chicken noodle recipes the world (yes, the world!) has to offer.
“Healthy” is an interesting word. As with many things related to health, the connotation of this word spans many meanings. Growing up with decades of intrinsic diet culture behind me, it has been (and will continue to be) an ever-evolving journey in replacing harmful definitions with what actually constitutes health. really.
But fortunately, as the dialogue shifts to a more holistic and more jubilant perspective on food, I can feel my ideas about changing health for the better. I’m less demanding with my eating habits and as a result I can enjoy the entire culinary experience — preparation, consumption, and the community around it.
With all that said, some of the recipes below stretch the definition of “healthy”. Some include cream to create a creamy texture and benefit from a bit of cheese. But you’ll find plenty of veggies and lots of green in most of these dishes. Because: balance.
Feature image of For the Love of Gourmet.
Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo from Gimme Delicious
Why we love it: Alfredo is known for packing all the ingredients that are delicious, yet offensive. This recipe uses a combination of juice and lighter milk for butter and cream (plus a little parmesan—you can’t Not add it in). The result is a sauce that’s creamy, apricot and doesn’t sacrifice flavor for the sake of a lighter meal.
Hero composition: Two cups of broccoli provide the green for a nutrient boost and a welcome splash of color.
Get the recipe for Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo.
Healthy chicken stew with mushrooms from Bat Ngon
Why we love it: Growing up, chicken nuggets were a classic my family would make without fail every time it snowed (and snow in New England, that’s for sure). And while the gooey sauce warms my body (and my soul!) for the long haul, on nights when dinner is served, after I finish my plate, I’ll immediately fall asleep. Looking for something a little more energizing, this recipe is a godsend. 20 minutes is all it takes to get it delicious on the table.
Hero composition: Suck on Greek yogurt for classic sour cream? Not a groundbreaking concept, but certainly genius.
Get the recipe for a healthy mushroom chicken stew.
Lemon Chicken Spaghetti from This Healthy Table
Why we love it: I’m a bit obsessed with lemons. Citrus is my favorite when I want to brighten up a dish. I love the springtime flavor it brings to the Lemon Ricotta Poundcake and it never fails to give me the pleasure of enjoying my all-time favorite easy weekend dinner. In this recipe, the lemon is combined with leeks, spinach, and parmesan, which will be delicious.
Hero composition: You may have come across the above, but this recipe is all thanks to the lime juice and zest.
Get the recipe for Lemon Chicken Pasta.
Healthy Piccata Chicken from Seasonal Healthy Recipes
Why we love it: I love the sweet, pungent, and slightly acidic trio that capers, white wine, and parsley deliver. It’s the classic chicken piccata flavor that has defined this recipe as Italy’s best comfort food. With just 30 minutes spent, you can enjoy a cozy dinner with lots of lean protein.
Hero composition: If you weren’t a fan of capers before, this recipe is about to change (and blow!) your mind. Capers have a perfectly tart, salty taste, and fill this dish with a mouthwatering layer of lemon flavor.
Get the recipe for healthy Piccata Chicken.
Easy One Dish Chicken Spaghetti
Why we love it: One dish and one recipe is my secret weapon of the week. As someone who doesn’t have a dishwasher (and absolutely hates doing dishes), I try to strategize and make cleanup as easy and painless as possible. Though I’m more obsessed with this recipe than the fact that it saves me time at the sink, (the pasta is as smooth as an angel’s hair! Clusters of sweet cherry tomatoes! Thyme sprigs and flowers! of thyme!), without the stress of kitchen cleaning puts any dish at the top of my list.
Hero composition: If we ever ate a meal together, I’ve been known to eat garlic when a recipe calls for it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Get the recipe for Easy One-Piece Chicken Spaghetti.
One Pot Creamy Mediterranean Chicken Pasta from The Modern Right
Why we love it: This is where some people might question my definition of health. This recipe is creamy, and you should believe it includes butter, but with chunks of bright lime and olives scattered throughout, the flavors are beautifully balanced.
Hero composition: When Kalamata olives meet a fettuccine cream, beautiful things follow.
Get the recipe for One Pot Creamy Mediterranean Chicken Pasta.
Easy Chicken Pesto Pasta from Preppy Kitchen
Why we love it: The warmer, greener spring weather is the perfect opportunity to make pesto. I love to welcome the change of seasons with a variety of fresh herbs made better with pasta and parmesan. Follow the recipe for homemade pesto or buy a delicious jar of your favorite store-bought version — either way, prepare your palate for food worthy.
Hero composition: If you have the time, the homemade pestle is totally worth the effort. The walnuts give it a hearty treat with a nice crust of flavorful arugula.
Get the recipe for Easy Chicken Pesto Pasta.
Tomato Spaghetti Chicken from Julia’s Album
Why we love it: Like many of my favorite dishes (soups, smoothies, and cereal bowls count among them), pasta gives you a great platform to incorporate nutrition-boosting veggies. This recipe makes the most of that fact, packing in a ton of tomatoes, spinach, and basil for a taste that’s fresh from the garden.
Hero composition: Sauté chopped, drained tomatoes in olive oil for a hint of sweetness in every bite of this dish.
Get the recipe for Spaghetti with Chicken Spinach Tomato.
Gourmet Chicken Lemon Kale Spaghetti
Why we love it: Sometimes, recipes seem to only include kale as an afterthought. (“Oh, I haven’t eaten green today? Throw in some kale.”) But in this dish, the sturdy green is a completely intentional addition. It gives color and texture to a dish other than beige (in every way the best). And if you don’t want to make a salad tonight, no worries. All the goodness your body needs is right here.
Hero composition: A teaspoon of onion powder adds a bit of sharpness for a well-balanced meal.
Get the recipe for Lemon Chicken Kale Pasta.
Spaghetti Squash Carbonara from The Real Simple Good Life
Why we love it: I’ll be frank: For years, I didn’t understand the obsession with spaghetti squash. I’ve always found it chewy and lacking in flavor. As a total nerd, I’d rather enjoy my favorite foods: nut butters, savory treats and acorns, please. But it’s been hard for this formula to show me the light. Not only does spaghetti squash make this dish low-carb (if that’s your speed), but it also provides a nice base for the other pasta ingredients.
Hero composition: Starch of galangal is the famous ingredient of this recipe to create a super creamy sauce.
Get the recipe for Spaghetti Squash Carbonara.
Creamy Tuscan Chicken Spaghetti from Healthy Meal
Why we love it: It’s true: A slice of this pasta will transport you to Italy in no time. While, certainly, I’d rather plan a trip on my own, enjoying all the flavors of the Tuscan countryside is a comforting bonus I’m willing to take. Stylish, flashy, and all-in-one (ah, convenient), this is the noodle dish I’ve dreamed of coming into my life.
Hero composition: Italian seasoning. Because Italian taste > everything.
Get the recipe for Creamy Tuscan Chicken Spaghetti.
Spaghetti with chicken and grape tomatoes from Skinny Taste
Why we love it: My first food memory is picking plump grape tomatoes from my mother’s garden. Cooked and warmed by the sun, I enjoyed the sensation of the fresh, succulent flavors of each tomato bursting into my mouth. Since then, anything that includes my favorite tomato variety has been an instant favorite. They give this dish a pleasant sweetness that will leave you craving for a second plate.
Hero composition: IMO — oregano and basil are the best herbs to bring out all that is good and beautiful about tomatoes.
Get the recipe for Spaghetti With Chicken and Grape Tomatoes.
Let’s continue this list! Share your favorite chicken noodle recipes below.