There is never a gradual cool down to fall where I live. One day it's fall like and you're bundled up in sweaters and putting on those new boots that you HAD to buy at full price and have been hiding in the back of the closet since August. The next day you wonder if you were imagining things when it's 80 degrees outside.
The one thing that never changes whether it's fall, winter, spring or summer are the need for easy meals. This meal is one of those that I keep in my meal rotation because its quick and easy.
Creamy pasta with a southwest flavor and a hint of ranch? This is what makes this creamy southwest chicken ranch pasta perfect!
- 3 cups whole wheat pasta
- 4 chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 red pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 green pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces
- ⅛ cup (half a packet) taco seasoning
- ⅛ cup (half a packet) ranch dressing mix (we use Simply Organic)
- 2 tbsp milk
- 8 oz plain cream cheese, softened (you can use 8 oz plain nonfat greek yogurt in place of the cream cheese)
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 pkg (10 oz) frozen corn (or 2 cups fresh)
- 1 cup monterrey jack or cheddar cheese, divided (you can use 2% and mix and match the cheese if you would like).
- Cilantro (optional)
- In a saucepan, cook and drain pasta according to package directions. Set aside. (I'm usually a multitasker and will have the noodles going while the chicken and peppers are cooking. Personal preference on this one).
- While the pasta is cooking, in a large pan on medium heat cook the chicken and peppers until tender and chicken is cooked thoroughly. (Approximately 7-10 minutes).
- While the chicken is cooking in a small bowl mix together the taco seasoning, ranch dressing, milk and cream cheese or greek yogurt. Set aside.
- When the chicken and vegetables have cooked, add in the tomatoes, corn, and cream cheese or greek yogurt mixture. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the pasta and ½ cup of the cheese and stir an additional minute or two until the cheese has melted.
- Remove from heat, top the mixture with additional cheese and chopped cilantro and cover several minutes until cheese is melted. Serve.
39 grams carbohydrates per serving
Recipe Inspired by Kraft
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