Creamy Chicken Pasta

Creamy Chicken Pasta

Creamy Chicken Pasta starts with thick noodles cooked to al dente perfection, tossed with garlic butter mushrooms, rotisserie chicken, tender spinach, and garlic-herb cheese. While it might sound like a lot, this dish has loads of shortcuts, and the “cream sauce” is just one ingredient — Boursin cheese! 

Try some of our other simple pasta dishes like this Chicken Pot Pie Pasta (made in one pot) or this Creamy Pesto Pasta made with broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes.

Creamy Chicken Pasta

Creamy Chicken Pasta

Creamy Chicken Pasta

Wow! This pasta dish! It’s creamy, rich, and indulgent, and fully loaded with mushrooms, chicken, and spinach. There have been way too many pasta dishes I’ve tried where I’m searching for the chicken or mushrooms amongst the much-too-prevalent pasta.

Yes, pasta is amazing (and the more the better), but you shouldn’t be left searching for the add-ins! With this dish, you’ll get it fully loaded with chicken, mushrooms, and spinach — enough for every single bite along with the tender, saucy pasta noodles.

Not only does this creamy dish taste completely restaurant-worthy, but it’s also ridiculously simple to make. I know, I know…“creamy pasta” and “simple” don’t always go together unless you’re using a jar of Alfredo, but I promise it doesn’t get much easier than this cream sauce. In fact, the cream “sauce” is just one ingredient — Boursin® cheese! It’s the secret here and if you love Boursin, you’re going to go nuts for this recipe!

Ingredient shot: The elements needed to make this recipe

Ingredient shot: The elements needed to make this recipe

Creamy Chicken Pasta Ingredients

  • Butter and olive oil. A combination of butter and olive oil promotes browning and flavor — both of which we want for the mushrooms in this pasta.
  • Mushrooms. Really, any mushrooms work, and we like baby bella or crimini best. Go with whatever you can find pre-sliced at your store — the point of this recipe is easy preparation for loads of flavor!
  • Seasonings. Because the Boursin cheese has so much flavor and seasonings already added in, the seasoning list on Creamy Chicken Pasta is very minimal — — Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and that’s it!
  • Garlic. The Boursin has a strong garlic flavor, but when it comes to garlic, I’m of the opinion that more is more! 🙂 If you don’t feel the same way, feel free to leave out this extra garlic.
  • Fettuccine noodles. These thick noodles are the perfect avenue for the saucy cream base. While many pasta recipes call for an entire box, note that this recipe only uses 6 ounces. We think it’s the perfect ratio of pasta to the cream sauce, mushrooms, chicken, and spinach.

Process shots: browning the mushrooms

Process shots: browning the mushrooms

Creamy Chicken Pasta Ingredients, Continued

  • Boursin cheese. This is the “secret” ingredient that will get you creamy chicken pasta without heavy cream or a roux. We’re completely obsessed with this soft garlic and herb-flavored cheese — it adds an amazing creaminess and greatly cuts down the need for other ingredients. We use fewer spices and herbs (since there are already so many in the cheese) and we don’t need other ingredients typically required for a rich pasta cream sauce. See “quick tip” below.
  • Rotisserie chicken. Pre-cooked and seasoned chicken is a total time saver on its own, but to save even more time on the chicken, you can purchase rotisserie chicken meat already pulled from the bones and shredded or diced — many grocery stores sell this conveniently prepared chicken! Or make this grilled chicken and save some leftovers for this recipe.
  • Parmesan Cheese. Grate a block of Parmesan cheese on the small sides of the grater (loosely measure to get 1/2 cup). I don’t recommend jarred or canned Parmesan cheese — the flavor will be overpowering and too salty.
  • Spinach. We use fresh baby spinach in Creamy Chicken Pasta — it cooks down nicely and quickly especially if it’s been coarsely chopped beforehand.

QUICK TIP

Boursin is readily available at most mainstream grocery stores. It’s typically found in the deli section or with other cheeses. Here’s a store finder to check if it’s at your local grocery store. Boursin cheese is not a sponsor or affiliated with this site — it’s just a great pasta short-cut we love!

Process shots--adding ingredients to the browned mushrooms.

Process shots--adding ingredients to the browned mushrooms.

Recipe Shortcuts

  • Get pre-sliced produce. Most grocery stores sell diced yellow onions in the produce section of the store. Alternatively, frozen diced onions are often found by the other frozen veggies and can be used in this recipe. While you’re getting the pre-diced onions, look for sliced mushrooms — most stores offer whole or sliced mushrooms and the sliced ones will save you chopping time.
  • Use jarred garlic or a garlic press. Instead of mincing your own garlic, use jarred to save time. Or, a garlic press will get you fresh minced garlic in a fraction of the time that hand mincing takes.
  • Pick up a bag of prewashed baby spinach. A bag of ready-to-use spinach is a huge time saver as opposed to washing, drying, removing stems, and cutting down a bundle of regular spinach. The chopping doesn’t need to take more than a minute; just add the spinach on a cutting board and run a large chef’s knife through it a few times — easy and quick!

Process shots--Cooking the pasta and adding it to the pan along with cooking water

Process shots--Cooking the pasta and adding it to the pan along with cooking water

Creamy Chicken Pasta Tips

  • Salt the pasta water: Salt the pasta well as it cooks, since salting the water is how we season the actual pasta. I add 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt to every 4 cups of water as soon as the water has come to a boil. Then wait until the water returns to a full boil before adding in the pasta. (Read more on how to properly salt your pasta water here.)
  • Grate Parmesan on a microplane: A microplane gives the Parmesan an amazing, super-light texture. It melts beautifully into the sauce and tastes incredible on top of Creamy Chicken Pasta. 
  • Don’t forget to reserve pasta water. When cooking pasta, it’s easy to go on auto-pilot and drain it all. Don’t forget to pull out about 1 cup of cooking water right before draining the noodles — we rely on the water to thicken the sauce and make it ultra creamy. I pull out the water with a glass liquid measuring cup.
  • Slightly undercook the pasta; it will finish cooking as it gets tossed with the sauce. If the pasta is fully boiled, it will end up getting overcooked and lose texture (and possibly even become mushy). I recommend cooking it 1 minute less than the package directs — it cooks a bit more after being drained.
  • Add fresh herbs. While optional, some fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley helps to nicely cut through the richness of this dish. Chives would be another delicious finishing touch.
  • Coarsely chop the baby spinach. While the spinach doesn’t have to be chopped it does integrate better in the dish that way. Plus, you’ll get spinach in more bites and the smaller pieces are easier to eat. 

QUICK TIP

If you’re like me, it’s easy to forget to save some pasta cooking water when you drain the fettuccini. Here’s a memory booster: Set a colander in the sink for draining the pasta. Then, take a one-cup measuring cup and put it in the colander. When it’s time to dump the pasta and water into the colander, you’ll see the measuring cup and know to scoop out enough for the rest of the recipe.

Process shots-- adding spinach and Parmesan to the pan

Process shots-- adding spinach and Parmesan to the pan

Side Dish Suggestions

This dish is rich and indulgent tasting, so I recommend pairing it with a light side dish. Here are our suggestions:

Creamy Chicken Pasta

Creamy Chicken Pasta

More Rotisserie Chicken Recipes

Creamy Chicken Pasta

This Creamy Chicken Pasta starts with thick noodles boiled to al dente perfection and then tossed with garlic butter mushrooms, rotisserie chicken, tender spinach, and garlic-herb cheese. While it might sound like a lot, this dish has loads of shortcuts, and the “cream sauce” is just one ingredient — Boursin cheese! 

Creamy Chicken Pasta

This Creamy Chicken Pasta starts with thick noodles boiled to al dente perfection and then tossed with garlic butter mushrooms, rotisserie chicken, tender spinach, and garlic-herb cheese. While it might sound like a lot, this dish has loads of shortcuts, and the “cream sauce” is just one ingredient — Boursin cheese! 

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces (172g) fettuccine noodles NOT the whole box
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups (9.5 oz; 272g) sliced mushrooms crimini or baby bella
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (~3 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Fine sea salt and cracked pepper
  • 1 package (5.2 oz; 150g) Boursin garlic and herb cheese Note 1
  • 1/2 cup (35g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups (275g) coarsely chopped rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cups (47g) packed baby spinach, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • For serving: additional Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley (optional)

Instructions

  • PREP: Before starting this recipe, thinly slice (1/2-inch thick) the mushrooms. Coarsely chop the rotisserie chicken into small bite-sized pieces. If desired, coarsely chop baby spinach — just quickly run a knife through a few times. (It’s fine to leave it whole too if you don’t mind larger spinach pieces.)

  • PASTA: Heads-up: We are going to be saving some of the pasta cooking water so don’t drain it all! Bring a large pot of water to a boil; once boiling, generously salt the water. (I add 1 teaspoon to every 4 cups of water; don’t skip this or the whole dish will taste under-seasoned.) Cook, following package directions, but cook for 1 minute less than it says to (we’ll cook the noodles more in a second). Right before draining, remove 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. (I do this with a glass liquid measuring cup). Drain pasta.

  • MUSHROOMS AND GARLIC: Meanwhile, heat a large skillet or pot (I use a deep 12-inch cast iron skillet) over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil. Once butter is melted, add in all the sliced mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms start to turn a nice golden brown and all their liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (I add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.) Add Italian seasoning. Once the mushrooms are nice and golden, add remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the garlic. Stir for another 1-2 minutes or until everything is nice and golden. By this time, you will likely be ready to drain the pasta.

  • FINISHING: Back to the skillet: Over low heat, add the entire container of the Boursin cheese, the chicken, and the drained pasta on top (right after it’s been drained). Use tongs to briskly toss everything, while adding in small amounts of the reserved pasta water. (I usually add about 1/2 up to 3/4 cup.) Add Parmesan cheese and toss until everything is well coated, adding more pasta water as needed. Tossing while adding the pasta water should turn the sauce very creamy and should coat everything nicely while clinging to the pasta. Add in the spinach and gently toss with tongs to wilt. Once wilted, remove the pan from heat. Taste and adjust adding more salt and pepper as needed until the flavors sing.

  • SERVE: Remove from the stove and serve immediately. Add more Parmesan and a sprinkle of fresh parsley to individual plates if desired.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Boursin is readily available at most mainstream grocery stores. It’s typically found in the deli section or with other cheeses. Here’s a store finder to check if it’s at your local grocery store. Boursin cheese is not a sponsor or affiliated with this site — it’s just a great pasta short-cut we love! 

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 675kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 192mg | Sodium: 999mg | Potassium: 1372mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 11623IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 502mg | Iron: 5mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

 

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