Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lighter Chicken Spaghetti

I really love my mother's chicken spaghetti. This is one of those dishes though that I find my husband and I debate over what should go in it. He is a Velveeta person all day long, I am a shredded cheese kinda gal. I also can't stomach the idea of putting things in food just to apease his need for Velveeta, shoot me, but it's the truth. I gave up whole wheat pasta in shared meals, I shall not budge on other things. Special occasion food, yes. Nightly meals, heck no. 

A month or so ago I tried a clean eating recipe for a Southwestern Alfredo that replaced everything horrible about alfredo with cottage cheese. I was iffy trying it out, but the dish turned out to be a big winner, even with Mr. I Hate Healthy Replacements. 

Oh if only we could all be naturally long and lean. I'd eat a giant brownie every blooming day. 

Playing off of the way that recipe turned out, and husands insistence on using Velveeta I decided to test it out. I replaced my usual canned cream of mushroom soup with a few seasonings I found in the "cream of something soup" recipes on Pinterest, combined my cottage cheese with a few other things in the food processor and attempted to do a Velveeta texture fake out. 

I really like how this came out, Jeremy on the other hand knew what was in it and protested. The man wanted Velveeta. Cottage cheese ain't Velveeta. Don't try to pretend. However, if you are looking for a healthy substitute to cream of somethings and too much cheese and still want the creaminess this is the way to go. Play with this and make it your own, use your own chicken spaghetti recipe even and try out the cream/velveeta substitute. I also do a hybrid between my mother's recipe and Pioneer Woman's recipe, and I never make it the same. 

I found that this, like many dishes, is better the next day. Sitting overnight in the fridge gave it a chance to get creamier and thicken up a bit, we all know straight out of the oven things aren't always super thick. Sitting definitely gave this chicken spaghetti a chance for all of the flavors to blend together even more. 

If you'd like to see my original Chicken Spaghetti recipe go here. 



Lighter Chicken Spaghetti:

Ingredients
4-5 chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups fat free cottage cheese
1 box of Ronzoni Smart Taste thin spagehtti
1 1/2 c seasoning blend
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 3/4  c sharp cheddar cheese
1 can Rotel
salt & pepper to taste
1/8 tsp dried thyme
80z can of mushroom pieces and stems
1 chicken bullion cube
1/8 tsp dried basil

Directions
Grill, roast, or boil your chicken. I change it up based on time and what I want at the moment. I even am known to use a cooked chicken from the deli. Dice your chicken when it is cooked through and set aside. 

Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. 

In a food processor combine cottage cheese, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, thyme, most of your mushrooms, bullion cube, and basil. Pulse until combined well and cottage cheese is smooth. Add 1 cup of shredded cheese and pulse until combined.

At the same time the pasta and cheese mixture is coming together saute your seasoning blend and remaining mushrooms until onions are translucent and beginning to caramelize. 

Combine all ingredients well and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees until bubbly. 

So just for the sake of asking...do you use Velveeta or just shredded cheese in your chicken spaghetti? And how do you feel about mushrooms? 

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