Blackened Chicken with Pasta Primavera

I just had a delightful time making this dinner. Sauteing vegetables of all sorts, making a delicious but somewhat healthy cheesy cream sauce (somewhat), blackening and roasting chicken, boiling pasta….my kitchen was like a scene out of a Food Network show. Minus the video camera and the million dollar paycheck.


This sauce is a nice and light option – not too thick –  and it creates just enough to coat, not drown, your pasta. If you like to drown your pasta, double the sauce recipe.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Pinch minced garlic
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 can 2% evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch or flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2-1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • Handful fresh chopped basil


  • 1-2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken
  • Blackened seasoning (optional)
  • 1 lb Penne or other desired pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 crowns fresh broccoli, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 lb sliced mushrooms
  • Peas! (though I forgot to add mine!)
  • 1 container grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
Preheat the oven to 350. Start by cooking the chicken (or you could pick up a rotisserie chicken).  Brush the chicken with olive oil, sprinkle with blackened seasoning. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet, and brown each side of the chicken – about 3 minutes each side. Transfer to a baking dish and bake the rest of the way – about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size. Cut it into 1-inch pieces.

Meanwhile, cook the vegetables, which you can do by either sauteing or boiling. I sauted mine in a pinch of olive oil, starting with the broccoli because it takes the longest. Saute the broccoli for about 5 minutes, then add in the pepper, mushrooms, and peas (not the tomatoes!). Saute for 5 minutes more, adding a bit of S&P in the process. Transfer to a bowl.

In the same pan (over medium heat), add 1 tablespoon of butter and garlic. Stir in the wine and lemon and let reduce for a minute or two. Whisk the corn starch or flour into the evaporated milk, and stir into the wine mixture. PS – Did you know that evaporated milk is basically just a healthier way to get that same creamy delicious flavor? It is. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the heavy cream and let it thicken, several minutes. Pour in some milk, about 1/2 cup, more if you want the sauce to be thinner. Mix in the parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Turn the heat to very low.

Hopefully you have already cooked your pasta by now. See, this is all one big multi-tasking challenge. Cook the pasta, drain it, then toss with the sauce, veggies, and chicken, and pour it all into a big ol’ casserole dish. Top with the tomatoes and mozzarella, and bake for about 5-10 minutes or so, until the tomatoes are wilted and the cheese is melted. YUM.
I took about 74 pictures of this, so I feel like I need to show you a few more.