Bear with me, my photography skills are somewhat lacking. And I was so excited to make this that I forgot to take pictures of the different steps along the way and only took a picture of the finished product. I'll try to do better next time, I promise.
I wish I could take full credit for this, but the original idea is from Julia's Album. Her Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes looked SO good that I knew I needed to make it. I plugged the recipe into the Weight Watchers recipe builder, and the stats weren't bad - 14 PointsPlus for 1/4 of the recipe. For something so thick and filling, that's not that bad. But I wanted to see if I could get that a bit lower. So, here's my slimmed-down version!
- No-stick cooking spray (like PAM)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 oz sun-dried tomato halves (dry - not in oil)
- 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 of a medium vidalia onion, thinly sliced
- 4 oz ziti pasta (about 1 1/3 cups), cooked according to package directions and drained
- 8 oz skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
- Salt (to taste), to season chicken
- Garlic powder (to taste), to season chicken
- Paprika (to taste), to season chicken
- 3/4 cup fat-free half and half
- 1/4 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage Total 2%)
- 1 cup fat-free shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tsp ground basil (or more to taste)
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
Servings: 4 medium servings or 3 large servings (nutritional information provided below for 1/3 of recipe)
Weight Watchers PointsPlus value: 7 (if you split into 4 servings) or 10 (if you split into 3 servings)
- Spray a large pan or skillet with no-stick cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, bell pepper, and onion. Stirring frequently (but not constantly), cook until garlic is fragrant and vegetables are soft. TIP: If veggies start to stick to the pan, give them a quick spray with no-stick spray and stir.
- While the veggies are cooking, season the chicken with salt, garlic powder, and paprika.
- Once cooked, remove the veggies from the pan and transfer to a plate (you'll add them back in later). Place the pan back on the stove. Lower the heat to medium and add the chicken. Cook for about a minute on each side, flipping frequently as to not burn. When chicken is fully cooked, remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the cooked veggies to the pan with the chicken. Add the half and half, yogurt, and cheese. Return the pan to medium heat and stir to combine.
- When the mixture starts to boil, lower the heat. Stir constantly until the cheese melts and a creamy sauce forms.Add the cooked pasta and stir to combine. TIP: If sauce is too thick, add water, 1 tsp at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
- When the sauce is of the desired consistency, remove the pan from the heat. Season with basil and red pepper flakes and enjoy!
Since I'm just getting started, I'd love comments and/or feedback! If you have any questions about the recipe, or any suggestions on how I can make my posts better/more helpful, please let me know.
Until next time!