Friday, April 25, 2014

Dinner w/ the Tylers - Spicy Chicken Penne

Over the last month or two I have resolved to cook more.  A lot of the time, it’s cheaper, tastes better and is healthier.  I wasn’t doing great cooking and was very uncreative.  We were having meat and a veggies almost every night and, well, the veggies was usually green beans. So, I’ve gone on a crusade to find and make a variety of different recipes.

I believe my husband is enjoying it and I feel better knowing that my son is getting a healthier selection. So I’m going to share with you some of my favorite recipes.

Brandy from Cooking w/ Brandy is expecting #4 – because of that she can’t stand the smell of food cooking.  So we are going to give her a break and I will be sharing Dinner with the Tyler’s.

This was one of the recipes that I found on Pinterest.  It looked interesting, yummy and spicy and so I gave it a try.  It turned to be SUPER delicious!  I have made it 3 or 4 times since then. 

What you need..
  •  1 pound penne
  •  1 1/2 t salt
  •   1 1/2 t pepper
  •  1 1/2 t garlic powder
  •  1 1/2 T paprika
  •   1 pound chicken, diced
  •   2 T oil (or just 1T if you aren’t using celery)
  •  1 cup chopped celery (optional)
  •  2 T hot sauce (plus extra if you wish, see note below)
  •  1 c mayo ( low- or non-fat if you want)
  •  1/2 c ranch dressing  (use the good stuff here since it gives most of the flavor)
  •  3/4 c milk
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella or 1/2 cup blue cheese (optional, see note below) 
This pasta is amazing without any cheese on top at all, which is how I made it recently, figuring I was cutting at least some calories by not adding it.  Use mozzarella if you want it gooey or blue cheese if you want that chicken wing flavor.


  1.  While pasta is cooking according to package directions, season chicken with the spices. I use a Ziploc bag to shake it all up and coat the chicken.
  2.  Heat 1 T oil over med-high heat and cook chicken (about 5 minutes or so, until completely cooked through)
  3. Add 2 T  hot sauce and cook for one minute.
  4. If you are adding celery to your dish: remove chicken from skillet, heat the other tablespoon of oil, add celery and cook for about 2 minutes. Then return chicken to the skillet.
  5.  Combine mayo, ranch, and milk and mix in a small bowl. It will be lumpy. This is where you can also add another tablespoon of hot sauce if you’d like your pasta spicier.  Add the sauce to the skillet with the chicken and celery. Cook a few minutes, until heated.
  6. Pour sauce over prepared pasta and stir to combine.
  7.  Top with mozzarella or blue cheese crumbles if desired.

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