Laura’s Unbelievable Chicken & Pasta – Nance & Robyn make the same recipe.

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Laura’s Unbelievable Chicken and Pasta, found over at Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was my choice. I’d love to tell y’all where I found it, but once again I don’t remember. Pinterest, maybe? In any case, I’ve always got my eye out for quick and easy chicken recipes because we raise (and eat) our own chickens. The only kind of recipes that get me more excited than chicken-based recipes are egg-based recipes. I love eggs, and we eat tons of them (and my cholesterol is so good my doctor looks at me like I’m lying when I tell her how many eggs I eat on a weekly basis).

The ingredients:


Chicken, cut into 1-inch strips. The recipe calls for 4 chicken breast halves, but I used 6 because our chickens are smaller than the factory-raised chicken you get in the store. Chicken broth (which I canned myself), cream cheese (I used neufchatel), spinach, penne pasta, and cherry (Sungold) tomatoes from our garden. Those tomato plants just kept hanging in there. I think they’re about done for (it’s starting to get down into the high 30s at night), but it still amazes me that they last so far into October.

Cook your penne pasta according to package instructions.


Do you know about putting a wooden spoon across the top of the pot to stop the water from boiling over? Someone told me about it (I don’t remember who), and it works like a charm.

Meanwhile, in a big pan over medium heat, cook your chicken in your broth for about 10 minutes, until it’s done. I’m not one for fancy-bitch cooking terms, but I believe this is called “poaching” your chicken (but I could be wrong.)


Not quite done, but it’s getting there:


Stir in your cream cheese (which you cubed, if you were following instructions. I didn’t actually do that; I just tossed the whole block in there. It’s soft; it melted quickly enough. If I’d had to cube that stuff before adding it to the pan, I would have gotten it all over the place and then the obscenities would have started and probably I would have told the cream cheese to go fuck itself.) and your spinach. Stir. Return it to a simmer and cook for about five minutes, stirring now and again.

Then stir in your cherry tomatoes and cook another three minutes. Mix it together with the pasta, then throw it in a bowl and then eat.


Offer some to Petey Pickle.


“Really? NOW you offer some to me? Where were you when I was HUNGRY for just plain old cream cheese and you were tossing it in the pan? Fuck off, lady.”


The verdict? WAY too much pasta. I like pasta as much as the next gal, but how about some freakin’ protein up in this shit? I’ll probably make it again, only I’ll double the amount of chicken and halve the amount of pasta, if not quarter it. And double the number of cherry tomatoes.

I liked the cheesiness of the sauce, though, and we ate it for dinner for two nights, and then I had it for lunch one day. Definitely needs some tweaking, though.


Nance’s Take:

Truth Game:  I was in no mood to cook when I made this recipe.  Everyone was talking about Hurricane Sandy and I managed to let it work my last nerve.  I’m from Pittsburgh and although we do not have to deal with hurricanes, it was reported that we were going to have high winds with rain and possible snow.  After having experienced the power outage and storm damage from this summer, I decided that this time I was going to be prepared.

Being prepared did not mean making a stupid penne pasta dish.  I had shit to round up like candles, flashlights and battery operated radios.  And I needed to make sure my iPod was filled with new podcasts!  Priorities, people.  Priorities.   Penne pasta?  Not so much on my list of things to do.  And to make matters worse, I had company that was all up in my business (more on that later).


I had purchased all the ingredients ahead of time so I would be prepared to make this dish.  I was annoyed when I saw cherry tomatoes as one of the ingredients because we all know how well that turned out the last time we had them.  When I finally went to cook this dish I realized I was suppose to have had the spinach thawed ahead of time.  Dammit!


This is me performing WWT (Warm Water Thawing). It’s a technique I perfected years ago and no housewife worth her salt should go without learning how to do this. Hee!


Diced chicken being cooked in chicken broth is kinda gross.


I threw my spinach in before the cream cheese had finished melting. I don’t know if I was supposed to do that or not, but my company was being a wee bit demanding and I couldn’t really focus on the recipe.


Thanks to my mom for cutting those damn cherry tomatoes for me! Shirley is the shits!


Make sure you have a big pasta bowl ready because the recipe calls for the entire box and GODDAMN, that’s a whole lotta pasta!


Action shot! I’m sure my company thought I was crazy when they saw me struggling to pour this mess while taking a photograph at the same time. But you know what? I’m just going to say it. I did not, nor do I ever, care about what these particular kitchen guests think of me because I am sick and tired of the way that they judge. Yeah. I said it.


Dump it. And give it a good stir to mix everything up. I think I cooked the cherry tomatoes too much because it appears they may have exploded. Oh well.


Done. The recipe was easy and very forgiving.  Everybody loved it, except my company…


The ladies had just come from church and they were busy judging me harshly. From the clothes I was wearing to the food that I cooked. They actually turned up their noses and sniffed at me!


And this one, HA! The biggest hypocrite of all…thinking I wouldn’t notice that she had helped herself to extra communion wafers while no one was looking. I wonder what the church will think of her when they find out, hmmm. Me thinks that maybe Miss Judgy McJudgypants should watch her step around me or I will be glad to point the local parish to this site.

Don’t push your luck, Sister.  Don’t push your luck.

Laura's Unbelievable Chicken & Pasta - Nance & Robyn make the same recipe.
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Original Source/Author:
: Entree
Serves: 4-6
  • 4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch strips
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cold cream cheese, cubed
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 (16 ounce) package dry penne pasta
  1. Bring large pot of water to a boil, and cook penne pasta according to package instructions.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken strips in broth; simmer until done, about 10 minutes. Stir in cubed cream cheese and spinach. Return to simmer, and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cherry tomatoes, and cook about 3 minutes more.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together cooked, drained pasta and sauce. Let stand a few minutes before serving.
Next time I make it, I'll double the amount of chicken and cherry tomatoes, and at least halve - if not quarter - the amount of pasta. (Robyn)



Laura’s Unbelievable Chicken & Pasta – Nance & Robyn make the same recipe. — 23 Comments

  1. Hate broccoli and cherry tomatoes so I won’t make it.( I am a vegetable not liking pain in the ass).
    However I loved the Church Ladies (Dana Carvey is doing that dance in my brain right now-LOL!). I am happy that Sadie joined Queen Felina and did not usurp her! That just would not do!!!

    • You may hate broccoli, but do you hate spinach because that’s what is in the recipe – Hee!

      You must be just like me, see the color green and go blech! But no lie, you can’t even really taste the vegetables in this.

      Nobody can take that stupid chihuahua’s place – she would never allow it (the pain in the butt)!

      • I didn’t know what whole frozen spinach looked like! How sad is that? I’ve only bought the chopped kind. I like raw spinach, my husband only likes cooked-sigh! I like cooked spinach In things but not by itself. I love string beans and artichoke hearts so I guess I don’t hate all greens. I like salad too-just not the bitter lettuces. I hate bitter-broccoli rob-blech! Had it in a pasta dish in a fabulous Italian restaurant and it ruined the whole thing. Everything else there was to die for but that dish-just awful.

  2. Laughing so hard that the cat in my lap is giving me dangerous looks. Love the church ladies 🙂

    I might try the sauce, but change up the rest of the recipe… swapping veggies top on the list. Broccoli maybe? My kids aren’t good with spinach (cherry tomatoes either… weirdos) And absolutely upping the chicken portion. There’s teenagers in this house! And maybe a different pasta… angel hair? My angels don’t care for hollow pasta.

    Hey I just made up an entirely new recipe! Maybe you would like to try it next week? 😉

    • Maybe try cooking the cherry tomatoes until they explode like I did – you couldn’t even tell they were in there. Hee! And I had more than enough chicken because I never really measure it by ounces, I just eyeball it according to how much I think my meat-loving family would need in it to be happy.

      And yes, you did make up a new recipe – try it and tell us how it is! 🙂

  3. RE: Pasta and the need for protein. Try Barilla Plus (yellow box). High protein pasta that doesn’t taste like crap!

    Great job ladies!

  4. OMG OMG OMG! Love the look on their faces with that hat on. Their eyes are saying “What the hell are you making us do now?!!!” It fits Felina perfectly. Also, recipe looks good to me.

    • Felina hated the damn hat – which is why she got a cookie (Shirley gave it to her thinking she would play nice, of course she didn’t). Sadie, on the other hand, will do it even if she thinks it’s ridiculous. She’s the good dog. ha!

  5. The dogs are absolutely adorable. I needed something to cheer me up this afternoon! This recipes sounds yummy to me, I love spinach in cheese sauces, so this goes on my “to make” list!

    • Ha, I do not consider my dogs to be adorable, but thanks (I’m sure my mother agrees with you)! And I think you’ll like the dish. It was actually pretty good. Although I have to admit that I did think about adding parmesan cheese to it because I am a fat-fatty. I was surprised when Rick said it didn’t need it (because he is also a fat-fatty)! And that really says something about this recipe!

  6. Nance,
    At least you CAN cook and visit with “company” at the same time. When I try it, I fuck everything up. I put in the wrong amount of ingredients in recipes. I put the milk in the cupboard and the sugar in the fridge. That kind of thing. Can’t multi-task between conversation and cooking, apparently. Of course, my company never has four legs. That might be easier, as they don’t expect me to talk.
    Robyn, I’ve never heard of the wooden spoon trick but will definitely try it. The only don’t-boil-over trick I know is adding a tablespoon of oil or butter to the pasta when it’s boiling.
    Can you guys fix this blog so we can scratch and taste? Thank you very much.

    • Robyn can attest to the fact that I absolutely CANNOT cook with company visiting. I take two hours to do something that should take me 30 minutes because I am focused more on the yapping than I am on the cooking. NO LIE. It’s awful.

      And I have also never heard of the wooden spoon trick! I’m definitely going to try it because I am forever boiling over.

      Oil or butter added to pasta makes the sauce not adhere to the pasta. I read that somewhere and never forgot it because we used to add oil to our spaghetti because we heard that is what would keep it from sticking together. God forbid we actually stir it so it wouldn’t stick! As soon as I read that it stopped the sauce from sticking to the pasta, no more oil for us. 😉

  7. Throw a little salt in your pasta water and your noodles won’t stick together.

    I am going to try this recipe without pasta, because that gluten free crap is gross. But I love everything that is in the dish. I might even throw in some artichokes cause it sort of reminds me of spinach artichoke dip, which I love ( but don’t need to eat with a bag of chips).

    As judgemental as your dogs might be, cats are worse. They don’t care if you give them treats, dogs never want to be counted out for a chance to eat anything – even vegetables.

    Robyn, eggs get a bad rap. Even Dr Oz says you should eat eggs everday – apparently people who eat eggs for breakfast manage their mornng hunger better. And Dr Oz knows everything!

    I can’t believe I just typed out this long assed comment on my ipad, since this morning I used the pain in the assishness (word) of it as an excuse for not responding to a friend’s email. Oh well, call me passive aggressive I guess.

  8. I have always put a metal spoon/utensil in a pot to keep it from boiling over, but now I’ll have to try the wooden spoon trick.

    Petey – such language! But I totally understand about not getting any cream cheese… And the Church Ladies are a hoot in a hat!

    I think I have everything but the tomatoes and could make this for dinner tonight…yumm!

    • Petey has always been a cuss mouth. Like a sailor, that one.

      And I bet you could make it with a can of diced tomatoes (drained) and it would be just as good. 🙂

  9. I made this for dinner tonight and everyone liked it. This is HUGE. That never happens, seriously, my husband and kids are super picky. Thank you so much!

    • Yay! I know how that feels (when everyone is picky) and it’s fabulous when you come up with something that everyone will eat. Now, take my most serious advice…put it in your rotation, but be sure and spread it out so they don’t get sick of it! 😉

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