You’ve probably heard me say a million times that I love pasta. That’s because I really do!!
That’s also why a low carb diet doesn’t work for me. It’s too hard to cut out one of my favorite foods.
Sure I could go a couple weeks, maybe even a month. But I would always end up cheating.
Then once I cheated I would eat anything I wanted. I figured I blew the diet, I would just start over in a few days.
That was a vicious cycle for at least a year. Sure, I would lose the weight, but I almost always gained it right back.
Now I eat pasta whenever I want and I’m much happier!
Of course, it’s hard to stick with my portion size sometimes when something is really delicious. But I’m human so I’ve learned to cut myself some slack.
Just because I eat a little bit too much one day doesn’t mean my “diet” is blown because I don’t look at Weight Watchers as a diet. It’s my way of life.
This Cajun Chicken Pasta is 7 Freestyle points for one serving, which is about 1 cup. Pair that up with a side of veggies and you have yourself a 7 point dinner.
I find a good way to trick my brain is to serve the 1 cup of Cajun Chicken Pasta in a smaller bowl. That way my brain thinks it is eating a large portion. It may sound silly but I think it really works.
Most of the points in this recipe come from the pasta, but there were other ways I lightened it up.
Instead of using heavy cream I used fat-free half and half. It’s much thinner than heavy cream so at the end I used a tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken it up. That saved this recipe 15 points!!
I made this in the Instant Pot which made it a super quick and easy meal with very little cleanup. Those are my favorite!
Yield: 6 servings (1 cup per serving – 7 points per serving for blue, green and purple)
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 3 cups fat-free chicken broth
- 10 oz. uncooked linguini pasta
- 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
- 1/2 cup fat-free half and half
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 green onions, chopped
Turn Instant Pot to saute and add the olive oil and chicken breast. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook the chicken 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot.
Add the minced garlic to the Instant Pot. Cook for 1 minute while stirring constantly.
Add the fat-free chicken broth to the pot.
Add the uncooked linguini to the chicken broth. I broke my pasta in half to make sure it was submerged by the chicken broth.
Add the Cajun seasoning, then put the chicken on top.
Put the lid on the Instant Pot and lock it. Make sure the lever is set to seal. Press the manual button and set the time for 6 minutes.
Once the time is up do a quick release of pressure. Once the steam is released, carefully remove the lid.
Stir the noodles really well so that they do not stick together.
Add the half and half and mix it all together.
In a small bowl stir the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of liquid from the Instant Pot until smooth.
Turn Instant Pot to saute and add the cornstarch mixture. Stir constantly until it comes to a boil. Once the sauce has thickened you can turn off the Instant Pot.
Add the Cajun Chicken Pasta to a bowl or plate, then garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese and green onions.