tasty, healthy, creamy pasta.

by Janetha on June 10, 2011

in recipes

it has been awhile since i have made up a recipe.  i feel like life has been flying by with no time for creating new recipes! but last night, i felt creative and got busy in the kitchen. no, not that kind of busy. get your minds out of the gutter.

i have been trying my best to stick to the body for life style of eating, so i knew i wanted to create a dish that was balanced in protein and carbs with a little fat for good measure. 

i threw all these ingredients together, cooked the whole meal and devoured the whole meal before plugging the ingredients into my recipe calculator.  to my satisfaction, this recipe was right in line with my nutritional goals. plus, it was super tasty.  score two points for the home team!

creamy asparagus & roasted tomato pasta with chicken

makes six large servings



  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken diced into 1” pieces
  • 4 oz whole wheat wide noodle pasta (or other pasta of choice)
  • 1 bunch (about 20 stalks) of asparagus
  • 1 container (9 oz) grape tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup blended cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 4 wedges of laughing cow light cheese
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt + pepper (to taste)
  • xanthan and guar gums for thickening OR corn starch will also work


for the pasta: prepare according to package and set aside. i am confident you can figure this one out.


for the tomatoes: preheat oven to 375 degrees. place tomatoes on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. pop into the oven and roast for about 30-40 minutes, flipping occasionally, until tomatoes are nice and toasty (but not burnt). IMG_9159

for the asparagus: dice into 1/2 pieces. place asparagus into saucepan with 1/2 inch of water. steam on the stovetop until al dente. can i use the term “al dente” for asparagus, or is that only for pasta? well, you know what i mean.


for the chicken: season with salt, pepper and a boatload of trader joe’s 21 seasoning salute if you have it.  sauté until it is cooked through. no raw chicken, folks!


put all four ingredients in a large and in charge bowl.


for the sauce:  first, blend your cottage cheese. you can do this in a food processor, blender or magic bullet. you may need to add a bit of water to get things moving.IMG_9170

whisk together broth, cottage cheese, nutritional yeast and laughing cow cheese in a saucepan and heat over low heat.


add oregano, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. and other seasonings if you feel the need.   simmer on low for about 15 minutes until the mixture reduces down quite a bit. and yes, i think “quite a bit” is a good way to tell you how much it should reduce. i am so technical.


add your thickening agents until your sauce reaches desired consistency.  it should be like a thick cheese sauce that you can bathe in.  i used about 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum and 1/4 tsp of guar gum.

pour the sauce over you bowl of pasta, chicken and veggies and toss well.




this made about eight cups—give or take. i am not quite sure if it was eight cups because marshall gobbled his up before i could measure.. BUT, he said he ate about four cups.  soo.. yeah.. who knows. all i know is my calculations are based on a sixth of the recipe.  a serving is going to be anywhere from 1 to 1 1/3 cups.IMG_9202

stats per serving (stats are strictly an estimate and were calculated using thedailyplate.com. they may vary depending on your exact ingredients.)image

you can see why i didn’t feel bad when i ate more than one serving.

i just ate the leftovers for lunch. this is one of those “even better the next day” recipes!

xo. janetha g.

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Carissa June 10, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Wow! That looks amazing! Seriously. Any recommendations of gluten-free pasta?

Janetha June 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Carissa, no.. sorry. I have never tried gluten free pasta! I have heard brown rice penne is good, though.

Carissa June 10, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Thanks. I’lltry that. I don’t have to eat gluten-free but I’ve been doing it and I feel more energy. Thanks.

Kenley June 13, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Carissa, Udi’s pasta is really good and it is gluten free. I’m not sure where you live. I live in California so I can find it almost anywhere, but I’ve heard you can get it from Harmon’s in Utah.

Heather (Where's the Beach) June 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Loving the veggies in this dish. Looks fantastic.

Holly @ The Runny Egg June 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm

This looks so creamy and delicious!

Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun June 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm

you seriously always have the best looking recipes!

Missy June 10, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Glad to know you have more Guar gum! I hate to be without.
My hubby doesn’t like pasta so I may attempt this with rice instead.
Then again, maybe he’d eat it like this :)

Stacy @ Modern Day Runner June 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm

I’m pretty sure I’ll be making this pasta dish over the weekend. Looks really good and I can’t believe it’s healthy! Thanks for posting! :)

The Teenage Taste June 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Mmmm…this looks perfect! Healthy, delicious, and summer-y!
Thanks for sharing!

Nicole @sugarcoatedsisters June 10, 2011 at 1:55 pm

WOW Janetha, this looks awesome! I’ve been craving asparagus lately… I’m dying to make this. Thanks for taking the time to make the recipe :) and the nutritionals are stellar!

Erica June 10, 2011 at 1:57 pm

YUM! Looks so good! I bet those little grape tomatoes made it all the more tasty!

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 10, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Leftovers are a beautiful thing!

I love asparagus AND that bowl.

You have been rocking the adorable bowls the past few days :)

Kelly @foodiefresh June 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I love creamy pasta with fresh veggies and I haven’t made a creamy pasta dish in forever. You’ve reminded me that it’s high time that I do!

Rachel @ Grateful Girl Goes Gluten Free June 10, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I loveee your creamy pasta recipes! I can’t wait to try this one out!

Claire @ Live and Love to Eat June 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm

This sounds and looks so GOOD – love that there’s cottage cheese in it too!

Abby June 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I love that bowl! Do you know where it is from? :)

Janetha June 10, 2011 at 2:46 pm

It was a gift! Not sure where she got it.. but maybe she will reply to this :)

Missy June 10, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Hey! I just noticed from this comment that you used the bowl I sent again – DUH! I did not notice it when I originally read (but it was on my phone). Anyhow, I got them at a local store in my town, not a national chain store, and I bought all they had. But Jenn from Peas and Crayons said she almost bought them, so maybe she can say at what store she saw them. Sorry I wasn’t more help!

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) June 10, 2011 at 11:56 pm

I love them Missy! They are adorable! <3

MelissaNibbles June 10, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Yum. I love creamy pasta.

Naomi@onefitfoodie June 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm

YUMMAY looks delicous! i always never think to use cottaage cheese as a base for a pasta sauce but it sounds so good! i bet it would be awesome blended with marinara too! like vodka sauce mmm

Lauren June 10, 2011 at 3:25 pm

All I can say is yum! I want pasta now….I wonder how it would taste chilled?

dana @ my little celebration June 10, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Yum! Bravo on the recipe. It’s so light but looks so decadent. I’ll be giving this a try soon :D.

Lindsey @ Cardio Pizza June 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm

I swear, pasta dishes are always better the next day! That recipe looks fantastic!

melissa @ the delicate place June 10, 2011 at 4:54 pm

hey! hope you are doing ok x p.s. i love asparagus even if it makes my pee stank!

Niki (Life's a Payne) June 10, 2011 at 6:11 pm

I LOVE the idea of using cottage cheese in a pasta sauce! Can’t wait to try it out!

Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather June 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Pasta dishes are so much better the next day. Love it. Must be all the sauce soaking into the noodles. Great recipe girl!

Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin June 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm

I love your idea to use cottage cheese to make a creamy sauce. Genius!

Lauren June 10, 2011 at 6:57 pm

I don’t usually like pasta dishes, but every time I see one of yours, I suddenly crave pasta majorly!! You always make them look sooo good!

Eden June 10, 2011 at 7:07 pm

In Eden’s head:
serves 6 = serves 1 Eden
serves 10= serves Eden plus 1/2 the ice cream compartment

Teri [a foodie stays fit] June 10, 2011 at 8:05 pm

I’m always so impressed with the nutrition stats of your recipes! This looks delicious…even with the cottage cheese! ;)

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) June 10, 2011 at 11:57 pm

I’m glad I’m not the only one to use “the gums” to thicken up sauces.

Stephanie @Lungesandlunch June 11, 2011 at 12:32 am

I just bought sundried tomatoes and didn’t know what to do with them. Great timing for some inspiration – thanks!

cathy June 11, 2011 at 4:12 am

local asparagus is in season here, now – perfect timing on this recipe! and i always have cottage cheese and nutritional yeast in the fridge…nice work on the recipe, j! and if marshall was that enthusiastic, i’d say you created a winner!

Holly June 11, 2011 at 7:01 am

I’m SO glad that I’m back because I’ve seriously missed you & your blog- no joke! This post just proves my point….
First- you had me cracking up at the first paragraph- ‘getting busy in the kitchen…then get your minds out of the gutter ;)’
Second- I just got a Magic Bullet for one of my wedding presents & I know that you use yours alot & love it, so I know I will be hunting through your recipes today. I have a feeling we are going to have a Janetha created recipe tonight- they are some of my favorites because not only are the healthy, but they do NOT lack in taste! :)
Also, I was just talking to Craig (he’s sitting next to me) & I was telling him how I love how you use your Magic Bullet to make certain sauces with it- like I would of never thought to use cottage cheese for a sauce. Honestly I hate cottage cheese, the curds just creep me out, I wish I could eat it in the ‘curd form’ but I just can’t. BUT, I do like your idea to blend it up in the Magic Bullet as part of a sauce- so creative! You rock & I love ya!!

Mimi (Gingersnaps) June 11, 2011 at 10:07 am

I love how high in protein this is! And how I have all the ingredients on hand!

Holley @ Lunges and Lashes June 11, 2011 at 3:10 pm

i love the cottage cheese in there, great protein bump! oh how i miss eating cottage cheese… ;(

Annette@EnjoyYourHealthyLife June 11, 2011 at 5:53 pm

okay I totally love the idea of using laughing cow wedges as a base for the sauce. Genius, friend!!

Julie June 11, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I love your cute owl bowl!! And I always use Laughing Cow wedges for creamier sauce now thanks to you! It was a great tip.

ilovefetacheese June 11, 2011 at 8:25 pm

wow this looks amazinggggg i want to eat it right now

Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli June 12, 2011 at 8:27 am

Ugh, I REALLY need to get back to cooking! I don’t know if it’s the weather or the fact that I’m just lazy, but I’ve had absolutely NO motivation to cook lately! The most I’ve done in 2 weeks is roast a pan of kabocha squash…and I’m so lazy that when I had the leftovers the next day, I didn’t even heat it up! Haha

Joanna @ braverealworld June 12, 2011 at 8:46 am

I’m glad you shared this recipe bc I was drooling over it in your last post! Lol

The only thing I don’t have is nutritional yeast. Can you get it at the regular grocery store?

Thanks for another recipe!

Jillian @ sprinkle massacre June 17, 2011 at 7:37 am

I totally forgot to tag you in my post but I edited to add it– you inspired my most recent recipe…the tomatoes and asparagas sounded yummy in the mix!

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