Great Dinner Idea – Chicken Taco Pasta and Garlic Bread

This dinner couldn’t of come together any better.  I planned on making the chicken dish last Friday night when it was just the three of us for dinner, hubby,our son and me.  But when we decided to drop our daughter off at work on Friday, we decided to stay for awhile and ended up at with dinner at Uno’s.  We also had a nice surprise because we ran into our niece in the parking lot and invited her to join us.   So Friday’s dinner got moved to Saturday night which allowed us the time to go to the store and try out this garlic bread with the already planned Chicken Taco Pasta dish.  
This also worked out time wise because our daughter was able to join us for dinner.  She worked late at Starbucks, so we didn’t eat until 7;30 or so, but it was nice to all sit down together.  Not many more nights like this with her leaving for school again.  The pasta was very flavorful and the bread was delicious.  We even had enough for Sunday’s dinner and just reheated it on the grill.  So, just add a green salad and you have a complete dinner.

Cheesy Garlic Bread


1 large loaf Ciabatta bread
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup room temperature butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. Using a serrated knife cut your bread into thick slices leaving about ½- inch at the bottom uncut. Be careful not to cut the bread all the way through, as you need the bread to hold together to contain all the filling.

In a medium bowl combine the remaining ingredients with a fork. Stuff the filling into the crevices of the bread evenly. You might think you have too much filing, you don’t. Use it all. 

Wrap the bread tightly in aluminum foil, place the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover the bread and bake for an additional 5 minutes to crisp up the outside of the bread. Serve warm.

Chicken Taco Pasta


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 envelope  taco seasoning
2 cups diced onion (about 1 whole onion)
2 cups diced red and green bell peppers (2-3 bell peppers)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream
1 (10-oz) can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
8 oz (about 3 cups) penne pasta
½ teaspoon salt

Fresh Cilantro

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Season with half of taco seasoning. In a 12-inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat. When the oil is very hot, carefully add the chicken in a single layer and cook without stirring until one side is seared and browned, about 1-2 minutes. Flip the chicken to the other side and cook until browned. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet with the heat still on high. When the oil is very hot again, add the onions, bell peppers, and remaining taco seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are slightly blackened. Turn heat to low, add minced garlic, and stir until fragrant and well combined, about 30 seconds. Remove the veggies to the plate with the chicken.

In the same skillet, add the broth, cream, diced tomatoes, uncooked pasta, and salt. Stir to combine and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 15 minutes until pasta is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed. Add the chicken and veggies back into the skillet and stir to combine until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve with buttery garlic bread and enjoy!

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