Crispy Italian Chicken with Spinach and Tortellini

Chris has declared it “no carb” week which means he doesn’t eat carbs at dinner and I eat his serving 🙂 I knew I needed to make something filling, full of flavor, and with ingredients we had on hand so this bad boy is what we ended up with. SO stoked. So good, in fact, that we’re having it for dinner tonight instead of going out to eat for our date this evening. Elizabeth for the win. I had mine (top picture) with some cheese tortellini while Chris went with a healthier version and ate it on a bed of spinach leaves. That man has more self control than I’ll ever possess.

Ingredients

Chicken
4 chicken breasts, cut in half through the middle to make thin, wide pieces
1/2 c Italian dressing
3 T lemon juice
Seasoned bread crumbs
4 T canola oil
4 T butter
1 egg
1 c milk
Egg wash seasoning- 1 t each salt, pepper, paprika, parsley, garlic powder
1 pkg tortellini or ravioli or 1 lb boxed pasta like penne
1 c Italian cheese blend

Sauce
28 oz tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
2 T butter
1T basil, parsley
1 t salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder
 1/2 white onion, chopped
1 T garlic
3/4 c half and half

Method
1. In a saucepan melt butter then add onions and garlic. Stir until soft, 5 min. Add seasonings, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Stir well and cook on low (not allowing it to bubble) for 15 minutes. Stir in half and half until well mixed and allow to cook on low for several hours.

 or

2. Save time and buy jarred sauce 🙂

3. While sauce is simmering (if you make it from scratch) allow chicken breasts to marinate in Italian dressing and lemon juice, preferably for several hours or 30 min if you need to quicken the process.

4. Prepare chicken by shaking off excess marinade.  Whisk together egg and milk and egg wash seasonings in one bowl and pour breadcrumbs in another. Place chicken first in egg mix then coat with breadcrumbs. Melt butter and oil in a large pan until hot and cook chicken until done-about 4 min each side. I finished mine in the oven at 400 after letting both sides crisp up while frying.

5. Boil pasta. Assemble a layer of noodles, spinach, chicken, sauce and top with Italian cheese. Don’t think about the calories. (To make a healthier version you can spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray and bake the chicken at 350 until done and serve with sauce on a bed of spinach.)

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