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Creamy Chicken Cavatappi

Creamy Chicken Cavatappi with Summer Squash and Tomatoes

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Recipe Details


Chef Shanna would like to introduce you to the easiest chicken-and-pasta dinner to add a special touch to any weeknight. A creamy sauce of mascarpone, Parmesan, white wine, and a little lemon juice is tossed with ground chicken, spinach, tomatoes, and sautéed summer squash. Corkscrew-shaped cavatappi noodles are not only fun to eat—they also hold onto the delectable sauce so not a drop goes to waste. This got a thumbs-up around our table, and we have a hunch it'll be a hit at yours, too.


  • Stovetop Only
  • Quick Cook

Quick facts

Serving size
Prep & cook time
Cooking Skill
By Chef Shanna

By Chef Shanna

Nutritional info

  • Calories 910
  • Protein 50g
  • Total Carb 80g
  • Total Fat 41g

Given the cook-at-home nature of Plated and natural variation in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details.

Ingredients & Equipment

What we send

  • lemon
  • basil
    1/8 ounce
  • summer squash
    8 ounces
    summer squash
  • garlic
    2 cloves
  • red onion
    red onion
  • ground chicken
    12 ounces
    ground chicken
  • white wine
    1/4 cup
    white wine
  • cavatappi
    6 ounces
  • grape tomatoes
    1/4 pint
    grape tomatoes
  • mascarpone cheese
    4 ounces
    mascarpone cheese
  • grated Parmesan cheese
    1 ounce
    grated Parmesan cheese
  • baby spinach
    2 ounces
    baby spinach

What You’ll Need

  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 10" large pot
  • 12" large pan

Cooking Steps

  1. Prepare ingredients

    Prepare ingredients

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. If you have a zester and want to infuse your pasta with even more lemon flavor, rinse lemon and zest up to ½, then halve. Rinse remaining produce. Roughly tear basil leaves, discarding stems. Quarter summer squash lengthwise, then cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces, discarding ends. Using the flat side of a knife, gently crush garlic cloves. Peel onion, halve, and thinly slice.

  2. Brown chicken

    Brown chicken

    Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add chicken and season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Cook, breaking up, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add white wine and cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, until liquid is mostly reduced, 1-2 minutes more. Remove pan from heat. Transfer chicken to a bowl and set aside for Step 5; wipe pan clean for Step 4.

  3. Cook cavatappi

    Cook cavatappi

    While chicken browns, season boiling water generously with salt. Stir in cavatappi and cook for 3 minutes. Then, add whole grape tomatoes and continue cooking until cavatappi is al dente and tomatoes soften and begin to burst, 4-5 minutes more. Reserve ¼ cup pasta cooking water for Step 5, then drain cavatappi and tomatoes and return to pot, off heat.

  4. Sauté summer squash

    Sauté summer squash

    Return pan from chicken to medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. When oil is shimmering, add summer squash, crushed garlic, and onion. Sauté, stirring, until softened and lightly browned, 4-5 minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Remove pan from heat. Remove and discard crushed garlic (it seasons the vegetables during cooking, but won't be pleasant to bite into).

  5. Finish cavatappi

    Finish cavatappi

    To pot with cavatappi and tomatoes, still off heat, add half of mascarpone, half of Parmesan, and juice of ½ lemon. Stir to combine (this is another great task for your dinner date). Add spinach, browned chicken, sautéed summer squash, and half of basil. Adding 1 tablespoon at a time, stir in reserved pasta cooking water until sauce is silky and clings to noodles.

  6. Plate chicken cavatappi

    Plate chicken cavatappi

    Taste creamy chicken cavatappi and add salt and pepper as desired, then divide between serving bowls. Garnish with remaining basil and remaining Parmesan. Dig in!

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