Creamy Chicken Pasta Recipe (Dairy Free)

Creamy Chicken Pasta (Dairy-Free). It’s a special pasta with tasty chicken, mixed with Korean flavors like gochujang, gochugaru, and garlic. And guess what? It’s creamy but doesn’t have any dairy! Imagine the yummy combination of Asian and pasta flavors in every bite.

Going Dairy Free (For Now)

2024 started pretty rough. On New Year’s Eve, after an incredible take-out meal from a locally-owned restaurant, I found myself extremely sick with intense stomach pain and other unfortunate gastrointestinal symptoms. What followed were weeks of more gastrointestinal distress and allergic reactions— don’t worry, I’ll spare you the nitty-gritty details.

Although I’m still in the process of figuring out why I experienced these symptoms, the common recommendation I’ve received from my doctors is to exclude dairy from my diet until I’m able to get an allergy test. 

Although I’m a little bummed that I can’t enjoy a good cheese plate for at least another few weeks, I’ve been able to cut dairy out of my diet without much difficulty. These days, with so many vegan and dairy-free alternatives available on the market, I found dairy-free cream cheese and butter with ease. That being said, I do get pasta hankering from time to time, and my favorite pasta dishes typically contain tons of cheese. I did some experimenting and configured this incredible dairy-free alternative that scratches that cheesy, pasta itch for me.

One-Pot Pasta

I’ve tried a handful of one-pot pasta recipes before, and honestly, I’ve never been impressed. As much as I love the idea of dirtying fewer dishes, I’m not fond of the texture or mouthfeel of one-pot pasta. If you feel the same way, don’t give up hope because I think I may have found an excellent alternative! 

For this recipe, I substituted cream with a dairy-free alternative made from a blend of tofu, oat milk, and garlic. Obviously, as a standalone, this cream alternative isn’t quite as thick as a dairy-based cream. Cooking it with the pasta, though, thickens it up nicely, resulting in a beautiful sauce that coats each pasta noodle. I think using a dairy-based cream in this recipe would result in an overwhelmingly thick texture.

The Wasian Cookery Take

For this recipe, I feature some of my favorite Korean ingredients in the chicken marinade. Marinade the chicken for a few hours before you incorporate it into this dish. The flavors meld with the cream and chicken stock to create a beautiful, spicy sauce that dances on your palette. This dish has quickly made it into our family’s weekly rotation of weeknight dinners. I hope you enjoy it, too!

How To Make Creamy Chicken Pasta (Dairy-Free)

Creamy Wasian Chicken Pasta Ingredients

Dairy-Free Cream:

  • 1/2- pound extra firm or firm tofu
  • 1-1/2 cups oat milk or any other non-dairy milk
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Chicken Marinade:

  • 1 pound chicken breasts sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Tbsp gochujang Korean chili paste
  • 1 Tbsp gochugaru Korean chili flakes
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp mirin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp salt

Pasta:

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil canola, avocado, or rapeseed work well
  • 4 green onions sliced
  • 1 pound marinated chicken ingredients above
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups dairy-free cream ingredients above
  • 1 pound penne pasta any shaped pasta will do
  • salt to taste

Creamy Wasian Chicken Pasta Instructions

Marinate the chicken:

  • Place chicken into a large bowl or gallon ziplock bag. Pour the remaining marinade ingredients over the chicken and mix well. Cover the bowl or seal the ziplock bag and refrigerate for at least an hour (4-6 hours ideal).

Make the dairy-free cream:

  • Place tofu, oat milk, garlic, and salt into a blender and blend on high for about 30 seconds. The recipe makes about 2 cups of dairy-free cream.

Make the pasta:

  • In a large pot, heat oil on high heat and add green onions. Stir for about one minute.
  • Add in the marinated chicken and stir for another 5 minutes. Chicken should be mostly cooked on the outside but will not be completely cooked on the inside.
  • Pour in chicken broth and dairy-free cream. Once the broth and cream reach a boil, add in the pasta and decrease the heat to medium-high. Stir well to ensure all pasta has been coated.
  • Cook pasta, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Begin testing for doneness around 15 minutes and add cooking time as needed. The dish is done as soon as pasta has been cooked to al dente. Add salt to taste.

FAQs

Can I use a different type of pasta for Creamy Wasian Chicken Pasta?

Certainly! Feel free to substitute with your favorite pasta, like linguine or spaghetti, to suit your taste preferences.

Is there a substitute for sesame oil in Creamy Chicken Pasta?

Yes, you can use vegetable oil as a substitute for sesame oil. However, keep in mind that sesame oil adds a distinctive nutty flavor.

Can I make Creamy Chicken Pasta vegetarian?

Absolutely! Skip the chicken and add more vegetables or tofu for a delicious vegetarian version of this Wasian fusion dish.

How can I adjust the spice level in Creamy Chicken Pasta?

To increase the spice, add red pepper flakes or Sriracha. For a milder flavor, reduce the amount of Sriracha or omit it according to your preferences.

Can I prepare Creamy Chicken Pasta in advance for meal prep?

Yes, you can. Keep in mind that pasta may absorb the sauce over time, so consider saving a bit of sauce to add just before serving for optimal flavor.

Creamy Wasian Chicken Pasta (Dairy Free)

Recipe by Wasian CookeryCourse: Main CourseCuisine: American, WasianDifficulty: Medium
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Calories

450

kcal
Total time

35

minutes

A one-pot, dairy-free, creamy pasta dish complete with chicken marinated in gochujang, gochugaru, and plenty of garlic!

Ingredients

  • Dairy-Free Cream:
  • 1/2- pound extra firm or firm tofu

  • 1-1/2 cups oat milk or any other non-dairy milk

  • 6 cloves of garlic

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • Chicken Marinade:
  • 1 pound chicken breasts sliced into bite-sized pieces

  • 2 Tbsp gochujang Korean chili paste

  • 1 Tbsp gochugaru Korean chili flakes

  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 Tbsp water

  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil

  • 1 Tbsp mirin

  • 2 tsp garlic powder

  • 2 tsp salt

  • Pasta:
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil canola, avocado, or rapeseed work well

  • 4 green onions sliced

  • 1 pound marinated chicken ingredients above

  • 2-1/2 cups chicken broth

  • 2 cups dairy-free cream ingredients above

  • 1 pound penne pasta any shaped pasta will do

  • salt to taste

Directions

  • Marinate the chicken:
  • Place chicken into a large bowl or gallon ziplock bag. Pour the remaining marinade ingredients over the chicken and mix well. Cover the bowl or seal the ziplock bag and refrigerate for at least an hour (4-6 hours ideal).
  • Make the dairy-free cream:
  • Place tofu, oat milk, garlic, and salt into a blender and blend on high for about 30 seconds. The recipe makes about 2 cups of dairy-free cream.
  • Make the pasta:
  • In a large pot, heat oil on high heat and add green onions. Stir for about one minute.
  • Add in the marinated chicken and stir for another 5 minutes. Chicken should be mostly cooked on the outside but will not be completely cooked on the inside.
  • Pour in chicken broth and dairy-free cream. Once the broth and cream reach a boil, add in the pasta and decrease the heat to medium-high. Stir well to ensure all pasta has been coated.
  • Cook pasta, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Begin testing for doneness around 15 minutes and add cooking time as needed. The dish is done as soon as pasta has been cooked to al dente. Add salt to taste.
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