• Brianna Rhodes, RD

Chicken & Broccoli Baked Penne

This is a tasty pasta dish your family will be sure to enjoy. Don’t be intimidated by the number of steps involved in preparing this dish. All the steps are quite easy, and once again, much of the prep can be done ahead of time.

This is on the higher end of calories for a meal, because it is a pasta dish. However I significantly reduced the calories by altering a few ingredients from the original recipe.

The original recipe called for heavy whipping cream. I replaced this with 2% milk, and it still tasted great! It was plenty creamy enough, but didn’t have that heavy feeling that comes with a particularly high fat meal.

I also cut the olive oil and butter in half, and reduced the total amount of cheese. Once again, minor alterations with imperceptible change to the overall flavor. The total calorie savings, though is significant!

Original recipe: 581 calories per serving

My version: 450 calories per serving

That meant there was plenty of room for a small side of garlic toast and ranch for the veggies.

Meal:

  • Chicken & Broccoli Baked Penne (1 serving)

  • Sourdough Garlic Toast (3 triangles)

  • Sugar Snap Peas (2/3 cup)

  • Baby Carrots (1/2 cup)

  • Ranch Dressing (1 Tbsp)

Recipe Used in this meal:

Chicken & Broccoli Baked Penne

Serving size: 1 ½ cups

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup panko bread crumbs

  • 1 Tbsp. butter

  • 2 cups broccoli (chopped)

  • 16 oz penne pasta

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 cup onion (minced)

  • 4-6 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 1 tsp Thyme

  • ¼ cup flour

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 1 cup 2% milk

  • Salt/pepper to taste

  • 4 chicken breasts (cubed)

  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese

  • 8 oz jar of sundried tomatoes (chopped)

  • 1 ½ Tbsp Parmesan Cheese

Directions

1. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs and butter. Set aside.

2. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.

3. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

4. In a large pot, bring water to a boil.

5. Cook broccoli by putting it in boiling water, cook for one minute, then remove with slotted spoon. Broccoli should be bright green.

6. Return water to a boil and add pasta. Cook till al-dente (1-2 minutes less than normal)

7. Drain pasta and toss with olive oil in colander. Set aside.

8. Dry the pot, then grease with cooking spray. Cook onion till beginning to brown (about 5 minutes)

9. Add the garlic and thyme, and cook until fragrant (30 seconds), stirring constantly.

10. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown (1 minute)

11. Slowly whisk in broth and milk. Bring to simmer whisking often.

12. Add the chicken (diced) and cook stirring occasionally until cooked through (6-7 minutes)

13. Stir in sundried tomatoes and mozzarella. Stir to combine.

14. Add pasta and broccoli to chicken/sauce mixture. Stir to combine.

15. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish, and sprinkle with bread crumb topping. Sprinkle with parmesan.

16. Bake until bubbling and the crumbs are lightly browned (15 minutes)

Nutrition Facts Label for Entire Meal:

Nutrition Facts Label for Chicken & Broccoli Baked Penne:

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RD and Me

Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

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