Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
10 Jan 2022
11:05 am

Recipe of the day: Healthy chicken pasta recipe to kick off the week

Citizen Reporter

This quick and easy healthy chicken pasta recipe packs a delicious flavour punch and is also ideal for your family's lunchboxes the next day.

Picture: iStock

If you love pasta, but are trying to cut down on your calorie intake, you will love this healthy chicken pasta recipe.

It still packs a delicious flavour punch, it’s just a little more guilt-free than your normal creamy chicken pasta recipe.

This quick and easy healthy chicken pasta recipe is also great for lunch. Make a double portion and pack the family’s lunchboxes for the following day using the leftovers.


  • 1–2 chicken breasts, boneless, skin removed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for rubbing
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 300g tomato passata (tinned tomatoes)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 200g whole wheat penne pasta
  • 200g broccoli, sliced into bite-sized chunks
  • 125g baby spinach, washed (optional)
  • ½ bunch fresh basil leaves (optional)
  • 1–2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan (optional)

ALSO SEE: Five pasta recipes that can be prepared in under 25 minutes


  1. Carefully slice the chicken breast almost in half horizontally, not quite cutting through to the other edge. Keep that edge intact and open up the breast like you are opening up a book. This will make the meat a uniform thickness to ensure quick and even cooking.
  2. Heat a large saucepan over a medium–low heat. Add the olive oil to the pan. Once warm, add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the tomato purée and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the passata (canned tomatoes) to the pan, season with pepper, stir to mix well and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Leave to simmer gently while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions. Add the broccoli 3 minutes before the end of cooking. Drain thoroughly.
  4. Meanwhile heat a griddle pan over a high heat until smoking. Rub the chicken with a little oil and season with a tiny bit of salt and pepper then griddle for 3–5 minutes on each side. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes before slicing into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the pan with the tomato sauce (if the sauce has thickened too much while simmering then add a little hot water from the pasta). Stir to mix well and then add the griddled chicken, spinach and basil leaves (if using). Season again with plenty of black pepper and allow the spinach and basil to wilt. Sprinkle with Parmesan, if using, and serve.

This recipe was found on BBC Food.