Weight Watchers Recipe of the Day: Skinny Broccoli & Chicken Pasta
Pasta, and chicken in a simple olive oil, garlic and broccoli sauce.
This is one of my favorite quick and easy pasta recipes.
The Skinny on Pasta with Chicken & Broccoli
I’ve been making it for years, ever since a work friend shared it with me over lunch one day decades ago.
I used to make it with penne or rigatoni, but now I use whatever short-cut gluten-free pasta I happen to have in the pantry. Last night it was rotini.
I like to cook the broccoli along with the pasta, so it falls apart upon stirring and becomes a course puree. It’s delicious with or without the chicken, so leave it out if you like.
I’ve made it lighter and healthier through the years too – by using less olive oil and more chicken broth, white wine and some of the reserved pasta water.
Be sure to use good cheese in this simple recipe – not the cheap stuff; it’s just not the same. Either Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano work well.
You can also add some crushed red pepper flakes for a little heat if you like.
I like to serve it with a simple mixed green salad.
According to my calculations, each serving has about 360 calories, *9 Weight Watchers PointsPlus, *8 WW Freestyle SmartPoints.
In this short video, Laura Vitale shows how she makes light & healthy pasta with broccoli:
- 6 ounces penne or rotini pasta (about 3 cups)
- 4-1/2 cups broccoli florets (about 12 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
- 12 ounces chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When water boils, add a generous handful of salt, add pasta and broccoli and cook according to pasta instructions for al dente. When pasta is almost done cooking, reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta and broccoli.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chicken and cook, stirring occasionally until the chicken is browned, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the chicken broth and wine, if using, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Add the pasta and broccoli to the skillet, along with the grated cheese, salt and pepper and mix well.
If the mixture seems dry, add the reserved pasta water, a little at a time, using only as much as needed.
Serve immediately pasta bowls with additional grated cheese and red pepper flakes on the side
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: *9
Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints: *8
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
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