Thursday, 24 April 2014

Easy Chicken Rotini

Sometimes the weeknights can become a hectic scramble for us, between ball practices, Sean’s hockey practices and over-time at work it can be tough to find time to make a complete dinner when I’d really rather sit down on the couch to watch the newest episode of Chopped. On those evenings the desire to pick something up on the drive home or order a nice, cheesy pizza can be overwhelming and I really have to ask myself – Do you want to put that into your body? Usually the answer is no, I do not. But then I’m still stuck trying to find a healthy dinner that doesn’t take too much effort.

As I was perusing Damn Delicious I came across a one-skillet pasta dish that looked interesting. I based my ideas for this dish off of that, but I wasn’t confident in one-skillet so I cooked my pasta separately, I also threw in some more veggies to make it a well-balanced meal and voila. A delicious, healthy dinner in about 30 minutes. Yes! And I felt good about it after too, not only was it cheesy and delicious; it was guilt free.

Easy Chicken Parmesan Rotini

A luscious tomato sauce full of juicy veggies, chicken and creamy, cheesy goodness. Why reach for the take-out menu when this comes together in just over 30 minutes?

Prep Time: 10 minutes // Cook time: 25 minutes //Total: 35 minutes // Yields: 5 servings

1.       1 package multigrain rotini
2.       1 TBSP grape seed oil (or oil of choice)
3.       1 lb extra-lean ground chicken or turkey
4.       1 red pepper, diced
5.       1 small yellow onion, diced
6.       6 cloves garlic, minced
7.       1 c. Chopped spinach
8.       1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, + 1/4 can of water
9.       2 TBSP dried oregano
10.   2 TBSP dried basil
11.   1 TBSP roasted garlic flakes
12.   Pepper to taste
13.   1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1.       Cook pasta according to directions on package
2.       While pasta is going, heat oil in a large skillet over medium – high heat, add garlic and onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.
3.       Add chicken, and cook another few minutes until chicken is browned and broken into smaller pieces; then add red pepper and remaining spices. Once the chicken is fully cooked through, reduce the heat to low-medium and add the crushed tomatoes, water and spinach; stir together and let simmer.
4.       As soon as the pasta is done to your liking, drain and return to the pot. Add the sauce to the pasta and stir in the grated parmesan. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes on low heat for the flavours to meld.
5.       Top with more grated parmesan and garlic toast on the side.

*Note – As this is a pasta dish you can feel free to add any veggies or use any meat you like, I chose chicken because it’s lighter than beef or pork. This would be great if you topped it with mozzarella and baked it, covered with aluminum foil, in the oven for 15 minutes but unfortunately for me Sean does not like melted cheese. L


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