Healthy Dinners: Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli and Sun Dried Tomatoes

So after all the dramz on Saturday, I still had to prep for my long run on Saturday (more on that in my next post). I had made an executive decision a while back to carbo load on Saturday nights. I had this recipe bookmarked for a while, but it kept on getting pushed back. As I’ve said before, I’m a sucker for a hot-dish–what constitutes at hot dish anyway? I tried to make it healthier by nixing the breadcrumbs, used whole wheat flour instead of white flour,  used whipping cream instead of heavy cream, more broccoli and whole wheat pasta.  thought it turned out well, and it holds up well for leftovers, which is always a bonus. Doug was also excited for all the leftovers because according to him “it was good for eating my feelings”

Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli and Sun Dried Tomatoes: 
Serves 4 with some leftovers

2 bunches broccoli with the stalks cut off and florets trimmed into 1-inch pieces
12 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
2 TBL olive oil
2 TBL minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup whole wheat flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup cream
1 tsp salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or about 1 1/2lbs), trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
3 ounces smoked mozzarella, shredded
8 ounce jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped into pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and make sure the oven rack is placed in the middle of the oven. In a large pot, bring the water and salt for the pasta to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the broccoli. The broccoli cooks quickly so stay close! Cook the broccoli for 1 minute, until it is bright green. Quickly remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon to a plate. Return the water to a boil and add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 1-2 minutes less than how you would eat it normally (it will cook a bit more in the oven while baking). Drain the pasta in a colander and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Leave it in the colander and set it aside.

2. Cook chicken. You don’t need to do anything fancy, just cooking in a skillet on the stove it fine. Once chicken in cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Wipe the pot you cooked in the pasta in dry. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and return to medium heat. Stir in the garlic and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the flour, and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the broth and cream; bring to a simmer, whisking often. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and smoked mozzarella.

4. Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the sauce; stir to combine. Transfer the pasta mixture to a 9x 13 baking dish. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbling. Serve immediately.

Pre Baked Casserole/Hotdish/ Yummy Goodness

Finished Product, Looks so good!

One thought on “Healthy Dinners: Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli and Sun Dried Tomatoes

  1. Pingback: Healthy Dinners: Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos | runofteneatwell

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