When I post two one-pot meals in one week, it’s clear that I’m in that limbo stage between summer-grilling-every-darn-day and massive-amounts-of-holiday-cooking. School and kids’ activities are in full swing, and the thought of washing more than one pot sounds less than appealing. So, I dive into my arsenal of Ten 30-Minute Healthy Dinner Recipes (my saving grace) or pull out the one-pot recipes.
When I first started on my weight loss journey, I avoided pasta recipes like the plague, even ones that were made with whole wheat pasta because I inevitably ate too much to make the dinner “low calorie” or healthy. That is, until I learned a trick.
Pre-healthy eating, I would cook a pound of pasta (usually one box’s worth), then mix it with various meats, sauces and vegetables. However, the dishes were also so pasta-heavy that I felt bloated by the end of the meal. Unless I want a ton of leftovers for lunch, now I just use 8 ounces of the pasta and mix in a double dose of protein (chicken, beans, shrimp) and vegetables.
By the end of the meal, my family and I are completely satisfied and have managed to eat a larger dose of healthy protein and vegetables, something that we can easily fall short on if we’re not careful. I love my pasta, but have learned to eat it in moderation.
In this recipe, I used whole wheat penne (DeLallo is my favorite), but any short pasta shape will do. Really, even spaghetti will work. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time (see the Note in the recipe below).
Sauté the chicken and peppers, then cook the pasta in the same skillet or saucepan with the chicken broth and diced tomatoes. All that’s left to do is to stir in the spinach and sprinkle with feta cheese. Easy, right?
Other healthy one-pot dinner recipes:
Cookin’ Canuck’s One-Pot Cumin & Smoked Paprika Chicken with Potatoes
Cookin’ Canuck’s One-Pot Chicken Sausage & Bean Ragout
Center Cut Cook’s One-Pot Lentil Pumpkin Stew
Yankee Kitchen Ninja’s Healthy One Pot Asian Pasta
Peas & Crayons’ One-Pot Spiralized Zucchini Noodle Soup
- 4 tsp olive oil, divided
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into ¾-inch pieces
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- 1 orange (or red or yellow) bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ¾ tsp dried oregano
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
- 2¼ cups fat-free chicken broth (see note)
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 8 oz. whole wheat penne pasta, such as DeLallo
- 2 cups (lightly packed) spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
- 3 tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ cup (1 ½ oz.) crumbled feta cheese
- Salt to taste
- In a large nonstick saucepan (or nonstick skillet with high sides) set over medium-high heat, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the saucepan. Add the orange pepper and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to the bowl with the chicken. Set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the saucepan. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano, and cook for 30 seconds.
- Pour in the diced tomatoes, chicken broth and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil, then stir in the pasta, stirring to coat and submerge the pasta.
- Cover and simmer until the pasta is al dente (see note).
- Stir in the chicken, bell pepper, spinach and parsley, and stir to wilt the spinach. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the feta cheese. Taste and add salt, if desired. Serve.
Weight Watchers Points: 7 (Points+), 5 (Old Points)
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