We ate a lot of chicken, broccoli, ziti when I was a kid. I love the stuff. But it’s usually coated in a super heavy alfredo sauce or butter/oil combination. Not super healthy.
I’ve been making my own healthy version for years, not really thinking anything of it. When I suggested making it for work lunches this week John was immediately on board. (Sidenote: He, however, despite being 100% Jersey Italian, did not eat a lot of CBZ as a kid, weird.) I whipped this up and he loved it. I never thought the recipe was that big of a deal. I guess I was wrong. So here it is for you!
Domestocrat’s Guilt Free Chicken, Broccoli, Ziti
(Yields 8 lunch portions, nutritional info below!)
3 lbs. chicken breast, cubed
1 onion, chopped fine
1 shallot, chopped fine
2 tbsp. EVOO
4 cups broccoli, washed and trimmed
1 box of ziti/rigatoni
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
For the sauce:
3 cups fat free greek yogurt
1 cup light sour cream
3 oz. crumbled feta
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
Salt & pepper to taste
Dash of milk (optional)
Start with the items that will take the longest to cook: the onions/shallots and the chicken. In one pot combine 1/2 tbsp. EVOO, onion, and shallots. Cook down until they are translucent, not caramelized (about 20-25 minutes). In another pot combine the rest of the EVOO and the cubed chicken. Sauté until chicken is fully cooked but not dried out (20-25 minutes).
While that is cooking, make the sauce. Combine the greek yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, bread crumbs, parsley, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. If it gets too thick, add a dash of milk.
When the onions and chicken have about 10 minutes left, start on the ziti and broccoli. Boil a big pot of water for both.
Wow, this dish required the most space I’ve ever used in the kitchen at one time.
When the water is boiling, toss in the pasta. You want it a little underdone because it’s going to keep cooking in the oven. When it’s 1-2 minutes from being done, add the broccoli. After 1-2 minutes, remove from the heat and strain.
In a very big bowl (I used my chicken pot/Le Creuset) combine the chicken, onions, and sauce. When the pasta and broccoli have drained, add them too.
Mix together thoroughly. This requires some elbow grease!
Divide the mixture into whatever you have for casserole dishes, sprinkle a little more parmesan cheese over the top, and bake on 350 for about 10 minutes or until the top is crispy and brown.
Wahoo, it’s done!
It’s so good. I promise you will not miss the heavy cream sauce or butter. My version is definitely decadence without the guilt; creamy, fresh, and full of flavor. Oh, it also kept me full all afternoon at work (check out the protein count below, no wonder!).
Yay work lunches!
Nutritional Information (calculated using the Lose ItiPhone app):
52.3g protein (holy protein!!)