I hate to waste food.  Pasta is no exception.  I made this recipe on a whim with leftover chicken and cooked penne.   I keep jarred pesto on hand because of its convenience and delicious taste.  It’s made with olive oil and garlic, so you can’t go wrong here!  If you don’t have chicken, cooked turkey or white beans (Great Northern, Navy) would also work well in this recipe if you want a vegetarian option.  I prefer whole grain penne, ziti or spiral pasta to boost fiber content and color. If needed, you can also use gluten-free pasta made from corn, brown rice or quinoa.  Broccoli adds color, vitamin C, beta carotene and fiber to the dish.  Enjoy!


2 cups cooked chicken, cut into chunks

4 oz. jarred pesto

2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 clove garlic, minced

1 lb fresh or frozen broccoli

1 lb whole wheat pasta (penne or other tubed pasta)

½ cup Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to directions and set aside.
  2. Steam broccoli for 4 minutes in microwave and set aside.
  3. Sautee garlic in 1 tsp. olive oil.
  4. Add chicken, pesto and broccoli and remaining olive oil and simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Add pasta to chicken and pesto mixture and blend. Serve with 1 tsp. Parmesan cheese

Makes 8 servings.  Nutrition Facts per serving:  343 calories, 12.6 grams fat, 46.8 grams carbohydrate, 12.2 grams protein, 6.7 grams fiber, 8 mg cholesterol, 181 mg sodium.

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