Weeknight Chicken and Veggie Pasta

Chicken and veggie pasta

The best part of cooking is ad-libbing as I create new-to-me recipes (which is why I’ll never be a real baker), and I believe pasta to be the easiest and most delicious dish to improvise in the kitchen. Of course I love making my tried and true bolognese, but when I want to eat a red sauce meal that’s super quick and tasty, I’m going for this weeknight chicken and veggie pasta! Sometimes coming home after a long work day and immediately making dinner can be rough, so my chicken and veggie pasta has all the components of a fairly healthy 30 minute meal (so long as your veggies are easily prepped). The dish’s superstar ingredient is a Costco rotisserie chicken, which, when picked up right before the end of work, is still warm and juicy and flavors all of its costar elements. Buying a pre-made chicken cuts down on cooking time and adds another yummy taste to the barrage of veggies per chef’s choice. I picked my favorites: broccoli, bell pepper, and zucchini, but the pasta would also be delicious with mushrooms, brine-y Kalamata olives (that would be more of a puttanesca), or even artichokes from the can. All that’s left is picking good quality crushed tomatoes for the sauce and boiling whatever noodles you see best! I went with rotini because I had leftovers in my pantry, but bucatini or orecchiette would be great too!

Ingredients:

  • One bell pepper
  • One zucchini
  • One bag or one full head of broccoli
  • 1/2 onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • Rotisserie chicken
  • One 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • One 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • One box pasta of choice (I used multicolor rotini)
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes to taste

Instructions:

  1. Dice onion into small chunks
  2. Slice bell pepper in strips and cut into 1 inch pieces
  3. Thinly slice and quarter zucchini
  4. Cut broccoli into small pieces
  5. Cut rotisserie chicken (I used almost one full breast and one thigh) into bite sized pieces
  6. Mince garlic
  7. Boil pasta as directed on the box
  8. Cook broccoli, bell pepper, and zucchini in oil of choice until slightly softened
  9. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  10. Once veggies are cooked, add onion and cook until translucent
  11. Mix well
  12. Add garlic to chicken and veggie mixture
  13. Pour in cans of crushed and diced tomatoes
  14. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes
  15. When pasta is barely al dente, add to sauce with one cup of pasta water to thin the mixture
  16. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and extra oregano before serving!
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