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This Healthy Chicken Broccoli Pasta Recipe Is Easy and Cheesy

For some reason, the prevailing notion is that healthy foods cannot be flavorful, and flavorful foods cannot be healthy. Fortunately, this is simply not the case with this cheesy pasta with chicken and broccoli recipe. While many dietary fads are advising people to shirk foods that contain carbohydrates, these diets are simply not sustainable. In fact, most dietitians recommend a meal that has protein, carbohydrates, and fats in a ratio of 3:1:1 or even 4:1:1 within two hours of exercising to maximize the effects of the workout. Achieving this ratio is not a difficult or painstaking task, and this particular recipe just happens to fall into this ratio. By making this chicken broccoli pasta recipe, it is easy to find that perfect balance of health and flavor.

Penne with Chicken, Broccoli and Tomato Basil Cheddar


No Need to Sacrifice Flavor for Health

Diets are all about sacrifice. In order to be healthy, they say, there is something that you must give up. Many of these diets preach some extreme sacrifice, which makes it very hard to continue with the diet until it is successful. The simplest way to live a healthy lifestyle is to be active and to make sensible, balanced, and consistent choices with regard to the food that is ingested.


A Healthy Ratio of Protein and Carbohydrates

After any sort of workout — strength training, endurance training, or some combination of both — it is necessary to “refuel” for the next workout while providing the body with proper nutrition for recovery. This will allow the body to continue to make gains, as the proper balance of nutrition allows muscles to repair and grow stronger, while also retaining muscle fuel for the next scheduled workout. Finding meals that are balanced according to the aforementioned 3:1:1 or 4:1:1 (the 4:1:1 ratio is generally preached for training that is endurance-heavy) will go a long way toward achieving a healthy lifestyle.


What You Will Need

This simple and easy recipe does not require many ingredients, nor does it require a great deal of preparation time. This is why it is an ideal meal for the time immediately following a workout, as it requires very little energy to deliver a delicious meal. The recipe calls for the following ingredients:

  • Penne Rigate pasta: 8 ounces
  • Broccoli florets: 2 cups
  • Olive oil: 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic, minced: 1 teaspoon
  • Salt: ½ teaspoon
  • Cooked chicken breast strips: 10 ounces (roughly 2 cups)
  • Sharp light cheddar: 4 ounces (roughly 1 cup)


Making the Recipe

Once you have all of the ingredients, you can begin the simple process of preparing this amazingly easy meal. Start by boiling a large pot of water, adding a bit of salt to the water as it boils. Add the penne pasta to the pot, cooking according the directions on the package. Once the pasta is about two minutes from being done, add the broccoli florets.

Once the pasta and broccoli have been cooked, remove ½ cup of the cooking water and place it aside. Then, go ahead and drain the pasta and broccoli in a colander. Bring the pot back to the heat, adding the olive oil and garlic. Stir the garlic and oil for about ten seconds, and then add the pasta, broccoli, cooking water and salt. Finally, take the pot from the heat and add the chicken and cheese, stirring until the cheese has melted.

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Michelle (aka Mhel / blankPixels) is a social media nerd and works as a Digital Marketing Lead for one of the top online companies in the Philippines. On her free time, she travels, goes on food trip and loves to take photos. She's the main editor of this food blog.