Filled with chicken, zucchini, tomatoes, and herbs, this 30-minute chicken and vegetable pasta is a simple, quick, and easy meal the whole family will enjoy. Plus, it makes great leftovers too!
If you’re looking for a simple summer dinner idea, look no further than this pasta recipe. Essentially a lightened version of a pasta primavera, this chicken and veggie pasta is a simple meal that is full of fiber and protein.
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And, the best part is, it’s super versatile. Once you’ve got the basics down you can swap the type of pasta and vegetables for any you like and still easily create a nutritious and delicious meal. This chicken and vegetable pasta is one of those go-to recipes that you can easily adapt and mix and match to get dinner on the table in a pinch.
Ingredients for Chicken and Vegetable Pasta
You’ll need the following ingredients you’ll need to make this chicken and veggie pasta:
- Pasta: The recipe calls for penne pasta, but you can use any medium-cut pasta you like.
- Chicken Breasts: To add some protein to the pasta, chicken thighs will also work well.
- Zucchini: A mixture of yellow and green zucchini for color and fiber. If you’re not a fan of zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, or green peas would also work well.
- Cherry Tomatoes: To add a pop of flavor and some color, grape tomatoes also work well.
- Red Onion: To add a depth of flavor and additional color.
- Garlic: To add flavor and fragrance. Although fresh garlic works best, you can use a teaspoon of garlic powder if needed.
- Herbs: A mixture of dried parsley, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes to season the dish and add a tiny hint of spice.
- Parmesan Cheese: To add some healthy fats and flavor the pasta. Be sure to use freshly grated parmesan cheese, pre-grated parmesan cheese will not add the same flavor or texture.
In addition to the above, you’ll also need some olive oil, salt, and black pepper.
To Make it Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free penne pasta.
To Make it Dairy-Free: Omit the parmesan cheese.
How to Make Chicken and Vegetable Pasta
This chicken and veggie pasta is super easy to make and can be made in less than 30 minutes. Here’s what you’ll do:
- Cook the pasta. Begin by cooking the penne in a pot of well-salted water.
- Cook the chicken. Add the sliced chicken to a large pan and cook until lightly browned and season with herbs.
- Cook the vegetables. Sauté the red onion, zucchini, and garlic until tender, then add cherry tomatoes.
- Combine the chicken, vegetables, and pasta. Once the pasta is cooked, combine the cooked chicken, pasta, and vegetables in a pan.
- Add the cheese. Sprinkle the pasta mixture with the grated parmesan cheese and toss to coat.
- Serve and enjoy!
You can find the detailed ingredients list and instructions in the recipe card below.
Red’s Nutrition Tip
The recipe calls for regular pasta, made with semolina flour, in my recipes, however, you can certainly use whole wheat pasta if you prefer. Using whole wheat pasta is a simple way to add more fiber to any pasta recipe.
While pasta and chicken are not a traditional Italian combination, they are a tasty combination. Chicken is a good source of protein and pasta is a good source of complex carbohydrates, together they can create a healthy and balanced meal.
If adding vegetables to a pasta dish, it is best to cook them before. Vegetables can be grilled, sautéed, steamed, braised, or blanched before adding them to pasta.
Yes, however, boiling vegetables with your pasta won’t create a very nice texture or flavor. Pasta takes much longer to cook than most vegetables, therefore, by boiling them together you’d end up with mushy vegetables. Vegetables should be cooked separately from pasta or added in the final minutes of the pasta cooking process for a quick blanch.
Storage + Reheating
To Store: Allow the pasta to cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To Freeze: Once cooled, transfer the pasta to an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Allow the pasta to thaw completely before reheating. To reheat the pasta on the stovetop, place the pasta in a pan on medium heat with 1-2 tablespoons of water, stirring gently, until the water has been absorbed and the pasta is warmed through. To reheat the pasta in the microwave, place the pasta in a microwave-safe container with 1-2 tablespoons of water and reheat for 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute or so, until the water has been absorbed and the pasta is warmed through.
More Chicken and Vegetable Pasta Recipes:Print
Chicken and Vegetable Pasta
This chicken and vegetable pasta is a quick and easy dinner idea that is perfect for busy weeknights. Plus, it keeps well in the fridge, so it makes great leftovers too.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- 10 ounces penne pasta
- 2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced into strips
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced into strips
- 1 green zucchini, trimmed, cut lengthwise, and sliced into half moons
- 1 yellow zucchini, trimmed, cut lengthwise, and sliced into half moons
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 4 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated, about 1 cup
- Black pepper
- In a small bowl, add the dried parsley, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes, stir to combine, and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil, add penne pasta, and cook to al dente or as per package directions. While the pasta is cooking, scoop out 1/2 cup of pasta water and set it aside. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water, and set it aside.
- Place the chicken on a cutting board, slice it into thin strips, and season generously with salt and pepper all over.
- In a large skillet or pan on medium-high heat, warm the olive oil, then add the chicken. While the chicken is cooking, sprinkle it with half of the herb mixture, stirring the chicken in the pan to coat it with the seasoning, and continue cooking it until lightly browned on both sides, for a total of 4-5 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and set it aside on a plate.
- In the same pan, add the garlic, red onion, and zucchini, and sauté for 2-3 minutes until veggies are slightly tender.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and remaining herb mixture to the pan and stir to coat the vegetables in the herbs. Allow the vegetables to cook for another 1-2 minutes until the tomatoes begin to break down a little.
- Once the vegetables are cooked, turn off the heat, return the chicken to the pan, then add the pasta to the pan, and give everything a cook stir until well combined. (If your pan is too small, transfer the chicken and vegetable mixture and pasta into the pot used to cook the pasta and finish the dish there instead.)
- Add the freshly grated parmesan cheese and stir to combine with the chicken, vegetables, and pasta, adding small splashes of warm pasta water (only as needed, you don’t need to use all of it) to help melt the cheese, create a smooth texture, and prevent things from sticking or clumping.
- Once complete, taste the pasta and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed, and serve immediately with some more freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 580 calories
- Sugar: 6 grams
- Fat: 18 grams
- Carbohydrates: 62 grams
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Protein: 41 grams
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