CREAMY CHICKEN WITH PASTA AND BROCCOLI

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch strips
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper divided
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional; or reduce to 1/8 teaspoon if sensitive to spice
  • 1 14-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk plus additional as needed
  • 6 ounces dry whole wheat ziti pasta or similar pasta such as penne, rigatoni, or fusilli (about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 1 medium head broccoli cut into florets (about 3 cups)
  • 1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts in water drained, cut into quarters, and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice for even more lemon flavor, add the zest also
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley plus additional for serving

Instructions

  • Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium high. Once the butter is melted, add the chicken and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper. Saute until the chicken is golden on the outside and completely cooked through, about 5 minutes. With a large spoon, remove the chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm. Set aside.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the onion. Cook until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Do not let the onion brown (adjust the heat as needed if it starts to brown). Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Slowly stir in the broth and milk. Bring to a boil, then add the ziti. Let the ziti boil for 5 minutes, then stir in the broccoli florets. Continue boiling until the ziti is al dente, about 5 to 7 minutes more. Stir often to make sure the ziti cooks evenly. If at any point the pasta looks too dry, splash in additional milk as needed.
  • Stir in the artichoke hearts, lemon juice, Parmesan, parsley, and reserved chicken. Taste and adjust seasoning as you like. Enjoy hot, with a sprinkle of extra Parmesan and parsley as desired.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Store leftover ziti in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently reheat the ziti in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat, adding additional broth as needed. You can also rewarm the pasta in the microwave until hot.
  • TO FREEZE: Place leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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