When the summertime heat hits, there’s nothing quite like a fast, flavorful dinner to brighten the day. Recently, this Low Calorie Chicken and Feta Pasta salad from the Low-Calorie plan did exactly that for my family.
While my husband manned the grilled, I got to work on the rest of the meal: rinsing the baby arugula, chopping some basil, squeezing some lemon juice. Even without a helper, this would be an easy meal to pull together while solo in the kitchen. Though we’re not normally big on whole-grain pastas, it worked in this dish, where the nutty flavor and firmer texture of the penne added a nice counterbalance to the light lemon sauce. To my surprise, the baby arugula stole the show, tipping my family’s taste buds to a whole new level. How about that for a surprise! And at 410 calories per serving, it was pretty guilt-free too.
We spent the rest of the meal chatting about what else we could add to this when we make it again (grilled mushrooms, grape tomatoes, and baby spinach were just some of our thoughts). When your family’s already planning the next time they’ll eat something before you’ve even loaded the dishwasher, that’s when you know it was a hit.
For more healthy, family-friendly meals, check out the Low-Calorie plan!
- 12 oz uncooked whole-grain penne pasta
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
- 3 cups baby arugula
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh basil
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving ½ cup pasta water.
- Place chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag, and pound to ½-inch thickness. Sprinkle chicken with garlic powder, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper.
- Cook chicken in 1 tablespoon hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 4 minutes per side or until done. Thinly slice chicken.
- Toss together pasta, reserved pasta water, chicken, arugula, cheese, basil, lemon juice and remaining oil in a large bowl. Divide into 6 servings