High-protein spaghetti with chicken and broccoli

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This simple dinner recipe features spaghetti coated in a thick, creamy pasta sauce. The secret ingredient in this recipe is cottage cheese, which integrates well into the sauce and adds protein to the chicken. If you wish to make this recipe vegetarian, swap the chicken for white beans or chickpeas.




Ingredients

8 ounces of whole wheat spaghetti.

3/4 cup low-sodium marinara sauce

1/2 cup of reduced-fat cottage cheese.

1/4 cup chopped, drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

High-protein spaghetti with chicken and broccoli
High-protein spaghetti with chicken and broccoli

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, plus extra to garnish.

3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese.

2 tablespoons salt-free tomato paste

1 garlic clove, grated

2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning, divided

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided.

3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, divided.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

One small yellow onion, cut (approximately 1 1/2 cups)

3 cups bite-sized broccoli florets.

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper.

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.

3 cups of shredded cooked chicken breast.



High-protein spaghetti with chicken and broccoli
High-protein spaghetti with chicken and broccoli

chicken

Directions

Step 1

Bring a big saucepan of water to a boil on high heat. Cook spaghetti according to the package directions. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water.

Step 2

In a blender, add marinara, cottage cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, Parmesan, tomato paste, garlic, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Blend until mostly smooth, about 30 seconds. Add 3/4 cup of the reserved boiling water and process until very smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes, adding the remaining 1/4 cup of cooking water as needed to achieve the desired consistency.



Step 3
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 8 minutes. Mix in the broccoli, tomatoes, pepper, and the remaining 1 teaspoon Italian spice, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes begin to break down and the broccoli is tender-crisp, about 5 to 6 minutes. Cook for about 15 seconds, stirring regularly, until the balsamic vinegar is almost completely evaporated.




Step 4
Stir in the chicken, drained spaghetti, and marinara mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until thoroughly heated, about 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with basil leaves if desired.

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