Heart-healthy Tomato Chicken Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Spinach
January 5, 2021
October 3, 2019
Tired of the same old pasta sauce over spaghetti? Change it up with chicken, fresh tomatoes, spinach and basil, for an easy mid-week meal your family (and their hearts) will love.
Tomatoes are a major source of the antioxidant lycopene, which is linked to many health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease. Spinach is also heart-healthy. This super food helps provide protection against high blood pressure. Use whole grain spaghetti for even more goodness. You absolutely can't go wrong when you serve up this new twist on a classic dish.
Preparation time: 20-30 minutes
- 8 oz. whole grain spaghetti
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 medium to large Roma tomatoes, diced
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 10 oz. fresh spinach
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese, optional
Begin by making the spaghetti according to package directions. While the spaghetti cooks, prepare the remaining ingredients:
- Heat large skillet to medium high. Add olive oil, red pepper flakes and chicken.
- Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper and oregano. (If using dried basil, add it now.) Sauté mixture for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in garlic and tomatoes and sauté another minute.
- Add spinach and gently fold into mixture. It may seem like a lot of spinach, but it wilts quickly and reduces in size quite a bit. Keep folding until just wilted.
- Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
- Pour mixture over drained spaghetti. Top with parmesan cheese.
- Drizzle with a little olive oil, if desired, and serve.
Note: Toss in ½ cup chopped black olives, two tablespoons capers and several chopped anchovies for Chicken Puttanesca!
Makes four, two-cup servings.
Per serving: 433.7 calories; 12.9g total fat (2.8g saturated, 0.7g polyunsaturated, 5.4g monounsaturated); 786.7mg sodium; 73.6mg cholesterol; 54.4g carbohydrate; 8.6g fiber; 8.5g sugars; 34.0g protein; 410.5mg potassium.