Instead of adding broccoli florets to the pasta, a double serving is incorporated into the creamy sauce. Heat the broccoli and sear the chicken while the pasta cooking water comes to a boil. The leaner dairy components create a creamy taste without all the added calories and fat or a typical broccoli and cheddar pasta dish.
8 ounces uncooked whole-grain penne pasta
2 cups frozen steam-in-bag broccoli florets
1 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
Heat broccoli according to package directions; cool slightly. Combine stock, milk, and flour in a bowl. Place broccoli and stock mixture in a blender; blend until smooth.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add broccoli mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in pasta, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir in cheese. Top with green onions.
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