Pasta with Chicken, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Feta Cheese

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This chicken pasta recipe is the perfect example of the balance you'll find on the Mediterranean diet. Whole grain pasta, plenty of veggies, a bit of cheese, and lean protein make this chicken and pasta recipe a flavorful, filling, and figure-friendly option.

Pasta with Chicken, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Feta Cheese
Photo: Kritsada Panichgul
Total Time:
35 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
2 cups each

Ingredients

  • 4 ounce dried whole grain or whole wheat penne pasta

  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • 1 ¼ pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

  • 3 tablespoon canola oil or olive oil

  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel

  • 2 tablespoon orange juice

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil or olive oil

  • 1 pound grape tomatoes, halved (3 cups)

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 10 ounce fresh baby spinach

  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese (chèvre) (3 ounces)

  • 3 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

  2. Meanwhile, lightly coat the rack of an indoor electric grill with cooking spray. Preheat grill. Place chicken on grill rack. If using a grill with a cover, close lid. Grill until chicken is no longer pink (170°F). (For a covered grill, allow about 6 minutes. For an uncovered grill, allow 12 to 15 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling.) Cut chicken into bite-size pieces.

  3. For dressing, in a small bowl whisk together 3 tablespoons oil, vinegar, orange peel, orange juice, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper; set aside.

  4. In a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and garlic; cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in pasta and chicken; remove from heat.

  5. Gradually add spinach and dressing to chicken mixture, tossing gently until spinach is slightly wilted. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with cheese and pine nuts.

Grill Pan Directions:

Place each chicken breast half between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound chicken lightly until about 1/2 inch thick. Remove plastic wrap. Coat a grill pan with nonstick cooking spray; heat pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until no longer pink (170°F), turning once.

Tip:

To assemble the salad as shown in the photo, toss pasta with chicken and transfer to a large serving bowl. Heat the dressing before tossing with the spinach and tomato mixture; transfer to the serving bowl. Sprinkle with cheese and pine nuts.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

352 Calories
17g Fat
24g Carbs
27g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 352
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 73mg 24%
Sodium 563mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 27g
Vitamin C 28.3mg 142%
Calcium 131.3mg 10%
Iron 2.9mg 16%
Potassium 587mg 12%
Folate, total 112.9mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.4mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.9mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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