The classic pizza gets a makeover into a delicious family meal idea in this Margherita Penne with Chicken recipe featuring fresh tomatoes, basil and cheese.
School starts in our area next week and with that begins a new, more hectic, schedule. Anything we can do to simplify our lives for back to school is welcome, especially when it comes to preparing meals.
Meal planning can really help to make things run smoother during the week and ensure that your family is eating healthy food and not just whatever I could throw together out of the pantry and freezer.
When I meal plan I like to think of creative ways to make our dollar stretch and one of my favourite things to do is to roast a giant chicken for dinner the first night and reserve one of the cooked breasts to make an entirely different meal to last us another 2-3 dinners plus scraps enough left for chicken sandwiches.
Chicken is cheap enough as it is but when you can get Chicken Raised by a Canadian Farmer on sale… it is time to go to town and stock up. I actually managed to get a few 5-7 lb birds awhile ago on sale for less than $15 each. What a deal! Especially since a bird that size can easily feed a family of 4 for 3 to 4 meals if you plan it right.
Shopping is usually a huge time suck but you can speed things up further by using the Shopping with Chicken App list feature by adding a recipe to your shopping list.
You can then share the list with your partner and divide and conquer without accidentally doubling up on the same items! It actually makes meal planning a cinch!
When I roast my chicken in the oven I like to keep it simple and stuff it with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, a lemon and garlic then simply season the skin with salt and pepper before packing about a tablespoon of butter under the skin over each breast.
It always results in a flavourful and moist chicken with an amazing crispy skin. Just follow the recommended chicken cooking times.
We had roasted squash and a little rice with the chicken for dinner that night. The next day I picked apart the chicken and made us chicken sandwiches for lunch – my favourite sandwich!
For dinner I chopped up the remaining breast and incorporated into my super easy to make Margherita Penne with Chicken which lasted us 3 nights. (Keira wouldn’t eat it, apparently she doesn’t like penne any more, only spaghetti. 4 year olds, right?)
It is delicious though, I promise! (You know, unless you dislike the shape of Penne or something…)
Margherita Penne with Chicken
3 Cups Penne Rigato
1/4 Cup Butter
6 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp All-purpose flour
2 1/2 Cups Milk
2 Cups Cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Cup Parmesan, Grated
1 200 g container Mini Bocconcini
1/2 Cup Fresh Basil leaves, sliced in small strips
1 Chicken Breast, Precooked or pan fried, sliced
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.*
Stir in the penne and cook for about 11 minutes or until al dente.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
Stir in the garlic, salt and pepper and saute for one minute.
Whisk the flour into the butter and continue whisking for 1 minute.
Gradually pur in the milk while still whisking.
Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, whisking for 3-5 minutes or until the roux is smooth and thickened.
Stir in parmesan until well combined.
Drain the pasta and return to pot.**
Pour in the roux and stir to coat pasta.
Stir in tomatoes, bocconcini, basil and chicken.
*Tip: If you add just a tbsp of olive oil the pasta won’t stick to each other and the pot won’t boil over.
**Tip: Do not rinse pasta!
- 3 Cups Penne Rigato
- 1/4 Cup Butter
- 6 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp All-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 Cups Milk
- 2 Cups Cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 Cup Parmesan, Grated
- 1 200 g container Mini Bocconcini
- 1/2 Cup Fresh Basil leaves, sliced in small strips
- 1 Chicken Breast, Precooked or pan fried, sliced
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.*
- Stir in the penne and cook for about 11 minutes or until al dente.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Stir in the garlic, salt and pepper and saute for one minute.
- Whisk the flour into the butter and continue whisking for 1 minute.
- Gradually pur in the milk while still whisking.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, whisking for 3-5 minutes or until the roux is smooth and thickened.
- Stir in parmesan until well combined.
- Drain the pasta and return to pot.**
- Pour in the roux and stir to coat pasta.
- Stir in tomatoes, bocconcini, basil and chicken.
*Tip: If you add just a tbsp of olive oil the pasta won't stick to each other and the pot won't boil over.
**Tip: Do not rinse pasta!
Serving Size:1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
#SchoolURChicken Twitter Party
Chicken Farmers of Canada are holding a #SchoolURChicken Twitter Party, so come join us on September 13th at 9 pm EST!
● Date: Tuesday, September 13, 2016
● Time: 9 pm EST
● Hashtag: SchoolURChicken
● Hosts: @ChickenFarmers, @SJConsulting_CA
● Eligibility: Open to Canada
1. Crockpot multicooker
2. Cuisinart Pan set
3. HP Stream Notebook
Come join us for some great conversation, prizing and FUN!
RSVP Below by adding your Twitter name (ie. @ElizabethL) in the Name field and your Twitter link (ie. https://twitter.com/ElizabethL) in the URL field. Official rules and regulations for the Twitter Party can be seen HERE.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!