My step-daughter, Kelly Zala, is one of the busiest working moms I know. She created this recipe to not only get her daughters to eat more vegetables, but it's quick, versatile, and only requires a few ingredients, making it the perfect recipe to provide left-overs throughout the week for her family. You can even switch it up a bit by adding your kids favorite veggies to the recipe. Here is my version of Kelly's 'Chicken Pasta Stir-fry' recipe, along with some alternate ingredients and variations at the end of the recipe:
3 boneless & skinless chicken breasts, diced
2 large zucchini, cut into ½ inch thick 'half-moon' slices
2 yellow squash, cut like zucchini
2 cans or jars artichoke hearts, sliced into quarters
¼ cup basil pesto
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or grape seed oil
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
¼ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 box penne pasta, cooked and cooled (white or whole wheat)
1) In a large skillet, heat olive or grape seed oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add diced chicken and stir fry for about 6-7 minutes, until no longer pink. Sprinkle lemon pepper over cooked chicken, and cook for one minute.
2) Add zucchini & yellow squash to chicken and stir fry for 3 more minutes, stirring frequently.
3) Add artichokes to skillet, and carefully mix in with the chicken zucchini mixture. Cook for another minute or 2, stirring frequently but gently to incorporate.
4) Add pesto and pasta to the skillet. Stir well to incorporate all ingredients. Cook over medium heat for about 4-5 additional minutes.
5) Serve with a few sprinkles of grated Parmesan cheese over top of chicken pasta mix.
¾ cup = one serving
*Alternate Additions and Variations:
*Ground Chicken, Beef, or Turkey
*Salsa instead of pesto
*Peas, Broccoli, Carrots, Corn, Cabbage, Bok Choy, Kale, Onions, cauliflower
*Pesto mixed with 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
*1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
*1 teaspoon Chili Powder, Black Beans, Tomatoes; top with grated cheddar cheese
*Top the pasta with sliced avocado for a creamy & cool texture
*Mix in 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce instead of the pesto
Make the recipe above, except add 1 cup sliced mushrooms into the mix at the same time you add the zucchini. Then, after step 4, stir in one can of cream of chicken soup mixed with 1/2 cup milk. Stir the soup mixture into the skillet with all of the ingredients, mixing until well combined. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and top with 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Add 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese to the top of the casserole and continue baking for 15 additional minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
*You can view our family photos cooking this delicious meal at: