Penne with chicken and vegetables recipe: a healthy & light midweek dinner

Try this delicious and healthy penne with chicken and vegetables recipe. Loaded with protein and veggies, it’s a perfect weeknight dinner.
penne with chicken and vegetables

Looking for a healthy and delicious dinner option that’s ready in under an hour? Look no further than this Penne with chicken and vegetables recipe! Loaded with protein and veggies, this dish is not only tasty but also nutritious.

The recipe is simple, making it a perfect weeknight dinner that can be prepared in no time. There is plenty of scope for variation, we’ve used squash and broccoli in this version but you can use roasted tomatoes or peppers – both are perfect partners.

Preparation: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Serves: 2


  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced very thin
  • 1 large red onion, halved lengthwise and cut into thin wedges
  • 160g (5.5 oz) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 450ml chicken stock
  • 340g (12 oz) chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 115g (8 oz) penne pasta
  • small broccoli florets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method: Penne with chicken and vegetables

Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan over high heat. Add the chicken and stir continuously until sealed. The flesh will lose translucency and begin to golden. You can decant the chicken into a bowl and set it to one side while we cook through the rest of the ingredients.

Add a little oil to the pan (over medium heat) along with the onion, squash and thyme and cook until onion is golden and caramelised and squash is almost tender, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is tender, about 5 minutes. Halfway through cooking, stir in the garlic taking care not to allow it to brown as it will develop an acrid taste.

Stir in the stock and sealed chicken and bring to a simmer. Cover and continue gently simmering for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water until pasta is al dente (just tender), 8-12 minutes. Drain pasta and return to same pot. Stir in the chicken mixture. Season with pepper.

This should give two good servings plus a healthy amount of leftovers to stick in the fridge for lunch.

Nutritional information

Pasta can be good for you when eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet. It’s a good source of carbohydrates, providing energy and essential nutrients like fibre, iron and B vitamins. Whole grain pasta, in particular, offers more nutritional benefits than refined pasta, as it contains higher fibre content and lower glycaemic index, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Per serving: 356 calories, 5g total fat (1g saturated fat), 48g carbohydrate, 29g protein, 3g dietary fibre, 213g sodium. Find out more about your recommended daily nutritional intake should be at  

wholegrain penne - penne with chicken recipe

Meat free alternative? Many of us are looking for ways to cut down on the amount we eat and there are ways to substitute chicken in this recipe. Quorn is a worthy alternative, it is protein-rich and easy to cook with. Grilled or fried tofu is another very good option.

If you found Penne with chicken and vegetables recipe: a healthy & light midweek dinner interesting, you’ll find more healthy pasta recipes on our Food and Drink channel.

Tags: , , , , Last modified: July 25, 2023

Written by 7:04 am Food & Drink