Chicken Parmesan Pasta is a heart-healthy twist on the classic Italian-American dish. Simply skip the breading and frying in oil step, and serve up with a big bowl of whole wheat pasta!
I learned early on in my marriage that nothing says, “I love you,” more to my husband than a delicious, home cooked Italian meal. Lucky for him, I not only have Italian in my blood, but like Ted, I believe life is a whole tastier with some Italian-American classic foods in our life! Chicken Parmesan is Ted’s go-to when we eat out at an Italian restaurant. Since we have two little kids in tow with us most of the time now, we tend to do most eating at home. With Valentine’s Day just a few days away, I wanted to surprise him with his favorite at-home, but of course, with a healthy twist: Chicken Parmesan Pasta.
This dish is not only perfect for celebrating with the one’s you love, but it’s good for your heart too— which is especially important for all of us, since February is recognized as Heart Health Month. Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in America. And something that’s top of mind in our house, since Ted has had a few physicals with reports of high cholesterol and blood lipid levels. Lucky for him, he’s married to yours truly who understands healthy eating is one major step he can take to preventing and controlling heart disease risk factors. In fact, recipes like chicken parmesan pasta help him enjoy the best flavors of Italian food while reaping the nutritional benefits of one of his favorite heart-healthy ingredient: tomatoes!
REGISTERED DIETITIAN ALERT! I’m about to get all nutrition science on you… but really, read on! Tomatoes are high in lycopene, a naturally occurring chemical which gives fruits and vegetables their red color. Research suggests lycopene has antioxidant properties which may help prevent heart disease. Cooking tomatoes or using canned tomato products like in this chicken parmesan pasta may actually increase the health benefits tomatoes because their lycopene is more available and antioxidant activity isn’t affected by cooking. So whether or not you want to tell your sweetheart, “I love you,” or give your heart a little extra love, this chicken parmesan pasta is for you! And did I mention I made it in the slow cooker?! I’ll stop talking now…
- 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 6-ouce can tomato paste + one can of water
- 1 teaspooon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1.5 pounds chicken breast
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 cups uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
- Grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil for serving
- Add ingredients except uncooked pasta to slow cooker. Cover, and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
- Remove chicken and shred with two forks. Add back to sauce. Keep covered and warm until serving.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Once pasta is cooked, add to serving bowl and top with chicken parmesan pasta sauce. Top with fresh basil and additional Parmesan cheese if desired.
For more information about following a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle, be sure to visit the American Heart Association website. Talk to your doctor to find out if you are at high risk for heart disease. If you need help with healthful eating, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist who can build a nutrition plan that fits your lifestyle and needs. Celebrate Valentine's Day and a #heart #health month with slow cooker Chicken Parmesan Pasta! Click To Tweet