Protein-packed and full of flavor, this family-friendly pasta recipe is made with tender chicken breasts and hearty Brussels sprouts tossed with lemon juice, garlic, and onion.
Brussels sprouts frequently get a bad rep, but I love the little baby cabbages! Not only are they versatile and delicious in many dishes, but they’ve also been shown to help protect against certain cancers. If you still aren’t sold on the little green veggies, then give this Chicken and Brussels Sprouts with Penne a try. A tasty, and nutritious dinner that turns into a great lunch the next day.
- Penne pasta: I like to use whole wheat pasta, penne is a simple to use pasta that easily coats in sauces and flavors.
- Brussels sprouts: When cooked, Brussels sprouts have a sweet, slightly nutty and smoky flavor.
- Chicken breast: High in protein and low in fat, chicken is an affordable and accessible source of protein.
- Onion: I used a white onion as its the mildest, the flavor sweetens and caramelizes when cooked.
- Garlic: One of my favorite flavor enhancers, garlic complements anything.
- Chicken broth: Low sodium chicken broth still makes a delicious sauce for this pasta dish.
- Lemon juice and zest: A splash of bright, fresh flavor to the sauce.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano: A salty, nutty Italian hard cheese that is the perfect topping for pasta.
How to Make Chicken and Brussels Sprouts with Penne
You’ll start by cooking your penne pasta according to the directions on the box.
Before straining your pasta, reserve about a cup of the water and set aside.
Next, cut the Brussels sprouts into halves or quarters (depending on size), dice your onion, and cut your chicken breasts into pieces.
Then you’ll season your chicken with some salt and pepper.
Cook your chicken until it is fully cooked and slightly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan, sauté the onions and garlic until soft.
Next, add the Brussels sprouts and chicken broth to the pan and simmer until tender.
Then you’ll add the chicken back to the pan, as well as the penne pasta.
Add the lemon juice and zest, and stir well.
If it looks a little dry, add the set aside pasta water about a tablespoon at a time until sauce reaches desired consistency.
Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and fresh basil and serve!
Change Things Up
- Swap out the Brussels sprouts. This dish would also be delicious with broccoli.
- Make it vegetarian. You can double up on the veggies and take out the chicken to make this dish vegetarian.
- No gluten? No problem. With the pasta being the only source of gluten, pick your favorite type of gluten-free pasta to make this dish celiac friendly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What chicken broth should I use?
I love to make and use my own chicken stock, but just use your favorite!
Are Brussel and Brussels sprouts the same?
Yes, it’s simply an English language slip up.
How do I store the leftovers?
Leftovers are my favorite part of this dish, and I frequently make it for lunches for the week. It’ll keep in the fridge for up to 4 days in an air-tight container.
Recommended Side Dishes
- Roasted Tomato Soup
- Grilled Asparagus and Arugula Salad
- Greek Roasted Vegetables
- Roasted Garlic Green Beans
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Brussels sprouts don’t have to be bitter, and can be a great added source of vitamins and nutrients to your meals. Give this Chicken and Brussels Sprouts with Penne a try if you don’t believe me.
Your fork is waiting.
Chicken and Brussels Sprouts with Penne
- 8 ounces penne
- 1 pound chicken breasts (cut in 1 in. pieces)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 large onion (diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (grated)
- 4 cup Brussels sprouts (quartered)
- ½ cup chicken broth (low sodium)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup parmigiano reggiano (grated)
- basil (optional garnish)
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook whole wheat penne according to package instructions. Reserve ½ c hot pasta cooking water before draining.
- Heat a large pot over medium-high and spray with non-stick spray. Add chicken pieces, salt and pepper, and cook for 6-7 minutes until browned and set aside.
- Saute diced onion in the same pot for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and cook for additional 30 seconds. Next, add Brussels, chicken broth, lemon juice and zest.
- Simmer with a lid to steam, about 8-10 minutes, or until Brussels are cooked.
- Add penne and chicken to the pot and stir well. If the mixture needs liquid, add a little of the reserved pasta water. Sprinkle in cheese and fresh basil before serving.