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Lighter Mediterranean Pasta Bake

lighter mediterranean pasta bake Entree Mediterranean
Lighter Mediterranean Pasta Bake
  • Prep 50 min
  • Total 1 hr 30 min
  • Servings 8

Next time you’re craving a comforting casserole loaded with chicken, veggies and just enough cheese to make it feel decadent, we recommend giving this recipe a try. It’s a lightened-up take on a favorite recipe, our Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Bake. Like the original, this lighter version features perfectly browned chicken, bowtie pasta and the sun-ripened flavors of tomatoes, olives and artichokes featured in the original—but we also added in a few more veggies and trimmed down the cheese. The result is a dish that’s full-flavored and comforting. When it comes out of the oven all warm and melty, no one will guess this dinner comes in under 400 calories per serving! MORE+ LESS-

Updated November 22, 2019

Ingredients

8
oz uncooked bowtie pasta (about 3 cups)
1
tablespoon olive oil
1
lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2
teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4
teaspoon salt
1
cup chopped onions
1
small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and into 1/4-inch slices (about 1 1/2 cups)
2
jars (6 oz each) Progresso™ imported marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2
cups Muir Glen™ organic tomato basil pasta sauce (from 25.5-oz jar)
1/2
cup heavy whipping cream
1
cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/4
cup sliced kalamata olives
1/2
cup grated Parmesan cheese

Steps

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  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Add to large bowl.
  • 2
    In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Toss chicken with Italian seasoning and salt; cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (at least 165°F). Transfer to bowl with pasta.
  • 3
    In same skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat; add onions and zucchini. Cook 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in artichokes, pasta sauce and whipping cream; heat 3 to 4 minutes or until heated through.
  • 4
    Carefully add sauce to bowl of pasta and chicken; stir until well combined. Spoon mixture into baking dish; top with tomatoes, olives and Parmesan cheese. Cover baking dish with foil; bake 25 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 to 15 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Expert Tips

  • Jarred olives are perfect in this dish. Save the premium ones from the olive bar for enjoying on a grazing board or on top of your salad.
  • It’s important to make sure the pasta is well coated with sauce before baking. This will help ensure it cooks up tender and doesn’t dry out.
  • No bowties? Substitute whatever short-shaped pasta you have on hand.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: About 1 1/3 Cups
Calories
390
Calories from Fat
170
% Daily Value
Total Fat
19g
29%
Saturated Fat
7g
35%
Trans Fat
0g
Cholesterol
55mg
19%
Sodium
680mg
28%
Potassium
460mg
13%
Total Carbohydrate
34g
11%
Dietary Fiber
6g
27%
Sugars
5g
Protein
22g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
10%
10%
Vitamin C
6%
6%
Calcium
10%
10%
Iron
15%
15%
Exchanges:
2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 1/2 Vegetable; 2 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 3 1/2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • Who knew a recipe featuring pasta and cheese could come in under 400 calories? Part of the trick is including ingredients that collapse in on themselves when baked, so there’s an overall velvety texture to the dish—zucchini, tomatoes, marinated artichokes. Working together, they make that half-cup of cream seem like so much more. And if you’re counting calories, that’s a very good thing!

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