Thursday, January 9, 2014

Lemon Chicken with Broccoli

     Chicken and broccoli is just one of those classic combinations that you find everywhere. Those two ingredients lend themselves to dozens and dozens of recipes across numerous cultures. I have no numbers to back that up, but it sounds impressive so just go with it. This recipe is pretty simple and certainly healthy, coming in at around 260 calories per serving. You could probably ditch the crackers and replace it with panko and save yourself a few extra calories. This is certainly a winning work-week dinner. As always, any notes and changes are in blue.

Lemon Chicken with Broccoli
via Betty Crocker 300 Calorie Cookbook
  • 2 cups (4 ounces) uncooked bow-tie (farfalle) pasta (naturally, I went with shells instead)
  • 1/4 cup crushed round buttery crackers (I will gladly endorse Ritz crackers here for a fat paycheck)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (I just used an equal amount of dried lemon zest)
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4" strips (it is clear from the picture that I willfully ignored this direction and cut the chicken into chunks. TAKE THAT, BETTY CROCKER!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (lazy, as always, I used 2 teaspoons minced garlic from a jar)
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli florets or broccoli cuts, thawed and drained
  • 1 can (10.5 ounces) condensed low-fat, low-sodium cream of chicken soup (I actually make it a point to use this kind of soup in recipes. Otherwise, the sodium gets totally out of hand and I inflate like a tick)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fat-free (skim) milk (Not happening. I can't stand skim. I used 2%)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (I hope they meant from a bottle, because that's what I used)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  1. Heat oven to 350F. Spray 13x9" glass baking dish with cooking spray (I used a Corningware dish here just to be spiteful)
  2. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package (Really? They could have saved everyone time by just changing "uncooked pasta" to "cooked pasta" up in the ingredients. And don't start any crap with amount changing because of cooking. It would have been just fine. This is just Betty Crocker intentionally giving me shit). Meanhwile, in a small bowl, mix crushed crackers and lemon peel; set aside.
  3. Spray 10-inch skillet with cooking spray (I used a 12 inch skillet. I am done with being bullied by a fictional cook); heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken and garlic; cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until chicken is brown. Remove from heat; stir in pasta and remaining ingredients. Spoon chicken mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle with crumb mixture.
  4. Cover with foil; bake 25 minutes. Bake uncovered 10-15 minutes longer or until hot and bubbly. 
Good times!


  1. Hi there! I'm stopping in from Let's Get Real today. This recipe looks great to me. I would probably go with your panko bread crumb suggestion. Do you think you needed the soup? It sounds like it might be good without it so that the lemon would show through more. Always thinking........sorry. Your Betty Crocker graphic is hilarious!

    1. I think you're right about the lemon coming through better, but I think I'd be worried about things drying out without that extra moisture in there. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out!