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Recipe: Easy Chicken Ratatouille

Lean meat and fresh veggies come together for a delicious meal

Plate of chicken ratatouille, with raw veggies on table

This flavorful and satisfying dish offers a medley of vegetables and chicken that is sure to be a family favorite. And once you chop the veggies and slice the chicken, this dish cooks in less than a half-hour.

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Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 4 medium chicken breast halves, skinned, and fat removed, boned and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 zucchini, about 7 inches long, thinly sliced
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can (16 oz) no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp dried basil, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • Black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet. Add chicken and saute about 3 minutes or until lightly browned.
  2. Add zucchini, eggplant, onion, green pepper and mushrooms. Cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add tomatoes, garlic, basil, parsley and pepper.
  4. Stir and continue cooking about 5 minutes, or until chicken is tender.

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Ingredient health benefits

  • Chicken: This versatile meat has a lot to offer. Chicken has B vitamins that help your body perform vital tasks like making DNA and breaking down food. There’s also iron to keep your blood cells healthy. And let’s not forget that chicken is a complete protein, so it has all the amino acids your body needs to stay in top shape!
  • Squash: There’s a reason people have harvested this group of savory fruits since pre-Columbian times. Squashes are packed with nutrients, like vitamin C, vitamin B6 and vitamin A, which promote brain and eye health while potentially lowering your risk of cancer. The minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium keep your bones healthy and help regulate your blood pressure.
  • Onions: Don’t let appearances deceive; all those layers contain a wealth of benefits to offer any dish. Onions are full of antioxidants, like flavonoids and vitamin C, that fight cell damage from inflammation and harmful little particles called free radicals. A flavonoid called quercetin, which is also found in apples, may protect against heart disease and keep bad bacteria from growing. And as a bonus, onions have gut-friendly fiber and prebiotics to keep things moving along.
  • Bell peppers: Adding some crunch to this classic French recipe, bell peppers are rich in vitamin C as well as vitamin A and vitamin Efat-soluble vitamins that keep your vision sharp and your skin glowing. Bell peppers also have folate (vitamin B9) for good health from head to toe.
  • Mushrooms: Who said plants and animals were the only ones with health benefits? These fungi are full of essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), selenium, zinc and even potassium. These nutrients support a wide variety of body systems, from your metabolism to your cholesterol levels. Mushrooms also have antioxidants and natural compounds that boost your immunity by suppressing inflammation and strengthening your immune cells.
  • Tomatoes: It’s easy to take this member of the nightshade family for granted, but the benefits of tomatoes shouldn’t be overlooked. They’re full of immunity-strengthening vitamin C and bone-building vitamin K. And they owe their red-orange hue to lycopene and beta-carotene (which your body turns into vitamin A). These antioxidants play an important role in promoting many aspects of your health, from reducing your cholesterol to supporting your eyes and vision.
  • Garlic: Like its homely but nutritious cousin, the onion, garlic isn’t all that much to look (or sniff) at. But despite its lack of star power or charisma, garlic is considered by many to be a superfood. It may help regulate your blood pressure, and studies suggest it can enhance your immunity as part of a well-balanced diet. It might also have natural properties that fight harmful microbes like Salmonella.
  • Basil: Flavor isn’t the only reason to add this well-known herb. Basil is full of antioxidants, and it’s a good source of vitamin K to keep your bones in top shape. As part of your everyday snacks and meals, basil may support your brain and mental health by promoting a good memory and a good mood, as well as lowering anxiety and stress. There are also many varieties to choose from, so don’t be afraid to explore!

Nutrition information (per serving)

Makes 4 servings
Serving = 1.5 cups

Calories: 270
Total fat: 7 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Trans fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 65 mg
Sodium: 90 mg
Total carbohydrate: 24 g
Fiber: 8 g
Sugars: 11 g
Protein: 28 g

Recipe provided by Stay Young at Heart, from the National Heart, Blood, Lung Institute.

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