December 6, 2023/Recipes

Recipe: Grilled Chicken Pasta With Spinach and Garlic

Healthier noodles and lighter fare

Plate  of grilled chicken on a bed of wheat pasta and cooked spinach on a wooden table

Here’s a trick to keep from overeating pasta: Use a whole-wheat noodle and include a non-starchy vegetable and lean protein, such as spinach and chicken. This fills your plate and your belly without a focus on starch alone.


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  • 1 lb whole wheat pasta of choice
  • 20 oz raw boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 bag spinach (flat leaf or baby)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste
  • Vinaigrette dressing for marinade


  1. Marinade chicken in vinaigrette dressing of choice for at least 1 hour
  2. Grill chicken approximately 6 to 8 minutes per side or until 165 F. Let sit 5 to10 minutes and slice into strips.
  3. Prepare pasta according to directions and set aside.
  4. Saute crushed garlic cloves in olive oil on medium heat.
  5. Add fresh spinach and stir until wilted. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if necessary.
  6. Add pasta and chicken to spinach mixture, toss and serve.

Ingredient health benefits

  • Whole-wheat pasta: Always a great choice for any pasta meal. Whole-wheat pasta is rich in whole grains, which, among many benefits, help manage cholesterol, support your heart and satisfy your appetite for longer.
  • Chicken breast: An excellent protein source, chicken breast is high in vitamin K2, a type of vitamin K that helps your blood clot normally and keeps your bones strong and healthy. Eating chicken breast is also a great way to support your liver.
  • Olive oil: It’s no secret that there are many health benefits to cooking with olive oil. It’s full of vitamins, including vitamin E and vitamin A, and antioxidants that help your cells function at their very best.
  • Garlic: When you think of nutritious food, this common ingredient probably doesn’t come to mind. But garlic has quite a few perks to offer, from bacteria- and inflammation-fighting properties to helping regulate your blood pressure.
  • Spinach: Though it may not look like it, this leafy green has iron, which your blood cells need to do their job, and beta-carotene, an important antioxidant that fights inflammation and helps preserve your vision.

Nutrition information (per serving)

Makes 6 servings

Calories: 340
Total fat: 8 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Trans fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 40 mg
Sodium: 180 mg
Total carbohydrate: 45 g
Fiber: 8 g
Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 25 g

Recipe courtesy of Digestive Disease Health Team Dietitians.


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