Menu Planner: One-pot chicken Parmesan pasta is bursting with flavor

Thinking ahead to your next few meals? Here are some main dishes and sides to try.

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One-pot chicken Parmesan pasta.

One-pot chicken Parmesan pasta.

Gwynn Galvin

One-pot chicken Parmesan pasta

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes


2 tablespoons olive oil

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1 1/4 pounds

2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder and coarse salt

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano

1 3/4 cups water

8 ounces uncooked mini penne pasta (2 cups)

1/4 cup dry red wine

4 slices fresh mozzarella

1/4 cup each shredded Parmesan and torn fresh basil for garnish

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Season chicken with Parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt. Cook chicken 6 minutes or until browned on both sides, turning once. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with juices, water, pasta and red wine and bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and pasta is al dente. Top chicken with mozzarella slices. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until mozzarella is melted, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan and top with basil.

Per serving: 401 calories, 32 grams protein, 11 grams fat (26% calories from fat), 3.6 grams saturated fat, 39 grams carbohydrate, 73 milligrams cholesterol, 738 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 3.

Southwestern bean skillet

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: about 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 to 15 minutes


1 cup frozen corn (thawed)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 (15-ounce) can undrained chili beans

1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium black beans

1 cup shredded 50% reduced-fat cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

In a large nonstick skillet, combine corn, cilantro, salt, bell pepper, onion, chili beans and black beans. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and cook 5 minutes. Uncover, simmer 5 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender; stir occasionally. Stir in cheese and tomatoes until cheese is melted.

Per serving: 310 calories, 20 grams protein, 6 grams fat (18 percent calories from fat), 3.5 grams saturated fat, 45 grams carbohydrate, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 569 milligrams sodium, 12 grams fiber.

Carb count: 3.

Linguine and spinach with gorgonzola sauce

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 5 minutes, plus fettuccine


1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated fettuccine

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated skim milk

3/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese (3 ounces)

1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 (5- or 6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta cooks, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with whisk. Increase heat to medium-high; bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; simmer 3 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, salt and pepper. Combine the sauce, pasta and spinach; toss gently to coat.

Per serving: 384 calories, 21 grams protein, 11 grams fat (26 percent calories from fat), 7.2 grams saturated fat, 50 grams carbohydrate, 80 milligrams cholesterol, 601 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 3.5.

Beef rotini

Cook 3/4 pound 95% lean ground beef in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high 4 minutes or until browned, stirring often. Stir in 1 3/4 cup low-sodium beef broth, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 cup canned diced tomatoes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups rotini (corkscrew) pasta. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring often. Uncover; cook 5 more minutes or until pasta is tender.

Corned beef and cabbage

In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, place 1 (3- to 4-pound) beef brisket. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons brown sugar. Cover with water. Add 6 cloves garlic, 2 bay leaves, 12 whole allspice, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 5 halved red potatoes, 1 cup baby carrots and 2 onions, cut into wedges. Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Uncover, add 1/2 medium cabbage, cut into wedges. Cover; cook on high 30 minutes or until cabbage is tender.

Sausage with polenta

Slice a 16- or 17-ounce tube of polenta (look in the produce section) into 12 (1/2-inch) slices. Coat both sides with cooking spray. Heat a large nonstick skillet. Cook 2 minutes on each side until slightly browned and hot. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add 1 pound sweet Italian sausage (casings removed) and 1 small chopped onion. Cook 3 minutes, breaking up sausage with a spoon, until no longer pink. Stir in 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed cannellini beans, 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes and 2 teaspoons dried basil; cook 2 minutes or until sausage is cooked and mixture is hot. For each serving, spoon one quarter of the sausage mixture over 3 slices polenta.

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Thinking ahead to your next few meals? Here are some main dishes and sides to try.