One-Pan Pasta Margherita With Chicken

2016-05-04
  • Servings : 5
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 20m
  • Ready In : 30m

Margherita refers to an Italian style pizza made with fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil that Queen Margherita supposedly preferred over two other Neapolitan pizzas prepared in her honor.

A pasta recipe made with just basil, tomato sauce and mozzarella would be a bit boring, but it doesn’t take many more ingredients or effort to make this simple one-pan pasta entree.

My inspiration for this One-Pan Pasta Margherita With Chicken recipe came from a Costco Warehouse coupon for Bertolli’s® Classic Meals For 2 frozen Chicken Margherita and penne pasta. All Bertolli® frozen meals for two are made by food giant ConAgra Foods and are Italian-American style foods.

Americans love convenience and are willing into pay for it with their money and their health. Bertolli® meals for 2 are precooked or partially cooked so cooking times reflect thawing, heating and cooking the ingredients. For Chicken Margherita, the cook time on the package is 12 minutes when prepared using a skillet but their is a caveat. Consumers are warned to heat the ingredients to 160-165°F to eliminate the chance of bacterial contamination. Convenience comes at a price.

The full recipe for One-Pan Pasta Margherita With Chicken, as shown below, takes about 30 minutes from start to finish and makes 5 Bertolli® size servings. Instead of a meal for 2  you have an entree for 4 to 6 people. If you are cooking for one or two, you can cut the recipe in half. 

Pasta Margherita-Chicken-0896

Homemade vs. Bertolli®

How does One-Pan Pasta Margherita With Chicken compare with Bertolli®? The U.S. version is 24 ounces (frozen weight) or 12 ounces (340 g) per person before cooking. Homemade

Homemade vs. Bertolli®
Homemade Bertolli
Serving Size 310g 1/2 pkg
Calories 390g 410g
Calories From Fat 90g 120g
Total Fat 10g 27g
Saturated Fat 3g 8g
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Cholesterol 60mg 50mg
Sodium 400-790mg 910mg
Carbohydrates 39g 47g
Dietary Fiber 3g 5g
Sugar 4g 7g
Added Sugar 0g 0g
Protein 37g 26g

700 Calorie Meal

While Bertolli® claims their frozen Margherita Chicken is a meal for 2, it is actually an entree for 2. To make it a meal you need to add an appetizer, salad or soup, bread and beverage. It is like calling a sandwich a meal. A sandwich can be a meal, but usually it is accompanied by a side dish (fried potatoes, potato chips, salad, etc). Here is one example of a One-Pan Pasta Margherita With Chicken meal.

Pasta Margherita Meal-

One serving (11 oz., 310 g cooked) of this easy to prepare meal:

  • 590 calories
  • 4 grams of saturated fat
  • 1005 mg of sodium
  • 41 g of protein
  • 400 mg potassium

Sodium levels depends on the ingredients used to make the pasta Margherita and can be less than 500 mg per serving without affecting potassium levels. Substituting store bought sliced bread can add 200 mg of sodium or more. There are many variables when it comes to sodium. When if comes to prepared foods, you have no control. A serving of Bertolli® Chicken Margherita has 910 mg of sodium.

Meal For Two

You can cut this recipe in half to make about 2.5 servings. While you can use half a can of mushrooms, I recommend using the whole can for the added protein.

For the liquid, you have the option of using 1 chopped tomato with 1 can of chicken broth or water, or using the entire can of diced tomatoes (for the potassium) and 3/4 cup (180 ml) of water. Add or reduce the amount of water, as necessary, depending on the brand and type of pasta used.

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Ingredients

  • 8 oz. (225 g) mostaccioli, penne or other short pasta
  • 12-16 oz. (340-450 g) frozen grilled chicken or cooked chicken
  • 2 tbsp. (30 ml) dried onion
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.25 ml) garlic powder
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp (5 ml) kosher salt
  • 4 oz. (112 g) canned mushrooms, drained
  • 14.5 oz. (411 g) canned low sodium chicken broth
  • 14.5 oz. (411 g) canned low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 2 -3 tbsp. (30-45 ml) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 to 3 oz. (56 – 85 g) shredded mozzarella cheese

Method of Preparation

Step 1

In a large skillet over medium heat, add tomatoes, broth and mushrooms. Stir in herbs. Cover and bring to boil on high heat./span>

Step 2

Stir in pasta and chicken. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (about every 5 minutes), or until pasta is al dente.

Step 3

Turn off heat or remove pan from stove. Stir in Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses until melted.

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  • High Protein Turkey & Mushroom Chili

  • Reduced Calorie Tartar Sauce

  • Chocolate Sausage & Meatballs

  • Cranberry and Almond Couscous

Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.

  • Calories

    390
  • Calories From Fat

    90
  • Total Fat

    10g
  • Saturated Fat

    3g
  • Trans Fat

    0g
  • Cholesterol

    60mg
  • Sodium

    400-790mg
  • Carbohydrates

    39g
  • Dietary Fiber

    3g
  • Sugar

    4g
  • Protein

    37g
  • Serving Size:

    About 11 oz. (310 g)