I’m trying to cut back on my carbs. I absolutely love pastas, breads, rice, etc. but I know it’s not the greatest to eat them. Plus, I’ve been hearing a lot about the advantages of going gluten-free. So even though my taste buds are crying a bit, I’ve been trying to replace at least some of my carb-heavy recipes with lighter versions, packed with veggies and lean protein.
One of my favorite recipes is for chicken parm. Of course, that’s not exactly the healthiest recipe, despite being totally yummy. But then I saw a pin about turning broccoli slaw into a pasta dish.
Here’s the thing: I hate broccoli. I mean, yuck. But I thought this tip sounded so interesting that I just had to try it. Plus, it’s a chance to make some totally yummy, semi-homemade, chunky tomato sauce! It’s similar to the sauce I use in my French bread pizza recipe.
To make this pasta-free chicken parm, you’ll need to start with the tomato sauce. Now, you can use something straight from the can, just heated. Or if you have your favorite homemade sauce, I’m not going to hate on that! But if you’re a little lost in the sauce department and dislike the sickenly sweet store-bought stuff as much as I do, here’s what I make:
It all starts with the ingredients: extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, onions, lemon juice, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and petite diced tomatoes. I also included some shredded Parmesan cheese in this picture, because I sprinkle a bit on at the end, and it felt left-out, not being in the photograph.
Start by cooking a bit of diced garlic and some chopped onions in olive oil over medium-high heat. Once they’re really cooking, sprinkle on the spices.
Allow the mixture to simmer and make your house smell delicious until the onions are clear. Then, add a can of tomatoes (or you can dice up some fresh tomatoes) and a squeeze of lemon juice (about a teaspoon or two). That adds just a little acidic zing to the sauce. You could also use a bit of white wine in this place.
Let the sauce simmer and reduce until it looks like the picture (about 10-15 minutes). By this point your house will smell REALLY yummy. Whenever you make this recipe, you don’t have to call your family for dinner. They’ll just smell it and show up!
While that’s cooking, fry up some chicken breasts in a little olive oil. I like to stock up on the tenders when they’re on sale. You also need to make the “pasta,” but in this case, the pasta is made from broccoli slaw.
To make the pasta, add about 1/3 cup of water to a hot skillet, then add the slaw.
Cook for about 8 minutes, until the slaw is soft, like pasta.
Now it’s time to put it all together! I add a little slaw “pasta” to the plate, then top with some tomato sauce. Add a few chicken tenders and sprinkle with a little cheese if you’re feeling naughty.
Seriously, yum! And like I said, I don’t even like broccoli. This was totally satisfying, and I didn’t even miss the carbs! Well…not too much. I still love pasta! But if I have to eat healthy, at least this is a pretty darn tasty option.
Here’s the printable:
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 Tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 large (28 oz) can of petite diced tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1-2 pounds chicken breast tenders (or regular breast cut into tenders)
- 1 bag broccoli slaw
- ⅓ cup water
- Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
- Cook garlic, onion, and spices in olive oil over medium-high heat until onions are clear.
- Add tomatoes and lemon juice. Simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a few tablespoons of water if sauce gets too thick.
- Cook chicken in a bit of olive oil until done.
- Add ⅓ cup of water to a hot pan. Add broccoli slaw and cook for about 8 minutes until soft, like pasta.
- Add slaw to plate. Top with sauce and chicken. Add more sauce if desired and sprinkle with cheese.