Hannah’s Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake cooked

This is one of the recipes that Hannah created at uni and has cooked for the whole family since. It is delicous, filling and quick and easy to make. This recipe is great for students as it is inexpensive and goes a long way so is perfect for batch cooking.

Chicken and broccoli work very well together, but why not experiment with different ingredients, too, and let us know the results!

Ingredients (4 generous portions)

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake Ingredients
  • 400g pasta – we used farfalle but fusilli, penne or any other short pasta of your choice will work
  • 40g butter plus a knob to cook the chicken
  • 40g plain flour
  • 400ml milk
  • 200g grated cheddar cheese – you can experiment with different types of cheese (e.g. blue cheese)
  • 1 broccoli stalk
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken thigh fillets (use breast if you prefer)
  • a drop of olive oil
  • a pinch of fine salt
  • a small handful of coarse salt for the pasta water
  • a drop of vegetable oil for the pasta water
  • 75g breadcrumbs
  • 10g grated parmesan
  • optional: a sprinkling of garlic granules

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C
  2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil with the coarse salt and vegetable oil
  3. Cut the chicken into small pieces (roughly 1cm x 1cm)
  4. Cut the broccoli florets into similar sized pieces as the chicken
  5. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes fewer than indicated on the pack
  6. While the pasta is cooking, cook the chicken and make the cheese sauce:
    • In a small pan, melt a knob of butter and add a drop of olive oil to stop the butter burning
    • With the pan on a high heat, add the chicken, and season with a sprinkling of salt and the garlic granules (if using)
    • Stir and turn the heat down, leaving the chicken to cook, remembering to stir from time to time while you make the cheese sauce
    • In another small pan, melt 40g of butter and stir in the flour to make a roux
    • Gradually add the milk, stirring continuously to avoid lumps forming, allowing each bit of milk to amalgamate into the roux before adding any more
    • Once all the milk has been added, keep stirring on a low heat as the béchamel sauce thickens
    • Once the béchamel sauce is thick and velvety, remove it from the heat and stir in the grated cheddar
  7. Drain the pasta and pour into an oven-proof dish
  8. Mix in the cooked chicken, cheese sauce and the raw broccoli
  9. Combine the parmesan and breadcrumbs and sprinkle liberally over the top of the dish
  10. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes or until the crust is deliciously golden
Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake before baking
Chicken and broccoli pasta bake ready to go in the oven – before adding breadcrumbs and parmesan (left) and after (right)

Note: You can cook this delicious chicken and broccoli pasta bake a day in advance and re-heat it the following day. Take it out of the fridge a couple of hours before re-heating, then heat in a pre-heated oven (160°C fan) for approximately 45 minutes or until piping hot throughout.

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake cooked
Hannah’s chicken and broccoli pasta bake

Hannah’s Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake | Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!

Pureed food ideas for gastric sleeve diet

Baba Ganoush | Aubergine Dip | Eggplant Dip

Instead of writing a load of recipes for the pureed food phase of the post-gastric sleeve (sleeve gastrectomy) diet (pureed food does not LOOK all that attractive in photos! lol), I have decided to list some ideas, based on the food I’m eating over this two-week phase.   I will keep adding ideas as I try more foods!

For the most part, I am trying to plan meals for me and my husband that I can just puree and eat alongside him, so there is no need during this phase to constantly cook different meals for yourself. 

Also remember that when you move onto pureed food from your liquid diet, some foods may initially ‘get stuck’ on the way down and you may feel uncomfortable as a result.  If that is the case, try them again a week or so later to see if it’s any easier. 

Disclaimer: I am not a dietitian or medical professional.  These are simply ideas based on meals I have created to suit my own dietary needs and, as I’ve enjoyed them, I wanted to share them. If you are unsure about the suitability of any ingredients or recipes on my blog for your own requirements, please check with a health professional first. 

Bangers and (sweet potato) mash

I cooked a delicious sausage in onion gravy (best to use a high-meat content sausage so you’re not filling yourself up with ‘fillers’ put into the sausage meat.  I particularly love ‘Heck 97%’ gluten-free sausages.). 

For the onion gravy, I browned a red onion cut into wedges in a bit of spray cooking oil, then made up the gravy with a Knorr Onion Gravy Pot and water.  

I also cheated and bought ready-made sweet potato mash.  Once the sausage was cooked, I blitzed the sausage with a bit of gravy and a couple of pieces of onion, served on the side of the sweet potato mash, then poured a little bit of the gravy (no onions) over the top.  It was DELICIOUS!

Smashed avocado (breakfast, but not only!)

I took a very ripe avocado, mashed up half of it with a fork, adding a drop of lime juice, a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, and a drop of extra virgin olive oil.  

Make sure you chew any remaining chunks really well and eat it nice and slowly. 

Slow-cooked lamb shank with red wine, garlic and rosemary

I have made little cuts in the lamb shank and placed chunks of garlic into them, then sprinkled dry rosemary over the entire shank (it’s even nicer with fresh rosemary – just insert some sprigs into the cuts with the garlic).  

I then seasoned generously with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, browned in a hot non-stick pan with a bit of olive oil and placed it in a slow-cooker.  I then de-glazed the pan with a small bottle of red wine, which I poured over the lamb in the slow cooker. 

Once the lamb was cooked, I made gravy with the juices, cornflour, gravy browning and some chicken stock.  To serve, I blitzed some gravy,  a small and very tender piece of lamb, and a tiny amount of cooked vegetables (carrots & broccoli), and served it alongside some mashed potato. 

Chicken liver paté

It’s really simple to make a low-fat, nutritious chicken liver paté.  Here is my recipe, which is also reflux-friendly.  The beauty of chicken liver paté is that it is rich in protein and iron – both essential after bariatric surgery. 

Rich spicy chicken and sweetcorn soup

rich spicy chicken and sweetcorn soup

This indulgent, creamy-tasting soup is an even more low-fat adaptation of my reflux-friendly chicken and sweetcorn chowder, liquidised to be suitable for the post-bariatric surgery liquid diet phase.  It stands up as a new soup in its own right as it is absolutely delicious and suitable for the whole family! Please note changes to my original recipe, below. 

rich spicy chicken and sweetcorn soup

Follow my original recipe, except for: 

  • replace the butter with a few sprays of spray-cooking oil, if you want to make it even more low-fat
  • do not add ANY flour
  • once the soup is cooked, liquidise it all in a fine blender, then pass it through a fine sieve – this is really important on the liquid diet, to ensure no sweetcorn hulls or other small ‘bits’ are left behind

Serve and enjoy! 

Gloriously simple, gloriously good!

Disclaimer: I am not a dietitian or medical professional.  These are simply ideas based on meals I have created to suit my own dietary needs and, as I’ve enjoyed them, I wanted to share them. If you are unsure about the suitability of any ingredients or recipes on my blog for your own requirements, please check with a health professional first.