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!

Chicken in Sweet Pepper Sauce | Low Fat Recipe | Reflux Recipe

As a reflux* sufferer, I often use peppers as a tomato substitute, but they are so much more!

Peppers add a delicious sweetness and richness to many dishes, and this chicken in sweet pepper sauce is no exception.

This recipe makes lots and lots of sauce, that you can then re-use as a soup or as a base sauce for other dishes.  The chicken quantities below are for 4 people, but because it makes so much more sauce, you can just add more chicken thighs for more people.

chicken with sweet pepper sauce

Ingredients (for 4 generous portions)

  • 8 skinless boneless chicken thighs, all visible fat removed
  • 4 big cloves of garlic, finely chopped (leave the garlic out if this triggers your reflux – there are plenty of flavours to make up for the lack of garlic)
  • 2 medium onions, or one large onion, finely sliced (again, if onions trigger your reflux, do not add them)
  • 4-5 peppers (orange, yellow, red), cut into large, approx. 2cm squared, chunks
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • enough boiling water to just about cover all the contents of the pan (if the pan is small and deep, don’t try and cover the contents or the dish will be too watery) – aim for about 700ml
  • 1 chicken stock pot (or any good quality chicken stock cube)
  • optional: a few handfuls of black olives in brine (brine drained)
  • fine sea salt

Method

Remove all visible fat from the chicken, keeping the pieces whole.

Finely chop the garlic (if using), slice the onions (if using) and chop the peppers, keeping all the ingredients separate.

Heat the oil in a non-stick casserole dish, on a high heat.  Season each piece of chicken with a sprinkling of sea salt on both sides and brown in the hot oil.  If your casserole dish is quite narrow, you may have to do this in batches.  Remove the browned pieces from the casserole dish (they just need to be lightly browned, but don’t cook them at this stage).

Add the onions to juices and turn the heat down to medium-low.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing them to soften and start turning translucent (but careful not to let them brown), then add the garlic, stir and cook for another minute.

Add the chicken pieces back in, then add the peppers, olives (if using), the oregano, the chicken stock pot (or cube) and the water and stir.

Turn the heat up and bring to the boil.  Cover with a lid and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.  Cook for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and almost falling apart and the peppers are very soft.

Carefully remove the chicken pieces (including any small pieces that may have broken off) and the olives.

Place the peppers and onions into a blender, with some of the juices, making sure your blender jug is heat proof.   When all the peppers and onions have been removed from the casserole dish, you can place the chicken and olives back in and cover with a lid, to keep warm.  If your blender isn’t very big, do this in batches to avoid spilling hot sauce!  As always, when blending hot liquids, leave the centre piece off the lid and cover with a folded tea towel, then start blending slowly at first. Blend thoroughly to a smooth consistency.

Place a sieve over your casserole dish and gradually pour the sauce through the sieve back into the juices, using a spoon to help you.  Towards the end, you should just be left with minimal pepper paste and the pepper skins, with all the silky pepper sauce having been sieved into the remaining juices.  Stir.

Serve with mashed potato, cous-cous, polenta or rice.

Any left-over sauce will make a great soup the next day!

Gloriously Low-Fat, Gloriously Reflux-Friendly, Gloriously Good!

*Please note I am not a doctor, speech therapist or in any way medically qualified.  The recipes are a combination of my interpretation of the rules outlined in the ‘Dropping Acid – The Reflux Diet’ book and ingredients that work for my reflux.  If you believe you suffer from reflux, please seek advice from a medical professional to confirm your diagnosis and work out the best course of treatment/management for you.  I hope that my recipes can help you as part of this management.  The recipes are, by their nature, very low in fat, so are also suitable for anyone wishing to follow a low-fat diet. 

Chicken Chowder | Chicken Soup | Low-Fat Chicken Chowder | Reflux Recipe

Chicken Chowder (Updated recipe to make it suitable for Reflux sufferers*)

This is a recipe inspired by the amazing ‘soup van’ soup that we used to get when I used to work in an office, a few years ago.  Theirs was definitely NOT low-cal, but this is my own low-fat version.

CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL VIDEO RECIPE (please note adaptations for reflux sufferers in recipe, below)

Ingredients – for 4 hungry people or for 6 people as a starter/first course

  • 6 skinless boneless chicken thigh fillets, all visible fat removed
  • 4 medium-sized potatoes (approx 450g)
  • 1 large tin sweetcorn, drained (285g drained weight)
  • 10g butter
  • 4tbsp plain flour
  • 4 cloves garlic (If you are a reflux sufferer affected by garlic, then either leave the garlic out altogether or replace it with a sprinkling of thyme)
  • 2l chicken stock (you can use home-made, or any good commercial stock…I like to make it up with 2l boiling water and 4 Knorr Chicken Stockpots)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Dried chilli flakes (to taste – do not add these if you are a reflux sufferer and chilli affects you.  I personally find I can easily tolerate a very light sprinkling added during cooking, but definitely not as shown in the photo below!)

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a large stockpot
  2. Add the chicken and garlic (if using – if you are using thyme instead, you can add it at this stage), season with salt & chilli flakes (if using)
  3. Brown the chicken on a high heat for a minute or two
  4. Turn down the heat to minimum & add the flour, stirring it in well
  5. Add a few drops of chicken stock and stir these in well, making a paste around the chicken pieces
  6. Keep adding the stock, a little bit at a time, each time stirring it in well before adding more
  7. Once you’ve added all the stock, add the potatoes and sweetcorn
  8. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat
  9. Simmer for 20-30 mins, until the potatoes are soft but not mushy, stirring occasionally
  10. Serve immediately

Tip: Don’t put too many chilli flakes in at the cooking stage, but put some on the table, allowing individuals to make this soup as fiery as their tastebuds will tolerate!  Even if you cook this without chilli to avoid setting off your reflux, everyone else around the table can still turn this into a fiery soup by adding chilli flakes at the table.

Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good, Gloriously Reflux-Friendly!

*Please note I am not a doctor, speech therapist or in any way medically qualified.  The recipes are a combination of my interpretation of the rules outlined in the ‘Dropping Acid – The Reflux Diet’ book and ingredients that work for my reflux.  If you believe you suffer from reflux, please seek advice from a medical professional to confirm your diagnosis and work out the best course of treatment/management for you.  I hope that my recipes can help you as part of this management.  The recipes are, by their nature, very low in fat, so are also suitable for anyone wishing to follow a low-fat diet.