RECIPE: Chicken and Broccoli Pasta | #ThisGirlEats

Serves: 2
How much does it cost? This recipe cost less than £1 per person.
What are the benefits? This chicken and broccoli pasta recipe provides at least one of your five a day, as well as being a great source of protein and vitamins.

Oh great, it’s another boring pasta recipe, big yawn – right?


This is anything but just another boring pasta recipe – this pasta is full of succulent chicken and fresh broccoli with a helping of salty, punchy pesto stirred through long ribbons of tagliatelle.

I’m actually not the biggest fan of broccoli myself, but I know it’s really rich in vitamins, iron, fibre and all those lovely things that make a pretty good argument for eating your greens – even if you don’t always want to!

Honestly, even before I made it I spent basically the entire day dreaming about this mound of pasta because I just KNEW it’d be delicious. I was right, of course (I always am – ask my boyfriend, he knows all too well!) but I still didn’t expect it to be so mouth-watering and gorgeously comforting.

When calculating costs using chicken thighs, this recipe came to just under £1 per person, which is great. However, we use “fake chicken” in our house (i.e. Quorn) which can make this recipe significantly cheaper. More common pasta shapes, such as penne or spaghetti, also cost a little less.

I’d love to go to Italy and eat nothing but fresh pasta dishes morning, noon and night – but, until then, my own homemade versions will have to do! 🍝

Check out my other pasta recipes, like red lentil bolognese or three-ingredient pasta bake, for more carb-based inspo!


4 Chicken Thighs, Meat Removed from the Bone and Chopped
1/2 Broccoli, Florets Broken Off or Chopped
1 Onion, Sliced
4 Mushrooms, Sliced
2 tbsp Pesto (reduced fat if possible)
1 Vegetable or Chicken Stock Cube
140g Tagliatelle (or any pasta)

When you’re frying the onion, toss in a little garlic (fresh or dried, your call). When the chicken is cooking through, season everything with a good dose of salt and pepper and then, just before serving, throw in some dried parsley (fresh if you’ve got it) for good measure.


1. In a large pan with a touch of cooking spray or oil, fry the onion for a minute or two. Then add the chicken and cook until the outsides are sealed and no more pink is showing.

2. Bring down the heat a little, add the mushrooms and 1/2 a small cup of water to the pan and then simmer gently for 10 – 15 minutes, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked through. Don’t be afraid to cut a piece open and make sure to be on the safe side!

3. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add a pinch of salt and the stock cube, throw in the pasta (not literally!) and cook according to packet instructions – usually around the 10 minute mark.

4. For the last 5 minutes or so of cooking, chuck your broccoli in with the chicken.

5. Once pretty much all the liquid has gone from the frying pan, stir through your pesto and herbs for a minute or two more.

6. Drain the pasta, combine everything together and serve!

Tips & Tricks

  • As I mentioned before, this recipe can easily be made cheaper – and probably healthier! – by swapping out the chicken for meat-free substitutes or other vegetables.


  • This pasta isn’t made with a “sauce”, really, so a good way of stopping it from becoming too dry is to chop up some fresh tomatoes and stir them in with the pesto. The juice will lift it up and make the whole thing a little lighter.


  • I’ve used fresh broccoli here, but you can absolutely use frozen to make life easier. 🥦

chicken and broccoli pasta


RECIPE: English Breakfast Bake | #ThisGirlEats

Serves: 2
How much does it cost? This recipe cost me less than £1 per person.
What are the benefits? This dish provides three of your five a day, is low in fat, and is suitable for vegetarians.

Brinner. Breakfast for dinner, right? I like a fry up, but I don’t like how bloated and gross I feel afterwards, or how the guilt lingers with me all day (unless I’m hungover, in which case it’s not an indulgence, it’s a necessity!).

This oven-baked, breakfast-inspired dinner is a healthier, fresher version of your typical greasy spoon serving and makes a great evening meal – although I suppose you could always save some up for breakfast too!

It’s a brilliant source of veggies with three of your ‘5 A Day’ in there (baked beans count as one, how bloody great is that?!) so it feels like a fry up but you’re actually feeding your body total goodness. And, hey, at only 93p per person you can get your fill of “brinner” for only a fraction of the cost!

2 Baking Potatoes, Cubed
2 Onions, Sliced
10 Mushrooms
1 Tin of Baked Beans
4 Eggs

When the potatoes go into the roasting tin, they’ll want to be seasoned pretty heavily – you want a good heap of dried rosemary or dried thyme (or both!) all over them, as well as some dried garlic, salt and pepper. Make sure whenever new vegetables are added to the tin they are seasoned with a teeny tiny bit more salt and pepper, and also add a pinch to the fried eggs.

So, this is how I did it…

1. Add the potato cubes to a large roasting tin, coat with a drop of oil or cooking spray and all of the seasoning, and cook on 200°C for 40 minutes.

2. Add the onions to the roasting tin for the last 20 minutes of cooking time. Then, 5 minutes later, add the mushrooms for the final 15 minutes of cooking time.

3. Heat a large frying pan with a very small amount of oil or some cooking spray, crack the eggs into the pan once the oil is hot, and fry until cooked (on a high heat this should only takes 5 minutes or so).

4. Empty the beans into a bowl and microwave according to packet instructions (usually a couple of minutes minutes), or heat in a saucepan on the hob – whichever you prefer!

5. Remove the roasting tin from the oven, pour the beans over the potatoes, onions and mushrooms, and place the eggs on top. Perfect! 🍳

Tips & Tricks!

  • Mix things up! Give it some more veggie goodness by throwing in both sweet potato and normal potato cubes 🍠
  • You could easily downsize this and actually make a tray bake breakfast out of it! It is the most important meal of the day, after all.
  • If you have meat in the fridge that needs using up, sausages and bacon could obviously be included with this dish and make a very tasty addition – but, of course, it won’t be quite so low fat so bear that in mind 🥓

RECIPE: Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Bake | #ThisGirlEats

Serves: 4
How much does it cost? This cost me less than 75p per person.
What are the benefits? This recipe includes at least two of your five a day, is an excellent source of fibre and is totally vegetarian friendly.

Okay, so if you’re seriously watching what you eat, a big dish of pasta loaded with cheese might not be your first choice. I get that. But with #ThisGirlEats, it’s all about making conscious decisions to choose healthier options without completely boycotting the things I love – like oodles of pasta and cheese!

There are plenty of reasons that you shouldn’t write this dish off right away. It’s made with a fresh, light tomato sauce instead of a heavy cream, and replaces meat with loads of vegetables instead. Top that off by wholewheat pasta and low fat cheese and this recipe is already a more nutritious choice.

It’s a hearty, filling recipe, but cheap to make. It’s versatile, too, made up of mostly store cupboard ingredients and all the vegetables I’ve used can be swapped for something else if you prefer.


140g Wholewheat Pasta
1 Carton of Passata
2 Medium Onions, Diced
1 Bell Pepper, Diced
5 Mushrooms, Diced
5 Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
3 Tbsp of Sweetcorn (Fresh or Frozen)
1/2 Cup of Grated Low Fat Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup of Grated Low Fat Mozzarella Cheese

We want this to be as packed with flavour as possible, so make sure everything about this dish is seasoned well. Salt the water for the pasta, for a start. Follow that by adding some dried garlic whilst frying off the vegetables and, once the passata is in the pan, throw in some salt, pepper, garlic flakesdried basil, dried oregano and a pinch of chilli flakes if you fancy a kick. And, finally, before you pop your pasta bake into the oven, sprinkle a generous touch of dried oregano on top.

So, this is how I did it…

1. Stick the pasta in a pot of boiling water and cook according to packet instructions – let’s say 10-15 minutes, ish.

2. Fry the onion and peppers for a minute or two on a pretty high heat before adding the mushroom, cherry tomatoes and sweetcorn, along with some garlic and tomato purée, for a total of 5 minutes or so. You want the vegetables to soften, but still have some texture. No-one wants a bowl of mush!

3. Pour the passata into the pan, throw in your seasoning and cook through for another 5 minutes or so on a medium heat.

4. Drain the pasta and stir into the sauce. Layer the combo in an ovenproof dish and top each layer with cheese – one layer of pasta, top with cheese, one layer of pasta, top with cheese, etc. Finish with hefty sprinkle of oregano.

5. Cook in oven on around 200°C for another 5 minutes.

6. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle over the dried oregano (and a tiny dash of parmesan if you wish, but note that this probably isn’t suitable for vegetarians) on top to finish it off.

veggie pasta bake edit.jpg