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: Red Lentil Spaghetti “Bolognese” | #ThisGirlEats

Serves: 4
How much does it cost? This cost me less than 50p per person.
What are the benefits? This lentil bolognese is an excellent source of veggie protein, as well as easily supplying you with two of your five a day and makes a brilliant vegetarian-friendly meal.

This all started with me buying lentils for a curry about three months ago and having half a bag leftover sitting in the cupboard. I’ve not cooked with lentils much so I didn’t really know how to use them up, but I don’t like to waste food so I began searching online for inspiration…

There are loads of lentil curries out there, even some lentil chillies, so I was really spoilt for choice when it came to ideas. During my research I discovered lentils are often used to bulk out vegetarian meals because they’re a great source of protein, have tonnes of texture and are super filling.

So, with this in mind, I made a swap, taking the mince meat out of traditional bolognese and sneaking lentils in its’ place for a hearty, healthy pasta – and red lentil spag bol was born!


1 Mug of Red Lentils
2 Medium Onions, Chopped
2 Large Mushrooms, Chopped
Handful of Sweetcorn, Fresh or Frozen (if using)
1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
1 Tbsp of Tomato Puree
1 Stock Cube, Crumbled 
1 Litre of Boiling Water
280g Wholewheat Spaghetti

First thing to add is the dried garlic flakes, which go in with the onion. After that, sprinkle a few chilli flakes, a hefty dose of dried oregano and dried basil, salt and pepper when it all starts to simmer. A couple of minutes before serving the bolognese, throw in some mixed herbs too.

So, this is how I did it…

1. Spray a large, deep pan or dish with cooking spray, or splash in a small drop of oil. Cook the chopped onions and dried garlic flakes on a medium heat for a few minutes, until soft.

2. Add the lentils, mushrooms, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, a crumbled stock cube, one litre of boiling water and seasoning. Stir and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes.

3. If you’re adding sweetcorn, throw it in for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

4. Cook the spaghetti in salted water according to packet instructions – usually 10 – 15 minutes.

5. Serve (with grated cheese and garlic bread, if you want to make it even more awesome! 🧀)


RECIPE: Oven-Cooked Sweet Potato Fries | #ThisGirlEats

Serves: 1
How much does it cost? This cost me less than 50p per person.
What are the benefits? These fries are 1 of your 5 a day, are low fat, and make a great vegan side dish.

I’ve always assumed I don’t like sweet potatoes. It’s just sort of always been a thing for me, like, “Sweet potatoes? No thanks.” It’s an instant reaction. But they seem like something I should like. So this week I tried making sweet potato fries at home as a last-ditch attempt to jump on the foodie bandwagon – and LOVED them!

It depends how you wanna serve these – I had them on their own for lunch, so I just cooked up a whole sweet potato for myself. I was ecstatic to find there’s a way to essentially just eat a big bowl of fries for lunch and feel great afterwards.

You can get a sweet potato for around 35p and you’re pretty much sorted, so it’s a definitely cost-effective option. Not only that, but sweet potatoes are, of course, a vegetable, so you’re now using a side of delicious fries as one of your five a day!


1 Sweet Potato, Sliced into Chips 

For me, seasoning is key for this recipe, adding a healthy dose of flavour helped me scoff down with delight something I would’ve previously avoided. Coat the fries with a sprinkle of salt (try onion salt for an extra burst of flavour!) and pepper, a pinch of garlic flakes and a handful of rosemary, dried or fresh.

So, this is how I did it…

1. I’m not really familiar with cooking sweet potato, on account of inexplicably not eating them for most of my life, but hacking away until it resembled chip-shaped chunks. Seemed to work out fine.

2. Lay the fries out on a baking tray, cover with a small amount of oil (I was afraid cooking spray wouldn’t crisp up properly – but feel free to try it!) and season with salt, pepper, garlic flakes and rosemary.

3. It was a complete guess, but I cooked on 220°C for 20 minutes, turning them over halfway through and they turned out fine. Crispy and, to my surprise, utterly delicious!

sweet potato fries
Crispy, tasty, oven-baked sweet potato fries