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


Dinner With… Cooking On A Bootstrap | #ThisGirlEats

Welcome to the first in a short series of #ThisGirlEats blog posts which recreate recipes from some of my favourite online chefs, cooking websites and foodie videos.

I’m always scrolling social media for new recipe inspo (there’s a LOT out there!), some in particular I really love reading (and drooling over). But because I’m always so wrapped up in my own ideas, I don’t often get a chance to actually cook the amazing recipes I find after hours of glorious internet browsing. There are a few that always stick out as producing amazing-looking food time after time, so I’ve decided to try a few recipes from each one and see how things turn out!

Kicking things off is Jack Monroe, bestselling author, creator of the fabulous website Cooking On A Bootstrap and all-round brilliant human being. I’ve been an admirer of Jack’s work for a while now and feel like Cooking On A Bootstrap – a website chocka with affordable family recipes – is a shining light when it comes to low-cost food. I’ve always wondered just how cheap these recipes really are, because they just look too good to be true! So I picked these three to try…

Mushroom Mac ‘n’ Cheese


I love mushrooms (which drives my boyfriend mad but who cares, more for me!) so this was a no-brainier. There’s nothing too complicated here, and it’s a great one for chucking in the oven and forgetting about for 45 minutes. It’s made with very simple, basic ingredients but feels indulgent when you tuck in, with gooey, creamy cheese and heaps of pasta. If you’re being health conscious, it’s easy to switch things up – wholewheat pasta, milk alternative, low fat cheese, etc. I took Jack’s recommendation of adding garlic and it was totally, utterly delicious. Plus, it fed me for one dinner and two lunches, so it’s definitely cost-effective. Recipe here.

Chickpea and Peach Curry


This is an AMAZING find for anyone with a sweet tooth! Some people hate sweet ‘n’ savoury combos (Hawaiian pizza is the height of food controversy, right up there with how to pronounce ‘scone’ and whether chips deserve curry sauce or gravy), but I’m quite partial it myself. This curry is so simple, most ingredients are straight out of a tin with minimal effort required. The whole thing is basically comprised of fruit and vegetables, and it doesn’t need to be spicy at all so makes a great curry for the kids. This one will definitely be making a more regular appearance in my house! Recipe here.

Pork and Prune Burgers


Confession time: I didn’t follow the recipe exactly here. I don’t like prunes, but I swapped them out for chopped apricots instead and it was all good, still super tasty. Again, these were incredibly easy to make – mix together, smush into burgers and cook. Bosh! Done! They’re a seriously scrumptious healthier choice, you don’t miss the beef whatsoever. These burgers are both genuinely affordable and thoroughly enjoyable. We honestly scoffed them down, they barely touched the sides! Recipe here.


* None of the people featured in this little series are affiliated with #ThisGirlEats whatsoever and were not involved in the ‘Dinner With…’ blog posts. It’s just a bit of fun and a chance to try some new recipes!


RECIPE: Homemade Chocolate Banana Oat Bars | #ThisGirlEats

Serves: 4 (makes four bars)
How much does it cost? This recipe cost me less than 25p per person.
What are the benefits? This recipe is very high in antioxidants and fibre but low in salt.

The idea from this recipe sprung from two things: laziness and forgetfulness.

It’s been waaay too hot in the mornings lately to do… Well, anything! It’s definitely too hot to sit down to my usual breakfast, a bowl of steaming porridge. In fact, I can barely be bothered to peel myself off the sticky leather sofa to make a cup of tea, let alone sort out food! I need something to just grab ’n’ go, so that’s where the laziness comes in.

Now, as for being forgetful, I’m always in charge of the shopping list and sometimes I get so carried away creating all these recipes that I miss out the basics. Most recently I forgot to get cereal bars, an essential part of our speedy packed lunches which are sorely missed alongside our jam sandwiches. 🤦‍♀️

The solution? Make my own version! These chocolate banana oat bars are so easy to make, even the kids can get involved (although things might get messy!). They can be rustled up with pretty basic ingredients and, best of all, they’re really yummy! Make a batch so you can just grab one whenever you fancy, perfect on the go. With these, you know exactly what goes into them – just five simple ingredients! Easy peasy.

There’s a lot of nutrition packed into these little bars; bananas are one of your five a day 🍌 oats help lower blood sugar 🥣 honey is a wonderful natural sweetener 🍯 And the chocolate spread? Well, that’s just for fun! 🍫


8 tbsp Plain Oats
2 Bananas 
1 ½ tsp Clear, Runny Honey
1 tsp Chocolate Spread
3 tbsp Milk (or Milk Alternative) 

So, this is how I did it…

1. Grab a bowl and mix together most of the ingredients – the oats, honey, chocolate spread and milk.

2. Add the banana, mash like crazy with a fork and stir into the mixture until everything is well combined.

3. Lightly grease a baking tray, or line with greaseproof baking paper, and divide the mixture into four bars on the tray.

4. Cook on 180°C for around 30 minutes, or until the bars have firmed up.