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Feb 04, 2022 2 min read

This recipe is simple, delicious, and healthy. It can use up an abundance of summer vegetables if you have them. Plus, it is super high in protein and very satisfying, even though it is low in carbohydrates.

This recipe contains protein from the chicken and parmesan cheese. It also has 15 grams of protein per serving from the Carba-Nada Reduced Carb Pasta - Fusilli. The pasta adds another 7 grams of dietary fiber to the amounts already in the zucchini and other vegetables.

The recipe is pretty versatile. These are some possible variations.

  • You can make your own marinara sauce with canned or fresh tomatoes, basil, onions, olive oil, and garlic instead of using jarred sauce.
  • You can make your own breadcrumbs by spreading whole-wheat bread with olive oil and garlic, toasting it, and crushing it. Or you can use low-carb pork panko or toasted almonds instead of breadcrumbs to keep the total carb count down.
  • Mushrooms, kale, bell pepper, and eggplant are other vegetables that are fine instead of or in addition to zucchini and yellow squash.

Recipe for Low-Carb Chicken Fusilli Marinara with Summer Squash and Garlic Breadcrumbs

Makes 4 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Carba-Nada Reduced Carb Pasta - Fusilli
  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced or pressed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and whole
  • 1 large or 2 small chicken breasts, about 8 ounces, skinless
  • 2 small zucchini or yellow squash, cut into spears and then sliced.
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) of marinara sauce
  • 3 cups of fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup of toasted whole-grain breadcrumbs
  • 2 ounces (½ cup) of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, freshly chopped

Instructions:

  1. Make the Carba-Nada Reduced Carb Pasta - Fusilli according to the instructions on the package. Boil water, add the pasta, and cook until nearly al dente, or about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
  2. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet. Add the pressed and whole garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until just fragrant and soft. Remove the whole cloves from the pan and discard them. 
  3. Add the chicken breasts to the skillet. Cook them until brown on one side, or about 4 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then turn the chicken breasts over and cook the other side until all of the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate. Cut the chicken into strips and then into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Add the zucchini or yellow squash to the pan. Let it cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften.
  6. Put the chicken back into the pan. Add the marinara sauce and heat thoroughly. Stir in the cooked pasta and cook for two minutes. Stir in the spinach leaves and cook for another minute. Remove from heat.
  7. Plate the pasta and add any toppings, such as toasted breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, or fresh basil.
  8. Serve and enjoy!
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