Mediterranean Chicken Pasta with Spinach and Red Bell Peppers

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Chicken sauteed with spinach, red bell peppers and plenty of garlic tossed with penne pasta for a Mediterranean style pasta meal.


  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided, plus oil spray
  • 2 chicken breast fillets, about 1 lb, sliced crosswise about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, or 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • handful chopped olives
  • dash of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 12 ozs penne or other short pasta shape
  • salt to taste


  1. Start a pot of water boiling to cook the pasta.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add the red bell pepper and sauté for 7 to 10 minutes on medium heat, until the pepper has softened and and the pepper smell starts wafting through the kitchen. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
  3. Push the peppers and garlic to the edge of the pan to clear some space in the center of the skillet. Spray that middle area with oil to coat, raise heat to medium high, and add the chicken pieces to the center of the pan.
  4. Sprinkle the chicken with a bit of salt. Cook chicken about 4 minutes on one side so that it starts turning white on the cooked side. Turn the chicken over to cook for another 3 minutes or so.
  5. Add the chicken broth and basil to the pan. Stir to combine the chicken with the red peppers and garlic. Lower heat to simmer covered on medium low for about 10 minutes. This simmering will finish cooking the chicken through and get the flavors to come together. After the 10 minutes of simmering covered, remove the cover and cut open one of the thicker pieces of chicken to make sure it is cooked through.
  6. Stir in the spinach, and cook covered for a couple minutes until the spinach starts to wilt.
  7. As the chicken simmers, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain when the pasta is done to your liking, and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil.
  8. When then chicken is cooked and spinach has wilted, add the chicken mixture to the pasta and toss to combine. Stir in the feta cheese, followed by the olives and lemon juice. Plate and serve, passing additional feta cheese or parmesan cheese at the table.
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