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  • Writer's pictureSusie Csorsz Brown

One-pot Chicken, Broccoli and Pasta

We didn't eat Hamburger Helper growing up, but I know a lot of friends who did. I still remember the little hand mascot, dancing around and singing. I never really thought trying to make something Hamburger-helper-esque until I saw a spoof ad for it recently.

This is an amazing weekday dinner option, mostly because it takes little effort to get together, and tastes great, even though it doesn't take a huge amount of time. Best part: with the broccoli cooked right in there with the pasta and chicken, it's a one-pan complete meal.

Now you know I add Aleppo to pretty much everything. It adds a lovely oomph without a lot of heat. You can, of course, sub in any other chili flakes if you'd rather. And yes, fish sauce. It will add a bit of background yumminess without any fishy flavor.

Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli
Pasta, cooked together with chicken and broccoli. So good!

One-Pot Chicken, Broccoli and Pasta

(aka Hamburger Helper)

Serves: 6


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced

Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

1 large-ish head broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces

2 pounds ground chicken

2 teaspoons ancho chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tsp Aleppo chili flakes

1 - 2 T fish sauce

1 pound short pasta, like elbow or ditalini

2 medium zucchini, grated on a box grater

1 large-ish head broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces

3 1/2 cups chicken broth

freshly grated parmesan for serving

Parsley for serving


Heat a large heavy pot (I like my wide braised, but you could use a dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic and stir. Add a generous pinch of salt and fresh pepper. Saute until glistening and starting to soften. Add the broccoli, stirring to coat with oil, and cook until it starts to turn bright green, 2 - 3 minutes. Add the ground chicken, and cook, breaking up the chunks until it starts to brown. Add chili, paprikas, and Aleppo. Stir well, and cook, allowing the meat and onions to brown and cook through, breaking up to fine bits, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the fish sauce, stir well. Add the pasta and zucchini, stirring to combine. Once more, add a generous pinch of salt and pepper, and freshly ground pepper.

Add the broth and stir to combine. Press the pasta into the liquid as best you can. It won’t all be submerged but don’t worry, it’ll all soften eventually.

Place the lid on the pot and simmer over medium-high heat for 15 - 25 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. This is very dependent on the amount of time your pasta would ordinarily need to cook so just keep an eye on it. Remove the lid to stir the mixture once or twice during cooking to ensure all the pasta softens.

Taste and season with more salt and pepper to taste. Divide the pasta between bowls and top with a sprinkle of parmesan and fresh parsley before serving.


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