- Chris Hemsworth shared a “delicious, quick and easy” chicken pasta recipe on Instagram.
- Sports nutritionist Faye Townsend told Insider it’s a great high-protein meal.
- You can increase the fiber content by adding more vegetables and using whole-grain pasta, she said.
A baked pasta recipe that “Thor” actor Chris Hemsworth shared on Instagram is a great protein-packed meal, a nutritionist tells Insider.
In a publication Showing her cooking with this shared trainer on Aug. 11, Hemsworth said the Smoked Tomato Chicken Bake was “delicious, quick and easy.”
Sports nutritionist Faye Townsend told Insider, “Baked pasta can be a quick and easy meal to make. It’s great to see Chris’ meal focusing on whole foods and it would make a great meal rich in protein with the addition of chicken.”
The recipe comes from the actor’s wellness app Centertakes about 45 minutes to prepare and serves four.
How to Cook Pasta with Tomatoes and Smoked Chicken
- 7 ounces penne (or gluten-free pasta)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups of tomato coulis
- 14 ounces precooked chicken breast, shredded
- 1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1⁄2 cup mozzarella, shredded
- 2 sprigs of fresh basil leaves
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the penne. Cook according to directions or until al dente. Strain, toss with half the oil to make sure the pasta doesn’t stick and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a medium-deep pan, add the remaining oil, onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about four minutes. Stir in paprika and oregano.
- Add the vinegar and passata and continue to cook until everything is incorporated and combined.
- Add the chicken, parmesan and pasta and mix well.
- Place in a medium baking dish. Spread over the mozzarella and bake for 12 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
- Let cool for 5-10 minutes and sprinkle with fresh basil to serve.
The fiber content of the recipe could be increased with more vegetables
According Centerthe recipe provides 38.7 grams of protein per serving, and Townsend said chicken, parmesan, and mozzarella are good sources of protein.
“Protein is an important nutrient for muscle growth and repair, and it’s also very filling, keeping us feeling full longer,” she said.
The recipe is balanced because it also provides carbs and fats, Townsend said.
Carbohydrates, found in foods including pasta, are our bodies’ and brains’ favorite form of energy, but replacing white penne with whole grains could boost the fiber content of the meal, a-t she declared.
“Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate, which means the body can’t break it down, so it passes through our gut into our colon,” Townsend said. “As a result, it has been shown to support our gut function, increase the diversity of healthy gut bacteria, and even reduce our risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.”
Fat provides energy and supports cellular function, hormone production and nutrient absorption, Townsend said. She encouraged people to focus on healthier monounsaturated fats like olive oil.
Although Hemsworth’s recipe includes tomato passata, onion and garlic, Townsend recommended adding more colorful vegetables to provide more micronutrients, fiber, antioxidants and polyphenols, which are plant compounds with various health benefits.