Chicken, Pasta and Chickpea Stew

Cover recipe- Cooking Light: Chicken, Pasta and Chickpea Stew: Oct. 2007

Cover recipe- Cooking Light: Chicken, Pasta & Chickpea Stew: Oct. 2007

I reached for my beloved stack of old Cooking Light magazines for today’s post. We’ve had some chilly weather where I live, so the stew on the cover of Oct. 2007: Chicken, Pasta and Chickpea Stew– sounded like a good one to test.  This issue is a treasure that I’m glad I kept: 92 Fabulous Recipes for Fall.  Soup, stew and chili are all fabulous recipes for fall in my book!

The cover recipe is featured in an article about making homemade marinara sauce.  It’s suggested that a pot of marinara sauce can supplement dinners for an entire week- Vegetable Lasagna, Swordfish with Red Sauce, Mussels Marinara, Sausage and Pepper Pizza, Spinach and Ricotta- Stuffed Shells, Baked Ziti Casserole, Shrimp Fra Diavalo, Portobello Parmesan, Escarole-Three Bean and Roasted Garlic Soup, and this recipe… Chicken, Pasta and Chickpea Stew.  Read my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe.

Chicken, Pasta and Chickpea Stew

Print Print Recipe

Chicken, Pasta and Chickpea Stew

Yield: 6 servings (about 1 1/2 cups soup and 1 T cheese)

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 28 min

Ingredients:

1 cup thinly sliced celery
3/4 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 cups Marinara Sauce
1 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
3/4 cup uncooked ditalini (very short tube-shaped macaroni)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 tablespoons shaved fresh Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add celery, carrot, and onion to pan; cook 12 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add broth and next 4 ingredients (through pepper); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes or until pasta is tender. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes or until chicken is done. Sprinkle with cheese.

Tips:

*I did not make the suggested homemade marinara sauce for this recipe- I used Classico Tomato- Basil Marinara instead.
*Fatty chicken thighs drive me CRAZY. It's hard to find substantial meat on thighs. I like to spend a little more and buy them at a nice meat counter. Shredded chicken breast would work just fine too.
*To make the soup ahead, omit the pasta and refrigerate or freeze the soup. As the soup reheats over medium heat, cook pasta separately according to package directions, then stir it in shortly before serving. Use leaves from celery stalks as a garnish.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1 1/2 cups soup + 1 T. cheese
Calories per serving: 237
Fat per serving: 7.1g
Saturated Fat per serving: 2g
Sodium per serving: ,span class="sodium">724mg
Fiber per serving: 5.8g
Protein per serving: 15.5g
Cholesterol per serving: 29mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 28.1g

*Note that the nutritional info included above is based on the idea that you use the Basic Marinara Sauce recipe from Cooking Light for the sauce called for in this recipe.

Source: Cooking Light, Oct. 2007

The results:

This was a very simple recipe to make, and it was quick too. My soup/stew turned out a lot thicker than the photograph on the cover of the magazine, which could be due to the marinara sauce I chose to use. I’d probably add a little more chicken broth next time. I really love chickpeas, but I’m not sure how I feel about them in this recipe. They just seemed kind of out of place. If you’re not into chickpeas, white beans might make a nice replacement. I’d also prefer shredded chicken breast in this recipe. We liked the stew, but with beans and chicken breast in there… we might like it a whole lot more. Parmesan isn’t pictured, but you definitely want to sprinkle a generous portion on top.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

As written, I didn’t absolutely LOVE it, but the base recipe has potential. And for that reason, I’m going to have to say “no,” that I don’t think it deserved the cover.

Lori is the founder of RecipeGirl.com. She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at RecipeBoy.com.


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17 Responses to “Chocolate- Mint Bars”

  1. 1

    Tracey — March 10, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

    I love the chocolate/mint combo so these look fantastic to me! Even better that it’s a CL recipe :)

  2. 2

    Cookin' Canuck — March 11, 2011 @ 9:09 am

    These sounds like a wonderful, lightened-up treat to indulge in. Perfect for St. Paddy’s Day.

  3. 3

    A Bowl Of Mush — March 11, 2011 @ 9:32 am

    Ooh I want one now! Yum!!

  4. 4

    Jenny Flake — March 11, 2011 @ 9:35 am

    That last photo is so gorgeous! making me want a mint bar asap!!

  5. 5

    Sandra Simmons — March 11, 2011 @ 9:48 am

    THANK YOU for posting the WW points! I would love to make this but 7 is steep and would just multiply since I would probably eat the whole pan!

  6. 6

    Tracy — March 11, 2011 @ 9:53 am

    Perfect for St. Patty’s Day! Yum!

  7. 7

    Laurel — March 11, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

    These look so delicious, and pretty! We’re featuring all things GREEN this week on the M&T Spotlight and I’d love for you to submit this. http://www.makeandtakes.com/spotlight

  8. 8

    Evan Thomas — March 12, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

    Yum! I would hope for a fudgier brownie but even so these sound terrific. I made a recipe similar to this back in January. Dare I say they were my favorite brownies ever?

  9. 9

    Brian @ A Thought For Food — March 12, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

    One of my favorite things that my mom makes is a chocolate mint bar… that’s exactly like this.

    I just read your note that said that they’re good cold… YES! We always kept them in the freezer. It’s so much better that way.

  10. 10

    bridget {bake at 350} — March 12, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

    Oh, I’m so craving chocolate and mint right now. Have something planned for next week, but it’s not light….and it SHOULD be; I’m *trying* to be good! ;) Darn those WW points!

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Lori!

  11. 11

    Barbara | VinoLuciStyle — March 12, 2011 @ 8:03 pm

    I’ve been making a non light version of these for holiday gift baskets for yeasr. I’m anxious to try these and see the difference.

    One thing; that top layer used to be a problem until I started using a warm knife. Dip your knife into very hot water before slicing the squares, it should help to keep it from cracking without having to let the dessert warm up.

  12. 12

    grace — March 13, 2011 @ 12:09 am

    bliss. yes, these are perfect for good ol’ st patty’s day, but they’re more than welcome in my belly any day. :)

  13. 13

    anjali — March 14, 2011 @ 12:02 am

    These look so delicious! I have a feeling I’ll be making these someday soon.

  14. 14

    Jeannie — March 17, 2011 @ 10:29 am

    looks so good! I am so drooling !

  15. 15

    Heather — April 17, 2011 @ 10:29 am

    Made this yesterday and I must say it’s delish!!!!!! Cannot stop eating this and I still need to bring it to my moms for Sunday dinner!!

  16. 16

    WEndy Moor — December 17, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

    THESE ARE SO GOOD. My sister made them last year. Couldn’t believe they were “light.” So glad I found this recipe :)

  17. 17

    Pat Kachold — December 20, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

    I call them Frango Mint Bars. They are one of my must bake Christmas bars.
    I’ve been making these for at least 20 years. Don’t remember where the recipe came from but they are a seasonal favorite of mine. I do make them on special occasions When asked. Everyone should have this recipe in their recipe box.
    Yummy

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