Light Chicken Bolognese Recipe: So Good You'll Pray for Leftovers (20 Minutes) by Donna John

Light Chicken Bolognese Recipe: So Good You'll Pray for Leftovers (20 Minutes)

Light, fresh and filling, this easy chicken Bolognese recipe is ready in about 20 minutes. The flavors are spectacular and you'll feel good about eating it because it's made with ground chicken and doesn't call for cream. This is one of my all-time favorite pasta recipes. 

Lean ground chicken is cooked in a little olive oil with fresh garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Add the white wine and cook until it is almost evaporated, then add the chicken broth, lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs and butter (the butter is optional but adds a richness to the dish). Stir in the cooked pasta and a little pasta water, and get ready for a taste sensation! 

Because this pasta recipe doesn't contain cream, it reheats perfectly for leftovers and for meal prepping. Serve this light and healthy chicken Bolognese recipe with a salad and crusty bread.

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Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 6


  • 12 ounces penne or rigatoni, cooked according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, tarragon or thyme (or a combination)
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons butter (optional)

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Recipe Notes

  • This dish reheats well in the microwave.
  • Try this recipe with ground turkey instead of chicken.
  • Use whatever type of pasta you like for this recipe. 

Here's how to make it:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute. Add the ground chicken, red pepper flakes, if using, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until chicken is almost cooked through, breaking it up as you stir, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the wine and cook until it almost evaporates. Pour in the chicken broth along with the lemon zest, Parmesan, herbs and butter. Stir and cook until heated through and well combined. 
  3. Add the cooked pasta and stir, adding a little of the reserved pasta water to loosen, if necessary. Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 517

Total Fat: 9.5g

Saturated Fat: 1.9g

Cholesterol: 21mg

Sodium: 172mg

Total Carbohydrate: 79.3g

Dietary Fiber: 8.7g

Total Sugars: 4.6g

Protein: 28.2g

Vitamin D: 0mcg

Calcium: 138mg

Iron: 6mg

Potassium: 124mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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That. Looks. Delicious.
Elisa Schmitz
Donna John strikes again. This looks amazing!
Donna John
We had this again this week. I used rigatoni this time. This is such a good recipe. Light. Refreshing. You feel good eating it. Martin wants me to make it for his parents next week. Now that's saying something! Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
Elisa Schmitz
Oh, my. That looks so so good, Donna John ! I need to try this recipe very soon, thanks!

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