- Chris Hemsworth shared a ‘delicious, quick, and easy’ chicken pasta bake recipe on Instagram.
- Sports nutritionist Faye Townsend told Insider it’s a great high-protein meal.
- You can boost the fiber content by adding more vegetables and using wholemeal pasta, she said.
A pasta bake recipe that “Thor” actor Chris Hemsworth shared on Instagram is a great high protein meal, a nutritionist told Insider.
In a post showing him cooking with this trainer shared on August 11, Hemsworth said the smoky chicken tomato bake is “delicious, quick and easy.”
Sports nutritionist Faye Townsend told Insider: “Pasta bakes can be a quick and easy meal to throw together. It’s great to see Chris’s meal focusing on whole foods and it would make an excellent high protein meal with the addition of the chicken.”
The recipe is from the actor’s wellness app Centr, takes about 45 minutes to make, and serves four.
How to make the smoky chicken tomato pasta bake
- 7 ounces penne (or gluten free pasta)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups tomato passata
- 14 ounces pre-cooked chicken breast, shredded
- 1⁄2 cup parmesan, grated
- 1⁄2 cup mozzarella, grated
- 2 sprigs of fresh basil leaves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add penne. Cook according to directions or until al dente. Strain, toss with half the oil to make sure the pasta doesn’t stick together and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a medium deep pan, add remaining oil, onion, and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about four minutes. Stir through paprika and oregano.
- Add vinegar and passata and continue to cook until all incorporated and combined.
- Stir through chicken, parmesan, and pasta and mix well.
- Place in a medium baking dish. Scatter over mozzarella and bake for 12 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
- Cool for 5-10 minutes and scatter over fresh basil to serve.
The recipe’s fiber content could be boosted with more vegetables
According to Centr, the recipe provides 38.7 grams of protein per serving, and Townsend said the chicken, parmesan, and mozzarella are good protein sources.
“Protein is an important nutrient for muscle growth and repair, and it is also very satiating, keeping us feeling fuller for longer,” she said.
The recipe provides carbs and fats too, Townsend said.
Carbohydrates, found in foods including pasta, are our bodies’ and brains’ preferred form of energy, but swapping from white penne to wholemeal could increase the meal’s fiber content, she said.
“Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate, meaning that the body cannot break it down so it passes through our gut into our colon,” Townsend said. “As a result this has been shown to support our gut functioning, increase the diversity of healthy gut bacteria, and even reduce our risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.”
Fats provide energy and support cell 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 further micronutrients, fiber, antioxidants, and polyphenols, which are plant compounds with various health benefits.