The Great Pasta Question and Lemony Chicken and Vegetable Pasta | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Great Pasta Question and Lemony Chicken and Vegetable Pasta

I hope everyone had a good New Year celebration...mine was very low evening spent at home watching movies on  The tree and the holiday decorations are now all down, and I am ready to get back into a routine, one which includes a more healthy diet!! 

Everyone that does WW knows what the point values for dry pasta are, right?  Of course we do...regular pasta, 2 oz. dry is 5 points+ and whole wheat pasta, 2 oz. dry is 4 points+. But really, who only cooks 2 dry oz. of pasta at one time?  I know I don't.  I will cook a pound of pasta for my family, and then weigh out my portion once the whole pound is cooked...I don't cook 2 oz. separate.  So what does 2 oz. of dry pasta weigh once it's cooked??  I have searched and searched for an answer to this question...and finally today, I decided to do a little experimentation.  First, I weighed out EXACTLY 2 oz. of dry pasta.  (Twice, because I used regular penne type pasta and whole wheat spaghetti type pasta )

dry penne weighed out ( minus the bowl )

2 oz. uncooked whole wheat spaghetti

I cooked both pastas al dente according to package directions separately and then reweighed each.  Here is what I got:

Cooked penne ( minus the bowl )

cooked whole wheat spaghetti ( minus the bowl ) 

As you can see, the cooked pasta weighs a little more than two times the dry.  I believe it would be safe to say, if you measure out 4 oz. of cooked pasta, it would have the same amount of points as 2 oz. dry.  It didn't seem to make a difference in the shape or the composition of the pasta as to the final weight.  Mystery solved!  :) 

And now what to do with this perfectly cooked pasta?  How about a nice, light lemony chicken and vegetable pasta dish? I made this dish for lunch, and it serves one..but you could easily adjust the measurements to make a dish to serve four to six or make this into a two serving recipe for half the points!  You could also leave the chicken out for a few less points or use whatever zero point vegetables you like.

Lemony Chicken and Vegetable Pasta

Servings - 1  huge serving  Serving size - whole recipe   Points plus per serving - 10 points+ 
Calories - 395.2,  Total Fat - 8.7g,  Carb. - 56.7g,  Protein - 25.8g,  7.6g

2 oz. dry penne pasta ( cooked according to package directions)
2 oz. cooked chicken breast, diced (warm)
1 cup fresh broccoli florets
1/2 cup baby carrots
1/2 cup red pepper, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TBS. lemon zest
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
1 TBS. Parmesan cheese, shredded

1.  Cook the broccoli, baby carrots, and red pepper until crisp tender.  ( I used the microwave )  

2. In a small saucepan, melt the brummel and brown spread.  Add the garlic and the lemon zest.  Cook until the garlic gets fragrant.  Take off heat, and add the lemon juice.  

3.  In a small bowl, combine the cooked pasta, chicken, and cooked vegetables. Pour the garlic lemon mixture over and coat evenly.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle on cheese.  Enjoy!  


  1. The things we learn.... I have often wondered this question as well. Thanks for experimenting!

  2. funny you should do the pasta weigh thing. I had this exact question about 3 weeks ago. When a recipe asked for 4 ounces. I didn't know it I was dry or cooked. They told me it was 2 oz uncooked. Nice to see in *person* so to speak.

  3. I so need a food scale! I'm glad you posted this - very good for me to know! Esp. since I'm going to a meeting tonight!!! :) Keep my tush on track, okay? :)

  4. This looks so light and tasty. Is Brummel and Brown spread margarine? (sorry if that's a dumb question, but I don't think we have it here in Canada)
    Have a great day, happy new year!!!!

  5. @ Roz, yes it's a butter flavored spread. here is a link
    I like it because it is low in fat and cals, tastes good, melts great, and has no hydrogenated oils in it!

    and yes, this was so light and tasty! I loved the strong taste of the lemon with the garlic. :) it was filling too!!

  6. Agreed! WW should give you dried and cooked equivalents when it makes sense. The pasta mix looks yummy. Reminds me of summer :)

  7. I actually do cook my portion of pasta separately. I have a teeny pot that I use for my portion and then cook the rest of the family's in the larger pot LOL. I may try this next time though!


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