15-Minute Bruschetta Chicken Pasta



omg I worked for 10 hours straight today!

Ok, it might not sound like such a crazy feat, but I literally did not stop working once from 6:30am-4:30pm. Insanity. Got a millllion things done though, which is great because I couldn’t fall asleep last night thinking about everything I had to accomplish in my short, 3 day work week. Eek!

Although it made me a little nutty, the long day DID work like a charm in getting me motivated to go directly to the gym as soon as work was over (well, also all that cheese…) I was out of there like a shot. Destination: treadmill.

It was the weirdest thing – my treadmill seriously had an electric current running through it! My earbuds kept zapping my poor ears and the waist bar kept buzzing my waist when I bumped against it. What the?! I very gingerly, without touching anything, completed this 47 minute, 5.2 mile treadmill routine:

Time Speed Incline
0-2 4.0 1%
2-5 6.0 1%
5-10 6.5 1%
10-15 7.0 1%
15-20 6.5 1%
20-25 7.5 1%
25-30 6.5 1%
30-35 7.0 1%
35-40 6.5 1%
40-45 7.5 1%
45-47 4.0 1%
Total: 5.2 miles

I was SO jazzed by the end of this run – I haven’t seen 5 miles in a hot minute! I’ve been hovering around it since summer, I feel, and this workout was challenging but also gave me enough rest periods so that I could go the distance. Followed up with 10 minutes on the step mill. Done and done!

In other news, I made the BEST dish tonight: Bruschetta Chicken Pasta. You are 6 ingredients and 15 minutes away from dinner, my friends! :)


I started by sautéing 2 chicken breasts seasoned with garlic salt, dried basil, onion powder and pepper, in olive oil.

DSC_0010 DSC_0012

I moved the chicken to a bowl when it was done, then cooked up chopped asparagus seasoned with garlic salt, in a tad more olive oil, in the same skillet. Just until it was barely tender. We like crisp asparagus in this house!


The asparagus joined the chicken in the bowl when it was done, then I poured the contents of this Trader Joes’ Bruschetta Sauce in the skillet to warm up.


YUM, right?!


Fresh roma tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, basil, garlic and olive oil. Delicious, perfectly seasoned and all ready to go.


Everyone joined 1lb of cooked penne pasta, then I pulled out the big guns…


Tuscan Herb Olive Oil.


Courtesy of my friends Lindsey and Sam who came to visit Ben and me this weekend! Isn’t that sweet of them?!


They picked it out at Old Town Oil in Chicago where there are a bunch of olive oils and vinegar barrels that you can taste, choose and fill your own bottles from. Isn’t that neat? I drizzled the oil over the warm pasta and the scent of tuscan herbs filled the entire kitchen. Fantastico!


A big scoop filled my bowl, which I drizzled with my other secret ingredient balsamic reduction!


Sweet, thick and so good you’ll want to put it on EVERYTHING. Trust me on this!


Ahhhh! Total restaurant dish right here you guys! Easy, filling and exploding with flavor.


The bruschetta was so juicy and the flavored olive oil and reduced balsamic vinegar seriously put it over the top. Check out that sauce pocket. ;)


And how easy, right? Store-bought bruschetta sauce! Total once-a-weeker right there. :)


10 out of 10 forks, for ease and flavor. Company worthy!


There are 12-15 Trader Joe’s mini crispy chocolate chip cookies calling my name. I must go answer the call! Have a great night!


How many hours do you usually work a day?

What do you like to give for fun host/hostess gifts?

I’ll admit – I just usually bring a bottle of wine!

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  1. Asparagus AND balsamic reduction?! My two favorite things – looks delish!

  2. I work 8 hours a day. That same thing has happened to be on the treadmill before, and it’s horrible. I hate being shocked! Love the chicken pasta meal. Definitely something I’d love to try!

  3. Great pics- your dinner looks awesome! I brng wine, or a nice wine stopper. I keep a small collection of little hostess gifts on hand!

  4. I typically make cookies for a hostess gift.
    What a great weeknight dinner!
    My day was super long too. Teaching, plus two meetings, and family night. Good thing I had a casserole waiting for me at home!

  5. Kristen 01.18.2011

    Thanks for the choc chip cookie recommendation! They are yummy.

    I bought cornbread mix from TJ’s the other day and the cashier said it is EVEN better mixed with their creamed corn. Yummy mix without the preservatives/weird ingredients!

  6. Meghan 01.18.2011

    Looks so good! I’m definitely making that soon. Did you know you can taste awesome oil and vinegar from barrels at All Spice in the east village? It’s great stuff

    • Kris 01.18.2011

      I was just about to make a comment to Kristin about Allspice! My man and I went to their open house during East Village’s Grand Prominade earlier this winter and it was so nice to go in their and see what it’s all about.

      • Kristin 01.19.2011

        Just about to comment the same thing, too! It’s my new favorite store because you can wander around and waste nearly an hour smelling and tasting amazing things and actually come out spending nothing, so a fun free activity. HOWEVER of course their stuff is amazing, and I am loving the wild mushroom and sage olive oil!!!!!

      • Ellie 01.19.2011

        agreed!! :)

  7. Megan 01.18.2011

    Looks yummy!! Check out AllSpice in the East Village for unique olive oils. They have quite a few balsamic vinegars and olive oils to try, plus their recommended pairings! We love the 18-year-old balsamic!

  8. I usually do the bottle of wine thing too…unless it’s someone I know realllllly well in which case I like to bring a Yankee Candle :)

  9. jen 01.18.2011

    I work 8 hour days…but if you’re asking how many hours I actually “work”…..it varies. Ha!

  10. You’re making me crave pasta…as an after dinner snack! :-P

  11. You pic 5th from the bottom looks like there is an eagle/bird picture in it! You can see the eye really good. : )

    Or maybe I’m just overly tired and seeing animals in weird places!

  12. Cheryl 01.18.2011

    Megan beat me to the All Spice recommendation. The 18-year balsamic is incredible and the ginger honey white balsamic makes amazing vinegrette. Along with the olive oils and vinegars, they have a ton of hard-to-find and unusual spices. It’s become my go to shop for hostess gifts for my foodie friends!

  13. Erin 01.18.2011

    I am a teacher and a gymnastics instructor. My work days are usually 10-13 hours.

    Wine is usually my staple to take to a host/hostess as well. I will be reading the comments for other creative ideas though!

  14. Stephanie 01.18.2011

    Ok…you can cook for me…and I’ll bring the wine. :)

  15. oh goodness… yum!

  16. Lee 01.18.2011

    I usually bring wine too.

  17. Fabulous fabulous dinner!! Wow, love it :)

    In my current job I work anywhere from 8 to 10 hours a day depending on the time of year/month plus a few weekend hours here and there as needed. Definitely much better than my few years in public accounting where we worked 15+ hour days during our busy season plus weekends! Let’s just say that was NOT for me ;)

  18. Delicious! I think this dish will be making an appearance in our meal plan next week – too many/not enough IGE recipes are gracing our dining table this week already!

    I always like wine for a hostess gift….ummmm, that is if I bring one!

  19. Shannon 01.18.2011

    I LOVE the idea of using the premade bruschetta in that dish.

    I work 8 hours a day… and I usually bring a bottle of wine or if I know my host/hostess is more of a foodie, I’ll bring some kind of gourmet treat.

  20. Totally depends on the week – today i was there from 8am to 5:30pm! Other days it’s more 9 to 5. 10 hours straight is LONG!

    Also – congrats on the 5 miler! That is a HUGE treadmill accomplishment! I remember you making that a mileage goal a few months ago:)

  21. I worked a big fat ZERO hours today, but that’s because I’m in the process of (very hopefully) getting hired by a news station. Yipee!!!

    I usually bring wine for a hostess gift as well; either that or dessert : )

  22. MelissaOklahoma 01.18.2011

    That looks great! The olive oil was a great idea for a hostess gift! I have given a bouquet of flowers before… but wine is usally a winning choice!

    I work 12 hours a day three times a week. It’s nice having four days a week off (but they vary from week to week and aren’t neccesarily all in a row) but makes for a looooong day.

  23. Jessica Lee 01.18.2011

    For 6 months of the year I work 70-90 hours a week :( and normal 40 hours the rest of the 6 months. I would rather just work 10 hours a week for the whole year!

    I love old town oil! And I like that you can taste them before purchasing.

  24. That looks really good! If I’m at work-work, I work 8 hour days, if I’m doing school work, I don’t even want to think about how long my days are. Sometimes more than 12 hours if they have to be to get my work done!

  25. J 01.19.2011

    Ever since I made your Mozzarella-Stuffed Bruschetta Turkey Burgers with Balsamic Glaze, I have been in love with balsamic glaze!! I will definitely have to try this recipe! Looks so good!

  26. Stacey 01.19.2011

    Another fantastic dish to try! And, for local olive oil and balsamic goodness (in dozens of natural flavors), head to Allspice in the East Village!

  27. I work about 8 hours a day and try to fit in a run in the AM and go to the gym during lunch.

    Your pasta looks AMAZING! It’s another reason I need a Trader Joe’s in Florida….ay yay yay.

  28. I love that olive oil! We have an olive oil company like that here in Stillwater, Minnesota…I can spend forever in their dunking pieces of bread…if you get the chance, try their truffle oil! Goodness it’s lovely…
    As for hostess gifts…I”m partial to “a little something homemade” Like a loaf of bread or homemade crackers or a homemade cookie mix.
    cathy b.

  29. Sarah Perry 01.19.2011

    I have been having that same thing happen on the treadmill at the gym too.. I shock myself so many times, and it is so painful!
    Great job on 5 miles! I managed 4.5 a few times last week and felt like a warrior.. HA HA

  30. brandi 01.19.2011

    Ooh, I can’t wait to make this with fresh tomatoes this summer – yum!

  31. Bridget 01.19.2011

    That looks fantastic! I usually bring wine or some type of candy in a cute package. I work 24/7……SAHM! ;)

  32. Susie 01.19.2011

    Can you get that flavor of oil at the grocery store? If not do you recommend another kind? Or do you just use plain?

  33. Miranda 01.19.2011

    That looks amazing! Going to have to make it soon!
    I work 8 hour days. Hostess gift – usually wine, or maybe something yummy and homemade, just depends.

  34. Hope 01.19.2011

    That looks incredible! I am totally going to have to make it one night for dinner!

    I work 10.5 hour days. It sucks but I do get overtime and I definitely need the money. So it works for me. :) Plus, I beat the traffic coming in early in the morning.

  35. Jenn 01.19.2011

    I LOVE Old Town Olive Oil! So funny that you received a bottle — the store is right around the corner from my apartment. They have the best infused olive oil. Glad to hear you enjoyed yours. :)

  36. I had that happen to me last year. I bought a cheap pair of headphones and plugged them into the treadmill jack and they kept shocking my ears! :( OW!

  37. Larissa h 01.19.2011

    i saw this on another blog, but i am sorry Iowa didnt get corn, apparently its for Nebraska- still kind of fun to look at anyway.


  38. Andrea 01.19.2011

    I’m on a salaried job, no overtime. I work about 11 hours/day before adding a 2 hour round-trip commute, M-F. In our peak workload season it gets up to 15 and 16 hour days before the commute, pretty exhausting, so a quick dinner idea is always good to have on deck.

    I also tend to bring wine as hosting gifts, unless I know the couple doesn’t drink and then I bring something baked for dessert or them to enjoy on their own.

  39. Margaret 01.19.2011

    Another 10 out of 10? ;)

    I have the option of a compressed work week in the summer (Friday afternoons off!) but otherwise work 8 hour days.

  40. That’s so weird about the treadmill- glad you didn’t get electrocuted! Hehe.

  41. Machelle 01.19.2011

    I usually take the hostess flowers…what girl doesn’t like fresh flowers? On the rare occasion I need a host gift for the guy…beer & a salted nut roll!

  42. Amy 01.20.2011

    IGE, you work out at Aspen, right? I used to get the same shock on the treadmills at the West Glen location [when I lived there in DSM and worked out at Aspen]. It wasn’t fun but definitely kept me alert during a run!

  43. Encore 02.14.2011

    So good! I made this and posted it because it was so good…with a link back to you of course! Thanks for the easy and flavorful recipe! Hope you enjoyed the weather this weekend!

  44. Cristy R 05.06.2011

    I made this tonight and all 4 of my kids, but especially my pickiest eater, requested that this be “made again soon. Like tomorrow.” they all ate the asparagus, even, which is a first!! Our TJ’s carries the bruschetta in a jar, not the refrigerated version, but it was YUM!!!!

    Wine = my hostess gift as well. Thanks for the awesome blog and recipes!!!!!!!!!!!!

  45. Beth 07.15.2011

    Hey! Love the site – what is a balsamic reduction, and how do I do this? The Chicken Pasta Bruchetta looks so great I must have it! Thanks a bunch.

  46. […] normal round of FTLOGWYMADM and going through the subsequent mental debate, I decided to go with this recipe for Bruschetta Chicken pasta I saw on Iowa Girl Eats.  It’s really not much of a recipe, and that makes me love it all the […]

  47. […] normal round of FTLOGWYMADM and going through the subsequent mental debate, I decided to go with this recipe for Bruschetta Chicken pasta I saw on Iowa Girl Eats.  It’s really not much of a recipe, and that makes me love it all the […]

  48. […] dinner – Bruschetta Chicken and Pasta from Iowa Girl Eats.  I have a ton of bruschetta leftover from our housewarming […]

  49. Megan S 02.05.2013

    Made this last night. My husband’s response: “This may be the best dinner you’ve ever made.” hahaha I think he approves?

    Thank you for a flavor-bursting recipe! So yummy!

  50. […] dinner – Bruschetta Chicken and Pasta from Iowa Girl Eats.  I have a ton of bruschetta leftover from our housewarming […]

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