I hope you all were able to get out and enjoy a nice run yesterday! In honor of National Running Day, I wanted to pop in to share one of my favorite recovery recipes with you all. A big thanks to my friends at the Cherry Marketing Institute for sponsoring this post!
This Chicken Pasta with Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onions and Tart Cherries is perfect for fueling muscles post workout. The balance of protein, carbs, and anti-inflammatory foods in this recipe is one to keep on hand after a tough sweat session or to fuel up for a race day.
While carbs and protein are necessary to get right after working out, don’t forget about foods that fight inflammation to prevent muscle soreness and speed recovery. This is one reason why I incorporate Montmorency tart cherries into my diet, since they help to reduce strength loss and aid recovery after exercise.
Boosting antioxidant intake before and after exercise should be a focus for every athlete and fitness enthusiast. Not only is it healthy to eat an antioxidant rich diet, but it can also improve performance so that you’re not super sore for days and can get back out there push another hard effort. Tart cherries contain natural anthocyanins that can assist with fighting inflammation and reducing muscle damage = less achy muscle feeling.
Another reason I like this pasta is you can easily make it in advance and eat off of it all week—hot or cold. Although warm is my preference, it’s tasty chilled or room temperature too.
Okay y’all, so let’s talk flavor explosion in your mouth. Something about roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions and plump tart cherries in one bite… ohhhh they make the perfect pairing.
Ohhhmygoshhhhh!! Let me tell you this one is a job hazard because as I was taking photos for this recipe, I couldn’t stop nibbling on the props, so then I’d have to replenish the bowl to make it look pretty again. It’s that yummy. Go make it now.
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
- 12 ounces whole grain Fuseli pasta
- ½ red onion, diced
- 12 ounces pre-cooked chicken sausage, sliced
- ½ cup dried tart cherries
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- ⅓ cup shredded 3-Cheese Parmesan Blend
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange butternut squash on baking sheet. Drizzle squash with a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 30 minutes.
- Cook pasta according to package directions in pot of salted water. Rinse and drain cooked pasta with cold water.
- In skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and sauté onions until begins to char and form bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Add in chicken sausage and stir with onions to enhance flavor. Stir in tart cherries with apple cider vinegar to deglaze pan and add moisture to cherries.
- Stir in broccoli and continue to cook until broccoli is bright green in color; remove from heat.
- In large bowl, combine pasta with sausage mixture, roasted butternut squash, and a tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top pasta with Parmesan cheese blend.