The company that I worked for recently went through a round of layoffs, and I was unfortunately caught up in it. I understand that it was strictly business; the company just plain didn’t have a lot of money, and I was in a part of the business that didn’t make its targets last year. My last day was last Monday.

In that time since, I’ve wanted nothing but comfort food. I’ve managed to stick to my diet, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t wanted to drown my sorrows in something heavy, cheesy, chocolatey, or filled with alcohol. I had a severance check and my final paycheck to deposit on Saturday, so to avoid needing to leave the apartment twice over the weekend, I quickly drafted a grocery list before we left. We dropped by a local credit union to deal with the checks, then grabbed lunch at Wegmans before picking up the groceries.

At the top of my list this week was chicken and noodles. I grew up making chicken and noodles with kluski noodles, some shredded chicken, and a big can of cream of chicken soup. We’d spoon these noodles on top of a big pile of buttery mashed potatoes. Well, I try to keep my diet healthy, so I couldn’t make the meal that way.

We still use shredded chicken and kluski noodles. We still use potatoes. But there is a way to make a delicious pot of chicken and noodles, cutting out 100 calories (75 of them fat). At 404 calories, this means I can sneak a tiny, tiny piece of cake. After all…moderation is key, right?

Chicken & Noodles, Lightened Up

Yield: 8 servings

Calories per serving: 404

Fat per serving: 7.5g

Saturated fat per serving: 1.5g

Carbs per serving: 50.3g

Protein per serving: 31.3g

Fiber per serving: 3.0g

Sugar per serving: 2.6g

Sodium per serving: 143mg


  • 4 medium chicken breasts
  • 1 pound red-skinned potatoes
  • 16 ounces kluski noodles
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon Smart Balance spread
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil, add the chicken breasts. Boil chicken breasts until cooked through, then remove and place in bowl to cool. Do not pour the water down the drain.
  2. After you remove the chicken breasts from the large pot, add the kluski noodles to the large pot. Bring a second medium pot of lightly salted water to a boil, then add the potatoes to that pot. Boil noodles until cooked through, and boil the potatoes until they can be easily pierced with a fork.
  3. While noodles and potatoes cook, combine the cold water and the cornstarch in a mixing cup. After noodles are cooked, drain the water and set the noodles aside, and in the newly-emptied pot, add the chicken stock and water-cornstarch mixture. Bring mixture to a boil and allow to boil for 5-10 minutes until reduced about 25%. As the mixture in the pot boils, shred the chicken breasts.
  4. After the mixture has reduced, add noodles and shredded chicken to the pot. Stir to combine and allow to sit while you mash the potatoes.
  5. Mash the potatoes together with the Smart Balance. Mash them as smooth as you'd like; my husband and I like our potatoes a bit lumpy. Salt and pepper both the chicken and noodles and the potatoes to taste and serve together.
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