Cold-weather months stink for a lot of reasons. You usually have to bundle up to go outside and allow for more time to warm up once you get to the gym. Cravings for comfort food go through the roof, too, and you’ll yearn for stuff like French onion soup and a big hunk of bread, impulses that, if you were to act on them, could wreck all your efforts in the gym. My philosophy is to create suitable replacements for these cravings—recipes that satisfy your taste buds, fill your belly, and work with your training goals. This pasta e fagioli is just what the doctor ordered for the winter blues. It’s loaded with one of the best sources of protein you can get, chicken breast, and the carbs from the pasta make it ideal for the post-workout window.


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups onions, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced carrots (1/4-inch half-moon shape)
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 12 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 4 cups canned cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup roasted red pepper, diced
  • ½ cup minced garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups cooked chicken
  • 4 cups rough, chopped red tomatoes
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, minced
  • 3 cups cooked fusilli
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, minced
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, rolled and sliced


  1. In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot.
  2. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, searing the veggies until the carrots have browned, 2–3 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low, then add the stock, beans, red pepper, garlic, and salt and pepper. Simmer until the veggies and beans soften.
  4. Add the chicken, tomatoes, and parsley and allow the soup to cook until the tomatoes have softened. Finally, reduce the heat to low and add the pasta, cheese, oregano, and basil. Cook 20–30 more minutes.
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