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Illinois' Winning Recipe: West Wing Chicken with Secret Service Noodles

“Last fall, I started to cook different recipes and would change ingredients and measurements to make them healthier and tastier. My aunt told me that I should enter the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge because I am so interested in cooking. With this recipe, I cooked it three times in order to get it just right. My family enjoyed the meal and commented how yummy and filling it was. My dish includes all food groups, and ingredients that are grown locally. Enjoy!”

-Maggie Smith, Age 11, the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Illinois

Makes 8 Servings


For the West Wing Chicken:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon skim milk
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 8 4-ounce skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Marinara Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • ½ onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 28-ounce cans crushed or whole plum tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, cut into strips
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

For the Secret Service Noodles:

  • 6 squash (3 zucchini and 3 yellow squash)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 10 grape tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Italian parsley


  1. To make the West Wing Chicken: In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Put the breadcrumbs on a plate. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture and then lightly dredge both sides of the chicken in the breadcrumbs. In a large nonstick skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and, cooking in two batches, cook for 6 minutes per side, or until cooked through and golden brown.
  2. To make the Marinara Sauce: In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and carrot and cook for 7 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
  3. To make the Secret Service Noodles: Spiralize the squash (or you can use a box grater) and put into a colander to drain excess juice. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and let stand for 15 minutes. Spiralize the carrots. In a large stockpot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil over medium-high heat and add squash, carrots, and asparagus. Cook for 3 minutes, drain into a colander and rinse the vegetables immediately with cold water.
  4. In a nonstick skillet warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, squash, carrots, and asparagus, season with sea salt and pepper to taste, and cook for 1 minute.
  5. To Assemble: Place serving of noodles on a plate and garnish with tomatoes, Parmesan, and parsley. Place 1 West Wing Chicken breast next to the Secret Service Noodles and top with Marinara Sauce. 

426 calories 15g fat 37g carbohydrates 36g protein