Cooking up Change at Home: Vesuvio Chicken and Spaghetti

December 09, 2016 | Written By:

Ever wish you could try the winning dishes from Cooking up Change? Well, here’s your chance. Each month, we’ll share a Cooking up Change recipe so you can try the meal at home and taste firsthand how these students are changing the future of school food.

Healthy Schools Campaign’s Cooking up Change contest challenges high school culinary students to create a healthy and delicious school meal that can be served in a school cafeteria. Cooking up Change is not only fun and educational, but it also adds student voices to the national conversation about school food. Through Cooking up Change, these young chefs do more than sharpen their culinary skills; they develop leadership, public speaking and team building skills and create relationships and networks that will last a lifetime.

Last month, Richards Career Academy High School wowed the Cooking up Change judges with their creative menu of Vesuvio Chicken and Spaghetti, Chopped Caesar Salad and Pear-Pone and took home first place. And now, you can make it at home!

Vesuvio Chicken and Spaghetti

Serves 4

  • 16 ounces whole grain spaghetti
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tablespoons salad oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  1. Bring 1 gallon of water to boil in a large stock pot. Add spaghetti. Cook for 6-10 minutes or pasta is al dente, firm but tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Combine garlic powder, Italian dressing and black pepper together in a bowl. Add drumsticks and toss to coat.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the salad oil, garlic and oregano together. Add cooked spaghetti and toss to coat.
  4. Place chicken on lined sheet pan and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-14 minutes or until internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Place cooked, coated spaghetti on lined sheet pan in a single layer and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes or until slightly golden brown and slightly crisp.
  6. Serve chicken on top of spaghetti and enjoy!

Chopped Caesar Salad

Serves 4

  • 1/3 cup Italian dressing
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons shredded parmesan cheese
  • 8 Romaine lettuce leaves
  • 1/4 cup peeled, diced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup diced fresh tomato
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  1. Whisk together Italian dressing, mayonnaise and parmesan cheese together in a small bowl.
  2. Chop Romaine and then wash. Dry in a salad spinner or pat lightly with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Place in a large bowl.
  3. Add cucumber, tomato, onion and carrots and toss.
  4. Add dressing and toss to coat.
  5. Serve and enjoy!


Serves 4

  • 2 cups canned pear halves
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla yogurt
  1. Place pear halves flat side down on parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Roast at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. Meanwhile, stir cinnamon and yogurt together in a small bowl.
  3. Place a dollop of yogurt mixture into center of each pear.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

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