7.13.2014

Pesto Chicken Pasta Recipe

     I love pasta. I mean, honestly, who doesn’t? Carbs are my weakness and always have been. And since I’ve never been an all or none kind of person, I’ve looked for ways to make my carb-heavy dishes a little healthier, instead of depriving myself of my favorite food group altogether. 
     My favorite pasta dish of all time is pesto chicken pasta. If you’ve never tried it before, you should give it a whirl for several reasons. First of all, it’s delicious. When I know we are having this for dinner, I’m excited to get home just so I can curb my cravings for this dish (oh yeah, and to see Chris).  It’s savory and filling, but doesn’t leave you feeling heavy or bloated. I also love adding this to our meal plan because I can prepare the pesto ahead of time and freeze it in batches. This makes the meal prep the day of a mere 15 minutes! It also makes great leftovers, so we usually make enough for two nights. 

Make-Ahead Pesto:
*Pesto recipe adapted from Two Peas and their Pod*
-6 Cups Spinach
-3 Cups Fresh Basil 
-3 Cloves Garlic
-Juice from 1 Lemon 
-1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese 
-1 Teaspoon Salt
-1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
-1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 


*Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth*

What You’ll Need for 4 Servings of Pasta: 
-16 oz. Whole Wheat Penne Pasta 
-1.5 Cups Pesto (Place in fridge to thaw 1 day in advance if frozen) 
-1.5 lb. Chicken Breast Tenderloins, Cut Into 1” Cubes 
-Salt
-Pepper
-1 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese + Additional for Topping 
-1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

1. In a large pot, boil water for pasta. 
2. Add penne noodles and boil for 8-10 minutes. 
3. Meanwhile, in a medium frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. 
4. Add chicken to pan and salt and pepper to taste. 
5. Cook chicken over low-medium heat for 8-10 minutes, covered. 
6. Drain pasta and return to pan. 
7. Drain chicken and add to pasta. 
8. Add pesto and parmesan cheese and combine thoroughly. 

     Add additional parmesan to taste and enjoy! This is a great way to sneak in some veggies and still enjoy a carb lovers dream dish. 

2 comments

  1. Replies
    1. me too! so many ways to use it, but this pasta is definitely my current fave

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