Pesto Chicken Pasta Recipe

Pesto Chicken Pasta

Pesto Chicken Pasta is a delicious and nutritious dish packed full of veggies and protein. The creamy, pesto-infused sauce beautifully coats each bite of pasta and chicken, providing layers of flavor with every forkful. This recipe is versatile and can be adjusted to suit different dietary needs or preferences. It's perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or for meal prep to enjoy throughout the week. The addition of the spinach and broccoli not only boosts the nutritional content but also adds vibrant color and texture. Despite being packed full of veggies, Pesto Chicken Pasta remains incredibly tasty and comforting.

Pesto Chicken Pasta Ingredients

▪️ 100g dried weight pasta
▪️ 160g diced chicken breast
▪️ ½ an onion
▪️ ½ a small broccoli
▪️ ½ a green pepper (or 40g peas)
▪️ 3 handfuls of spinach
▪️ 1 handful of fresh basil
▪️ 60g low-fat cream cheese
▪️ 20g Grana Padano cheese
▪️ 30g reduced fat green pesto
▪️ Salt & pepper

How to make Pesto Chicken Pasta

Step 1: Dice the chicken, season it with salt and pepper, then fry until sealed.

Step 2: Add the diced green pepper to the pan if using.

Step 3: Meanwhile, cook the pasta in one pot and the broccoli and peas (if using) in another pot.

Step 4: Melt the cream cheese into the chicken pan, add the fresh basil, Grana Padano cheese, and pesto.

Step 5: When the broccoli is cooked, add it and the peas to the chicken pan.

Step 6: Add pasta water to the chicken mixture to create a loose sauce, then add the spinach.

Step 7: Once the pasta is cooked, add it to the chicken pan and stir until fully coated.

Overview of Pesto Chicken Pasta

Category Details
Preparation Time10 minutes
Cooking Time20 minutes
Nutritional InformationProtein: 50g, Carbohydrates: 80g, Fats: 25g
Energy3374 kJ (807 cal) per serving
Main IngredientsChicken breast, pasta, broccoli, spinach
Sauce IngredientsCream cheese, pesto, basil, Grana Padano
Cooking MethodFrying, Boiling
Meal CategoriesDinner, Comfort Food, Family Meals
Key FlavorsSavory, Creamy, Aromatic
TextureCreamy, Chunky
Dietary InformationHigh in Protein
Allergen InformationContains dairy, may contain gluten (depending on pasta)
Storage TipsStore leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days
Serving SuggestionsGarnish with extra fresh basil or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese

Fun Facts about Pesto Chicken Pasta

▪️ Pesto originated in Genoa, Italy, and traditionally includes basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil.
▪️ Adding spinach to recipes like Pesto Chicken Pasta increases the dish's vitamin and mineral content, as spinach is rich in iron and calcium.
▪️ Using cream cheese in pasta dishes can help create a smoother and creamier texture compared to other cheeses.

Pesto Chicken Pasta Pairing Suggestions

▪️ Pairing Suggestion 1: White Wine - A crisp Sauvignon Blanc complements the creamy, aromatic flavors of the pesto and chicken.
▪️ Pairing Suggestion 2: Garlic Bread - The crunchy texture and garlic flavor provide a delightful contrast to the creamy pasta.
▪️ Pairing Suggestion 3: Mixed Green Salad - A fresh salad with a light vinaigrette offers a refreshing balance to the rich and cheesy pasta dish.

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