Pesto pasta with chicken

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Pesto pasta with chicken

  • Total Time: 25 Minutes


  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 cups packed fresh spinach
  • 0.5 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 0.25 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
  • 0.5 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces (2 cups) dry pasta, such as high-fiber mini farfalle (or 1 medium spaghetti squash, prepared)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • Peas for serving, optional
How to Make It
  1. Combine the water, spinach, Parmesan, pine nuts, 2 teaspoons garlic, and salt in a blender or food processor. Process for about 1 minute or until well combined and smooth. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions, generally 8 to 10 minutes or until pasta is tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet with a generous amount of cooking spray over medium. Place the chicken cubes and the remaining 1 tablespoon garlic in the skillet and cook the chicken for 4 to 6 minutes, turning it frequently for even cooking, until the chicken is lightly browned on the outside and there is no pink on the inside. (Note: During this step I usually add about ¼ to ½ cup water a little at a time to the pan to help the chicken cook through and keep it moist.) Turn off the heat and add half of the pesto to the pan, stirring to coat the chicken evenly. Toss the pasta in the rest of the pesto and top with the chicken and additional Parmesan and peas if desired.

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