RECIPE: Chicken pesto pasta

As promised on Thursday when I discussed my warm weather menu, here is the recipe for my chicken pesto pasta.

I have made a very simple basil pesto recipe – figured out that I am not a fan of including parmesan in the pesto and prefer to keep the recipe as basic as it gets. The pesto goes great with many foods, but lately I have been loving it with pasta and a serve of protein and veggies for a filling main meal.

– CHICKEN PESTO PASTA –

Serves: 3

Ingredients

For basil pesto

  • 1.5 – 2 cups (1 large bunch) fresh basil leaves
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil (I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

For chicken pesto pasta dish

  • 2 cups raw penne pasta (I used Vetta High Fibre range)
  • 5 chicken breasts, sliced into pieces
  • Canola/olive oil spray
  • 1 1/3 cups frozen peas
  • 60g smooth reduced fat feta cheese

Method

  1. To make basil pesto, place all pesto ingredients into a food processor and blend until a smooth paste is formed.
  2. Place pasta in pot with water and cook until al dente.
  3. While waiting for pasta to cook, spray a pan with canola/olive oil. Grill chicken breast pieces until cooked through. Remove from heat once cooked.
  4. Place frozen peas in a bowl and microwave for 2 minutes.
  5. Once pasta is cooked, strain water from pot and then place pasta back into the pot (turn heat off).
  6. Mix basil pesto into the pasta.

7.   Then mix in chicken pieces and peas.
8.   Split mixture into three separate bowls.
9.   Crumble feta on top to serve.
10. Enjoy!

As you can see, my secret ingredient is crumbled smooth feta on top to serve. Hardly a secret anyway as you can clearly see it sprinkled on top! Perfect addition to the meal in my opinion.

This main meal contains high fibre grains, lean protein and a healthy serve of fat (EVOO from the pesto). Not to mention that it’s loaded up with fresh green herbs and includes an old family favourite – peas! … Well it was a favourite of mine.

Make extra and enjoy as leftovers the following day (hot or cold).

– Jenna

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