Pesto Chicken Penne

pesto chicken penne

Pinit

Are you a pesto fan?  I had never had pesto until I was in college, and I fell in love with it! I’ve had lots of different types of pesto (with pine nuts, without pine nuts, etc) and I typically like it all.  This recipe, adapted from Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish, whips up an easy pesto on top of some chicken and whole wheat pasta for a quick and nutritious meal.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 12-16 oz whole wheat penne
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (it looks like I have 5 but they are sliced in half)
  • 2 big bunches of fresh basil
  • 1-1/2 cups grated Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp chopped or minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • garlic powder to taste
  • salt and pepper

pesto chicken penne

Sprinkle chicken with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Pour about a tbsp or two in a large skillet and cook chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until it is no longer pink. In the meantime, cook pasta according to package instructions.

pesto chicken penne pesto chicken penne

In the meantime, blend two bunches of garlic, 2 tbsp garlic, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/2 tsp salt, and a dash of pepper in food processor.

pesto chicken penne

When pesto is done and pasta is almost done, chop chicken up into bite-sized pieces.

pesto chicken penne pesto chicken penne

Drain and rinse pasta.  I like to sprinkle Parmesan directly on the pasta, but you don’t have to do that!

pesto chicken penne

Pour pesto over pasta, then add chicken.

pesto chicken penne pesto chicken penne

Mix well and top with fresh basil if you desire.  I must say this dish was light and fresh, but the basil really needed some pine nuts.  About 1/4 cup would do it.  You could also top with some pine nuts as well.  This dish gets 3/5 herbs!

pesto chicken penne

Pinit

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