We have close family friends who are going through a rough time right now and this was one of the meals that I took them last week. Their teenager asked if I could bring this all the time from now on. While I was running it to them, my family was home polishing it off so fast there was barely any left when I got back. The flavor POPS in your mouth from the lemon and garlic pesto, the chicken is tender and melts in your mouth, the buttery finish gives it a satisfying mouth feel, it's just really good. You'll love it, I promise!
NOTE: Make this a super satisfying gluten-free dish by serving it over rice. Make it a yummy low-carb dish by serving it over romaine lettuce. (Here are more GF/low-carb ideas.) Make it meatless by… you guessed it, leaving out the chicken! (Here are more meatless recipes.)
Parmesan Pesto Pasta with Seasoned Chicken
- 1/2 to 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved (I use organic)
- Shredded parmesan, about 1 cup
- 8 ounces soft mozzarella, cut into small chunks
- One batch of lemon garlic pesto – here's my recipe which is so good, it just makes this whole dish EXPLODE with flavor in your mouth.
- 1 pound Einkorn pasta, rice pasta or whatever you like to use (Next I'm trying it with quinoa!)
- 4-6 boneless chicken breast halves, cut into strips (Don't use factory farmed chicken!)
- Seasoned salt and or lemon pepper or whatever seasonings you like to use on chicken
- 1 Tablespoon good quality olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons butter, melted – best from pastured cows for highest nutrient value
- (Optional: add some fresh asparagus, lightly stir-fried with some seasonings on top or toss onto another cookie sheet in the oven for a few minutes.)
1. Do your prep work first. Slice the cherry tomatoes…
2. Shred the Parmesan… (I use my beloved Bosch)
3. Cut the cheese (mozzarella…ha!)
4. Make the delicious pesto, try this simple pesto recipe…
5. Get your pasta going now. (Timing this right isn't crucial unless you love the temperature of your food HOT like I do.)
6. Cut your chicken into strips, and lay it onto a parchment paper-covered cookie sheet. Turn the oven to ‘broil'. Sprinkle the top side with your spices of choice. I shook seasoned salt on liberally, making sure all parts of the chicken had some. Put it into your oven once it's hot and then watch it. Set the timer for 2 minutes; check it and only leave it in there until the whole top is white. Mine took 4 minutes on the first side.
7. Flip the chicken over, season again with whatever seasonings you want to use. I did lemon pepper on this side. Broil again until that side is all white, about 2 minutes, and then check it. It may need another couple minutes to make sure there's no pink left in the middle. Don't cook it past that point, though, because when chicken is NOT overdone, it's tender and juicy! If you cook it too long it's dry and tough.
8. Now toss everything together with the olive oil and melted butter and prepare to be WOWED.
A note about the mozzarella cheese: As I said, I love to eat this dish really hot, but it does make the mozzarella stringy and not as pretty. So if this bothers you, just omit the soft cheese, or eat the dish cold or just a little warm and then it will keep its shape. Truly though, what the mozzarella is doing will be the least of your concerns when you take your first bite. 🙂
My friend made this and sent me her picture, so pretty:
Let me know what you think!!!
- Check out all my recipes here
- UPDATE! I just tried making this with rice and shrimp (instead of pasta and chicken) and it was just as wonderful! The family prefers pasta, but if you love rice, this will be a hit for you, too.
- Still have some basil to use up? Check out more ideas for what to do with pesto here!
Meal Planning Help!
Sick of planning meals and answering the question, “What am I going to feed these people?” No matter what kind of eater you are (traditional, GF, paleo, vegetarian)… Check out these affordable interactive easy-to-use meal plans where the work is done for you. NOW recipes also available from Nom Nom Paleo, The Paleo Mom, and Wellness Mama all in one spot! You can read over my review here.