How do you make a deliciously healthy chicken pesto pasta? Simple and easy it is by using just a few ingredients on hand. One of the key ingredients that I always have is basil which I grow in my mini herb garden. And another sumptuous ingredient that could add to celebration of any recipe is sun-dried tomatoes. Even if you do not have the latter one, you could easily substitute for fresh tomatoes that are grilled on a skilled with some oil and herbs.
Is Pesto Pasta Good for You?
The ingredients in the pesto sauce, depending on the recipe and personal preferences, may contain fats from pine nuts and olive oil. But these fats are unsaturated and are important for digestive functions! For example, the lycopene in tomatoes would not be absorbed if there’s no fat present. Why? Because lycopene, a powerful antioxidant and a carotenoid, is fat soluble. Lycopene, as studies show, offers protection and prevention against lung, stomach and prostate cancers. Your skin and bones could benefit as well. Lycopene can protect our DNA from damage, thus offering the antioxidant benefits to the entire bodily functions.
How Do You Make A PESTO Sauce for Pasta?
There are many ways of making a palatable and nourishing pesto sauce out of the ingredients on hand. The most prevalent and well-used is a recipe with fresh basil leaves and by adding a few ingredients. Check out my easy basil pesto recipe and decide if you’d like to test it out.
Another way of making a super quick pesto is with cilantro. I use only 4 ingredients for this cilantro pesto vinaigrette which stores nicely in the fridge for several days. Whichever way you love, your pesto will add that green zing to a pasta recipe.
The recipe in this post uses a combination of basil and parsley to generate a refreshing pesto for your pasta meal.
How Much Pesto is Needed for A Pasta Dish?
The amount of the sauce that goes into an individual plate is very personal. I love a generous amount of sauce. Some would prefer just a tid bid. I like making some extra sauce and keep it in the refrigerator for my next day salad needs as well.
Sautee and Brown Chicken Strips for a Powerful Protein Add-In!
Keep the chicken strips nice and juicy when you sautee them in a skillet. This protein option with pesto sauce goes really well.
Your final touches during the plating would make a difference to the ambiance. Smile, feel good when you cook. The positive energy you feel will transfer into the food and will provide the nourishment and enjoyment to everyone partaking in this delicious meal.
Love what you see? Then you can make this recipe yourself! Thanks to our cooking diva Holly Clegg, a renowned author of many cookbooks, I am featuring this easy and healthy chicken pesto pasta dish for your enjoyment.
For Father’s Day and beyond, check Holly’s book for a delicious eating for men. Food is our medicine. Cooking simple yet nutritious meals is for grabs for everyone who cares about their well-being.
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 (16-ounce) package penne pasta
- 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1 cup fat-free chicken broth
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/3 cup sliced black Kalamata olives
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large nonstick skillet, sauté chicken about 5 minutes until browned; add onion and continue cooking until chicken is done.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
- In food processor, process parsley, basil, garlic and pine nuts until combined. With processor still running, add olive oil in a thin stream and continue processing until smooth and creamy. Add water gradually.
- Add pesto mixture and broth to chicken, cooking and stirring until well heated. Add pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and cheese.
Nutritional info per serving: Calories 331, Calories from Fat 26%, Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 2g, Cholesterol 46mg, Sodium 258mg, Carbohydrates 38g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Total Sugars 3g, Protein 23g, Dietary Exchanges: 2 1/2 starch, 2 lean meat Nutrition Nugget: Pine nuts have long been thought to boost libido due to being rich in the mineral, zinc which helps increase testosterone. Basil increases circulation with an alluring aroma. Terrific Tip: Take a short cut with a jar of basil pesto found in the grocery.