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Pasta with Chicken and Pea Pesto

Pesto, pesto, pesto – yum. Using the delicious pea pesto from yesterday (I had made a double batch), I couldn’t wait to incorporate it with some pasta. To make this dish, I used a quick go to pasta recipe I use all the time and just added in the pea pesto instead of the normal cheese and lemon I would add in step 5. A touch of milk adds creaminess and the red pepper adds a little kick.

Healthy Pasta with Chicken and Pea Pesto
Servings: 6
Serving Size: about about 1.25 cups
Nutritional Info: 297.9 calories,  5.7 g of fat, 37.8 g of carbohydrates, 6.6 g of fiber 27.1 g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 8 *

8 oz of high fiber pasta (I like Ronzoni Smart Taste)
1 lb of chicken breast, cut into small chunks
1 garlic cloves, minced (I like mine with a lot of garlic)
1/2  diced onion
1 bunch of cauliflower (just the tops) cut into pieces
1/3 cup of 2% milk
2.5 cups chicken broth
pea pesto (entire recipe)
1/2 tsp red pepper flake
salt and pepper to taste (I like a lot of freshly ground pepper)

1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat up the olive oil (and some extra cooking spray if needed) in a large saute pan and cook the chicken until it is lightly browned and just cooked.  Set aside in a separate bowl. Be careful not to overcook the chicken, a little underdone is ok, or the chicken will end up rubbery.

2. In the same saute pan, add the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until it begins to become translucent.  Add the garlic and cook another minute or two until fragrant.

3. Add in whatever pasta you are using and 2 cups of the chicken broth and red pepper.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until the water is almost completely absorbed and pasta is close to cooked – about 8 minutes.

4. Add in the cauliflower and the additional 1/2 cup of chicken broth.  Cover and let simmer for about 4 minutes until cauliflower is just tender.

5. Add in the milk, pea pesto, and any additional salt and pepper.  Stir together and simmer for about 5 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.  Turn off and let the pasta sit for 2-3 minutes longer so the sauce can continue to thicken.  Serve!

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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I’m Kristen and I couldn’t be happier you are here. You will find a variety of healthy and delicious recipes that will not only taste great, but help you fit in your favorite jeans.

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4 Response to Pasta with Chicken and Pea Pesto

  1. Larissa on March 31, 2011

    OMG!!!! This is sooooo amazing! I used shrimp instead of chicken. I can’t not believe how good this is!!!!

    • admin on March 31, 2011

      I am so happy you enjoyed it and love the idea of making it with shrimp – definitely going to try that next time.

  2. Catherine on April 2, 2011

    I don’t want to overcook the pasta, so I want to make sure I understand your directions. Is 17 minutes total cooking time on the pasta correct ?(8 min. in chicken broth, 4 more with cauliflower, 5 min. with pea puree,etc.)

    • admin on April 3, 2011

      Yes – that is how I always make it and have run into the pasta being overcooked. If you are worried about it overcooking, you could cut down the initial cooking time. Thanks!


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