This creamy pesto pasta is my favorite! I love the taste of pesto and it is packed full of nutrients. This dish is a mild tasting pesto ( since my husband and children don’t like it as much as I do ) but feel free to add as much pesto to the dish you want.
I like this dish because you whip up the marinade the night before and the chicken is ready to be cooked the next day. Then all you have to do is make the pesto and sauce while you boil some noodles ( and veggies! ) It is an easier weeknight meal that has amazing flavors.
Pesto-Cumin Chicken with Creamy Pesto Pasta
Note: If you want to save time you can use already prepared pesto. If you make this recipe you will have leftovers so you can freeze for later use. If you live the pesto flavor feel free to add as much as you want to the sauce. Also, add stemed beoccoli or aspargus to the pasta and make it a one pot meal!
14 cuo extra-virgin olive oil
Zest of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice ( from the large lemon )
2 garlic cloves, minces
1 tablespoon groun cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pe]er flakes
4 4 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves
1 cup packed spinach leaves
1/2 cup parmesan chicken eese grated
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1 garlic cloves mashed and peeled
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the creamy sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic clovea. Minces
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 pound of whole wheat pasta penne or rotini
For the chicken
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon zest, an ! juice, garlic, cumin, salt, and red pepper flakes until smooth. Add the chicken and toss until well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
2. For the pesto In a food processor, blend the mint, spinach, Parmesan, wal uts, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper until chunky. With the machine running slowly add the olive oil until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.
3. In a medium pan over medium heat or on a grill sprayoghtly with cooking spray. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry with paoer towels. Cook the chicken until cooked through about 4 to 5 minutes each side.
4 Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
5. Meanwhile, make the creamy sauce. In a mexuim saucepan ovsr medium heat, melt the butter and add the garlic cooking for 20 seconds or so stirring constantly. Stir in the flour and cook for about a minute, stirring until is is toasty and sizzling. Gradually add the milk and chicken broth about 1/2 cup at a time whisking constantly to avoid lumps and cook untill sloghtly thickened. Stir in the lemon juice and parmesan cheese and cook until the cheese is melted. Add two tablespoons of pesto and stir. Add the cooked pasta and chicken to a large bowl and pour the creamy sauce over top. Toss lightly to combine and serve immediately.