Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lemon Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Lemon Pesto Pasta with Chicken
 I love this time of the year when Summer turns into Fall. It's a break from the summer heat and before the sometimes temperamental weather of winter; the temperature is just right to spend all day outside. Fall (or Autumn) to me means sipping hot apple cider and hot chocolate, football, baking pies, the beautiful colors of the leaves changing,  soups, cinnamon spice candles, layering sweaters & scarves for chilly days, more pumpkin recipes to share, and it's just a cozy time of the year to spend curled up with a good book.

  With that said, here in Texas we are still expected to have temperature in the 90's up to 103F for a little while longer so the sweaters will have to stay in my closet for now.  I also have some new DIY crafts & recipes to share soon since I haven't posted any in a while.
   I made this dish on Labor day for lunch and my mom and I loved it! This dish screams summer or spring because of the bright colored pesto, burst of lemon flavor, and it won't sink you down like some other pasta dishes.  The zesty lemon pesto would be great alone as a dip for bread or over grilled salmon.

 I was contacted by Sarah of Yahoo's Shine Supper Club to share this recipe via their group. What is Shine Supper Club (before this, I've never heard of it)? The club is basically a a virtual potluck with a theme each month for bloggers and cooks to share their recipes. This month's theme was an easy chicken recipe that can be made any night of the week. After compiling all of the links for that month's theme they will send all of the participates a link for everyone to link up their particular recipe so everyone can see. Link-ups are a great way to meet new bloggers, find more recipes, and a great way for others to find your blog.

The Curious Country Cook: Lemon Pesto Pasta with Chicken
Feed Your Soul: Chicken Milanese Biscuit Sandwich
In My Element: Diced Chicken, Broccoli with Whole Wheat Pasta
Living Lou: Spicy Chicken Skewers
The Partial Ingredients: Lebanese Chicken Skewers
Sarah B. Weir: Chicken Braised in Tomato
Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom: Peanut Sesame Noodles with Chicken
Serena Bakes: Jalapeno Lime Chicken Alfredo with Cilantro
So says Sarah: Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders
Sushi and Stilettos: Easy Pesto Chicken Bake
Sweet 'n' Sourdough: Baked Mango Chipotle Chicken Tenders

Lemon Pesto Pasta with Chicken
adapted: The Cozy Apron
serves: 4

Pesto & Pasta:
Notes: The pesto can be kept in a jar in the fridge and just shake it up when the oil separates. At first I thought I wouldn't use the whole amount of pesto, but you do. 

4 ounces fresh basil, stems removed
2-3 cloves fresh garlic
1 tbsp lemon zest
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp pine nuts, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tbsp for garnish
1/2 cup olive oil
8 ounces whole wheat Fusilli pasta (corkscrew or any pasta with ridges)
lemon slices for garnish
1. Heat a small (dry) skillet over medium-high heat, add pine nuts to toast until lightly golden brown. You will have to carefully watch it since nuts contain a lot of oil and they can burn easily if not monitored. This step is optional, but adds a little more flavor to the end product.
2. In a food processor, combine the basil, garlic, lemon zest & juice, salt, pepper, pine nuts, and cheese and blend. With the processor running, slowly add in the oil until blended. Taste to adjust seasonings. 
3. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain, and drizzle with a little olive oil if the pesto isn't ready and set aside.

Note: I actually didn't measure the ingredients for this step, I just eyeballed it.

2-3 boneless & skinless chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning (i.e Herbs de Provence)
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1/3 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil

1.In a bowl, mix all of the seasoning, add the chicken and coat well, cover and marinate for 20 minutes.
2. Once marinated, cook the chicken breasts for about 4-8 minutes per side (depending on how big the chicken pieces are) in a skillet with a little oil or on the grill, or until cooked through and golden on outside. Set aside to cool and then slice the chicken breasts into strips or chunks.

To Assemble:
In a large bowl, toss the pasta with all of the pesto. Add in the extra pine nuts and cheese.
Note: After mixing the pesto and pasta, It's best if eaten that same day. 
Dish out the portions and add the chicken. 


  1. These sound incredible and look absolutely gorgeous! It’s actually my mom’s birthday today, and though I can’t exactly make these and give them to her since she’s lives far ..I can make them for myself and eat them to celebrate my mom’s birthday, right? That’s allowed, isn’t it? Dropping by from KitchenArtistry