You know summer is getting close when basil starts showing up at the Farmer’s Market and in your CSA box. I was delighted to smell the fragrant aroma when I opened my weekly box yesterday. I knew right away what I was making: Pesto Chicken with Zucchini Noodles.
I’m a sucker for anything with the word PESTO in it. Pesto just makes everything better. Pesto Chicken Pasta has always been a favorite of mine. It just screams warm summer days and lemonade to me. I can’t say that I am a huge pasta girl, but there is just something about this dish that speaks to me.
And now that I no longer indulge in grains, pasta is a thing of the past. Sort of! Did you happen to see my post of how to make vegetable noodles out of just about anything? My kids get a kick out of apple noodles and sweet potato noodles. My favorite are lightly sauteed zucchini noodles. So that is what I used for this dish. THIS is the spiralizer that I have. You can also use THIS smaller one.
The best part of this recipe is that it is a breeze to make. Gotta love that, right? You can create an awesome meal in less than 30 minutes. And your family will be begging for more. I haven’t met a person who doesn’t love this dish.
So go ahead, get yourself a fresh bunch of basil, a few zucchinis, and some fresh cherry tomatoes. You will have a gourmet, healthy satisfying meal in no time at all. Then you can sit back on the back porch and enjoy that lazy, warm summer evening.
I hope you love it!Print
Pesto Chicken with Zucchini Noodles (gluten and grain free, paleo)
- Yield: 3-4
- 1 large bunch of fresh basil, leaves only
- 1/2 clove of garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds (like this), pumpkin seeds, or pine nuts
- 1 TBS coconut oil or ghee
- 2 pounds boneless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used both breasts and thighs)
- 1/2 tsp unrefined salt
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
- 1 TBS coconut oil (like this) or ghee (like this)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 3 TBS pine nuts for garnish
- Place zucchini noodles in a large strainer in the sink and sprinkle with a titch of salt. Set aside. (this will remove some of the moisture from the noodles.)
- To make pesto: Place basil leaves and garlic into food processor and process until completely broken up. Add olive oil, salt, and lemon juice and continue to process until smooth. Add hemp seeds (or pumpkin or pine nuts) and pulse until desired consistency.
- Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt over chicken and in a large skillet, melt 1 TBS of fat of choice and saute chicken pieces and minced garlic until cooked all the way through and starting to brown ~ about 8-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, dump your noodles onto a clean dish towel and gently pat dry. Then in another skillet, melt 1 TBS of fat of choice and saute zucchini noodles for 2-3 minutes until just beginning to soften. Turn off heat and add the cooked chicken and pesto. Give a little stir.
- Top with cherry tomatoes and pine nuts. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
I use 2 large skillets to make this dish because it is just easier. You can make this a one skillet meal by removing the chicken after it is done and using the same pan to warm the noodles.