I’m picking this Italian chicken pasta recipe out of my old bag of tricks. I used to make this every month and often for dinner parties, but bowtie pasta with creamy pesto went by the way side for more adventurous dishes.
Easy meal season starts right now, because people feel they need to cook once school starts. Families begin to nest which means no more running down to the taco stand for dinner. Everyone wants to capture the aromas from the kitchen that only a home-cooked meal that create.
Here’s where Spinach Tiger wants to help you. Make a big batch of this pistachio pesto. Freeze it according to directions. This pesto is going to pull you through a few rough nights where homework is going wrong, and your family needs to feel special, well loved, well fed.
I forgot how good it is. I forgot that white meat chicken (which can be so so boring) is a bit exciting when it’s drenched in a creamy pesto. I forgot the lure of pasta on cool days when it’s punched up with a nutty pistachio pesto that is jumping with flavor elevated by a bit of garlic, and good Italian cheese.
You can do the prep work in advance to make this an easy school night meal.
If you want to work in advance, cut up some chicken breasts into large cubes, and keep frozen. These will easily defrost while you’re getting the table set. You can also use sauteèd chicken breasts like the ones made here.
Boil some pasta. While the pasta is boiling, gently cook the cubed chicken on very low until it is just done, but still tender. Take out your frozen pesto cups and place in a sauce pan or microwave. In mere minutes or seconds, you have your sauce.
Creamy Pesto Can Be Healthy with this tip
Instead of using heavy cream, use some freshly grated cheese and pasta broth to add heft to the pesto pasta sauce. It all comes together and it tastes so good, so Italian, so soul pleasing.
Add Your Own Veggies
You don’t need to spend a lot of time on this easy dinner, but it will feel like you did. Add in any veggies you want. Broccoli, peas, and green beans all work well tucked into this dish. Just keep the bites small.
I hear from you all the time that you want to cook, but it has to be easy. I’ve created a new category, “easy dinners” so you easily locate our most approachable big fat healthy dinners and enjoy a good food with your family.
- 1 tablespoon butter, coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into large bite sized cubes
- 1 to 2 cups pistachio pesto sauce (recipe here)
- 1 pound bow tie pasta
- ½ cup pasta water (after pasta has boiled)
- ¼ cup pecorino romano cheese or parmigianna reggiano
- splash heavy cream (see notes)
- Cut chicken into large cubes. Add salt.
- Sautè chicken cubes in butter, coconut oil or olive oil on the lowest heat possible. Keep a lid on for the first ten minutes. Turn as needed. The low heat will keep the chicken tender. Remove from pan to a dish.
- Boil pasta according to directions, less 2 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta water.
- Place 1 cup pesto into frying pan that will be large enough to hold the pasta. Add cooked, drained pasta with the pasta water. Finish cooking the pasta in this pan on low heat. The pasta broth should add a bit of creaminess to the sauce. You can also add in a splash of heavy cream as a thickener.
- Add in chicken, grated cheese. Toss and serve immediately.
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