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Easy Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta is the perfect HEALTHY weeknight meal for busy days. Packed with flavors and ready under 20 minutes! CLICK to read the recipe or PIN for later. [natalieshealth.com] #recipe #healthy #easy #family #chicken #low-fat #pasta #pesto

Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta

Soft chicken with penne whole wheat pasta wrapped in a creamy basil pesto sauce made with avocado will delight your palate. Is tasty, filling, and quick to throw together. The perfect HEALTHY weeknight meal that your family will love. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 518 kcal
Author Natalie

Ingredients

  • 8 oz chicken breast skinless, boneless (230g)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Himalayan salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat penne pasta
  • Parmesan cheese Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano, freshly grated

For Basil Pesto

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 4 tablespoons walnuts
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano, freshly grated
  • ½ avocado OR ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Himalayan salt to taste

Instructions

  1. In the larger deeper pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken cut into smaller pieces. Fry the chicken for 8-10 minutes until golden on all sides. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pan from heat.
  2. In the meantime, boil the green beans for 10 minutes and drain. Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the package in salted water. Drain the pasta but save the pasta water.
  3. Add boiled beans and cooked pasta in the pan with chicken. Add 3 tablespoons of basil pesto and mix well. Add 1-2 tablespoons water in which the pasta was cooked if pasta is too dry.
  4. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve warm.

For Basil Pesto

  1. In food processor add fresh basil and walnuts and mince.
  2. Add grated cheese (and garlic if you use it), and continue to mix. Using rubber spatula scrape the mixture from the walls of the bowl. 

  3. Add avocado and mix until you get a nice smooth mixture. Add a little olive oil if the mixture is too thick. OR instead of avocado, add olive oil and mix until you get a nice smooth pesto mixture.

  4. Put the pesto in a jar and close with the lid. Keep refrigerated up to 2 weeks.

Recipe Notes

I used US cup (240ml) as a measure.

Nutrition Facts
Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 518 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 14g
Cholesterol 72mg24%
Sodium 448mg19%
Potassium 335mg10%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 33g66%
Vitamin A 1600IU32%
Vitamin C 30.5mg37%
Calcium 190mg19%
Iron 3.1mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.