Pesto Chicken with Zucchini Noodles is a healthy and delicious dish that has gained immense popularity among food enthusiasts. This recipe is perfect for those who are looking for a low-carb, gluten-free meal that is easy to prepare and bursting with flavor. The succulent chicken is first marinated in delicious, aromatic pesto before being pan-seared to perfection. It is then served on a bed of fresh and crispy zucchini noodles that add a nice crunch to the dish. If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to enjoy chicken, we highly recommend trying this recipe. So, what are you waiting for? Give it a try and experience its magic for yourself!
Here is why you might love this Pesto Chicken with Zucchini Noodles Recipe
1. It is a healthy and low-carb alternative to traditional pasta dishes, which is perfect for those trying to watch their diet or reduce their intake of refined carbohydrates.
2. The combination of flavorful pesto and tender, juicy chicken makes for a delicious and satisfying meal that is sure to impress.
3. It is quick and easy to prepare, making it a great option for busy weeknights when you want to whip up something delicious without spending hours in the kitchen.
Pesto Chicken with Zucchini Noodles Recipe
- 4 chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) black pepper
- 2 cups (48.7 g) fresh basil
- 3 (3 cloves) garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup (34.2 g) pine nuts
- 1/4 cup (25.4 g) grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup (109.6 g) extra virgin olive oil
- 4 zucchini spiralized
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/4 cup (37.8 g) cherry tomatoes for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Brush the chicken breasts with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season them with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
- Place the chicken on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through.
- While the chicken is cooking, make the pesto. In a food processor, combine the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, grated Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil. Process until smooth.
- Use a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles from 4 medium zucchinis.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini noodles and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until tender.
- Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon over the zucchini noodles and stir to combine.
- Serve the cooked chicken breasts with the zucchini noodles and a dollop of pesto on top.
- Garnish with cherry tomatoes, if desired. Enjoy!
2. Slice the chicken breasts thinly, to ensure they cook evenly and quickly.
3. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika before cooking them in a hot skillet with some oil.
4. While the chicken is cooking, spiralize the zucchini into noodle shapes and sauté them in the same skillet after removing the chicken.
5. Add the pesto sauce to the skillet with the zucchini noodles and toss everything together until coated.
6. Serve the pesto chicken over the zucchini noodles and garnish with additional basil leaves or grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
7. Make sure the chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C) to ensure safe consumption.
8. Use a Spiralizer or a mandoline for precision when cutting the zucchini noodles.
9. To add more color to the dish, consider adding roasted cherry tomatoes or red bell peppers as garnish.
10. Use fresh garlic instead of garlic powder for a more intense flavor.
Data source: USDA
Main Ingredients Explained
|Chicken||Main protein source, typically boneless and skinless chicken breast is used, which is lean and high in protein.||Turkey breast, tofu, or portobello mushrooms.|
|Pesto||Adds flavor and moisture to the chicken. Made from combining fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil.||Sun-dried tomato pesto, kale pesto or spinach pesto, or homemade pesto with cashews instead of pine nuts.|
|Zucchini noodles||A low-carb alternative to traditional pasta made from spiralized zucchini, rich in vitamins and minerals.||Carrot noodles, sweet potato noodles, or spaghetti squash noodles.|
In general, Pesto Chicken with Zucchini Noodles can last in the fridge for up to 3-5 days when stored in an airtight container. To store it properly, let it cool to room temperature before transferring to a container. Make sure to label the container with the date and contents.
If you want to freeze Pesto Chicken with Zucchini Noodles, it can last for up to 3-6 months in the freezer. To freeze it properly, let it cool to room temperature, transfer it to a freezer-safe container, and label it with the date and contents. You can also portion it out into smaller containers or ziplock bags for easier thawing.
To defrost the dish, you can either let it thaw in the fridge overnight or use the defrost function on your microwave. Once it’s thawed, you can reheat it in the oven or on the stovetop until it’s heated through. It’s important to make sure the dish reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s safe to eat.
1. Pesto Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles – Substitute the chicken with shrimp for a seafood twist on the dish. Cook the shrimp separately and add it to the zucchini noodles and pesto sauce just before serving.
2. Pesto Zucchini Noodle Salad – Serve the zucchini noodles cold for a refreshing and healthy summer salad. Add cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and avocado for a colorful and nutritious dish.
3. Pesto Turkey Zucchini Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles – Add ground turkey to the recipe to create flavorful turkey meatballs that can be served alongside the zucchini noodles. Cook the meatballs separately and add them to the pesto sauce.
4. Pesto Zucchini Noodle Lasagna – Layer thinly sliced zucchini noodles with ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and pesto sauce for a low-carb and gluten-free lasagna. Top with shredded parmesan cheese and bake until bubbly and golden brown.
5. Pesto Pork Tenderloin with Zucchini Noodles – Grill or roast pork tenderloin until tender and juicy, and serve it alongside the zucchini noodles with a dollop of pesto sauce. This version is perfect for a fancy and elegant dinner party.
What To Serve With
Yes, here are some suggestions for what to serve with Pesto Chicken with Zucchini Noodles Recipe:
1. Garlic bread or breadsticks
2. Salad greens with a vinaigrette or Italian dressing
3. Grilled or roasted vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli or bell peppers
4. Roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes
5. Fresh fruit salad or a fruit platter
6. Rice or quinoa
7. Grilled corn on the cob
8. Garlic roasted mushrooms
9. Lemon herb roasted chicken
10. A glass of crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.
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