Healthy Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus
Healthy Pesto Pasta with Asparagus and Chicken is going to be your new favorite summer dish! It's made with simple ingredients, and takes less than an hour to make! Plus there are plenty of substitutions and swaps so you can customize it to your family's needs. Can be served cold or hot - depending on your mood!
- 1 Pound Chicken Breast
- 12 Ounces Gluten-Free Pasta
- 1 Sweet Onion, Diced
- 4-5 Cups Roughly Chopped Asparagus
- 2 Cups Fresh Basil
- 1 Cup Avocado
- ¾ Cup Water
- ¼ Cup Lemon Juice
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- ¼ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
Start by adding all pesto ingredients into a high speed blender. Blend on high until it becomes a smooth, creamy consistency. (Add more water if needed.)
Pour into a bowl, and place in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Place the chicken breast on a large frying pan with a tablespoon of cooking oil. (I used avocado oil, but coconut or olive oil will work too!)
Cook on medium heat for about 6 minutes, depending on how big they are. They should be golden brown on each side.
When the chicken is done cooking, transfer it to a plate while you cook the vegetables.
Start by adding the sliced onions to the frying pan with a drizzle of cooking oil. Stir them around for a couple of minutes, and then add in the asparagus with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Cook the vegetables until they asparagus is tender, and the onions are a golden brown color.
I usually make the pasta while the vegetables are cooking so it's ready around the same time.
Boil the water, stir in the pasta, and cook until desired texture. (I like mine a little al dente.)
Putting it all together
Cube the chicken into bite sized pieces, and add them to a large serving bowl.
Next add in the vegetables, pasta, and pesto. Mix together with two large spoons until everything is thoroughly covered with pesto. Serve hot, ENJOY!
- If you use a non-stick pan, you don't need a lot of oil! I use about a teaspoon or two of avocado oil. My other go-to options are olive oil and coconut oil!
- When making gluten-free pasta, make sure you don't overcook it. Follow the directions on the box, and test a minute or two before they suggest. When the pasta absorbs the pesto, it can get soggy. I like to cook mine more "al dente."
- Don't cover the vegetables! (Unless you want them steamed.) If you keep the cover off it allows the onions to caramelize and asparagus to crisp up!
- Cover the chicken! I like covering the chicken so it cooks faster, just make sure it's on a medium heat or else the bottom can burn.
- Don't be afraid of salt and pepper! The pesto is the main flavor of this dish, but salt and pepper will help to enhance it. I lightly salt the chicken and vegetables while they're cooking.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make this recipe Whole30 friendly?
If you're on Whole30, you can still make this recipe! Skip the pasta, and serve this dish with just chicken and vegetables. If you want "pasta" - use an inspiralizer to make zucchini noodles!
Can I use a pre-made pesto for this recipe?
Yes! If you have some on hand, feel free to use whatever pesto you want!
How should I serve this dish?
You can serve this dish hot, warm, or cold! It all depends on what you're in the mood for.
Can I make this dish Vegan?
Yes! If you skip the chicken, you can serve this dish with pesto, pasta, and vegetables.
How to store leftovers
Store leftovers in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I like using glass containers because they're easier to re-heat in, but any container with a cover would work.
Serving: 1gCalories: 362kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 24gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 323mgPotassium: 684mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1158IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 3mg