Tag Archives: Pesto

Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

  • Servings: 3
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

I ran across this recipe on another blog and when I was cooking according to her directions, I found myself immediately deviating from her directions. This actually turned out as a great creamy, herby pasta dish that comes together in about 20-30 minutes. So if want a departure from your typical pasta dish but not skimp on flavor this one might be a good fit.

I still have a case of the blog blahs and in perfect form, I thought I took pictures last night but didn’t have my card in my camera…doh. So picture if you will, a creamy pasta dish resembling a looser alfredo sauce but packed with herbs, spinach and grape tomatoes. Additionally, some sliced pieces of bite sized chicken that replaced a meatball.

The recipe that I followed used evaporated milk which I did do but wouldn’t do it again. Instead, I would use whole milk, cream or even a dollop of cream cheese or something. Also, she suggested covering your chicken with pesto prior to cooking. I found that it started to burn the pesto. So much so, that when I removed my chicken I had to deglaze the pan with water and start from scratch missing out of on those lovely chicken bits and juices. I also amped up the parmesan cheese to compensate for the evaporate milk.

Last note, I have been falling in love with my grocery store salad bar. Instead of buying vegetables that I wouldn’t always use, I load up on the vegetables I want to cook that night. I added spinach, grape tomatoes, sliced red onion and a few mushrooms.

My recipe should deliver a super fast but delicious meal.

Ingredients:
Free Range Chicken Breasts
Fresh Basil
Fresh Pesto (store bought)
a handful of fresh spinach
a handful sliced grape tomatoes
small amount of sliced red onion from salad bar.
4 cloves of garlic
Cooked spaghetti (al dente)
1 cup whole milk or cream
1/4 cup chicken stock
3 tbs of grated parmesan cheese (use more or less to your taste)
1 tbs butter
1 tbs flour
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions:
Needed: Two pots: one for the sauce and chicken and one for boiling the pasta.
1. Start boiling the water for your pasta.
2. Lightly salt and pepper your chicken breasts. I tenderized them with a mallet to flatten them out to an even thickness. I heated a pan with olive oil on medium heat. The idea is to put a little color on them. Cook three to four minutes each side and remove them to rest.
2. Make a roux by adding the butter and flour in the same pot of the removed chicken. When it turns light brown, go ahead and add your minced garlic, red onion, and halved grape tomatoes and stir for one minute.
3. Add the chicken stock and loosen everything up. Turn down the heat to low and then add the pesto, the cream/milk and parm. Stir until the sauce thickens.
4. Cook your pasta according to the package in salted water. While it cooks cut the chicken breast on the bias and then add the sliced chicken back into the sauce and continue to stir.
5. When your pasta is cooked al dente, remove it, drain it and add the pasta into the sauce pot. Now add in your spinach and basil until nicely wilted but not over cooked. Serve and top with some fresh shaved parm and torn basil.

Ham and Pea Gnocchi with Basil Parm Cream Sauce

Ham and Pea Gnocchi with Basil Parm Cream Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ham and Pea Gnocchi with Basil Parm Cream Sauce

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The other night I needed a quick dinner so went to the fridge and freezer and decided on whipping up gnocchi dish and wanted to go on the creamy side with the sauce over tomato based. I took a ham steak that I had on deck for breakfast and diced it up. For the sauce, I had some Parmesan cheese and Basil Pesto so I had the salty and savory covered and thought by using peas to pop it with some sweetness.

It turned out as a great and rich dish that satisfies on a cold winter night. You could treat this as a soup/stew and pair it with a sandwich or even as a side that could replace elevate a mac and cheese type side.

I do apologize that I have been lazy with my photos. I have two or three more posts that you will have to suffer through and then I will take a little more time to make them more representative of how they taste.

Ingredients:
Trader Joe’s package of gnocchi
1 ham steak (diced)
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1-2 tbs of Basil Pesto
1 cup of milk
1 tbs of butter
1 tbs of flour
1 cup of fine grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup of frozen peas

Directions:
1. I started off by dicing my ham steak and putting it in a pot on medium low heat. At the same time that is cooking get another pot boiling for you gnocchi.

2. When the ham takes on some color I added the flour and butter to make a small rue. When the flour turned light brown took the heat down to low and added the garlic and pesto. Cooked it for about a minute to remove some of the bite from the garlic. Then slowly added the milk. IMG_0912

3. Keep some of the pasta water to thin your sauce if it happens to be too thick. Add the gnocchi, peas and grated Parmesan cheese to the sauce and stir it up until everything is coated. I put a dollop of the basil pesto to finish it off. IMG_0920

Pesto Tortellini with Chicken Pea Cream Sauce

Pesto Tortellini with Chicken Pea Cream Sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 25mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pesto Tortellini with Chicken Pea Cream Sauce
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I wasn’t sure what to call this dish but when I spotted the Trader Joe’s pesto tortellini I knew Jill would love it A creamy Parmesan sauce was a perfect complement. Adding the chicken made it a more substantial mean but certainly not necessary. Also when I make a creamy sauce for my pasta I love adding peas because they add a pop of sweetness and freshness.

Given I used packaged tortellini this is one of those restaurant quality meals that you can whip up in a flash. I used two chicken breasts but looking back I would just go with one because we couldn’t eat it all. For the sauce, I will try to remember how much I used of each ingredient but the more important thing for you to do is consider your tastes. Do you like a lot or light amounts of sauces? Do you like it thick or more loose. More cheesy or even use another cheese like Gruyere, swiss, maybe even blue cheese. hmmmm?

Ingredients for 2:
1 Package of Trader Joe’s Pesto Tortellini
1 tbs of flour
1 tbs of butter
1 cup of milk or cream
Parmesan Cheese
Peas
Chicken breast

Directions:
1. Let’s make some chicken. Season both sides with Kosher salt and Pepper. Put a little bit of oil in a medium heated cast iron skillet and cook it until done and make sure you get some nice browning. Remove your chicken and set it aside. IMG_0703

2. Turn the heat down medium low and splash in a little chicken stock or water (pasta water if you decided to cook your tortellini first, to deglaze the pan. Now add your butter and flour to get a rue going. Given the chicken bits are in your rue it will look darker but stir until you get a nice paste. Slowly pour in the milk stirring continuously. I let it thicken up a little bit and then added about a cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese.
Again once you get your rue, you can make more or less sauce by adding only the milk/cream amount you like. If it gets too thick, add some stock, pasta water or even milk. Add your peas and your cut chicken breasts. Stir
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3. Cook your Tortellini until al dente. I chose to pour my sauce mixture over the top versus incorporating them into the sauce with everything else. The reason is that I have had some ravioli or tortellini bust open on me during the stir. I just stirred it while in my bowl.
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Pesto and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Green Beans

Pesto and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Green Beans

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 50mins
  • Difficulty: medium
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Pesto and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Green Beans
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We have been eating a lot of chicken lately and it’s always a challenge for me to come up with new ways to prepare it. When rustling through the fridge I spotted a jar of pesto and some goat cheese. Perfect pairing. I decided to stuff it, roll it and baste it white wine and a little butter.

This turned out better than I expected. Super moist and tender with that punch of pesto and tang from the goat cheese in every bite. I pared it with some roasted green beans and shallots and a few cherry tomatoes. Admittedly I haven’t done a lot of stuffing proteins because when I tried it years ago I kept finding the inside a little raw or the stuffing oozing out everywhere. So I decided to tie it up versus the toothpick method to get a proper seal. I also butterflied my chicken breast and pounded it out fairly thinly to ensure even cooking.

This recipe will go into my rotation. And similar to my hand pocket, I can see endless possibilities for my stuffing.

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts (free range/air chilled)
2 tbs of Goat Cheese
2 tbs of Jarred Pesto
2 tsp of butter
2 tbs of olive oil
1/4-1/2 cup of white wine
Kosher salt and Pepper

Green beans
1 shallot
Cherry tomatoes (optional)
Kosher Salt and Pepper

Directions:
1. Get the beans going by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Wash, clean and trim your beans. Chop your shallot and toss the veggies in a roasting pan and cover with olive oil, Salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes.
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2. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice your chicken by making slow and shallow strokes. You want make a long stroke until butterflied. If you make a hole you didn’t do it right 🙂 Place your breast under plastic wrap and slowly pound it into a consistent thickness. Smear the pesto on the inside over the entire breast. Add your goat cheese and roll it up so that pesto and goat cheese are sealed up. I used string to keep it sealed.
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3. In a cast iron skillet on medium heat put some olive oil in the pan and cook it on all sides for about 5 minutes each. Now when all sides are seared, add your wine and butter. It will loosen any bits. While it reduces, baste the chicken keeping it nice and moist. IMG_0538
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Grilled Chicken and Corn Quesadillas with Pesto Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

Grilled Chicken and Corn Quesadillas with Pesto Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Grilled Chicken and Corn Quesadillas with Pesto Sour Cream Dipping Sauce
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Recently I saw a recipe for Chicken, corn and caramelized onion quesadillas. So I was thinking about it while at the grocery store when I saw their fresh corn. I didn’t want to spend the time caramelizing the onions so I went with fresh green onions. I decided to also make a pesto dipping sauce with avocado, sour cream, lime juice and pesto. Tangy, herbaceous and creamy.

The grilled chicken and corn gave the quesadilla a sweet and savory combo. I also used a mix of Monterrey Jack cheese because it melts so well but to bump up the tang I sprinkled in some goat cheese.

We loved how these turned out. Crunch outside with creamy chicken, corn, onion, cilantro swimming in melted cheeses. The dipping sauce was tangy with the lime juice but complimented the cilantro with the pesto. This would be great for a party or gathering and would also make a filling appetizer or a meal. It’s a great way to amplify your typical cheese and chicken quesadilla.

Ingredients

4 flour tortillas
2 chicken breasts
2 green onions
handful of cilantro
1.5 cup of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
2 tbs of goat cheese
Penzey’s Fajita Seasoning

Sauce
1/4 quarter cup of sour cream
Juice of 1 small lime
1 tbs of green pesto (store bought)
1 avocado
Dash of cayenne


Directions:

1. Make your sauce by combining everything in a bowl and mash the avocado until smooth. Mix, taste and adjust accordingly. Put in the fridge until ready to serve. IMG_0358

2. Fire up your grill and let it get to about 375 or 400 degrees. While your grill is heating up, take your chicken breasts and trim them. Then cover in plastic wrap and pound them until they are consistently the same thickness. This makes for even grilling. I dusted them with Kosher salt and Penzey’s Fajita seasoning. Now put your corn and chicken on the grill. Close it and walk away for about 6 minutes. Rotate corn and flip chicken when you get nice marks on it. When done bring in to rest.

3. While my chicken and corn were resting, I cut my green onions and cilantro and shredded the Monterrey Jack cheese. So now all I need to do is cut the corn and chicken and assemble.

4. Now for the assembly. Mont Jack and onions down and then the chicken.
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Add cilantro, corn and goat cheese.
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4. Heat a non stick pan large enough to cook your tortilla. Put a little butter down on medium heat and put your base down and top it with the second tortilla. Cook for about 4-5 minutes until the cheese melts and you get a nice crunch on your tortilla. Butter, flip and do the second side. Cut and serve with your sauce.
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Pesto Presto Chicken Sandwich

Pesto Presto Chicken Sandwich

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 35 mins.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pesto Presto Chicken Sandwich
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Despite being armed with the information about bread being the body’s kryptonite, I love it. Perfectly thick sliced chewy, toothy sourdough and some cheese and I am fine. Jill loves for me to make special sandwiches. I saw some recipes around chicken and pesto and thought I would make a sandwich around it.

I also had finished off a jar of dill pickles and had some left over pickle juice so decided to use that as my chicken marinade. The pickle brine really makes a great marinade. It doesn’t come across as too “pickely”. I also wanted to use goat cheese for tang. To play on that tang I added some jarred sun-dried tomato pesto sauce to my goat cheese.

Also I broiled the sourdough to get a nice crust on the inside while keeping the other side pillow soft. So many things going on with this sandwich. Two pestos in play give an herbaceous main note. The pickle juice brine, goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes bring acid and tang. Really delicious sandwich. A slice of crispy bacon would also be a nice addition.

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts (free range, air chilled)
Sourdough loaf of bread
I small package of goat cheese
1 Jar of sun dried tomato pesto
1 jar of basil pesto
Olive oil
Arugula lettuce
Pickle juice
Mont Jack cheese (not necessary but we had some shredded leftovers)

Directions
1. Marinate your chicken breasts in pickle juice for as long as you can. Pound it to be the same thickness so that it cooks evenly. IMG_0049

2. Grill your chicken until cooked through. Get some nice grill marks on both sides. Set aside to rest.

3. With oven on broil. Slice your bread and add a little olive oil and a pinch of salt. Broil until brown and crusty on one side. IMG_0050

4. Take your goat cheese at room temperature and add the tomato pesto until you enjoy the taste. I probably used 2 tablespoons. IMG_0052

5. When bread is toasted add to one side (top) the goat cheese spread. To the other side, add your chicken after you sliced it on the bias. Spread it on the bread and top with the basil pesto. About a tablespoon. Top with arugula and then your tomato pesto bread topper. Slice and enjoy.
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