|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 52g||67%|
|Saturated Fat 19g||93%|
|Total Carbohydrate 38g||14%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||17%|
|Total Sugars 5g|
|Vitamin C 12mg||59%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Pesto is a beautiful Italian recipe that combines fragrant basil leaves with pine nuts, Parmesan, and olive oil, making a thick and flavorful paste that is usually eaten on pasta. Our take on this traditional sauce adds a touch of lemon to bring out the herby brightness of the basil and enhance the overall flavor of the cheese and nuts. Fresh and undeniably tasty, this lemon pesto makes a great dish when combined with chicken breast and pasta. In just a few minutes, you'll have a complete dinner that everyone will love. Serve with bread and salad for an easy and beautiful meal.
Our recipe uses jarred pesto, a shortcut to greatness. Many pesto brands you find at the store are laden with preservatives and additives to extend the shelf life of the product. If you can, buy an organic jar of pesto with only a few natural ingredients. Mixing it with cream, juicy chicken, and al dente pasta makes for the whole recipe. Easy-peasy. Baby green peas adds the finishing touch for a bright and succulent pasta dish.
1 (16-ounce) package linguine, or any long or short pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1 (9-ounce) package basil pesto, divided
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups frozen baby peas
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente according to package directions.
When pasta is done, drain well and keep warm.
In a large saucepan, combine the butter, oil, and garlic over medium-high heat.
When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the chicken cubes and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
Stir over medium heat until chicken is almost cooked through, about 4 to 6 minutes.
Stir in the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low.
Add all but 3 tablespoons of the pesto. Add 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice, the lemon zest, and Parmesan cheese.
Toss over medium heat until chicken is thoroughly cooked, and the mixture is hot. Add the peas and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer until just warmed.
Place the warm pasta in a serving bowl and top with the chicken mixture.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons of pesto with the remaining lemon juice.
Drizzle the lemon pesto over the pasta and chicken. Serve immediately.
Peas bring a nice pop of color to this dish, but other vegetables would work as well:
- Use blanched or grilled asparagus to top the dish.
- Add chopped fresh tomatoes or rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes.
- Quarter artichoke hearts to top the finished pasta.
- Add fresh green and red bell peppers to add some crunch to the recipe.
How to Keep Pasta Warm After Cooking
To keep pasta warm and fresh, before draining it, remove a bit of the cooking water, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Drain the pasta and return to the pot, adding enough of the hot pasta cooking water to keep the noodles moist. Cover the pot and set aside until ready to use.
Using pasta cooking water is a great addition to sauces as the starch in the water acts as a thickener that helps sauces get consistency without having to add unnecessary ingredients.