Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta is an easy way to dress up a pasta dinner. All you need is basil pesto, your favorite pasta and some fresh vegetables. Add some chicken or not for a delicious pasta dinner in the time it takes to cook the pasta. With a few small changes this can be a delicious vegetarian meal or a gluten-free dinner.
Florentine Pesto Pasta with Chicken
I was in the mood for some pasta last week and decided to try my hand at making a basil pesto pasta with vegetables and chicken. I also found out that it tastes just as good without chicken and can be eaten hot or cold and is still delicious. Hope you enjoy!
Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta
- 16 oz. package farfalle for gluten-free diets substitute a gluten-free pasta
- 2 large chicken breasts about 1-1/2 lbs, cut into strips
- salt & pepper
- 2 Tablespoons light olive oil
- 1/2 sweet onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced thin
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup chicken stock or white wine
- 9 oz package fresh spinach washed & patted dry
- 1/4 cup fat-free half & half
- 8.1 oz jar basil pesto or check out my 5-Minute Pesto
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- Prepare pasta according to package directions.
- While pasta is cooking, salt & pepper the chicken strips. Heat oil in large skillet and cook chicken strips until cooked through and browned. Remove from pan.
- To the pan, add the onion, pepper strips and mushrooms and cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook another minute.
- Add the chicken stock or white wine and boil until reduced by half.
- Add spinach to pan and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes or until wilted.
- Add half & half, pesto, Parmesan cheese and chicken, stir and cook until heated through.
- Pour over pasta, toss to coat, and serve immediately with additional grated Parmesan cheese on the side.
Wine Pairing: Pasta in a creamy sauce contains fat and requires an acidic wine or one with a higher level of alcohol or tannins to offset its richness. Ideal wines would be a Chardonnay, with a hint of lemon and minerality, to match the texture of the pasta, a Sauvignon Blanc, with its higher acid content, to offset the fat or opt for a Pinot Grigio or Riesling. If red is your preference, try a Bardolino or Sangiovese which pairs well with the vegetable element.