“No-tellini” Basil Pesto Chicken and Veggies

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The name of this recipe comes from the fact that it’s based on one of my favorite recipes that my mom created.  She includes tortellini pasta in it (which, of course, is both grains AND dairy, so not exactly Paleo) but I realized that by adding more to the veggie, meat, and oil topping, the pasta isn’t even necessary.  It’s extremely easy and has a unique flavor that is addicting!

“No-tellini” Basil Pesto Chicken and Veggies

Prep time: 10 minutes   Cook time: 20 minutes   Total time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

 

Ingredients

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 zucchini squash, quartered and sliced

2 yellow winter squash, quartered and sliced

1/4 yellow onion, diced

2 diced portobello mushrooms, or 1 cup sliced mushrooms of choice

Handful of sun-dried tomatoes (from a bag, make sure tomatoes are the only ingredient)

Handful of grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup Dairy-free Basil Pesto

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

1 tsp fresh rosemary

1 tsp fresh oregano

1-2 tsp dried italian seasonings

1 tsp garlic salt (or garlic powder for lower sodium)

5-6 artichoke hearts from a jar (optional)

Fresh parsley, for garnish

 

Directions

1.  Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized cubes.  Warm 2 tbsp of the olive oil on large skillet over medium heat and add chicken, along with 2 crushed garlic cloves and onion, to skillet.  Cook until chicken is white when you break into the middle of a piece.

2.  Add zucchini, yellow squash, and sun-dried tomatoes to the chicken and onions.  Stir thoroughly, adding about 1/2 of remaining olive oil to the mixture.  Sprinkle in powdered herbs, fresh herbs, and garlic salt and stir more.  Cook for about 2 minutes, until squash begins to soften.

3.  Mix in mushrooms, grape tomatoes, the rest of the olive oil, and the other 2 garlic cloves and cook for about another 2 minutes, until tomato skins are slightly wrinkled and mushrooms are soft.

4.  Dollop the basil pesto on top of the mixture as evenly as possible, then mix throughout the veggies and chicken.  Add and mix in artichoke hearts if you’re using them as well.

5.  Leave on the heat for another minute or two for the flavors to marry, but not long enough to make the veggies mushy. Take recipe off of the heat, top with parsley garnish, and serve immediately.

*Tip:  I also sometimes add 1 lb of Italian sausage to this recipe, for extra protein.  It adds a great little kick to the flavor and is a great idea to satisfy people who prefer meat-heavy entrées.

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