Want to satisfy your pasta cravings without the carbs? Well now you can, and no…this isn’t an infomercial. Patty and I have been experimenting with vegetable noodles in search of a dish that tastes close to the real thing. After a few experiments, we have deemed pesto chicken with zucchini noodles the winner. If you’re feeling skeptical right now, read on because I was a little at first too.
We tried butternut squash noodles and zucchini noodles, both with the combo of pesto sauce and creamy avocado sauce. We also tried boiling and sautéing the noodles in olive oil. Whatever you do, don’t boil the noodles or they will turn to mush. This quick and easy recipe right here yielded the closest results to pesto pasta (and it even looks like pasta too).
Why am I doing this to you us? Well, I love carbs and can NEVER have enough, but sadly you can’t carbo-load every day. With Summer right around the corner, we are trying to watch the carb intake. Now, if you’re an avid K Swag follower then you’re well aware of my obsession with pesto.
Maybe you’ve even tried my pesto shrimp pasta or chicken pesto pasta. I’m telling you, the zucchini, chicken and pesto combo is a surprisingly good alternative to spaghetti, and the chicken will leave you full.
How to Cook Zucchini Noodles
The key to cooking zucchini noodles is to not overcook them. In fact, you want to very lightly saute them in a pan to warm them up. Overcooking will make them soggy and watery. No need to boil or cook for more than 1-2 minutes on medium heat.
Zucchini is nearly flavorless, allowing the pesto sauce to really take over and carry the dish. It’s also ready in about 15 minutes if you buy prepared zucchini noodles, which are pretty common in most grocery stores. If you’re feeling more ambitious you can easily make your own using a spiralizer really easily.
Give this one a shot and let me know what you think. I think you’ll be surprised how hearty and delicious a vegetable-based entrée can be.Print
A healthy alternative to my favorite chicken pesto pasta recipe. Zucchini noodles covered in homemade basil pesto with chicken.
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 pound zucchini noodles (2 medium zucchinis, spiralized)
- 10 sungold or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese (for topping)
- 3 cups basil leaves
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
For the pesto
- Combine all pesto ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor or blender. Blend until mixed and smooth. With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until combined. Pesto should not be too soupy or fine. Set aside.
For the chicken and zucchini
- Slice chicken into bite sized cubes and season with salt and pepper. Add chicken and olive oil to a dutch oven on medium-high heat. Sauté until chicken is fully cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add zucchini noodles and tomatoes to the dutch oven, toss with 3/4 – 1 cup of pesto sauce. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until zucchini noodles are warm.
- Serve immediately topped with parmesan cheese if desired.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 612
- Sugar: 21.7g
- Sodium: 450mg
- Fat: 32.8g
- Saturated Fat: 6.8g
- Carbohydrates: 32.6g
- Fiber: 10.1g
- Protein: 51.5g
- Cholesterol: 133mg
Keywords: zucchini noodles recipe