Kim Cooks: Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli

This pesto pasta from Budget Bytes is perfect—creamy, carb-filled and packed with veggies and protein. It’s like the old food pyramid given life.

It makes about five servings, which is perfectly portioned for a week’s lunches.

Of course, I ate two of those servings immediately upon making it, and I suspect I could have finished up the whole pan with a friend’s help. It’s just that delicious.

This was my first encounter with pesto, but you should expect a few more recipes. This is partially because I swoon over the scent and partially because I have half a jar in my fridge right now, just waiting to go bad.

Here’s the recipe.

Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli

Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 5

Ingredients

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A small plate of pesto pasta with chicken and broccoli, about three-fourths of a serving.

8 ounces pasta

8 ounces broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)

1 tablespoon olive oil

¾ pound skinless, boneless chicken cutlets

1/3 cup basil pesto*

½ cup chicken broth*

4 ounces cream cheese*

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Once it reaches a full boil, add the pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (7 to 10 minutes). Prepare to add the broccoli florets to the water with the pasta. If the broccoli is fresh, cook for 3 to 4 minutes. If it’s frozen, cook for 1 minute. Drain the pasta and broccoli in a colander.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, chop up the chicken cutlets. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the chicken and sauté until it is no longer pink (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add the pesto and chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine and allow it to come to a simmer. Add the cream cheese in chunks, whisking it into the hot liquid until a smooth sauce forms.
  4. Add the cooked and drained pasta and broccoli to the skillet. Stir to coat it in the cream sauce.
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A large pan of the pasta.

* I’m considering upping these ingredients to 1.5x portions in the future. The sauce was a little scarce.

(Recipe from BudgetBytes.com)

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