July 11, 2014

Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Chicken, Spinach, & Tomatoes

Whole Wheat Pasta with Sundried Tomato Pesto, Chicken, Tomatoes, and Spinach

I don’t buy chicken that often anymore because it’s so expensive (and the cheaper stuff scares me a little) and now that I know I like tofu, I’m more likely to buy it for much cheaper.   When I saw some of the “good” chicken on sale the other day I impulsively threw it in my basket, then got home and had a hard time actually thinking of something to make with it!

Whole Wheat Pasta with Sundried Tomato Pesto, Chicken, Tomatoes, and Spinach

In the end I decided to go with pasta because I've been thinking about this sundried tomato pesto dish from Oh She Glows that I made last summer and really loved, and chicken and sundried tomatoes go together much better than any other proteins I could think of.

But since I did my grocery shopping at a small market instead of a grocery store, they didn't have any of the ingredients I needed to make my own pesto.  They did, however, sell prepared sundried tomato pesto, so I went with that instead, which made this dish even easier!

whole wheat pasta with flax and chia

They also sold this whole wheat fettucine with flax and chia, which cooked in only 3 minutes and was delicious. In the past I used Catelli's sundried tomato and basil spaghettini, which also goes great with sundried tomato pesto!

In addition to the pesto and chicken, I decided to add more sundried tomatoes, some sauteed grape tomatoes (cherry tomatoes would have also worked), and a bunch of spinach for added nutrition, though you could easily leave the spinach out if you're not fond of it.

Whole Wheat Pasta with Sundried Tomato Pesto, Chicken, Tomatoes, and Spinach

All the flavours came together perfectly in a nice light-feeling summer meal.  If you have the time to make your own sundried tomato pesto (and/or you want a lighter version than the storebought heavy-on-the-oil type), I still recommend Oh She Glows' version, though I was happy that the few minutes I saved not making my own pesto meant a few more minutes to sit outside and relax after dinner before going back to schoolwork!

Whole Wheat Pasta with Sundried Tomato Pesto, Chicken, Tomatoes, and Spinach

Whole Wheat Pasta with Sundried Tomato Pesto, Chicken, Tomatoes, & Spinach

Serves 4-6


2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
85g (3oz) sundried tomatoes – dry in a bag (not oil packed)*
1 (341g or 12oz) package of whole wheat pasta – I used fettucine
2 teaspoons olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup sundried tomato pesto**
5 oz baby spinach (I used a spinach/arugula mixture)
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese for topping


Season chicken breasts, if desired (I used salt, pepper, and dried basil) and cook however you prefer.  I saute mine in a skillet over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes per side, let rest, then slice.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add sundried tomatoes and blanch for 2 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon, let dry, and thinly slice.  Use the same boiling water to add your pasta and cook according to package directions.  Reserve 1 cup cooking water then drain pasta.

While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and grape tomatoes and sautee until softened, about 5 minutes.

Toss together the pasta, reserved cooking water, pesto, chicken slices, garlic & tomatoes, and sundried tomatoes.  Stir in the spinach so it gets slightly wilted.  Season the dish with salt and pepper if desired.

Serve hot, topped with parmesan cheese.

*I used dried sundried tomatoes to add to the pasta because there was already so much oil in the pesto I used, but you can use oil-packed sundried tomatoes if you prefer.
**I used storebought pesto, but you could easily make your own, lighter version, in which case you might want to use more than 1/2 cup.  Use your own judgment and preferences to determine how much pesto to add.

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