Gluten Free Chicken Pesto Pasta in a blue bowl

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Description

This Chicken Pesto Pasta is a dish I make from my head, using the recipe as a guide. A quick everyday meal made with purchased pesto sauce. Of course homemade is best but it’s not practical for me.

To experience the real deal you can make pesto. I’d do it in the summer when fresh basil is plentiful. I recommend you lovingly crush basil leaves with a mortar and pestle, use the best quality Italian olive oil available and splurge on pine nuts and real Parmesan cheese. You might want to share that dinner with some friends and a good bottle of red wine.

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Store Bought Pesto Sauce

Gluten free store bought pesto is readily available and will last for months in your fridge as long as you always use a clean utensil. Classico brand is easy to find in the grocery stores I frequent.

If you’re not familiar with pesto sauce it’s a northern Italian specialty traditionally made with fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and Parmesan cheese. It has many uses and if you’re adventurous you can find all sorts of variations both homemade and store bought.

Cooking Brown Rice Pasta

For this Chicken Pesto Pasta I used spaghetti style brown rice pasta. Precise timing is critical to cooking gluten free pasta. Mine is cooked perfectly at 9½ minutes. My kitchen timer doesn’t have a second hand but that time works for me. Another trick is to rinse the pasta to stop the cooking process. Simply drain the pasta then run cool water over it in the colander. Toss with sauce and serve immediately.

Let me know in the comments below if you tried this. What are your favourite pasta dishes?


More Pasta Recipes

Southwestern Grilled Vegetable Pasta

A bowl of Southwestern Grilled Vegetable Pasta
Southwestern Grilled Vegetable Pasta -photo credit Jim Little

Pasta with Fresh Sorrel and Feta

A bowl of pasta with fresh sorrel and feta
Pasta with Fresh Sorrel and Feta -photo credit Jim Little

Sausage and Vegetable Pasta

Sausage and Vegetable Pasta
Sausage and Vegetable Pasta -photo credit Jim Little

Ingredients

1 lb brown rice pasta (or your favourite GF pasta)
SAUCE
2 Tbsp olive oil or oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes
8 oil-packed, sun-dried tomato halves, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
8 oz asparagus, cut in 1” pieces
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin
salt and pepper
6 Tbsp pesto
1/4-½ cup liquid (pasta water, GF chicken stock or white wine)*
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

1
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in large sauté pan or wok on medium-high heat.
2
Sauté peppers and asparagus stirring frequently until lightly charred and softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with the sun-dried tomatoes.
3
Add remaining 1 Tbsp oil to pan.
4
Season chicken slices with salt and pepper.
5
Sauté chicken stirring until all meat is cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to bowl with vegetables and set aside.
6
Cook pasta according to package directions.
7
Drain pasta saving some of the pasta water if desired. Return pasta to the pot. Add pesto and liquid and gently stir to create a sauce.
8
Add chicken and vegetables, toss and serve.
9
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and freshly cracked black pepper.

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Ingredients

Directions

  • 1 lb brown rice pasta (or your favourite GF pasta)
  • SAUCE
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 8 oil-packed, sun-dried tomato halves, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz asparagus, cut in 1” pieces
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 Tbsp pesto
  • 1/4-½ cup liquid (pasta water, GF chicken stock or white wine)*
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in large sauté pan or wok on medium-high heat.
  2. Sauté peppers and asparagus stirring frequently until lightly charred and softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with the sun-dried tomatoes.
  3. Add remaining 1 Tbsp oil to pan.
  4. Season chicken slices with salt and pepper.
  5. Sauté chicken stirring until all meat is cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to bowl with vegetables and set aside.
  6. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  7. Drain pasta saving some of the pasta water if desired. Return pasta to the pot. Add pesto and liquid and gently stir to create a sauce.
  8. Add chicken and vegetables, toss and serve.
  9. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and freshly cracked black pepper.