Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Chicken


Cilantro Pistachio Pesto (makes ¾ cup)
1 bunch fresh cilantro (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup salted pistachios, toasted, divided
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil

Rest of recipe:
1 (13.25 ounce) box whole-wheat rotini or penne pasta
2 cups shredded or chopped cooked white meat chicken (cooked leftovers or rotisserie chicken are options)
1½ cups grape tomatoes, halved


Calories/Serving 265
Nutrition:  One serving provides approximately:  14 g Protein, 30 g Carbohydrates, 4 g Fiber, 10 g Fat  (2 g saturated), 25 mg Cholesterol, 3 mcg Folate, 2 mg Iron, 166 mg Sodium

Adapted from a recipe developed by Christy Wilson, RD

Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Chicken


To prepare pesto, put cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper, pistachios (minus 2 tablespoons), and salt in a food processor or blender.  Add about half the olive oil and blend.  Add remainder of olive oil and blend until mixture reaches desired consistency.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

Return pasta to cooking pot on low heat, add pesto and chicken, heating until warmed through.  Add tomatoes.  Stir to combine.

Top with reserved 2 tablespoons of nuts then serve.  Can be served warm, room temperature or cold as a summer salad.

Servings: 10