Update: I’m so excited to announce that this week I’ll be guest posting over on the Whole30 Instagram and Facebook page! With this pesto chicken zoodles recipe being one of my most popular recipes, I decided it was time for new pictures and a boost to the front of my website! The images may be updated, but this pesto chicken zoodles recipes is the same delicious recipe that many of you already know and love! Enjoy!
Before I changed my diet, one of my go to dishes I’d often make for dinner was pesto chicken pasta. It was one of our favorite meals that was super easy and super fast. I used to buy store bought pesto sauce, but now I make my own, which I enjoy so much more! Not only does it have so much more flavor, but also you’ll have no ingredients to check! Those of you who have been following me on here for a while know that I lovvvvve zoodles! Zoodles are a really great way to get an extra veggie in without even realizing it! I’ve gotta say, this pasta recipe tastes even better than the original, I really love it! It makes great leftovers, and tastes awesome even when eaten cold, so I often make a double batch. I use and love the Paderno World Cuisine Spiralizer to make my noodles, but a simple julienne peeler would work as well! Hope you love my recipe for pesto chicken zoodles! Happy cooking!
Pesto Chicken Zoodles
For the Zoodles:
- 3-4 medium zucchini made into zoodles with either a julienne peeler or spiralizer
- sea salt
For the Pesto Sauce:
- 3 cups packed basil leaves
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the Remaining Ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or grass-fed butter/ghee)
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 bunch asparagus (about 12 stalks) cut into 1 inch pieces, tough ends removed
- 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- sea salt & pepper, to taste
- First up, let's get the moisture out of the zoodles! No one likes watery zucchini! It's totally up to you, and what you want to do with your zoodles, but I typically prefer the salting method. This gets the moisture out, so that they don't become a watery mess when heated with the sauce. To do this, place your zoodles on top of paper towels and salt them generously. Set aside for at least 20 minutes, while they release their moisture.
- Let's make the quick pesto! Add all of the pesto ingredients to food processor (or blender) and pulse until well combined. Set aside.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil has melted, add the chicken to the pan. Sauté until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus to the pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the asparagus starts to soften.
- While the asparagus is cooking, let's get back to the zoodles! Gently squeeze the salted zoodles between dry paper towels, or a clean dishrag, to remove the excess moisture.
- Turn down the heat of the pan to medium-low, and add the zoodles to the pan. Stir well. Once the zoodles are warm, turn the heat off and add the pesto sauce, sun dried tomatoes, and pine nuts to the pan and stir until combined. Serve up and slurp up!
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i can’t wait to make this! i love zoodles so much! and i love you 🙂
Thanks, Meg!! Hope you’re having an amazing vacation!
Elizabeth Ross says
darlin this looks yummy! Think mowwmma eating her phone with this picture up haha! congratulations on getting your new site up and running. Many blessing to you and hubby.Love.
Thanks, mowmma! You’re not the only one who tries to eat their phone 😉
This looks like a fantastic recipe and I’m going to try it tonight! Quick question though- do you cook the zoodles before the above mentioned salting method, or are they raw at that point? If you did cook them first, did you microwave or blanch them? Thanks a ton!!
I would guess that they were raw at that point….then cooked briefly later on when the pesto is heated. Hope that helps.
Exactly, thanks so much Michele! 🙂
Thanks Stephanie! Michele is right, they’re raw up until you slightly cook them in the end. When you “salt” the zoodles and press the moisture out, it changes the texture of them completely. They become soft, so you only really need to heat them up after that 🙂 I really hope you enjoy this recipe!
Thanks so much for your response, and really for this recipe! My boyfriend and I made it tonight and it was AMAZING. We doubled the recipe and so glad that we did. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing!
Thank you SO much for letting me know that you loved it, Stephanie!! That makes me so happy 🙂
Hey Kristen……just wanted to let you know that today your site loaded perfectly on my tablet and is looking great! I am going to try and do this recipe my garden is full of basil 🙂
Awesome, thanks so much, Mika!! Why it won’t load correctly on my phone is still a mystery, but I’m working on it 🙂 Hope you love this recipe!
This one is soooo my type of dish! Looks so incredible!
Thank you, Deanna! It quickly became a favorite!
Mary P says
I made this and it was amazing! I am wanting to print it and some other recipes out – is there a print option on your blog? Thanks so much!
So happy to hear that you like it, Mary! I’m actually in the process of adding a “print” button for my recipes, hopefully I’ll be able to get it up soon! If it helps, you should be able to copy and paste into Word for now 🙂
Hi again, Mary! I just added a print feature for my recipes! I’ve only updated a couple so far, but let me know if their are particular recipes you’d like to print asap, and I can get to those first 🙂
I love love love this recipe and have been putting pesto on everything….if you have anyone asking for a nut free version I subbed unsweetened coconut flakes and it actually worked really well, gave it a nutty texture without a nutty allergy!
I didn’t put two and two together until I saw this comment, then I realized who you are on IG! 🙂 Soooo happy you love this recipe! Such a great idea to use coconut flakes, I would have never thought of that!
Looks delicious! Wondering if this would also work well as a chilled ‘pasta’ salad??
Absolutely! I actually eat it cold all the time, it’s really good that way 🙂
Fabulous, thank you!! Can’t wait to try it!
Debra Gluskin says
This looks WONDERFUL, thanks for sharing. I cant have asparagus (unfortunately!) What would you suggest for a substitute?
Hi Debra! You could easily leave out the asparagus (I do sometimes when I don’t have it on hand) or you could easily use broccoli. Hope you love this recipe 🙂
Debra Gluskin says
Thank for the quick reply – I will try next week. WOW – i am so loving your site.. LOVING. firing up the balsamic chicken and basil mash tomorrow. So much inspiration here from your journey and back ultimate health (good job) and your fresh and exciting recipes. Thank you thank you !
Thanks so much, Debra! That means more to me than you know 🙂
Belly Bootcamp Dara (@bellybootcamp) says
Yummy! I have a thousand zucchinis and some chicken to turn into dinner and now I have a plan!
I hope you love this recipe, Dara!
Just made it with spaghetti squash instead of zucchini hopes it’s just as good
Hope it turns out great!
Karen Ruth says
This is one of my favorite recipes of all time! I’m coaching a Whole30 group right now and I shared this recipe with them today. My hubby and I literally fight over who gets the leftovers! I always use 4 zucchinis, however…because I frickin’ LOVE zoodles, and this recipe makes enough pesto to cover 4-5 spiraled zucchinis in pesto-y goodness. Thanks for creating this one!
I’m so happy you like it, Karen! Thank you so much for sharing! You reminded me to update this recipe, I’ve made this so many times now, and I find myself using 3-4 zucchini’s as well – I love zoodles too!
Adrienne Bishop says
So weird this this was the recipe you chose on Instagram since I just made up in my head that I wanted to make something similar! I can’t wait to make this! Just an FYI, there’s no chicken listed in the ingredients. Is it just cubed or whole and salted and peppered? Thanks!!
Love it, Adrienne! Great meds think alike 😉 Oops, thanks so much for letting me know, the ingredients must have disappeared when I updated the recipe this morning! I just updated it!
This is delicious! The only problem I had was that it was too salty. How can you get that salt off that you use to get the moisture out of the zucchini? I love salt btw, but this was way too salty for me.
Hi Sara! I’m sorry to hear that your dish turned out too salty! Typically the salt is drawn out along with the moisture from the zoodles, and absorbed into the paper towel/dish rag, but I have heard of this happening if there is too much salt on the zoodles to begin with. There’s a couple of things that you can do to fix this next time: first, you can add less or even no salt to the sauce, that way you can add salt to taste. The other option would be: after salting the zoodles and letting the moisture release for at least 20 minutes, you can rinse them off with cold water, and then press them gently with paper towels or a clean dish rag. Either of these will do the trick! 🙂
Quick question: How much coconut oil is needed? Thank you!
Hi Catherine! Thanks for catching that, I never realized coconut oil wasn’t listed in the actual ingredients – fixing that now! I use about a tablespoon. You can also use butter or ghee instead, if you prefer 🙂
Thanks! I’d love to say I caught that because I edit for a living (which I do), but it’s actually because I don’t know how to cook and need every last instruction/detail! 😉
Haha, love it! <3
Wondering how many servings this yields? Thank you!
Hi Casey! I’d say this makes 4-6 servings, depending on how hungry you are 🙂
Thank you! Can’t wait to try it. 🙂
Alicia Stacy says
This was SO good! I think I may make the chicken/pesto mixture and eat it in red or green pepper cups, too. Will definitely make this again!
So glad you liked it, Alicia! The bell pepper sounds like an amazing idea!
I am always looking for new zoodles recipes. So far I love Alfredo Sauce Zoodles. I will definitely try your recipe too