Home Chef winner’s healthy pesto chicken pasta

Home Chef Challenge winner Liz Della Croce shares her recipe for a healthy pasta dish featuring pesto chicken and Swiss chard. Learn more about Liz, and click here to enter your own recipes to TODAY's Home Chef Challenge!

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    • 8 oz whole wheat penne
    • 12 oz boneless chicken breasts - cubed
    • 1/2 tsp sea salt
    • 1/4 tsp pepper
    • 1 bunch swiss chard - chopped
  • For pesto

    • 1 c basil leaves - packed
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1/2 c parmigiano reggiano cheese
    • 2 tbs lemon juice
    • 1 tsp lemon zest
    • 2 tbs pine nuts (toasted)
    • 1/4 c olive oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste


Baking Directions:

For pesto:Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend well. Season with salt/pepper to taste.For pasta:Prepare whole wheat penne according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup starchy cooking liquid. Meanwhile, heat a large sauce pan to medium-high heat and spray with non-stick spray. Season cubed chicken with salt and pepper before adding to pan. Cook until chicken is browned, about 7 minutes. Remove chicken from pan. Add swiss chard to the pan along with 2 tbs reserved cooking water. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the browned bits leftover from the chicken. Cover and let steam for 2 minutes.Add basil pesto to the chard and cook until warmed. Add more of the reserved pasta cooking water to loosen the pesto and create a sauce. Stir in chicken and pasta before serving.

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