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!

Pesto chicken pasta with Swiss chard


    • 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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