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My Take On Jessica Sepel's Delicious Chicken, Broccoli & Pesto Pasta


I follow a lot of what Jessica Sepel has put together for her JSHealth community and this recipe is one of my favourite dinners that I usually like to make a double batch of so I have lunch for the next day. She prefers to use gluten-free pasta, however I’m a firm believer that unless you have a medical intolerance to gluten, then those products usually tend to be more processed than the real thing. I do prefer to opt for a whole grain pasta or an organic homemade pasta, but really whatever works for you is great. I also really like penne for this sauce, but choose any variety that you like. I also omit parmesan at the end, as most store bought pesto contains parmesan already. You don’t need much pesto, but where possible try to find one in store that is made with olive oil, alternatively here’s a recipe from “Taste” for their basil pesto but there are literally hundreds of recipes out there! A final touch for extra nutrients with no extra fuss, I add frozen spinach to this recipe. I always say to eat your greens and this is the best way to get some extra in with all the flavour.
Serves 4
Calories per serving = approx. 406

Ingredients

- 1 tsp olive oil 
- 1.1lbs chicken breasts, cut into cubes 
- 1/2 Jar of Barilla Basil & Rocket Pesto (yes there are better quality pesto sauces out there but for convenience this is the one I use. Where possible find one that is made with olive oil or if you have the time, make it from scratch)
- 1/2 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
- Half a bag of frozen spinach 
- Pinch of sea salt & pepper
- 2 cups cooked whole grain pasta 

    NOTE: To lower calorie content you can half the pasta serving and add blanched zucchini noodles to bulk up the dish and to add some extra veggies. You can also use gluten-free pasta!

    Method

    1. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
    2. Add the cubed chicken breasts pieces to brown, season generously with salt and sauté until the chicken is cooked through.
    3. Once the chicken is mostly cooked, add the chopped broccoli and spinach, continue to sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Simultaneously, begin cooking pasta according to packet instructions. 
    4. Add the pesto to the pan and stir through thoroughly to completely mix in the chicken, broccoli and spinach. Add a splash of hot water to create a looser sauce.
    5. Once pasta is cooked, stir the cooked pasta through. Transfer to a bowl and serve. Alternatively, if you're like me I prefer to keep the pasta seperate so I can measure out my 1/2 cup serving easily and serve the sauce on top. Enjoy!

    Credit Recipe & Image: Jessica Sepel (https://jessicasepel.com/)

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