On a gluten-free diet but yearning for a heaping bowl of pasta? Zucchini noodles allow you to enjoy a low-carb, naturally gluten-free, Italian-inspired dinner.
Nifty kitchen tools, like a mandoline, julienne peeler or vegetable spiralizer, let you to whip up a batch of noodle-thin zucchini “noodles” in just minutes, and, when mixed with creamy pesto, crisp asparagus and Italian-marinated chicken, satiate your every craving for pasta.
This recipe is a great way to get kids (and adults) to eat more veggies and is simple to put together for a weeknight meal.
Pesto Zucchini Pasta with Asparagus & Grilled Chicken
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Organic Italian Seasoning
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 medium zucchinis, sliced into noodle-thin strips using a mandoline, julienne peeler or vegetable spiralizer
8 asparagus spears, chopped into 1.5 inch pieces
black pepper and salt, to taste
additional grated Parmesan cheese for serving
Combine ¼ cup olive oil, 2 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tbsp Organic Italian Seasoning in a small bowl. Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag, add marinade and coat well. Seal and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine basil and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped, then slowly drizzle in ⅓ cup olive oil, keeping food processor on. Stop the machine, add lemon juice and Parmesan cheese and pulse once more until blended.
Remove chicken from refrigerator. Heat stovetop grill to medium heat and cook chicken for about 6-8 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing into thin strips.
While chicken cooks and sits, heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add asparagus. Cook for about 5 minutes, until spears are just slightly tender. Toss in zucchini noodles and continue to cook about 5 more minutes, until asparagus stalks and zucchini noodles are both fully tender.
Combine zucchini/asparagus mixture with pesto and grilled chicken. Serve into individual bowls and top with additional Parmesan cheese.