Creamy Pesto Pasta With Grilled Chicken {Paleo} & How To Use A Spiralizer

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I am SO excited, I bought a spiralizer!!! Here is a picture of the one I bought:

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A spiralizer turns veggies into noodles, how awesome is that!?! I used to use a julienne slicer to make zucchini noodles which worked well but only made thin, short noodles. Now that I have a spiralizer I can make long, thick, beautiful noodles! If you’ve never tried zucchini noodles you are really missing out. They are surprisingly like “regular” noodles in taste and texture but without the grains, gluten, and carbs. Here’s how to do it:

* I also like this short video on how to spiralize zucchini noodles, it’s what convinced me to buy one!

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When picking out zucchini (or anything for the spiralizer) pick out veggies that are fat in diameter and as straight as possible. If your veggies aren’t fat enough or extremely curved, the blade can’t make the entire circle and it won’t make beautiful long noodles. Then when you get your veggies home and are ready to use them, cut off the ends as straight as possible and peel them only if you feel like it,, I usually don’t 🙂

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You have 3 blades to choose from – an 1/8th inch spacing for spaghetti-sized noodles, a 1/4th inch spacing for thicker, curly noodles or curly fries, and a straight blade for ribbon cuts. Slide the blade you want into the spiralizer, I used the 1/8th inch spacing for this recipe.

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Place the zucchini into the prongs and line it up with the de-seeing hole on the other side.  The bottom of the spiralizer has nifty suction cups – don’t forget to use them so it doesn’t slide around! Then turn the crank until you reach the end and have beautiful long noodles. It may sound hard, but it’s actually very smooth and effortless.

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After you make the noodles some of them will be extremely long, so you can cut them with scissors.

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I was experimenting with the different blades, that’s why the noodles are all different sizes 🙂

Zucchini is 95% water, so we need to “sweat” the water out. Place the noodles on a paper towel lined baking sheet and sprinkle generously with salt. Place in the oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes. When they get out of the oven, wrap them in paper towels and give them a good squeeze to remove any excess moisture.

*Depending on the recipe I sometimes skip this step. I only do this if I’m worried about the noodles making the sauce too water-y.

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To soften the noodles, saute in some oil over medium high heat until they reach the desired tenderness and then that’s it, you’re done!  Now you have perfect zucchini noodles –  isn’t that awesome! You can also simmer them in sauce for about 10 minutes, but I prefer sauteing them in oil 🙂

Now that you know how to use a spiralizer and make perfect zucchini noodles, here’s my pesto pasta recipe:

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Start by making the pesto… combine about 2 C of fresh basil, some pine nuts, almond flour, salt, garlic, and a splash of lemon in a food processor. Then drizzle in olive oil (or preferred oil) until it reaches a good consistency and set it aside.

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Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and grill over medium heat on both sides until cooked through. When cooking chicken make sure to pound the chicken to about 1/2 inch thick if it isn’t already. You don’t want the outside to burn while the inside is trying to cook through 🙂

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After it’s cooked, cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

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In a large pan, add the pesto, 2 Tbsp. of non- dairy butter or oil, and 1/2 C of milk substitute (I use coconut milk from a carton) over medium heat and stir until well combined. Then, add in your zucchini noodles, chicken, and chopped tomato. Garnish with fresh basil to be pretty and serve 🙂

Pin for later:

Here’s the fun printable:

5.0 from 1 reviews
Creamy Pesto Pasta With Grilled Chicken {Paleo} & How To Use A Spiralizer
 
For vegan omit chicken
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 7 Zucchini Squash, spiralized
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or allowed oil (divided)
  • 2 Large Tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Large or 3 Small Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • ½ C Non-Dairy Milk (I use coconut milk from a carton, original)
  • 2 Tbsp. Earth Balance Butter or Allowed Oil
Pesto:
  • 2 C Fresh Basil, loosely packed
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • ½ C Almond Flour
  • ¼ - ½ tsp. Sea Salt, to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. Pine Nuts
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds (optional)
  • up to ⅓ C of Extra Virgin Olive Oil or allowed oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Spiralize the noodles and place them on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Then sprinkle with salt and place in oven to "sweat" for 30 minutes. When they are done, wrap in paper towels and give them a good squeeze to get out extra moisture.
  3. To make the pesto, place all of the ingredients into a food processor except the olive oil. Give it a few good pulses, then drizzle in the olive oil until it reaches a good consistency, set aside.
  4. Heat a large pan over medium heat with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in it.
  5. If your chicken is really thick, pound it until it is about ½ inch throughout, you don't want the outside to burn while the inside is still trying to cook through!
  6. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and cook on both sides until browned and juices run clear.
  7. When the chicken is finished, cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
  8. By this time your noodles should be out of the oven, so place the noodles and 1 Tbsp of olive oil in the same large pan that you cooked the chicken in. Saute until noodles are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Set them aside.
  9. Add 2 Tbsp of Earth Balance butter or allowed oil back to the pan along with the non-dairy milk and pesto. Stir until well combined.
  10. Then, stir in the noodles, chicken, and the chopped tomato. Garnish with fresh basil to be pretty 🙂

this post is part of Fat Tuesday Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Fridays, and Gluten Free Wednesdays

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24 responses to “Creamy Pesto Pasta With Grilled Chicken {Paleo} & How To Use A Spiralizer

  1. Karen

    Did you buy your spiralizer on Amazon? They have several “brands” but they all seem to have the same photo — and all with different prices. Should I just go with the least expensive?

    • Cassidy

      Hi Karen!

      Yeah, I bought mine on Amazon. This is the one I bought: Tri-Blade By Spiralizer for 36.77. But I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers use this one: The Paderno World Cuisine for 35.96.

      I was planning on getting the Paderno World Cuisine but the one I got looked exactly the same and said it was 30% stronger. I don’t know if it really is, but I bought it anyways – I guess their advertising worked on me 🙂

      Kelly from The Spunky Coconut uses this one, but I didn’t want to spend $75! And from what I’ve read, the cheaper ones are pretty durable.

      I hope this helps!!!
      -Cassidy

  2. sabrina

    OMGoodness!!! I just got mine delivered a few days ago- picked it up from Amazon and have’t been able to find organic zuchinni in my area….thanks so much for this recipe! Pinning this for sure! YUM!

    • Cassidy

      Thanks Laura, I hope you like it 🙂 I’ve only had my spiralizer for about a week and I’m already in love!

    • Cassidy

      Thanks Shirley! I haven’t had a spiralizer long, but I’ve been making zucchini noodles for quite awhile. A lot of people don’t “sweat” the noodles, but I think it helps keeps the sauce from being runny 🙂

      Have a great day!
      -Cassidy

  3. […] Creamy Pesto Pasta. This looks delicious. Plus, this “pasta” is really spiralized zucchini! My husband likes to keep our pasta-eating to a minimum (he’s right) but I just love a good bowl of creamy, oily, garlicky pasta–especially in the summer with fresh veggies. This recipe ought to work out nicely–I get “pasta” and it’s something new and exciting to do with all the summertime zucchini! […]

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