This Creamy Pesto Zucchini Pasta With Grilled Chicken is not only flavorful and bursting with fresh summertime flavor, but it’s also easy to make, low carb, Paleo, & Dairy Free. I also give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to make zucchini noodles!
I am SO excited, I bought a spiralizer!!! Here is a picture of the one I bought:
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:
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 🙂
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.
How To Make Zucchini Noodles
Slide the blade you want into the spiralizer, I used the 1/8th inch spacing for this recipe.
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.
After you make the noodles some of them will be extremely long, so you can cut them with scissors.
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.
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 🙂
Pesto Sauce With Grilled Chicken
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.
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 🙂
After it’s cooked, cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
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 🙂
Here’s the fun printable:
Zucchini Pasta: Cream Pesto With Grilled Chicken + How To Make Zucchini Noodles
*For vegan omit chicken
- 7 Zucchini Squash spiralized
- Salt & Pepper
- 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil or allowed oil (divided)
- 2 Large Tomatoes chopped
- 2 Large Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts or 3 small
- 1/2 C Non-Dairy Milk
- 2 Tbsp. Butter can use non dairy (or allowed oil)
- 2 C Fresh Basil loosely packed
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1/2 C Almond Flour
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt to taste
- 3 Tbsp. Pine Nuts
- Splash of Lemon Juice
- 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast optional
- 2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds optional
- 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil or allowed oil as needed
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
- 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.
- 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.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in it.
- If your chicken is really thick, pound it until it is about 1/2 inch throughout, you don't want the outside to burn while the inside is still trying to cook through!
- Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and cook on both sides until browned and juices run clear.
- When the chicken is finished, cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Then, stir in the noodles, chicken, and the chopped tomato. Garnish with fresh basil to be pretty 🙂
Nutritional information is approximate and may vary.