Spring has sprung! That means it’s time to eat green and clean with my Asparagus Chicken Penne with Dairy-Free Walnut Pesto.
Spring Clean Your Kitchen
Don’t worry, no elbow grease required. This recipe challenge from Recipe Redux was to create a meal with at least 3 ingredients that are already in my fridge or pantry. Such a fantastic way to clean out my fridge and pantry and use up some of the pasta, nuts, garlic and herbs I have on hand.
[bctt tweet=”Spring clean your kitchen w/ #glutenfree chicken pasta & #dairyfree pesto!” username=”80twentyrule”]
Pasta recipes are super forgiving – you can use up any veggies and protein you have in your kitchen, from frozen shrimp to canned tuna or beans. I always keep bags of plain frozen vegetables in my freezer so I can create a quick pasta or stirfry in minutes… even if I’ve been out of town and the fridge is bare.
Healthy Foods to Always Have in Your Fridge and Pantry
Making a meal out of what you already have in your kitchen can be a real challenge if you don’t keep your fridge and cupboards stocked with healthy foods. While you may win points for creativity, no one wants your Mustard Saltine Soup, alright?!
So what does a well-stocked kitchen include? Check out my post about the The 45 Best Foods to Always Have in Your Kitchen and get the free printable shopping list. You’ll also get a list of quick and healthy meal ideas to utilize all of those healthy ingredients.
Having a grocery list and quick meal ideas on hand is a game-changer to have on nights when you just can’t muster up the energy to make a meal… and it saves you expensive and energy-zapping last-minute trips to the grocery store.
[bctt tweet=”#Dinner is solved! This Chicken Penne & Walnut Pesto is packed with veggies & ready in 15 min!” username=”80twentyrule”]
Asparagus Chicken Penne with Dairy-Free Walnut Pesto – Gluten-Free!
This pasta recipe is ready to eat in less than 15 minutes, making it perfect for busy weeknights.
Using walnuts instead of pine nuts to make your pesto is a great way to keep this meal budget-friendly.
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What foods do you always have on hand for quick and easy meals? Share in the comments below!
Asparagus Chicken Penne with Dairy-Free Walnut Pesto - Gluten-Free!
- 2 cups whole grain penne gluten free (brown rice, teff or lentil pasta)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 lb or 16 ounces) cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups asparagus 2" cut off the ends and cut in half
- 1 red bell pepper cut into strips
- 1 cup Cremini mushrooms sliced
Dairy-Free Walnut Pesto
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- pinch salt
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the gluten-free penne. Cook it until it's al dente and drain.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan and add the chicken. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink. Add the vegetables and saute until tender-crisp.
Dairy-Free Walnut Pesto
- Pulse the walnuts, garlic and basil together. Continue to pulse and start slowly pouring in the olive oil until you get the consistency you want for your pesto. Add a pinch of salt.
- Remove your pan from the heat. Add the penne and 1/4 cup of your pesto to the pan with the chicken and veggies. Stir and it's ready to enjoy! Put any remaining pesto in an airtight container in the fridge and use it on your toast or pizza within the next 4 days.