My friends Corey, John and I made this recipe from PaleOMG and none of us knew before trying it that artichokes, when sautéed and blended up in a food processor, taste luxuriously creamy and when garlic and herbs are added in there, it forms what I can only describe as the lovechild of alfredo sauce and pesto. So yeah…wrap your Paleo-lovin’ head around that and get ready for the satisfaction of a creamy pasta dish without the ensuing bellyache. This also comes together pretty quickly so it’s a good weeknight option!
Artichoke Lemon Pesto Chicken Pasta, from the awesome Juli Bauer at PaleOMG
- 1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed (or chicken thighs if you prefer)
- 1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise (get a BIG one)
- 12-15 artichoke hearts, cut in half (I used jarred artichokes that were in olive oil for more flavor)
- ⅓ cup walnuts
- 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
- 4-5 tablespoons vegetable broth
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup fresh parsley
- ½ cup fresh basil
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3-5 cups of spinach (optional)
- Preheat oven to 405 degrees.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise, place cut side down on a baking sheet, and bake for 30-35 minutes or until squash gives when you poke the outside of it.
- While the squash is baking, make the pesto and chicken.
- Place a large pan over medium-high heat, add a splash of fat and 1 minced garlic clove. As soon as the garlic becomes fragrant, add the halved artichokes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let cook until slightly browned and tender on all sides.
- Once artichokes are browned, add them to a food processor along with the walnuts, olive oil, vegetable broth, and second garlic clove. Puree until smooth.
- Then add the parsley, basil, lemon, and salt and pepper. Puree once more until smooth. Taste and add more lemon and salt and pepper to your preference.
- Once pesto is done pureeing, add the chicken to the same pan that you sautéed the artichokes in.
- Cook chicken over medium-high heat until browned on all sides. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Once chicken is cooked through, add in about ¼ of a cup of the pesto to the chicken along with the spinach, in the pan and mix well to coat. Cover and let cook for 2-4 minutes or until spinach is wilted.
- When your squash is done, use a spoon to remove the excess seeds, then a fork to thread the strings from the squash and make your “spaghetti.”
- Then add the threads of spaghetti squash to the pan (or a large mixing bowl if you need more room). Mix spaghetti squash, pesto, and chicken all together.
- Serve with some fresh basil on top.