Chicken with Kale & Spinach Pesto with Toasted Walnuts

Mary Feltman


This is one of my "HealthiER" dishes I was trying out for my family...and it was a hit! My sister gave me a BIG compliment when she said, "It tastes like a 'Downton' dinner!" It WAS a very pretty plating, but it was also a healthier option!


☆☆☆☆☆ 0 votes

30 Min
35 Min
Stove Top


Add to Grocery List

chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
5 oz
kale (small bunch)
5 oz
spinach, frozen; thawed
1/2 c
sunflower seeds
1 clove
garlic, sliced
4 Tbsp
mushroom-infused olive oil
1/2 c
fresh parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp
lemon juice, fresh
1/2 tsp
kosher salt
1/2 c
pasta water
1 c
walnuts, chopped
2 Tbsp

How to Make Chicken with Kale & Spinach Pesto with Toasted Walnuts


  • 1Prep kale: cut away center stem, and rinse thoroughly.
  • 2Prep spinach: thaw, and squeeze out excess liquid.
  • 3In a large pot, bring slightly salted water to a boil.
  • 4Place kale in water and let blanch for 1 1/2 minutes.
  • 5Remove kale and either immerse in cold water or run under cold water; drain well.
  • 6In the large bowl of a food processor, place : 2 T of the oil, sliced clove of garlic, lemon juice, sunflower seeds, Parmesan cheese, salt, and drained kale and spinach.
  • 7Pulse and scrap down sides repeatedly, until completely blended, and to the consistence you desire. ** I needed to add the other tablespoon of oil and some pasta water, to get the "saucier" consistency that I wanted.

    Set completed pesto aside.
  • 8In medium-large pot, bring slightly salted water to boil.
  • 9Place chicken in water and boil 15-20 minutes, making certain it's completely cooked. Let cool.
  • 10Using two forks, shred the chicken; set aside.
  • 11Heat a small saucepan and add the chopped walnuts; toast for about 2 minutes. Set aside.
  • 12Bring a large pot of good salted water to boil; add spaghetti, and cook according to package directions.

    **I used an organic, whole wheat pasta to make it healthier.
  • 13Remove a cup of the pasta water and set it aside for possible use in the pesto.

    Drain pasta and place in a bowl with 2-3 tablespoons of butter; toss to coat.
  • 14Place pasta on plate, add shredded chicken and pesto, and top with toasted walnuts. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe Card

About Chicken with Kale & Spinach Pesto with Toasted Walnuts

Course/Dish: Chicken, Pasta
Main Ingredient: Pasta
Regional Style: Italian
Other Tag: Healthy

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