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


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  • 2
    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


  1. Prep kale: cut away center stem, and rinse thoroughly.
  2. Prep spinach: thaw, and squeeze out excess liquid.
  3. In a large pot, bring slightly salted water to a boil.
  4. Place kale in water and let blanch for 1 1/2 minutes.
  5. Remove kale and either immerse in cold water or run under cold water; drain well.
  6. In 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.
  7. Pulse 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.
  8. In medium-large pot, bring slightly salted water to boil.
  9. Place chicken in water and boil 15-20 minutes, making certain it's completely cooked. Let cool.
  10. Using two forks, shred the chicken; set aside.
  11. Heat a small saucepan and add the chopped walnuts; toast for about 2 minutes. Set aside.
  12. Bring 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.
  13. Remove 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.
  14. Place 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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