Lemon-Garlic Chicken Penne with Pesto and Spinach

Lemon-Garlic Chicken Penne with Pesto and Spinach

0 Reviews
From: Diabetic Living Magazine

Fresh pesto brilliantly compliments the lemon and garlic flavors of this juicy chicken dinner.

Ingredients 4 servings

for serving adjustment
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 4 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (12 cloves)
  • 1¼ pounds bone-in chicken breast halves, skinned
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups whole wheat penne pasta
  • ¼ cup dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (about 1- ¾ ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (9 ounce) package baby spinach
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese


  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. For marinade, in a small bowl, combine lemon peel, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons garlic. Place chicken in a resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat chicken. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes, turning bag occasionally.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Drain chicken and discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with black pepper and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Place chicken in a foil-lined shallow roasting pan. Roast for 40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into inside thigh muscle registers 165°F. Allow to cool before removing meat from the bone and shred or cut into bite-size pieces. Transfer to an airtight freezer container. Cover and seal.
  3. To serve, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, place dried tomatoes in a small bowl; pour enough hot water over tomatoes to cover and let stand until tomatoes are softened. Cut softened tomatoes into thin bite-size strips.
  4. For pesto, in a small skillet, cook pine nuts over medium heat about 3 minutes or until toasted, stirring often; set aside to cool. In a food processor, combine basil, pine nuts, oil, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon garlic. Cover and process until smooth.
  5. In a large skillet, heat broth over medium heat until boiling. Add spinach; cook and stir about 1 minute or until spinach starts to wilt. Add chicken, crushed red pepper and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Cook about 2 minutes more or until spinach is completely wilted. Stir in cooked pasta, pesto, and dried tomatoes. Cook about 5 minutes or until chicken is heated through (165°F). Sprinkle with 4 teaspoons Parmesan cheese.
  • To make ahead: Freeze marinated chicken for up to 1 month. A day before serving, place frozen chicken in refrigerator to thaw. Continue preparing recipe at step 3.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 serving
  • Per serving: 348 calories; 11 g fat(2 g sat); 3 g fiber; 27 g carbohydrates; 35 g protein; 25 mcg folate; 76 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 5,342 IU vitamin A; 34 mg vitamin C; 186 mg calcium; 5 mg iron; 433 mg sodium; 580 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (107% daily value), Vitamin C (57% dv), Iron (28% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 4 lean protein, 1½ starch, 1 fat, 1 vegetable

Reviews 0