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Pesto Chicken Zucchini Noodles

in Entrees, Recipes

Pesto Chicken Zucchini Noodles put all of your delicious Summer produce to good use in a gluten-free, Paleo-friendly way!

Pesto Chicken Zucchini Noodles {Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free} | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comYou probably shouldn’t classify me as the stereotypical “healthy living blogger.”  Why?

While there are about a million reasons, today it is because I do not eat zucchini noodles (or “zoodles”) likes its my job.  In fact, I cannot really remember the last time I made zoodles other than in this dish.  Like we are probably talking at least a year ago.

Pesto Chicken Zucchini Noodles {Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free} | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comEven though I absolutely LOVE my spiralizer and all of the crazy awesome foods it can make into noodles (parsnips, sweet potatoes, and zucchini are my favorites), I probably only use it about once every couple of months.

Pesto Chicken Zucchini Noodles {Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free} | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comMaybe it is because it is kind of a pain to clean.  And I am laaaazy when it comes to that.  Or, I just simply have too many kitchen gadgets and sort of forget about it <– #foodbloggerproblems

Pesto Chicken Zucchini Noodles {Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free} | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comBut when The Recipe Redux challenged me to create a recipe that featured Summer vegetables cut in a fun way, I obviously had to whip out the noodle making machine.

Throw in some frozen peas (one of my favorite legumes that I am excited to be eating again right now), pan-fried chicken, and homemade Paleo walnut pesto, and we’re set!

Pesto Chicken Zucchini Noodles {Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free} | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comPesto Chicken Zucchini Noodles
Paleo-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Nightshade-Free

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the noodles:
6 medium or 4 very large zucchini, peeled
2 tsp of fine sea salt
1 heaping TB of organic red palm oil
1 pound of organic, free-range boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces (chicken breasts are fine, too)
1 1/2 cups of frozen green peas (or chopped asparagus if Paleo)
1 tsp of pink Himalayan sea salt

For the pesto sauce:
1 cup of chopped walnuts
3 whole cloves of garlic, peeled (less if you don’t like it “spicy”)
2 cups of loosely packed fresh basil
~1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Directions

1. Line two large baking sheets with paper towels.  Spiralize the zucchini and place the “noodles” onto the paper towels.  Sprinkle with 2 tsp of salt and let sit for approximately 30 minutes.  This is called “sweating” the zucchini and will help remove excess liquid.

2. While the noodles are sweating, get to work on your chicken and pesto sauce.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high and melt the palm oil.  Once melted, lower the heat to medium and add in the cut chicken.  Saute for approximately eight to 10 minutes, flipping once, or until mostly cooked through.  Stir in frozen peas, cover, and cook for an additional five minutes, or until warm.  Season with salt, if desired.

3. Make the pesto sauce by adding walnuts and garlic cloves to a food processor.  Pulse for about 30 seconds.  Add in fresh basil and pulse for an additional 30 seconds, or until combined.  Turn on food processor and slowly drizzle in olive oil (starting with 1/4 cup).  Add more olive oil, depending on desire consistency.  I tend to use about 1/2 cup.

4. At this point, wrap the zucchini noodles in a tea towel and squeeze out any remaining liquid.  I did this in two batches.  Add the zoodles to the chicken and peas and toss to combine.

5. Serve the noodles, chicken, and peas in a shallow bowl and top everything with a big dollop of pesto.

Pesto Chicken Zucchini Noodles {Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free} | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comAs I mentioned above, this is fantastic with peas.  But if you are eating strictly Paleo or legumes aren’t your thing, definitely swap in a different veggie.  I personally think asparagus would be on point.

Pesto Chicken Zucchini Noodles {Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free} | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comPesto Chicken Zucchini Noodles put your #Summer produce to use! #thereciperedux #glutenfree Click To Tweet

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{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Michelle July 21, 2016, 8:48 am

    I can handle a few peas, too many will give me digestive issues but the small amount in each serving would be fine. Can’t wait to try this!

    Michelle // https://thedogtribe.com/2016/07/18/college-friends/

    • ClnEatingVegGrl July 21, 2016, 10:14 am

      Yay for getting to enjoy them even a little bit. I bet asparagus would be a great sub if you needed one!

  • Ruth July 21, 2016, 9:18 am

    Spiralizers are SUCH a pain in the tookus to clean. That’s definitely why I don’t use it as much as I could. This sounds delicious and the pesto looks so easy and simple. Who doesn’t love pesto, c’mon now 😉
    Ruth recently posted…Summer CSA Week 12My Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl July 21, 2016, 10:15 am

      Funny you should mention that…. Jeremy HATES pesto!! 🙁

  • Erin @ Her Heartland Soul July 21, 2016, 9:36 am

    This looks RIGHT up my alley! Pinned!
    Erin @ Her Heartland Soul recently posted…Best of Nordstrom Anniversary Sale DealsMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl July 21, 2016, 10:16 am

      You know it!! It’s also very similar to the pesto zucchini noodles with chickpeas that we need for 3C1K way back in the day!

  • Mary Ellen @ VNutrition July 21, 2016, 11:36 am

    I feel the same way about cleaning the spiralizer (and cleaning just about any food related product lol.

    Love the addition of the peas, I don’t use them enough. 🙂
    Mary Ellen @ VNutrition recently posted…Spiral Thai Slaw Salad {vegan & gluten free}My Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl July 21, 2016, 2:04 pm

      Right? If only cooking didn’t also involve cleaning!!

  • Myra July 21, 2016, 12:06 pm

    I love pesto!!! I haven’t tried it with walnuts before though – looks awesome 🙂
    Myra recently posted…No-Churn Chocolate Protein Ice Cream ~ VeganMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl July 21, 2016, 2:03 pm

      I happen to have a lot of walnuts in my fridge and needed something to do with them… ta-dah! Pesto! Walnuts are often cheaper than pine nuts, too, so this tends to be more affordable.

  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt July 21, 2016, 2:23 pm

    Oh yes! They are a pain to clean– but soooo delicious when I do break it out. Love your flavor combinations here.
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…Watermelon SalsaMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl July 21, 2016, 2:29 pm

      I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who feels a bit lazy-ish when it comes to spiralizing 😉 But yes.. SO worth it in the end!

  • Chelsey July 21, 2016, 9:59 pm

    Pesto + Zoodles is a winning combo in my mind 😉 Love twinning with you for this month’s Redux! 🙂
    Chelsey recently posted…Arugula and Sunflower Seed Pesto with Mushrooms and ZoodlesMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl July 22, 2016, 8:34 am

      YES! Great minds definitely think a like this month! 😉

  • Sarah Grace Spann July 21, 2016, 10:09 pm

    Oh how I love my zoodles! Mmmm, especially loving the added protein to it 🙂

    • ClnEatingVegGrl July 22, 2016, 8:37 am

      Zoodles are so good, right? I do not make them nearly enough!!

  • Liz @ tHe Clean Eating Couple July 27, 2016, 10:55 am

    YUM! I love pesto anything, and I’ve been eating zoodles non-stop with all the summer zucchini we have!
    Liz @ tHe Clean Eating Couple recently posted…Healthy Turkey MeatballsMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl July 27, 2016, 12:59 pm

      This is definitely the perfect Summertime recipe!

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