Is it comfort food, or is it a healthy dinner? This dish is both!! Wide ribbon noodles and creamy, thick pesto make this recipe rich and filling, yet the broccoli, basil, and lean chicken provide lots of nutritional value. If your kids are anything like mine, they love pasta.
They especially love ribbon noodles. I love the wide ribbons because all that surface area makes them great vehicles for getting lots of the yummy, healthy broccoli pesto into my boys! It is a wonderful bonus that Pennsylvania Dutch makes the wide ribbons in a whole grain variety, so that every bite helps my family get some extra fiber, too. For this recipe, I wanted to make something super-wholesome, so I chose broccoli, which is a nutritional powerhouse of a vegetable, and combined it with basil and other ingredients to make a really tasty pesto. The best part was that the kids did not even realize that the pesto contained broccoli! Your family will love this recipe, and you are going to feel so good knowing they are getting all that good nutrition!
Note that this recipe fed two adults and two teenage boys, and we had enough leftover for another dinner! So this could actually feed 6-8 people. I calculated the nutritional values assuming 6 servings, however.
- 1 (12 ounce) package Pennsylvania Dutch 100% Whole Grain Wide Ribbons
- 1 cup broccoli florets (can be fresh, or thawed from frozen)
- 20 large basil leaves (set aside some additional basil leaves for garnish, if desired)
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 and ½ cups cubed, cooked chicken
- Boil water and cook the noodles according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, combine broccoli florets and basil leaves in a food processor or blender, and pulse until the broccoli and basil are chopped very finely.
- Add the pine nuts to the food processor and continue to pulse until they are also chopped very finely.
- Add the parmesan cheese, salt, lemon juice, and garlic, and process until well combined.
- Add the olive oil and process until mixture is smooth.
- When the noodles are done, drain and return to the pot. Add the pesto and cooked chicken cubes and stir until noodles and chicken are coated. If needed, turn heat on low for a few minutes to keep the mixture warm.
- Garnish with extra basil leaves (optional) and serve.
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Disclosure: Pennsylvania Dutch provided me with a gift card to purchase the ingredients to develop this recipe. No other compensation was provided, however if my recipe receives the most votes, I will win a $100 VISA gift card.