Monday whipped my booty y'all. I am not going to lie, it was a little rough. I didn't sit down until well after 7:00pm (but for real) and then when I attempted to take a bath, my toddler hijacked it. Like straight up, "mommy Parks take bath too." And I mean of course I couldn't tell him no, so I took a cold bath and he swam in a sea of bubbles and was the happiest kid on the block. Which, in turn made me the happiest mama on the block too, but man I had been looking forward to that bath. When I put him to bed, I yawned really big and he said "Mommy sleepy"...yes buddy mama was super sleepy last night. I totally get it now why my mom would fall asleep as soon as she would sit down my whole life! This mom stuff is no joke! So while we are on the topic of days where you literally don't have energy to think about dinner, let me help you out! My 30 minute gluten free cilantro pesto chicken pasta is a cinch to make on any day of the week, (even the exhausting ones.)
I looove pasta, like really love it. But I also like to eat a man portion of it and not the cup that is recommended for me. That being said, anytime I can create a pasta recipe that is healthy and good for me, and that I can eat more of, then I am all about it. I love using chickpea pasta instead of regular pasta any time I want to up my protein and reduce my carbs, and my new pasta love is black bean pasta. I absolutely love the black, almost purple color of the pasta and the fact that it has 12 grams of protein per serving!
The cilantro pesto is so so delicious guys and I pack a hefty two full cups of spinach in the pesto which is a fabulous way to get your kiddos to eat their greens! I also use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery which cuts your cooking time down by at least fifteen to twenty minutes! Meals like this give me life because they are full of flavor, nutrition, and they couldn't be any easier to whip up! Last night we all inhaled this recipe and I will be making it again and again!
I can't wait for you to give this one a try guys, it's seriously delicious!
- 1 Lb. Black Bean Pasta (can sub any other gluten free pasta or regular pasta)
- 1 Rotisserie Chicken (shredded and de-boned)
- 1 Cup of Corn (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 of a Diced Onion
- 1 Cup Grape Tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
For the Pesto-
- 1 Cup Cilantro
- 2 Cups Spinach
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 2 Tbsp. Pine Nuts
- 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4 -1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- Juice from 1 Lime
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Toss tomatoes with 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt, and pepper and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes until tomatoes burst and brown slightly.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil along with the onion and corn and sauté for 5-10 minutes until browned slightly.
- When the water is boiling, heavily salt the water and then add pasta and cook according to package directions. When the pasta is done cooking, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.
- While the pasta cooks, make pesto by combining cilantro, spinach, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, olive oil, lime juice, and salt and pepper into a food processor and process until smooth. (Start with 1/4 cup of olive oil and add more if needed for consistency.)
- Add the shredded chicken to the corn and onions and stir to combine.
- Then add the cooked pasta to the chicken and veggies and then add pesto on top.
- Pour 1/2 cup of the pasta water on top and stir to combine all ingredients together.
- Add roasted tomatoes plus their juices into the pasta and stir to combine.
- Add more pasta water if desired for consistency. Serve immediately.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.
P.S. If you love meals like this, then make sure to follow me on Instagram because every week I do an Instagram Live episode where I whip up an easy weeknight meal that is ready in under thirty minutes!