This quick weeknight recipe pairs zucchini noodles with chicken, tomatoes and pesto. It’s a delicious and healthy meal the whole family will enjoy.
Ever since the spiralizers came out a few years ago I’ve been a fan. Not only do I love using mine, but I tell everyone in my life that they need one too. It’s such a cool kitchen gadget that makes prepping healthy, veggie-packed meals so easy and fun! What’s not to love?!
This recipe for pesto zucchini noodles is crazy simple. I almost didn’t share it, but I feel like everyone is looking for quick and simple meals right now!
Ingredients Needed for Pesto Zucchini Noodles:
The recipe base requires only three ingredients: zucchini, tomatoes and pesto, however we’re adding chicken to make it a full, protein-packed meal and some seasonings to spice it up a little bit.
pesto – you can make your own or use store-bought… both work great!
avocado oil or olive oil
sea salt and pepper
fresh basil and crushed red pepper, for garnish (optional)
How to Make Zucchini Noodles
My favorite veggie to turn into noodles is zucchini! They’re the perfect texture, plus they have a mild flavor that takes on whatever sauce you’re using… similar to regular pasta. Zucchini noodles are also super easy to make. There are a few different methods depending on what kitchen tools you on hand:
Spiralizer: The easiest way, in my opinion, is to use a spiralizer to make your zucchini noodles. You can make them whatever size you like, but I prefer to use the thinner noodle blade.
Vegetable peeler: If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler to peel the zucchini into thin ribbons by sliding the peeler down the zucchini lengthwise.
Mandoline slicer: Another option is to use a mandoline with the julienne blade. I feel like I’m always seeing people cut themselves when they use this slicer so be super careful!
If you don’t have any of these tools or just want to take a shortcut, you can buy prepared zucchini noodles from the store. Look for them in the produce section with other pre-chopped veggies/fruits.
How to Make Pesto Zucchini Noodles with Chicken
Once you’ve got your noodles spiralized, you’re halfway there! Set aside the zucchini noodles and cook the chicken by sautéing in a large skillet over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper and cook until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
In the same large skillet (now empty), add the pesto, tomatoes and zucchini noodles. Cook while stirring everything together. The noodles should be coated with pesto and slightly softened. Add the chicken back to the pan and toss to combine. Add parmesan and heat for about 30 seconds more.
To serve, portion out the noodle mixture and top with fresh basil, additional parmesan and crushed red pepper if you like a little spice! Dinner is served in no time at all.
If you try this pesto zucchini noodles with chicken recipe please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how it turned out. Your feedback is super helpful for the EBF team and other readers.
Make zucchini noodles: Use a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles. You can make them whatever size you like, but I prefer to use the thinner noodle blade. If you don't have a spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler to peel the zucchini into thin ribbons or a mandolin with the julienne blade. Another option is to simply buy zucchini noodles from the store.
Cook chicken: Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add chicken chunks and sauté until cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper while the chicken cooks. Once chicken is cooked through, transfer to a plate.
Cook the zucchini noddles: In the same large skillet over medium heat add remaining tablespoon of oil, pesto, tomatoes and zucchini noodles. Cook while stirring everything together, until the noodles are coated with the pesto and slightly softened, about 1 minute. Add the chicken back to the pan with the noodles and toss. Add parmesan and stir everything together for about 30 seconds more. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Serve: Portion the dish and serve warm with fresh basil, additional parmesan and crushed red pepper for a little heat.