This healthy pesto chicken zoodles recipe takes just 25 minutes to make. Can you believe it? Tasty, Healthy and Easy to make… Everything a foodie could wish for.
You know that I am a pasta addict, don’t you?
I mean, half of the recipes on my blog are with pasta so it’s pretty obvious.
But what do you do when carbs eventually pile up and we absolutely need to cut them from our diet?
Well, I just came up with an answer to that and it comes in the form of a recipe.
Today I am going to show you how to make a healthy pesto chicken zoodles recipe that’s perfect for when you need to give up carbs but not taste.
And there’s more…
Pasta Recipes that you might like:
You can incorporate it into many weight-loss diets and it is also great for meal-planning.
But its most important characteristic is …. that it’s so freakin’ delish.
Actually, I think this is probably one of the best zucchini noodles recipes.
Oh yeah, in case there’s somebody who doesn’t know, zoodles means zucchini noodles.
And let’s dive deeper and see what zoodles are exactly.
What Are Zoodles
Zoodles are thin zucchini strands that look very similar to noodles. The name itself is actually a shortening of the two words.
However, zoodles can also be made of other veggies like butternut squash, carrots, cucumber or even potatoes.
Many nutritionists claim that zoodles are a healthy alternative to pasta because they are low carb.
Moreover, they are flavorful, rich in nutrients and they are a good way of increasing your veggies intake.
By now you are probably wondering, how in the world do you cut zucchini so thin to look like noodles?
Well, it’s actually quite easy. There are two ways of making zucchini noodles (a.k.a zoodles):
1. The first and best way to make zoodles is with a spiralizer.
A spiralizer is a device used for cutting veggies into thin ribbons or spaghetti. It is very easy to handle, you just have to stick the veggies into the sharp nails of the lever and then roll it into the blades.
This is the quickest way to make zoodles, but if you don’t have a spiralizer in your kitchen, fear not for there are other ways.
2. With a Julienne Peeler.
This is probably the most inexpensive method of making zoodles but it’s also more time-consuming.
There are other ways of making zoodles but these two are, by far, the best.
Now that you know what zoodles are, and how to make them, it’s time to see how to make pesto chicken zoodles.
How to make healthy pesto chicken zoodles – Best Tips & Tricks
1. Make your own pesto sauce.
I know it may seem easier to just buy a ready-made one from the store, but trust me it isn’t. It literally takes just 10 minutes to make homemade pesto sauce and you have full control over what goes in it.
Plus, you get to play with different ingredients and find your favorite combo.
I made it with Pistachios but you can make the classic pesto recipe with pine nuts, or you can experiment with cashews, pecans, walnuts or even peanuts.
And instead of basil, you could try it with parsley, mint, kale or spinach.
Homemade pesto sauce makes a huge difference in this chicken zoodles recipe so you really need to try it.
2. Adjust the recipe to your taste.
As you probably know, I think the ability to cater to everyone’s taste is very important when it comes to cooking.
Hence, I would like to give you some alternatives to adjust this healthy pesto chicken zoodles recipe to your taste.
So if you are not a huge fan of chicken breast, you can always replace it with thighs.
Or, if you want it even lighter, you can replace it with shrimps.
If you don’t like the green pesto you can go for a red, tomato-based one.
And you can also spiralize more veggies, such as carrots, and mix them with zoodles.
3. A few little, but helpful tricks.
I used raw zucchini in this healthy pesto chicken zoodles recipe but if you prefer it cooked, you can sauté the zoodles in a pan for 1-2 minutes before mixing them with pesto.
Careful though! Zucchini cooks up really fast so don’t overcook it, ok?
And if you don’t mind a few extra carbs then you can replace the zoodles with pasta. Admittedly, you’d have to call it pesto chicken pasta, but the essence is more important than the name, right?! 🙂
Finally, let’s summarize the key points before moving on to the recipe:
- The best way to make zoodles is by using a spiralizer (quickest) or a Julienne Peeler.
- Make this recipe with homemade pesto sauce, either green or red.
- You can change the chicken breast with thighs, shrimps, or corn if you want it vegetarian.
- You can sauté the zoodles for 1-2 minutes before mixing them with the pesto.
- Replace the zoodles with pasta if you don’t mind the extra carbs.
I think I’ve covered everything about this healthy pesto chicken zoodles recipe so it’s now time to make it.
If you believe I missed something or have your own tricks up your sleeves, please leave them in the comments.
And if you enjoyed the pesto chicken zoodles recipe video, please Subscribe to my Youtube Channel.
Easy Pesto Chicken Zoodles Recipe
- 3 large zucchini - spiralized
- 1 lb (450g) chicken breasts - skinless boneless
- 1 cup (150g) cherry tomatoes - halved
- 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese - shredded
- fresh basil - to garnish
INGREDIENTS FOR PESTO SAUCE
- 1/3 cup (40g) Pistachios - No Shells
- 1/3 cup (35g) fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cup (35g) fresh basil
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup (120ml) olive oil - good quality extra virgin
- Place a skillet over medium-high heat and rub the chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and 1 Tbsp of olive oil.
- Once the skillet is hot, add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and no longer pink on the inside. Set aside and let it rest for a couple of minutes, then shred.
- Meanwhile, add all the pesto sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Place the spiralized zucchini in a large bowl and top with chicken, cherry tomatoes, and pesto sauce.
- Garnish with shredded parmesan and fresh basil, then toss and serve immediately.
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