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Pesto Tortellini with Chicken
and broccoli / spinach

Active: 40 Total: 40
This classic pesto pasta is absolutely loaded with greens from the basil in the pesto to the broccoli and spinach that are steamed right in the skillet.
Smarts: Using store-bought pesto is a great way to simplify this meal.


Basil Pesto:
  • Pine nuts - 2 Tbsp (sub walnuts or pecans)
  • Garlic - 1 clove , peeled
  • Cheese, parmesan (opt) - 1 oz , cut into large pieces
  • Basil leaves, fresh - 1 1/2 oz
  • Lemon juice - 2 tsp
  • Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
Pesto Tortellini with Chicken:
  • Pine nuts - 1 Tbsp (sub walnuts or pecans)
  • Broccoli florets - 12 oz
  • Cheese, parmesan (opt) - 1 oz , grated
  • Chicken breast, boneless and skinless - 1 lb , thinly sliced
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
  • Water - 1 Tbsp
  • Baby spinach - 5 oz
  • Pasta, tortellini - 12 oz (sub any fun pasta shape)


  1. Toast pine nuts - Toast nuts (portions for pesto and pasta) in a dry skillet or frying pan until fragrant and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Broccoli / Cheese (portion for pesto and pasta) - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Make pesto - Peel garlic cloves. Place nuts (portion for pesto), parmesan cheese (portion for pesto), garlic, basil leaves, and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are well chopped. With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil until smooth. (Add some additional olive oil if needed to help everything blend.) Season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  4. Chicken - Slice chicken into thin strips. Tenderize with a fork and season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done 1 day ahead)

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  1. Bring a large pot of salted water for the pasta to boil.
  2. While water is heating up, place a large skillet or frying pan with first portion of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute until golden brown and cooked through. Set chicken aside and return pan to heat.
  3. To heated pan, add second portion of cooking oil and then broccoli and water. Cover pan with a lid and let broccoli steam, covered, until nearly tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove lid and add spinach to pan. Continue cooking broccoli until most of the water has cooked off, broccoli is tender, and spinach is wilted.
  4. While broccoli is steaming, add tortellini to boiling water and cook according to package directions. (Tortellini cooks quickly, so keep an eye on it.)
  5. Drain tortellini.
  6. Toss together tortellini, broccoli, spinach, and chicken. Fold in pesto. Taste and season with some salt and pepper.
  7. Serve pasta with pine nuts (portion for pasta) and parmesan cheese (portion for pasta) on top. Enjoy!



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