Chicken Artichoke Penne with Pesto Cream

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Sometimes you don’t have to cook healthy meals. Sometimes you pull some things from your cupboard and think, this might work. Sometimes you need a big bowl of carbs smothered in fat. And that’s perfectly okay.

Pesto is probably my favorite food (is pesto a food? Discuss). I have three open containers of pesto in my fridge right now, including an economy sized jar from Costco. No, I don’t make my pesto from scratch because 1) basil and pine nuts are expensive, 2) my food processor sucks, 3) I don’t want to. Maybe one day I’ll learn how to keep a plant alive for more than a week and I can make bountiful jars of pesto but until then, the stuff in the jar works just fine for me.  

Chicken Artichoke Penne with Pesto Cream

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 box whole grain penne
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup pesto
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 14 oz jarred artichokes, halved
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Cook penne according to package instructions, except make sure to add a ton of salt your water. I’m talking like ¼ of a cup. It should taste like the ocean. I learned that little trick from reading Bon Appetit, and it’s a game changer. I use whole grain penne but do whatever you want. Once cooked al dente, drain (reserving a small amount of pasta water) and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken breast and cook 3-5 minutes until browned. Add tomatoes, pesto, cream, and artichokes. Simmer, stirring frequently, until chicken is cooked throughout. Add penne and parmesan to sauce and mix well. If you want it a little saucier, add some of the pasta water to the sauce and mix well. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan on top.

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