Chicken and Spinach Pesto Pasta

There is nothing better than coming home after a long day of seeing clients to find your wonderful husband has not only cooked a delicious dinner but has also cleaned the kitchen (this was the happiest part)! This is the recipe for the surprise pasta dish that I found in my kitchen – a Chicken and Spinach Pesto Pasta.

To make it have a little more fibre and to reduce the carbohydrate load, I’d suggest replacing all (or half) of the spaghetti with zucchini pasta.  Recipe for that is here.  I would also add some chopped mushrooms and broccolini if I were to cook it next time (hey, I have to give him credit for trying!).

What you need for the Chicken and Spinach Pesto Pasta…


–         4 (about 200g each) chicken breast fillets

–         60ml (1/4 cup) fresh lemon juice

–         1 teaspoon sweet paprika

–         1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

–         1 tablespoon olive oil


–         1/2 red onion, finely chopped

–         150g baby spinach leaves

–         2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

–         1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked

–         100g reduced-fat feta

–         45g (1/3 cup) almonds

–         2 tablespoons finely grated pecorino or parmesan cheese

–         60ml (1/4 cup) light and creamy evaporated milk

–         40ml (2 tbspn) olive oil, extra


–         500g dried spaghetti pasta  (see option below)


How to make the magic happen…

  1. Slice each chicken breast into 3-4cm pieces.  Combine lemon juice, paprika and oregano in a bowl; add chicken and marinate for approx 30 minutes in fridge.
  2. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the spinach and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until the spinach just wilts. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor.
  3. Add basil, feta, almonds, and pecorino/parmesan to the spinach mixture. Process until finely chopped. Add evaporated milk and extra oil. Process until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook spaghetti in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and return to the pan. Add the spinach pesto and toss to combine.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat a chargrill on medium-high. Cook the chicken for 4 minutes each side or until cooked through. Slice the chicken across the grain.
  6. Divide the pasta mixture and chicken among serving plates.

*Option – Replace some or all of the spaghetti and include zucchini pasta instead.


In the Thermomix…


  1. Slice each chicken breast into 3cm pieces.  Combine lemon juice, paprika and oregano in a bowl; add chicken and marinate for approx 30 minutes in fridge.
  2. While chicken is marinating move onto making sauce.


  1. Place onion and garlic in TM bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 7.  Scrape sides of bowl, add 10g olive oil and cook for 3 minutes at 100C on speed 1.  Add spinach and cook for 1.5 minutes at 100C on speed 1.
  2. Leave spinach mixture in bowl and add basil, feta, almonds and parmesean.  Set dial to  and turbo 2-3 times.  Add evaporated milk and 20g remaining olive oil and mix for 5 seconds on speed 3.  Set aside in Thermoserver.


  1. Place 1 litre warm water into TM bowl.
  2. Place marinated chicken into the varoma dish and set into position.  Cook for 20-25 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 2, turning once during cooking.
  3. While chicken is cooking, cook spaghetti on stove so it is all ready at some time.
  4. Place chicken and spaghetti into thermoserver with sauce and toss to combine.  Let it stand for 5 minutes, the sauce will thicken and coat the spaghetti.
  5. Serve with extra grated parmesan cheese.