Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Spinach & Blackened Chicken

Blackened Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

As much as I would have loved to just eat my sun-dried tomato pesto out of the jar, I thought it be best if I added some protein to my meal.  Any while I’m at it, why not a good dose of carbs too?  All of those miles I’m racking up surely call for a little pasta now and then, right?

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t eat a lot of meat but I can’t even tell you how much my body is craving protein right now.  A couple of months ago, I probably would have smothered the pasta with the pesto, added the spinach and called it dinner.

And did you know it’s so simple to blacken chicken?  It’s totally been calling my name.   The spices – you probably have most of them in your pantry right now.  They created an amazing crust on the chicken that I swear held in every little drop of moisture.  This chicken cut like butter!

I loved how simple this meal came together, and how elegant it felt on my plate.  I loved the pop of green from the spinach and the blackening spices complimented the pesto perfectly.  Can you tell I loved this pasta?  Yeah.  We ate this last week.  Do you think it’s too soon for another sun-dried tomato pesto pasta meal?

Blackened Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

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Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Spinach & Blackened Chicken

Yield: 4 servings

Total Time: 30 min

This recipe for sun-dried tomato pesto pasta with spinach and blackened chicken makes for a simple, healthy and flavorful weeknight meal.


12 ounces angel hair pasta
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 tsp. grapeseed oil, divided
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups fresh spinach
2 cups (1 recipe) sun-dried tomato pesto
1/4 cup water, reserved from the pasta cooking water


Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente.

Mix the paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, onion powder and cumin in a small bowl and rub generously on each piece of chicken.

Heat the grapeseed oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook about 7 minutes on each side or until no longer pink in the center, and the outside seasonings are very fragrant.

Remove from the pan and allow them to rest. Heat the remaining oil in the same pan the chicken was cooked in. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Stir in the sun-dried tomato pesto, mixing until combined, adding pasta-cooking water until thinned out. Stir in the cooked pasta. Serve with the cooked chicken.

Blackened Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta


66 Responses to “Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Spinach & Blackened Chicken”

  1. #
    Rachel Cooks — July 19, 2013 @ 8:55 am

    This looks fantastic! I love summery pasta dishes like this.

  2. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — July 19, 2013 @ 9:31 am

    So pretty! The chicken spices sound perfect for with the pesto.

  3. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — July 19, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

    A great summer dinner! Have a good weekend Cassie!

  4. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — July 19, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

    Yum! This looks fantastic, Cassie! Love the flavors!

  5. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — July 19, 2013 @ 11:40 pm

    Oh yes! I absolutely love this recipe 🙂 sun dried tomatoes are amazing!

  6. #
    Anne — July 20, 2013 @ 2:07 pm

    Good Lord, that pasta looks good. I’ve been craving some good red sauce and this hits the spot!


  7. #
    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel — July 20, 2013 @ 6:36 pm

    Mmmm, pesto! And that blackened chicken looks SO righteous.

  8. #
    Nessa — July 22, 2013 @ 7:06 pm


  9. #
    Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats — July 25, 2013 @ 8:27 pm

    Sundried tomatoes are one of my favs! I bet this pasta is amazing being completely covered in them!!

  10. #
    Jenn — August 19, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

    You don’t have the pasta added in your ingredients. What kind and how much did you use?

    • Cassie replied: — August 19th, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

      Oh no! Thanks for bringing that to my attention. My rule of thumb is to use 3-4 ounces per person…for this one, serving 4 people, I used one pound of linguine noodles, but you could use any pasta you have on hand.


  11. #
    Briana — December 18, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

    I just have to say how wonderful this recipe is! I am not a big cooker, I was never really good at it. But I made this recipe for the husband and I, we both raved about it. It is just so delicious! Thank you so much. I have been on a sun-dried tomato kick lately and so glad I found this.

    • Cassie replied: — December 19th, 2013 @ 7:39 am

      I’m so glad it was such a success, Briana. I think I need to make this one again, we loved it too!

  12. #
    Lauren — January 15, 2014 @ 9:52 am

    Mmmm…craving this now!

  13. #
    Gabrielle — October 12, 2014 @ 6:35 pm

    Made this a few nights ago, it was fantastic! I ‘sun dried’ my own tomatoes low and slow in the oven though. Tonight I’m making it again w the jarred sundried tomatoes. Love this recipe, it’s definitely going into our rotation! Thank you


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