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Lemony Pesto Chicken tossed with Quinoa Fusilli

Lemony Pesto Chicken tossed with Quinoa Fusilli

Almost everyone is familiar with Pesto alla Genovese, the green garlic-and-basil sauce that's one of the symbols of Italian cuisine. Here jar pesto is combined with fresh lemon and white wine to make a simple and delicious pasta and chicken meal that's loaded with protein and high in fibre.


  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • 1 lb (0.5 kg) boneless, skinless chicken breast(s)
  • 1/2 lb (0.3 kg) quinoa fusili pasta, dry
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) white wine
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice, fresh
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon peel, fresh
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) pesto, prepared
  • 1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) hot red chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) basil leaves, fresh
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) Asiago cheese, fresh, shredded
  • 12 basil leaves, fresh (optional garnish)


  1. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) square and set aside.

  2. Bring unsalted water to boil. Add quinoa fusilli, stir and boil for 13-15 minutes until al dente. Time pasta to finish close to when chicken is done. Drain when ready to toss pasta.

  3. Heat olive oil over medium high heat for one minute. Reduce heat to medium and add chicken pieces and brown five minutes on both sides.

  4. Mix white wine with fresh lemon juice, lemon peel, pesto, crushed chile and salt in a small bowl. Pour over browned chicken and toss to coat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes, or until pasta finishes cooking.

  5. Chiffonade basil leaves into ribbons to make ¼ cup (60 mL). To serve toss hot quinoa fusilli with the minced fresh basil and shredded Asiago cheese. Toss until cheese melts. Mound on serving platter. Garnish with additional fresh basil leaves.

Quinoa is a highly nutritious grain that has been growing in South America for over 5000 years. It is very high in vegetable protein (12-15%), contains less carbohydrate than most cereals and is gluten free. Quinoa is particularly high in fibre and in unsaturated fats. The well-balanced mix of amino acids makes it comparable to milk's nutritional value.

Nutrition Info

  • Per 210 g serving Amount
  • Calories 480
  • Protein 36 g
  • Fat 15 g
  • Saturated Fat 4 g
  • Carbohydrate 44 g
  • Fibre 4 g
  • Sugar 3 g
  • Cholesterol 75 mg
  • Sodium 400 mg
  • Per 210 g serving % Daily Value
  • Potassium 12
  • Calcium 20
  • Iron 20
  • Vitamin A 8
  • Vitamin C 10
  • Vitamin B6 37
  • Vitamin B12 26
  • Folate 5
  • Magnesium 18
  • Zinc 14

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