Go Faster with our Grilled Chicken & Pesto Pasta Recipe
Fuss-free, quick, light and delicious, this pre-race food is packed with an excellent balance of nutrient-rich, slow-release carbohydrate, lean protein and healthy, unsaturated fats. Just the ticket for the days leading up to an event, our carbo-loading recipe will top up glycogen stores without weighing you down, so you can stand on the start line with a spring in your step! To simplify the recipe, you can buy good pre-prepared pesto by all means, but there’s no turning back once you’ve made your own. It takes moments, and the end result is totally heavenly. Check out the Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta recipe below - you can use spaghetti as we do, or whatever pasta you prefer.
Prep – 5 mins
Cook– 15 mins
Ingredients to serve 4:
- 450g spaghetti
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large free range chicken breasts, skinless
- A few drops olive oil
Ingredients to make pesto:
- 50g fresh basil leaves
- 1 small clove garlic, peeled and chopped
- Pinch of sea salt
- 50g pine nuts, lightly toasted
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 50g parmesan cheese, grated
- Juice of half a lemon, or to taste
- Prepare the pesto. Pound the basil leaves with the garlic and salt in a pestle and mortar or food processor, add the pine nuts, pepper and olive oil and pound or process again until the required consistency is achieved. Stir in the parmesan cheese and add a little lemon juice. The balance of ingredients really depends on taste, so don’t worry too much about exact quantities.
- Lay one of the chicken breasts on a chopping board, cover with plastic wrap and bash gently with a rolling pin to flatten. Repeat with the second chicken breast. Brush with a little olive oil and season well.
- Pre-heat a cast iron grill pan or non-stick frying pan and when it is nice and hot, grill the chicken for a few minutes on each side, until just cooked through (the cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken). When it is cooked, leave to rest and then cut into a few large pieces with a sharp knife.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti according to pack instructions until al dente.
- When the spaghetti is cooked, drain and pop back in the pan with a good ladle of the cooking water to stop it sticking. Toss with the pesto and serve immediately in warmed pasta bowls. Arrange the pieces of chicken on top, and add some extra black pepper, parmesan shaving and basil leaves, according to taste.