Back in the kitchen – gluten-free roasted chicken pesto primavera

I hesitate to post another recipe, because this isn’t a foodie blog, this is more of a hey you, look at me, I’m in college and I swim, bike, run and study blog, but food has always been a large part of my life. Throughout middle school, I had to watch Giada de Laurentiis on the Food Network after school. Every single day. This grew to an affinity for cooking, and a brief stint where my dream job involved learning French, moving to Paris and becoming the next Julia Child. I learned the French and saw the movie Julie and Julia, twice. Didn’t quite get any farther than that. Nonetheless, my love for food and the kitchen has stuck with me and this passion was reawakened when I discovered my gluten intolerance. I had to become innovative in the kitchen to stay sane without flour, because flour is sneaky. But that’s another blog for another day.

I feel this innate sense of pride whenever I successfully cook. A sort of reassurance reminding me that if worst comes to worst, at least I know I can feed myself. Today, I had some leftover roasted chicken with roasted bell peppers and onions from last night (that didn’t quite go as planned – I now know there is a difference between a baking pan and dish when it comes to baking chicken, but the leftovers turned out delicious). I’ve been craving carbs, most likely because I’M FINALLY RUNNING AGAIN, and pasta had been on my mind. I’ve also discovered that basil pesto is way better than marinara. This led me to create my Gluten-free roasted chicken pesto primavera. It’s quick, delicious and makes enough for two dinners, so I have more time to do other Samantha-things, like watch The Mindy Project.

Note: I’m terrible with quantities and never measure anything, so these are rough estimations – add as little or as much as you like.

Gluten-free roasted chicken pesto primavera 


Two roasted chicken breasts (either roasted yourself or from a Rotisserie Chicken – I like the rosemary roasted chicken breasts at Whole Foods, too).

1 Cup roasted bell peppers and onions (Again – do it yourself in the oven ahead of time, or buy fresh and sauté them in a little olive oil until tender before you add the chicken).

Two handfuls fresh spinach

One frozen container RP’s gluten free pasta (this is the best gluten free pasta I’ve had – it doesn’t get mushy, tastes great and has texture identical to that of regular pasta).

Pre-made basil pesto to taste

Parmesan cheese, to taste

Salt, for pasta water

To make: 

1. Boil some water with salt and olive oil (so the pasta doesn’t stick together). Meanwhile, over low to medium heat, warm the roasted peppers, onions and chicken. I didn’t need any oil, sticking wasn’t a problem.

2. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook for 2-3 minutes. Yes, gluten-free pasta is that quick. You want it just shy of being completely done, with a bit of bite to it, as you will then drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the peppers and chicken. Make sure you save a cup or so of the pasta water as well.

3. Mix the pasta, chicken and peppers mixture over low-medium heat. Once combined, fold in the fresh spinach. Within a few minutes it will wilt down. Add the pesto while the spinach is cooking, mixing it thoroughly in the pan. Add the cup of pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until you have a nice pesto sauce that is evenly mixed throughout the pan. Add a bit of parmesan cheese and mix. Serve immediately, while still warm with more parmesan cheese on top, because you can never have too much parmesan cheese.

Serves two, or one with leftovers for the next day, or one extremely hungry person.

If you have any gluten-free recipe ideas, send them my way and I’ll test them out. I’m always hungry.

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