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Gluten-free spicy lemon-pesto pasta with chicken

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Pesto power

Pasta and chicken get a blast of fresh flavor from the pesto tossed in with this dish. You'll love the bright flavor this recipe offers.

Pesto power

You can't get much more vibrant than the flavors of lemon and basil. Both are bright and flavorful and combine to make a fab dish like this recipe for gluten-free spicy lemon-pesto pasta with chicken.

Use your favorite gluten-free pasta (I used a quinoa pasta shaped like corkscrews) and grilled chicken to mix together with this colorful pesto. I elevated the pesto just a bit and added a few dashes of hot sauce and some red pepper flakes.

Pesto power

This recipe makes a lovely spring-inspired meal. You can turn to this pesto recipe again and again, as it works well with fish, chicken and tofu.

Note: Gluten can be found in many different foods and products, from ketchup to soy sauce to candy and seasonings. While SheKnows tries to ensure these recipes are gluten-free, carefully read the ingredient labels of all food and food products you use for these recipes to ensure they are also gluten-free.

Gluten-free spicy lemon-pesto pasta with chicken recipe

Serves 2


For the pesto

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (you might need a bit more)
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3-4 dashes favorite hot sauce (more or less, to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

For the chicken and pasta

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4-6 ounces corkscrew-style quinoa pasta (or another favorite gluten-free pasta)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


For the pesto

  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor, and blend until smooth.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the processor with a rubber spatula. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

For the chicken and pasta

  1. Season both sides of the chicken breasts, and grill each side on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until done.
  2. Remove the chicken from the grill, and slice it into 3-inch pieces. Keep it warm.
  3. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, and then drain it.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the pesto with the pasta.
  5. Divide the pasta mixture evenly on individual plates, and top it with pieces of chicken.

More gluten-free recipes

Gluten-free chia seed pudding with apricots and almonds
Gluten-free mini strawberry s'mores tarts
Gluten-free blueberry-coconut bars

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