Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Grilled Lime Chicken

Prep Time:
Cook Time: 30 min
Serves: 6

This refreshing pasta recipe is delicious on those days when the barbeque is just begging to be used. With chicken served on the side, it’s a casual meal that’s easy to add to your summer meal plans.


Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Grilled Lime Chicken:

2 lb (1 kg) chicken drumsticks
1/4 cup (60 mL) lime juice, fresh
1 tsp (5 mL) lime zest
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin, ground
1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
2 tsp (10 mL) brown sugar
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) coriander, ground
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) garlic powder
1 pkg whole wheat spaghetti
1/4 cup (60 mL) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


4 cups (1 L) cilantro, with stems
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) almonds, ground
3 tbsp (45 mL) pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) salt
3 tbsp (45 mL) lime juice


Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Grilled Lime Chicken

1 Remove the skin from the chicken drumsticks*. Place drumsticks on a platter and coat both sides with fresh lime juice, lime zest, brown sugar and spices. Season the chicken at least an hour before it goes on the grill to allow the flavours to develop. Keep refrigerated.
2 Grill chicken 10 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted into the chicken reads 165°F (74°C). Place on a large serving plate.
3 Cook pasta according to package directions in unsalted water. Drain and toss with pesto (see recipe below) and place in large pasta bowl or platter. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese, sprigs of fresh cilantro and a lime cut in wedges and serve with spiced chicken drumsticks.


1 Combine cilantro, garlic, lime juice, ground almonds and pumpkin seeds in a food processor and purée until smooth. Add the olive oil and pulse several times.
2 You can add salt at this point but try it first as you may like the clean, crisp flavour the way it is.