Lemony Pesto Chicken tossed with Quinoa Fusilli

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Serves: 4

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.


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 ΒΌ 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.