Pesto Quinoa Chicken makes a great weeknight hosting
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In the past few years, I’ve been trying to master the art of weeknight hosting. During law school, I tried to keep my hosting to the weekends, because life gets crazy and the studying was neverending. But nowadays it seems like every other weekend we’re traveling or prepping for something or spend the time doing chores and the like. The time slips away without actually having friends over!
The key for hosting on a weeknight is cooking something uncomplicated but still delicious. I’m a fan of one-pot dinners, slow cookers, and
I made this for some family friends who were in town for one night only – it was more of a “whip something up for people who I don’t know what foods they love” kind of dinner. But the result was so good that pesto quinoa chicken has made it into our regular rotation!
This dish is cheesy and filling, but not over the top unhealthy. Plus, you can easily leave out the chicken and amp up the spinach for a vegetarian version!
The ingredients scream summertime dinner, but I’m not above making it on a cold night when I need some healthier comfort food!
If you’re not making this for a crowd, it’s a fantastic meal prep dish, giving you foolproof filling lunches that won’t leave you reaching for a candy bar two hours later!
You don’t need much heat to wilt the spinach: the low burner plus the residual heat from the quinoa does the work!
You can use a canned pesto for this, or take an extra five minutes and make your own! Trust me, it’s worth it to make it homemade.
I like quinoa in this dish for its texture and added protein boost. Don’t have quinoa? Sub in brown rice or any grain!
Pesto Quinoa Chicken
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2/3 cup pesto
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- Make the quinoa as instructed.
- Cut the chicken into small chunks and brown on all sides in a large pan with olive oil.
- When the chicken is browned, add the spinach, quinoa, pesto, and cheese. Mix well and serve.