You can sneak a few veggies that would normally be rejected into this delicious, low-fat dinner. These Pesto Chicken Skewers with Roasted Vegetable Pasta are the perfect way to add a healthy touch to your dinner. The juicy chicken pieces, marinated in spicy pesto, are skewered with strong vegetables and grilled to perfection. Served with a bed of healthy noodles and a mix of roasted vegetables, this dish delivers an explosion of flavor and nutrition in every bite. It’s a guilt-free and filling meal that will leave you wanting more.
- 1 butternut squash, about 700g, halved
- 2 zucchini, diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into 2cm pieces
- 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2cm pieces
- Juice 1 ½ lemons
- 4 tbsp pesto
- 16 cherry tomatoes
- 600g penne pasta
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.
- Place the vegetables in a large roasting pan.
- Sprinkle with thyme and season.
- Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and roast for 40 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Meanwhile, soak 8 wooden skewers.
- Place the chicken in a shallow bowl and toss with the lemon juice and pesto.
- Thread the chicken and tomatoes onto the skewers and place on a roasting tray.
- Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and roast for 20 minutes, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Cook the pasta.
- Toss together half the roasted vegetables and pasta, then serve with the pesto chicken skewers.
Equipment and tools
To prepare this recipe you will need the following equipment and tools:
- cutting board
- Grilling or BBQ
- Big pot
This recipe contains the following allergens:
- Nuts (if using pesto that contains nuts)
Storage and leftovers
If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply place in the microwave or heat in a skillet until warmed through.
Health Benefits of Pesto Chicken Skewers with Roasted Vegetable Pasta
Eating healthy doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor, and this delicious recipe for Pesto Chicken Skewers with Roasted Vegetable Pasta is a perfect example. Packed with healthy ingredients and full of flavor, this dish not only satisfies your taste buds but also offers numerous health benefits. From vitamins and minerals to antioxidants and fiber, let’s explore the key components that make this recipe a nutritious choice.
The first ingredient in this recipe is butternut squash, a versatile vegetable known for its rich flavor and numerous health benefits. This bright orange vegetable is a great source of fiber, providing about 6 grams per cup. It is also packed with essential vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which support a healthy immune system and promote optimal vision. Additionally, butternut squash is low in calories, making it an excellent option for anyone looking to maintain a healthy weight.
Zucchini, also known as zucchini, are another nutritious addition to this recipe. This green vegetable is low in calories but high in nutrients. They are a good source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure, and contain significant amounts of vitamins B6 and C. Zucchini are also rich in antioxidants such as carotenoids and flavonoids, which protect your body from cell damage caused by harmful free radicals.
The chopped onion adds a delicious flavor to this dish but also has its own health benefits. Onions are rich in antioxidants, particularly quercetin, which has anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease and certain cancers. In addition, onions are a good source of fiber and contain various vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin B6 and potassium.
Red peppers not only add vibrant color to this dish but also provide numerous health benefits. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, which plays a crucial role in immune function, collagen production and wound healing. Red peppers are also rich in vitamin B6, which supports brain development and function. Additionally, these peppers contain a compound called capsaicin, which gives them their spicy flavor and is believed to have potential anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
Lean boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the main source of protein in this recipe. Protein is important for various body functions, including muscle repair, immune system function, and the production of enzymes and hormones. Chicken is also a rich source of vitamins B3 and B6, which are involved in energy metabolism. Choosing lean cuts of chicken will keep the dish low in saturated fat, making it a heart-healthy choice.
The juice of lemons gives this dish a tangy and refreshing taste. Lemons are a great source of vitamin C and support immune system health and collagen synthesis. They also contain citric acid, which can help with digestion and preventing kidney stones. In addition, lemons provide small amounts of vitamins B6 and A as well as minerals such as potassium and magnesium.
Pesto, a sauce made from basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and olive oil, not only enhances the flavor of this dish but also provides health benefits. Basil contains essential oils such as eugenol and rosmarinic acid, which have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic is known for its potential cardiovascular benefits and immune-boosting properties. Olive oil, a key ingredient in pesto, is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, which can benefit heart health and help reduce inflammation.
Finally, the cherry tomatoes used in this recipe add a touch of sweetness and provide additional health benefits. Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and other antioxidants like lycopene, which gives them their bright red color. Lycopene has been linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers and may also have cardiovascular benefits.
The pasta used in this recipe creates a filling base. Although pasta is often criticized for its high carbohydrate content, when consumed in moderation, it can still be part of a healthy diet. Pasta, especially whole grains like penne, contains fiber, which aids digestion and helps maintain stable blood sugar levels. When you choose whole-wheat pasta over refined white pasta, you’ll also benefit from additional vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Overall, this Pesto Chicken Skewers with Roasted Vegetable Pasta recipe provides a balanced and nutritious meal. From the vitamins and minerals in vegetables to the lean protein in chicken, every ingredient contributes to a healthy dining experience. So enjoy this delicious dish while reaping the health benefits it has to offer.