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Spinach & Artichoke Dip Chicken w/ Pesto Pasta + Arugula Salad

This chicken will work its way into your heart and never leave. When I first tried a bite, I yelled “HOLY SHIT!!” because it is that good. I was expecting good but this is freaking fantastic.



The star of the show is obviously the chicken but to make it a whole meal I added basil pesto pasta and a lemony arugula salad. You can switch the sides up really easily! Cauliflower gnocchi + broccolini or another veggie on the side.



Time: 45 minutes

Serves: Two people


Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts

  • 4oz dry pasta (I like tagliatelle for this recipe)

  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto

  • 10-12 quartered artichoke hearts*

  • 1/4 cup mozzarella

  • 1 cup spinach leaves

  • 2 cups (handfuls) arugula

  • lemon + olive oil


Chicken seasoning:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon balsamic glaze

  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon finely diced shallot

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil

  2. Start by mixing together the chicken seasoning ingredients in a small bowl so they have time to settle + mix.

  3. Cut a slit in each on one side of the chicken breasts so that there is a pocket - do not cut all the way through so that it still remains held together. Use plastic wrap and a meat tenderizer (hammer) to pound the chicken to about 2/3 the thickness it starts at.

  4. Add artichoke hearts, spinach, and mozzarella to the chicken breast pockets. Try to layer them - I like to put artichoke on the bottom, then cheese, then spinach as the top layer. Tie a piece of twine around the center of the chicken to hold it all together. Brush each side with the chicken seasoning you make earlier.

  5. Place the chicken on the aluminum foil and then cover with another sheet of aluminum, pinch the edges together to seal. Bake for 15 minutes, remove and sprinkle on any leftover cheese then bake for another 5 minutes uncovered.

  6. While the chicken is baking, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. When the pasta is done cooking, drain and then stir in a handful of spinach and the basil pesto. Remove from heat.

  7. Mix the arugula with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

  8. Remove the chicken when its fully done, let it sit for 5 minutes and then slice.

  9. Split the chicken, pasta, and arugula between two plates and enjoy!


Notes:

  • Artichoke hearts come in a jar - you can find them near other pickled things in the grocery store. They’re usually cut in halves or quarters, I think that for this recipe the quartered hearts are easier to stuff.

  • I mentioned this above but its super easy to serve this chicken with other sides such as a caesar salad, roasted veggies, or cauliflower gnocchi instead of pasta.


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