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Quick Pesto Pasta with Drumstick for easy dinners

Quick Pesto & Drumstick Pasta Dinner

Quick Pesto and Chicken Parmesan Pasta

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OK, confession time: This isn’t much of a “recipe”.

In fact, I’ve added this quick meal into my recipe collection just to show you guys how easy it is to make a 5-minute healthy dinner after a crazy day at work – IF you have Meal-Prepped Building Blocks on hand. No Takeout or TV dinner necessary.

One night last week we all got home from soccer practice and I was just too tired and hangry to cook. Everyone else was in a similar state. We opened up the fridge and came up with this delicious 5-minute dinner with 4 ingredients:

  1. I had cooked up an entire box of al dente pasta over the weekend. Cooled it, quick glug of oil to de-stick the noodles, and stored it in a large tupperware. Most of it was still left.
  2. We had grilled some chicken meat 2 nights ago and had leftovers. It was all shredded and in its tupperware too.
  3. New Seasons has their own brand of pesto that is made in house and with local ingredients. So while I think homemade pesto is delicious, it can be time intensive. I often have the New Seasons version on hand because it tastes ridiculously good, and it also doesn’t go bad/turn brown like some of the bigger brands (there’s one from Costco that’s famous for this. I swear it browns quicker than guacamole.)
  4. Grated parmesan is ALWAYS on hand at our house. We don’t eat a lot of dairy – its typically constrained to parmesan, half and half, and an occasional low-fat mozz for quesadillas or homemade pizza. I buy the freshly grated stuff also from New Seasons, as opposed to a bigger brand that has more preservatives in it.

That’s it! Threw it together and we ended up with Drumstick Pesto Parmesan dinner. And while it may not win any cooking awards, it’s got all the nutrition and comfort you need for a quick, comforting dinner that doesn’t leave you feeling deprived. Pesto is packed with antioxidant basil, as well as either pine nuts or walnuts, and the good ones are also made with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Side Note: Did you know that al dente pasta has a low glycemic index, even white pasta? That’s because al dente pasta takes longer to digest than well cooked soft pasta, minimizing the spike in blood sugar that is often associated with white pasta and bread.

Leftover grilled drumstick meat or thighs work great in this dish! If you’re interested in pastured meat options, check out Where To Shop.

Quick Pesto & Drumstick Pasta Dinner

Quick Pesto Pasta with Drumstick for easy dinners


4 oz pre-cooked al dente pasta of choice

1 oz pesto, made with basil and olive oil

3 oz precooked chicken – nutrition based on drumstick meat

1 T grated parmesan



Place pasta, pesto and chicken in a dinner bowl.


Cover with paper towl and microwave 1 minute, stirring and testing heat. Microwave another 30 seconds if necessary.


Remove and sprinkle with grated parmesan. Enjoy dinner!

Nutrition Per Serving







Dinner In Provence
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