Tag Archives: spinach

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta

10 Jan

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta. ¬†That’s a mouthful. ūüôā ¬†But don’t let the lengthy moniker fool you. ¬†This tasty pasta dish is deliciously simple. ¬†Bonus: ¬†it’s good for you!

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta boasts players like chicken breast, garlic, spinach, and pesto. ¬†We love making easy homemade pesto, which tastes fresh and super delish. ¬†You’ll love making your own pesto, which also stores well in the fridge. ¬†I haven’t tried store bought pesto, but it’ll probably work in a pinch.

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta 2

This Chicken Florentine pasta dish is light and perfect for keeping up all those healthy New Year resolutions. ¬†What this dish isn’t light on is flavor. ¬†It is absolutely savory and yummy. ¬†My family loves this pasta, and my 3 year old actually chomps away happily at the spinach! ¬†(Now, if I can get the older siblings to do the same.)

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta 3

Serve up this pasta with a nice crisp Sauvignon Blanc, and you’ve got a fabulous dinner! ¬†Make it a delicious weeknight supper for the family or weekend dinner with guests. ¬†Either way, this Chicken Florentine Pasta is phenomenal. ¬†Enjoy!


RECIPE (6-8)


16 oz dried penne pasta
4 chicken breast pieces (about 1 1/2 lbs total)
kosher salt and table salt
freshly cracked black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
9-10 oz bag of fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1 cup freshly grated parmesan


Boil a large pot of well-salted water. ¬†Cook penne until al dente. ¬†Drain (don’t rinse.) ¬†Toss drained penne with some olive oil to prevent sticking. ¬†Keep warm.

While pasta is preparing, make the chicken:  Put cling wrap over each piece of chicken on a cutting board.  Pound each piece evenly thin (about 1/4 inch thickness.)  Sprinkle each chicken piece lightly and evenly with kosher salt and pepper, on both sides.  Heat 2 TB of olive oil in a large skillet and brown two of the chicken breasts on both sides over medium high heat.  Cook just until chicken is cooked through; about 2-3 minutes per side, depending on how cold and thick the chicken is.  Repeat with remaining pieces.  Slice chicken breasts into strips and set aside.

Put chopped onion and garlic into skillet with 2 TB oil.  Saute 2-3 minutes until fragrant.  Add the white wine and 1/2 tsp table salt.  Boil vigorously until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes.

Add fresh spinach and saute on medium-low, stirring often, just until spinach begins wilting.  Turn heat to low.  Add cooked chicken, cream, and pesto, stirring to combine and warm up, about 1 min.  Remove from heat.

In a large serving bowl or dish, combine cooked penne with the chicken/spinach mixture.  Season with more kosher salt and pepper to taste.  Mix in fresh parmesan, reserving some for garnish.  Serve immediately.

Wine Pairing Note:  This pasta dish is perfect with a crisp, light Sauvignon Blanc

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from Simply Recipes 

Turkey Panini with Spinach and Roasted Garlic Butter

31 Aug Mesquite Turkey Panini with Garlic Butter

Quite often, a certain food or dish is easily traced back to a specific person, place, or time in our lives.¬† It’s not always that way, of course, because sometimes a delightful meal is just that – delicious, with no strings attached.¬†¬†¬† But, strings can sometimes be good. ¬† For me, panini sandwiches come with happy strings attached. ūüôā

Turkey Panini with Spinach and Garlic Butter

Turkey Panini with Spinach and Garlic Butter – easy, delicious lunch

Believe it or not, I can’t remember having a panini sandwich prior to a few years ago.¬† I’m sure I’ve lunched on some grilled Italian sandwiches before that, but my clearest memory of them began at a lunch date with my super-sweet friend, Staci.¬†¬† Actually, our kids were all there…and we were in her beautiful kitchen.¬† So, it was more like a play-date that happily included a yummy lunch.

Turkey Panini with Spinach and Garlic Butter

Turkey Panini with Spinach and Garlic Butter – make it your way!

I had been eying panini presses for awhile.¬† Wouldn’t you know, Staci pulled one out of her pantry and whipped up some delicious panini sandwiches for us.¬† She arranged a make-your-own panini “party,” with various deli meats and toppings for everyone to choose from.¬† What fun, for both grown ups and little ones alike!¬† Everything always tastes better freshly made, just the way you like it.

Turkey Panini with Spinach and Garlic Butter

Turkey Panini with Spinach and Garlic Butter – melty Havarti cheese!

I immediately went and got myself a cute little panini press.¬† Of course, grilled sandwiches can just as well be made on a ridged cast iron pan, using a bit more oil/butter.¬† Or even a non-ridged pan, if you don’t care about grill marks.¬† But then, would it still be called “panini” if there aren’t grill marks?¬† I don’t know.¬† Anyhow, it’s a breeze to grill sandwiches on a press, if you want to go healthy and use less oil and/or butter.

I’ve since made all kinds of panini, including this delicious Turkey sandwich.¬† Our family loves garlic by the buckets, so I had to make roasted garlic butter for this as well.¬† This recipe is one of approximates, so feel free to eyeball it and make it your way.¬† Enjoy, and press on!



1 loaf Ciabatta bread
Mesquite or smoked turkey from the deli
fresh baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
2 vine ripened tomatoes, sliced
havarti (or cheddar) cheese slices
3 cloves roasted garlic
6 TB butter, softened
butter for grilling
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper


To make garlic butter, roast garlic ahead of time.  Mix 3 cloves roasted garlic with 6 TB softened butter, incorporating well.  If desired, mix in a pinch of kosher salt and some freshly ground pepper.  Set aside until ready to use.

Slice ciabatta loaf into sandwich-size slices.  Spread inside of ciabatta slices with garlic butter.  Load sandwich with slices of turkey, fresh spinach, tomato slices, and cheese.  Brush tops and bottoms of sandwiches with butter.  Grill until desired grill marks appear and cheese is melted.  If using stove top grill, press down on sandwich to get grill marks on bottom side.  Flip over and repeat on other side.

Source:  Chew Out Loud

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