Pea and Pesto Whole Wheat Pasta Salad

Hold up. Just hooooolld up. Is it September? Have we already had a full week of it? I feel like I missed something… Like, summer.

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Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE LOVE LOVE fall. It’s seriously my favorite of all the seasons. I’m super excited about it and have already begun experimenting in the kitchen (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve been a getting sneak peak of what’s to come!). But it’s been 80 degrees here in New Haven, and I still have a few late summer recipes up my sleeve.

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Like this delicious pasta salad. It’s bright, fresh, versatile and oh-so-healthy. I had it warm, room temp and cold and it was super yummy each and every way. The peas and cannellini beans make it a hearty and filling pasta that could be a dinner OR a side! So many possibilities!

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As I squeeze in my last few summer recipes, I’d love to hear from you all… what do YOU want to see up on the blog this fall? What are you most looking forward to eating as the weather turns cool? This is the best season of all!!

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Recipe

  • 1 lb whole wheat pasta, cooked al dente and drained ( I used fusilli, but any kind will work!)
  • 1 cup pesto (I used my own mint pea pesto recipe)
  • 1 (12 oz) box of frozen peas
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, mix  pasta, pesto, peas and cannellini beans. Sir in 1/2 cup of the parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Top with remaining cheese. Can be served warm, at room temperature or chilled!

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Seared Chicken, Kale and White Bean Skillet

Oh my goodness this dinner is divine. I’m talking eat-the-scraps-from-the-bottom-of-the-pan-because-they’re-aren’t-any-leftovers good. And SO easy. Seriously, you, too, can make a delicious chicken skillet!

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Ok, so I know that this dish looks like a bit of a hot mess. But trust me. NO ONE will care! They’ll be too busy stuffing their faces full of chicken yumminess. I speak truth.

Also, totally guilty of there being chickpeas in these pictures as opposed to white beans, but here’s the deal: I’ve made this bad boy twice, once with chickpeas and once with white beans, but was only able to get pictures of the chickpea version. The white bean skillet was literally gone before I could capture it’s beauty. The white beans are a little less dense than the chickpeas, making an extremely creamy, perfect sauce out of the reduced white wine and parmesan. If you find yourself wavering between white bean and chickpea, stick with team white bean. Just do it.

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So fire up those case-iron skillets (or any super sized appropriate dish you happen to have in your kitchen- this chicken isn’t picky) and get cooking. You must eat this for dinner, like, yesterday.

Recipe

Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 30 mins | Total time: 1 Hour

  • 1 ½ lb boneless chicken thighs
  • Olive oil (enough to coat  entire bottom of pan)
  • 1 cup whole wheat penne or fusili
  • ½ white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 12 oz baby portabella mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 bunch fresh kale
  • ½ cup dry white wine (chicken broth works well too!)
  • 1 16 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese (plus more for sprinkling, obvi)
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Coat bottom of skillet with olive oil and bring to temperature over medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper (and other spices if you’re feeling exotic) and sear for 6-7 minutes. Season other side, flip and sear opposite side until chicken is cooked through, about another 6 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside on a plate.

While chicken is cooking, bring a pot of water to boil and season with salt. Once boiling, place pasta in water and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Using the same pan in which you seared the chicken, sauté onions and garlic together until onions are just translucent. Add mushrooms, then kale, sautéing until the kale has begun to cook down, about 5 minutes (the skillet may appear to be slightly overloaded with kale at first- don’t panic, it will be ok!).

Deglaze the pan with wine, let simmer and reduce for about 5 more minutes. Add in the pasta and white beans. Add the parmesan and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium low and place the chicken on top of the mixture. Cover and let sit for about 5-10 minutes, allowing the chicken to heat through.

Dive in. It’s dinner time.

Slightly Adapted from How Sweet Eats