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chicken bacon zucchini pasta with tomatoes and pine nuts on a white plate
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Chicken Bacon Zucchini Pasta

Chicken Bacon Zucchini Pasta with Cherry (or Grape) Tomatoes is a well-balanced weeknight meal that combines protein (chicken), vegetables (zucchini and tomatoes), and carbs (fettuccine). This family-friendly dinner is easy to make and looks beautiful on a plate!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 819kcal
Author Julia

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 zucchini (medium size) sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken tenders uncooked, sliced
  • ¼ tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 oz fettuccine
  • ½ cup basil pesto
  • 5 oz red grape tomatoes sliced in half
  • 5 oz yellow grape tomatoes sliced in half
  • 8 strips bacon cooked and drained from fat
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves chopped
  • cup pine nuts lightly toasted
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Heat a large high-sided skillet over medium-hot heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, sliced zucchini, sprinkle with salt, and cook, for about 5 minutes, flipping once, until the zucchini is soft and slightly browned. Remove zucchini from the skillet to a large bowl.
  • To the same skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and chicken tenders. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and red pepper flakes. Cook on medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes, flipping chicken tenders a couple of times, until the chicken is slightly browned, cooked through, and no longer pink in the center. Remove the cooked chicken to the same bowl with zucchini and slice it into thin strips.
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the fettuccine, and cook until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain pasta.
  • Add cooked and drained pasta to the skillet where you cooked chicken. Add basil pesto and stir. Add red and yellow grape (or cherry) tomatoes (each one sliced in half). Add chopped cooked bacon. Add cooked zucchini and sliced cooked chicken. Stir everything together, and reheat gently on low-medium heat.
  • Taste and add extra basil pesto (if desired) and extra salt, if needed. Remove from heat.
  • Sprinkle chopped fresh basil leaves and toasted pine nuts over the pasta in the skillet.

Notes

  • Toast the pine nuts in the preheated oven at 350 F for only 5 minutes.  Watch the oven carefully - the nuts can burn quickly.  Toasted pine nuts acquire a beautiful color and crunch.
  • Cook bacon in advance, drain it and chop it.  I usually cook the bacon in the preheated oven at 350 F for 20 minutes, then lay it on paper towels to remove extra grease. 

Nutrition

Calories: 819kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 152mg | Sodium: 745mg | Potassium: 1150mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1727IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 3mg