Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pesto Chicken Tortellini

(my picture doesn't do this justice....it is very, very, very good!!!)

Now that the temps are heating up, who wants to stand over a hot stove and cook or turn the oven on to warm up the house even more?  Not I!  I love this recipe because it can be made ahead and served cold or you can do it warm.  This is a great dish to take to picnics, bbq's, or get togethers.  Especially since in a few months all those gardens everyone plants will be cranking out the veggies, here's a nice way to use them.  Speaking of veggies....since I wasn't blessed with a green thumb, if you find your garden runneth over....I would love to take any of the overabundance off your hands......even (especially) the zucchini!!!  I got the original recipe from a blog I love: One Crazy Cookie and then did my little changes to it.

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms (or more)
1/2 cup diced onions
1 small zucchini, sliced and quartered
1/2 cup ham, pepperoni, bacon or sausage (Optional)
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 cup olives, sliced
1/2 cup pesto- maybe 3/4 cup if you like lots of sauce (homemade or you can make it from the packets)
3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing 
Optional: shredded Mozzarella cheese or Parmesan cheese
1 package frozen Tortellini, cooked according to package directions and drained- I used cheese tortellini

Heat olive oil in a saute pan. Add onion, mushrooms and zucchini. Saute a few minutes on medium heat until onion becomes transparent and veggies are cooked.
Stir in chicken (or other meat if desired) and heat for just a few minutes. Add tortellini, tomatoes, olives, pesto and vinaigrette dressing. Stir to combine.
If desired garnish with a little shredded Mozzarella cheese or Parmesan.

You could use any type pasta and the veggies your family likes. This is a very versatile recipe.
Enjoy!! I also think it would be great served cold.

Most of the points come from the pasta.  The total point value for this would be about 26, add a few if you use the cheese, or if you use other meats.  I'm not sure the point value of the pesto sauce since it depends on what sauce you use, but I calculated mine at about 3 points (I didn't use nuts).   This will serve at least 5 for a big serving, but if you do it as a side dish, it would serve a lot.  So the overall points would be around 5ish points per serving or less if a side dish.  Not too bad.  Plus, this is a very low fat dish and stocked full of veggies!  You could lower the point value by taking out the chicken and then it would be around 21ish.

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