How To Cook: Lemon Garlic Pasta with Spinach and Chicken

Well here is my first recipe post. This recipe comes from the Minimalist Baker’s 31 Meals Cookbook.  It’s Lemon Garlic Pasta (and I added Spinach and Chicken). I’d rate it a 1 on the 1 to Rocket Science Scale. Which I just made up now. Let’s say Rocket Science is about a 5. Why a 1? If you haven’t cooked before ever, a lot of this might be new. But if you put everything out in front of you and you have made pasta before, this recipe will take under an hour to make. And since there is no marinating or pre-cooking required, that makes this a solid 1 for Easy Cooking (Definitely Not Rocket Science). This is a very straight forward recipe and took me 37 minutes to make (while trying to take pictures of every step). All you need is the stuff below:

All the stuff you need for this recipe.

All the stuff you need for this recipe.

So The Stuff you see above is two pots, one for pasta boiling and the other is a skillet which I used for the chicken and mixing all the food together. I used one cutting board (cut the veggies before the chicken), a spatula, and some measuring spoons. You’ll also need:

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 large lemon
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Half box of long pasta noodles
  • Salt and Pepper (sea salt if you have it)
  • 1.5 teaspoons basil pesto
  • Fresh basil
  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • Chicken – I used breast strips since it is what I had on hand.
  • I added red pepper flakes for spiciness

So How to Cook Time!

  1. Boil Pasta Water. Add salt to the water to flavor your pasta.
    SALT THE WATER!

    SALT THE WATER!

    Make sure the water is boiling then ADD THE PASTA

    Make sure the water is boiling then ADD THE PASTA

    2. While water is being brought to a boil, mince the garlic and cut your veggies.

Garlic

Allllllll The Garlic

Now Minced Garlic

Now Minced Garlic

Chopped Lemon and Fresh Basil

Chopped Lemon and Fresh Basil

3. Make sure to check on your pasta. It might be ready to be drained.

Perfect Pasta!

Perfect Pasta!

4. Then I prepped and cooked the chicken in the skillet. I usually just put olive oil at random in the skillet, but 1 tablespoon would be good if you want to measure. Just add more if it seems like there is not enough. I used salt, pepper and garlic powder for the chicken (plus a squeeze of two of my lemon slices)

Seasoning the chicken.... Forgot to take a picture of it cooked.

Seasoning the chicken…. Forgot to take a picture of it cooked.

5. Once the chicken is out of the pan and cooked (about 4-5 minutes each side depending on the size) then put some more olive oil in the pan and add the garlic. Let cook for 30 seconds and then add the spinach and red pepper flakes (if you want). Cook down the spinach until it is wilted.

Yummy wilted spinach.

Yummy wilted spinach.

6. Next add the pasta back into the skillet and add salt and pepper to the pasta. Then squeeze your lemon and add the pesto.

Ready to be mixed!

Ready to be mixed!

7. Last step! Add the parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Then mix!

Here comes the cheese. Piled on top

Here comes the cheese. Piled on top

Mix-a, Mix-a, Mix-a

Mix-a, Mix-a, Mix-a

AND TA – DA

Told it only took 37 minutes.

Told you it only took 37 minutes.

Tonight's Dinner!

Tonight’s Dinner!

YOU CAN NOW COOK LEMON GARLIC PASTA.

IT WAS DELICIOUS.

SORRY I KEEP YELLING, I’M JUST SO EXCITED.

But in all honesty, seven steps and finished in less than an hour!? Crazy simple. I will say, this recipe serves two generously. So I ate about half my skillet tonight, keeping the rest for lunch tomorrow.

I do want to end this post by saying, if you have any comments or want any clarifications on steps, comment away! I want to be able to articulate each step as clearly as possible. Also, this is my last entry in #cookforhealthseptember which is an Indy based initiative about trying to eat healthier. I know, I know, pasta is all carbs. But don’t you see how green the skillet looks! Plus chicken is extra protein. The blog that hosts this competition is acouplecooks.com, one of my new food blog favorites!

So I hope you want to cook this in the future! I definitely recommend buying the 31 Meals Cookbook. 

Happy Cooking, Sarah

Dig In!

Dig In!

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2 thoughts on “How To Cook: Lemon Garlic Pasta with Spinach and Chicken

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