Pesto burps. They never seem to come at the right times. Like during a workout. Not my favorite thing.

I’m into Michael Jackson right now. And Glee versions of Michael Jackson.

So yesterday, I was having a real off day. Probably because I’m pmsing. Ew, TMI. Anywho, I was an emotional mess. I cooked 4 different meals and enjoyed absolutely none of it. You know how people say food is always delicious when it’s cooked with love? Well none of mine had love behind it. The food still tasted good, but with a hint of anger added to it. I’m not really an angry person, but I definitely get a crease between my eyes when I’m upset about something. Maybe it was just because I was up at 4am that day. That’s probably it. It has nothing to do with the fact I’m constantly thinking about chocolate, feeling fat, and breaking out.

Being a woman is the devil sometimes. Hate me for that statement, do it.

And yesterday I kept trying to pull myself out of self hatred. Which was much easier when Sergio came over. Just because he makes my self hatred humorous somehow. Well we decided to run around the park which was probably another poor idea since my run would be ran with no happiness behind it. And that was shown to be especially true since he is MUCH faster than me. Even though he’s shorter, those little legs can move. By the time we ended, I was practically pleading for air while Sergio briskly walked like he hadn’t just run 2.5 miles. My self hatred just morphed to humiliation.

I finally grew up and got over it. Self hatred and frustration really lead to nowhere. So I danced to Glee songs, worked out at the gym, then had froyo to ultra-spike my endorphins. Please do not tell me that this is not paleo, I understand this. But pistachio and chocolate milkshake frozen yogurt just HAVE to eaten sometimes. Especially when it’s with a special guy.

And to make something perfectly clear, Sergio is not my special guy. He’s not my boyfriend. But he is single and would certainly be interested in making friends with someone of the opposite sex. Just saying. And yes, yes I am whoring my best friend out over the internet. I’m a bad person….kind of.

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Artichoke Lemon Pesto Chicken Pasta

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.9 from 86 reviews

  • Yield: 4-5 1x


  • 1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed (or chicken thighs if you prefer)
  • 1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise (get a BIG one)
  • 1215 artichoke hearts, cut in half (I used jarred artichokes that were in olive oil for more flavor)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 45 tablespoons olive oil
  • 45 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 35 cups of spinach (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 405 degrees (not 450, stop questioning me)
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes or until squash gives when you poke the outside of it.
  3. Use a spoon to remove the excess seeds then a fork to thread the strings from the squash. To make spaghetti, duh.
  4. But while the squash is baking, make the pesto and chicken.
  5. Place a large pan over medium-high heat, add a splash of fat and 1 minced garlic clove. As soon as the garlic becomes fragrant, add the halved artichokes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let cook until slightly browned and tender on all sides.
  6. Once artichokes are browned, add them to a food processor along with the walnuts, olive oil, vegetable broth, and second garlic clove. Puree until smooth.
  7. Then add the parsley, basil, lemon, and salt and pepper. Puree once more until smooth. Taste and add more lemon and salt and pepper to your preference.
  8. Once pesto is done pureeing, add the chicken to the same pan that you sautéed the artichokes in.
  9. Cook chicken over medium-high heat until browned on all sides. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.
  10. Once chicken is cooked through, add in about 1/4 of a cup of the pesto to the chicken along with the spinach, in the pan and mix well to coat. Cover and let cook for 2-4 minutes or until spinach is wilted.
  11. Then add the threads of spaghetti squash to the pan (or a large mixing bowl if you need more room). Mix spaghetti squash, pesto, and chicken all together.
  12. Serve with some fresh basil on top.
  13. Love pesto in a new way!

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PaleOMG Artichoke Lemon Pesto Chicken Pasta


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  1. Jessie says:

    This is the first recipe of yours that I’ve made and it was seriously AMAZEBALLS. My non-paleo family all loved it and I’ve been smiling since lunch. Can’t wait to make more of your foodie epicness 🙂

  2. Heather says:

    I just made this last night and WOW it was so good! I love how it tricks me into eating things like squash, spinach, and artichokes 🙂

    Thanks for all you do!

  3. Crystal says:

    Had this with kelp noodles because we don’t have spaghetti squash down here in Australia but it still tasted amazing!!

  4. Andrea says:

    This recipe is SO stinkin good! Will definitely make again!

  5. LaShawn says:

    Made this tonight….it was AMAZEBALLS! All my kids loved it, even my extremely picky 6 year old. We all ate it with the spaghetti squash and the husband ate it with zucchini noodles. Great both ways. SO SO good.


    Like I almost made myself sick.


  6. Joanne says:

    I have the jarred artichokes from Costco. They are not in oil…Will they work?

    1. juli says:

      Yes just add some olive oil if needed

  7. Rose @ Healthy Food for Hectic Lives says:

    THIS was THE best recipe I’ve reviewed in a while. It was really great! The only change I made to this is rather than serve it over spaghetti squash I used my new favorite kitchen tool, the Veggetti, to make zucchini spaghetti. Not because I don’t like spaghetti squash, but because I’ve served that twice in the last two weeks and I wanted to use my new fun tool.

  8. Chelsea says:

    So, I’ve been cleaning up my eating and OH.MY.GOSH. This is my new favorite thing of all time. The market was having a sale on artichokes and I seriously bought a bunch of them just so I could make this recipe a million and one more times. I’m totally gonna try the zucchini noodles noted in some of the comments too. Thanks Juli!

  9. Angela says:

    Amazing dish! I used way more basil and garlic, and I let the pesto/chicken sit and mellow – off heat – for awhile before adding the squash. My husband, who only orders pesto in Italy, liked it. Whoohoo. Next time, I’ll use less lemon – personal preference. THANK YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH!

  10. Susan says:

    Wow I am new to the paleo lifestyle and this dish was amazing!! I have to say with all of it mixed together I felt as if I was truly eating pasta with parmesan mixed into it. I love your recipes and I can’t wait to order the other two cookbooks to add to the one cookbook I have already by you.
    Thank you so much for making me look forward to my next meal.