Pistachio Pesto Chicken Pasta

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Valentine’s Day was pretty great. I got to do a wod that crushed my soul. Then I went to my esthetician to get my face worked on since I knew I was definitely not going to be around any men on Vday. Gotta love paying $150  for 3 hours of pure torture. It makes sense. Well it kinda does since my face looks better than it ever has. Not great, but better. F

Anywho, I then proceeded on to eat stupid amounts of chocolate, no seriously, stupid amounts. My girlfriend Sarah made Laura and I paleo truffles. I slightly hate her for that. There were 5 huge ones and they are all gone now. Laura has 4 left. Hence our body composition difference. F*ckin chocolate. You make me feel so ashamed at times.

Then we got to watch Twilight Breaking Dawn. I love Twilight. Seriously though. I read all the books. It’s seriously so addicting. At any age. Oh don’t worry bros, I can’t hear you right now, talking sh*t about how dumb Twilight is. How Vampire and Werewolves are stupid mythical creatures. But you guys like sports. And sports are dumb. So suck it.

But us women like Twilight because it gives us hope that there is a man out there who will adore us as much as Edward and Jacob adore Bella. Is that too much to ask?? Sh*t no it’s not. A man who literally cannot take his eyes of us. A man who will do anything just to be around us. Now that’s wiiiiiiicked cool.

How many people do you think got engaged on Vday? So cliche.

I’ve figured something out. Doing laundry sucks ass. Like pretty bad. You know why? Because all my clothes are lululemon spandex and CrossFit shirts. And what in the f*ck would I do if any of those things shrunk?! I can barely pull my spandex over my ass without hearing the threads tear in my lulus…so if they shrunk….jesus. So I literally have to hang dry 93% of my clothes. That’s a lot of time spent in my basement with hangers, creepy lighting, and cold cement floors. I hate having cold feet. And lighting that emphasizes my flaws. I wish mood lighting traveled with me everywhere I went.


Pistachio Pesto Chicken Pasta

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 1x


  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, halved, seeds and excess threads removed
  • 1/22/3lbs chicken, sliced or cubed
  • 1 cup pistachios, unsalted and shelled
  • 11 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/21 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful of sundried tomatoes, sliced, to garnish


  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut your spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise, use a spoon to scoop out the excess seeds and place open side down on a baking sheet and cook for 20-25 minutes or until spaghetti squash is soft to the touch.
  3. While your spaghetti squash cooks, put your pistachios in a food processor and pulse.
  4. Then add your garlic cloves and basil and turn food processor on.
  5. While food processor is still on, add your olive oil slowly until your pesto becomes your preference of “thickness” and then add your lemon juice.
  6. Now heat up a large skillet under medium heat with a couple tablespoons of olive oil in it. Add your chicken to the skillet along with some salt and pepper and cook chicken on both sides until almost cooked through, then add your pesto to the pan.
  7. Coat chicken in pesto.
  8. When your spaghetti squash is done cooking and has cooled a bit, use a fork to pull the threads out of the spaghetti squash and place directly into your pesto and chicken pan.
  9. Combine all together.
  10. Add to a bowl, top with some leftover chopped pistachios and sundried tomatoes!
  11. Consume!

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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


125 thoughts on “Pistachio Pesto Chicken Pasta”

  1. Arrrrrgh what is this spaghetti squash I keep reading about?!? I don’t think we have it in Australia and all I want to do is gorge on pasta but can’t. Do you know if it’s called something else??

    Btw I freaking love your blog! You are amaze-balls.

  2. Biddy- does this help ya out? Hopefully you are near a Norton St Grocer in Sydney!

    Amaze-balls indeed. This recipe looks fan-freaking-tastic and I plan on making this for dinner tonight. To give myself a head start on cooking the squash, I stab the absolute crap out of it with a fork, wrap it up in wax paper, and throw it in the microwave for about 5-9 minutes (depending on weight). Once it cools down, it’s nice and soft to cut! : )
    I like the directions on the squash label: “…or fried with bacon…” Heck yes!

    JB- I’m more of a True Blood fan, but Twilight will always have a special place in my heart. Go Team Jacob!

    1. Thanks so much for the comment Erin! I bet that’s super helpful for some of the people in Australia! Spaghetti squash and bacon are stupid amazing together! I’m team Edward. Sorry Erin

      1. Well, in all honesty, I’m team Alcide (True Blood)… he made me think twice about werewolves.
        Doing laundry generally sucks, but I’d love to drizzle him in Tide and wash my clothes on… err… oh, Joe Manganiello please come to the Mile High City so I can do my laundry on you!

        1. OMG True Blood. Alcide is phenomenal… Eric is a close second.

          I’m in Perth and I can’t find the squash anywhere, so on other recipes I’ve just given up and shredded zucchini with a julienne grater instead. It’s a good alternative if you can’t find the squash!

  3. I have the exacttt same outlook about the laundry situation. Except for me its the fact that my dryer sucks and I choose to hang dry everything instead of paying 2 dollars each time to have everything come out substantially wet. Sounds like a pretty good V day though, especially if it contained a soul crushing wod!

  4. Lucky for me, the husband does the laundry more than I do and he gets the task of hanging all of my Lulu items to dry (and there isn’t a shortage of them I must add… damn Lulu addiction!). On the flip side though, I do cook and feed him these awesome delicious recipes that I find on this fabulous web site… you may have seen it… paleomg.com?!? Thanks for posting yet another mouthwatering recipe to make this weekend!! BTW – felt the same last night about spending V-day by a killer CF WOD! Felt awesome to know that while some were gorging themselves on crap food, I was doing the best thing for my body and soul… I ’embraced the barbell’ too last night! 🙂 (and some always fun bar facing burpees)

  5. this looks fab. I’m already eating that other paleo ‘pasta’ dish with the chicken sausage once or twice a week, looking forward to rocking this one.

    laundry blows.

    1. I love True Blood. It gets pretty damn weird sometimes, but everyone is so good looking so it’s addicting to watch. I love good looking people.

  6. you’ve had salt n pepper pistachios, right? if not, find some asap.

    i want some right now to eat while making this recipe. looks awesome.

    i think 93% is where i stand with having to hang clothes as well. i usually feel bad for my dryer.

      1. From about.com: FTW today commonly stands for “For the Win”. It is an expression of enthusiasm. “FTW” is a type of cheer, or a strange way of exclaiming “this is the best” or “this item will make a big difference, I recommend using it”.

        Per urbandictionary.com: FTL is the opposite of FTW and stands for “for the loss”.

        Had to look these up. Love Google for that.

  7. After i cure cancer, my next plan is to make self-cleaning clothes…despise laundry almost as i despise an empty coffee cup, almost. Never have tried to do the spaghetti squash thing…is the texture like angel hair?

      1. Hmm…this gives me an idea, spaghetti squash pasta with those super bowl meatballs of yours and that Beasty BBQ sauce of Civilized Caveman’s…between your two blogs i have enough paleo awesomeness for months 🙂

      1. Ah, I see. That’s what I get for trying to make heads or tails of that mess. I meant to ask you what is your take on the Brute Force sandbag. You like or no? Good quality?

      1. I tried to convince the baby it was spaghetti and he pushed it away and said “NOT Spaghetti” I told him it was green spaghetti. “Not spaghetti. I not eat.” lol Darn kids. Maybe next time he’ll try it. :)(My 6 year old loved it though and asked for seconds!)

  8. YUUMMY! I was just carefully licking the blades off my food processor because it would be sin to waste any… I have made many pestos, but never with pistachios! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  9. LOVED THIS!!! It is sweeter than I was expecting, but in a really good way. Even convinced the youngest member of the fam he should try it. It was all over, he couldn’t get enough!! This from a picky toddler!!

  10. OK so this is the first time I have been to this sight. Actually I have heard about you a long time ago but never any time to research anything. Anyway love your post. Thoroughly enjoyed this and the recipe looks awesome Im drooling as I read. Anyway now that I have found you pretty sure I will make this one of my regular reads. Oh yeah I totally agree with the laundry bit… it blows and I have been asked if I have any other clothes besides crossfit shirts and yoga shorts myself. LOL!

  11. You’re fricken hilarious. Your recipe looks incredible, havent tried it yet, but will be making it for dinner!!!

  12. Stephanie Laughon

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was DELICIOUS, even though my pesto turned out clumpy…womp womp. Thanks for the great recipe!

  13. Tie for favorite paleo recipe yet (46 days but who is counting.. uh yeah, that would be me)… absolutely delicious and so easy! I love your ramblings and sense of humor too! 🙂

    PS – I’m team Eric (True Blood). Yummy!

  14. FYI you don’t have to hang Lululemon items. That’s one of the best parts. I hang most of my stuff too but the associates said it’s not necessary. The way I figure it is there must be some reason it’s crazy expensive…and this is it. It can save laundry time! Found on of their 3 outlets in the US last week in Orlando, FL…woohoo!!

  15. I just made this tonight and it’s AMAZING!!!! OMG! I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for dinner tomorrow night!!! Pesto rocks my socks!

  16. Hi Juli! I had to stop by to tell you that OMG THIS PESTO IS AWESOME! uuffff….. i’ve been telling everyone all, but i just had to tell u 🙂 I came across ur site some time ago and I’ve done a few of ur recipes. They are always winners. This one I think I’ll hog it up and will keep the whole batch to myself. And it was so easy to make too! Thanks fro making me love eating Paleo more and more every day. it’s new for me, I’m still getting used to eating fat, but oh u make it much simpler for me. Thanks girl!

  17. OMG JULI! Made this tonight and it was so, so yummy! I’m whole30 right now and was in a serious need of a break from turkey “burgers” and sweet potato fries…SO GOOD!

  18. Made it tonight and got rave reviews the husband who is sometimes leas than enamored with my paleo cooking adventures. I too licked the blade. How could you not?? Thanks for another awesome recipe.

  19. This was legit. You’re a genius! Leslie loved it…called it the best thing I’ve cooked so far! 🙂

    Next up, sweet potato enchiladas. Boom.

    1. When the hell are you going to invite me over and feed me?! Can I just be your second girlfriend please? Leslie is cool with it. fo sho

  20. Ok, Juli! I’m giving this a whirl tonight with my new handy dandy food processor! I’ve passed on your link to a gf here at work who may be interested in trying this “paleo thing” as she calls it…maybe I’ll just make extra so she can try this recipe….hmmmmm..

  21. Delicious delicious! Although I mixed and matched so many ingredients my dinner barely resembled your pics. Super comfort food for a cold grey day. Thanks Juli x

  22. BTW…LOVED this!!! Everyone in my house did…we ate the ENTIRE batch I made…seriously. The whole batch (I doubled the recipe).

  23. I came across your blog today RIGHT before going to the grocery store. I replaced my entire menu for the week with all of your recipes. 🙂 I made this tonight and my husband and I are in a food coma now. It. Was. So. Good. Thank you for posting incredible recipes and for taking the time to interact with your readers. That is super impressive!

  24. Hey Lady- LONG TIME NO SEE!!!! Congratulations – I cannot wait to see you kill it again at regionals this year!
    Anywho – my awesome husband always does the cooking & just last night decided he didn’t want to at 8:30 – great. I took a peek through the website (I ABSOLUTELY cannot cook a single thing without a recipe) & came across this gem. It was fabulous delicious & crazy easy. Thanks for being so awesomely inspirational & providing poor souls like mine with easy, delicious, paleo recipes.

    1. CECILY!!! OMG its been too long. Glad you like the recipe!! If I can make any of these recipes, you easily can. Seriously!! Can’t wait to see you at Regionals if I don’t see you before then! You are awesome 🙂

  25. You are Redunkuless! This was so absolutely delicious! My husband got a side of Pasta b/c he was afraid of the Squash. He then tried a bit of my squash and was actually pretty happy with it. Only change I will make next time, due to a personal obsession of Garlic, is to add about 3 more large cloves to that yummy pesto. Bravo!

  26. Okay, I was a little skeptical because when it was in the pan it looked like it was pre-digested. But this is the most luxuriously incredible meal. Rich, velvety…I feel like I’ve been naughty. Kick ass!

  27. so so yum! made it for dinner tonight and the whole family–including my young boys–ate it up! thanks for the great recipe!

  28. Made this the other day since I have a slight obsession with pistachios and fell in love! I definitely didn’t add enough olive oil the first time around and it got a little pastey but all was well with leftovers after I added more. Even the bf that doesn’t do the whole Paleo thing, liked the pesto. Can’t wait to make this again!

  29. Thank you. Thank you so much for making pistachios better than they already were. Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you.

    Thank you.

  30. Made this for lunch today. Holy smokes, how do I not eat all four serverings TODAY? You are good stuff, girl!

  31. Made this last night and it was freaking amazzzzzing!!! Trying to get back to paleo and exercising after some health issues. Perfect way to ease back into things!!! Thanks!

  32. I just found this recipe because it was mentioned in the comments of your most recent blog and… “OMG! I am sooo trying this!” I am a HUGE fan of pesto and this sounds like an incredible alternative to the traditional method. Thank you, Juli!

  33. Hi Juli! I know this post is really old and so you may not see this, but I have lately fallen in love with your blog; writing style, your attitude, and of course your food! I’m totally making the no-cheese cheesecake for Thanksgiving this year 🙂
    Also, wanted to say that I have always *gulp* machine dried my lulu and never had any problems with in. I have one pair of crops that I’ve worn once or twice a week in my gymwear rotation for almost 18 months and I just clean and dry them like my normal clothes, no worse for the wear. Not sure if that’s the best thing to do to them but there you go! 😉

  34. This was my first foray into cooking spaghetti squash, and YUM. The pesto was delicious. I love how you write your recipes; so easy to follow! Kudos on an amazing blog 🙂

  35. Great recipe! Found your site today and I can’t wait to make the next meal. First time eating/preparing spaghetti squash too! Might be done with pasta…Thanks!

  36. Amazingly delicious. Perfect meal on a cool afternoon. I can’t imagine this anyone not loving this dish, the flavors are very well rounded. VERY filling.

  37. Please don’t judge me I’m new at this!! Shelled pistachios? Or unshelled? I know it says shelled but maybe I’m a little slow and am misinterpreting unsalted and shelled lol. Btw, thanks for making my new paleo lifestyle amazingggg!

    1. I used pistachios that were in the shell because then there was no salt added to them. if you can find them outside of the shell, no salt added, then get that!

      1. Only had salted ones so I rinsed them under water to get some of the salt off.Ran out anyways and had to mix with macadamians

  38. so juli… are pistachios paleo? i love them as a snack and am certain because i love them so much, they are probably not good for me since that’s how it always seems to go…

  39. I had a big ol spaghetti squash to use so I started making Creamy Pumpkin Chicken casserole but after cutting up some cauliflower and dressing it I cut open the squash to find it had gone bad :(. My other choice was this recipe so made this and had it on the roasted cauliflower instead of spaghetti squash and it was GREAT!
    New to this whole paleo thang but your recipes had made me a convert. THANK YOU!!!!!

  40. Juli!
    Its that time of year when you’re so busy cooking stuff for everyone else you don’t really want to cook for yourself. You have a lot of great, easy recipes so I dug this beauty up, sooood good! love pistachios!

  41. HI Juli,
    I just came across your website and really love it! But I just want to know do you just cook all day long?! How do you do all this. I am a mom of 2 and work full time and I can’t figure out how you do this. I am also NOT a chef by any stretch of the imagination! I am trying this recipe tonight after going to the gym. My husband and I are trying to eat healthier and lose weight and we just heard about the paleo thing last week. I am all IN!
    Anyway, Thank you for your great advice!

  42. Julie- I added the whole cup of olive oil & the dish tastes a little too oily….do you have thoughts about what I could add to chill it out a little aside from another spaghetti squash?


  43. I just have to say this recipe was AMAZING. Tried it for the first time last night and it was unbelievable. I am almost tempted to make it again tonight! Thank you!!

  44. This is definitely my favorite go-to paleo dish! Thanks for a great recipe!

    It won’t let me click on the stars on my phone but I would give it 5 for sure

  45. Ugh, this is delish. I licked the spatula clean after I scraped the food processor bowl. :-X Yum and thank you.

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