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pesto chicken

Keto Pesto Chicken With Zucchini Noodles

PER 1 chicken thigh + 1 cup zucchini noodles + ⅓ cup sauce: Calories 554 | Fat 46g | Carbohydrates 7g | Fiber 3.5g | Net Carbohydrates 3.5g | Protein 28g

Looking for a simple weeknight dinner the entire family will enjoy? Pan-fry some juicy tender chicken thighs, top them with a creamy pesto sauce, and then serve over a bed of zucchini noodles. You’ll love the flavor combination!

pesto chicken

Ingredients you’ll need: 

  • Chicken thighs
  • Zucchini
  • Pesto sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Heavy cream
  • Parmesan cheese

Healthy ingredient features of this recipe: 

  • Dark meat chicken: Due to the high-fat nature of keto, dark meat cuts like thighs and legs are always recommended over white meat, like the breast. Regardless of what you select, chicken is an excellent source of protein and offers many nutrients. These include vitamins B6, B12, and D, plus niacin, phosphorus, calcium, iron, and zinc. Dark meat chicken is a richer source of iron and zinc. Dark meat is also rich in vitamins A and K, folic acid, and selenium [1]. 
    • Iron is important for many critical body functions, including immune system health, digestive health, and body temperature regulation. An iron deficiency can lead to fatigue, paleness, headaches, dizziness, and heart palpitations [2].
    • Zinc is an essential nutrient you can only get from foods and supplements. It is important for growth and development, immune health, metabolism, digestion, among many other important functions [3].
  • Zucchini: This summer squash is popular as a noodle substitute on low-carb diets. Not only is it a great way to cut carbs, it’s also an excellent way to boost your intake of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A [4]. Eating zucchini is linked to many benefits, including:
    • Improved heart health [5]: the antioxidants found in zucchini can support heart health and reduce the risk of heart-related diseases
    • Lower blood sugar levels [6]: the low-carb nature of zucchini can help control blood sugar levels.
    • Healthier digestion [7]: the water and fiber content of zucchini can help aid digestion and support gut health.
    • Reduced inflammation [8]: zucchini contains soluble and insoluble fiber, which can help reduce inflammation.
    • Improved vision [9]: the vitamin A content of zucchini supports eye health.
    • Enhanced weight loss [10]: eating zucchini can help support weight loss because it is low in carbs, low in calories, and contains fiber which helps keep you full and satiated.
    • Stronger immune health [11]: vitamin A and C consumption is linked to a stronger immune system. 

pesto chicken

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Ingredients:

pesto chicken

Preparation:

  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Add to hot skillet and brown on each side, about 4 minutes per side.
  2. Remove thighs from skillet and cover to keep warm. Reduce heat to low, add pesto and heavy whipping cream, whisking to combine.
  3. Bring to a simmer, add chicken thighs, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about another 15-20 minutes.
  4. Serve chicken over raw spiralized zucchini, spooning sauce over to cover. The zucchini noodles will “cook” from the heat of the sauce and chicken. Garnish with shredded Parmesan if desired.

pesto chicken

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