ArrowDownFill 1arrow-small-lineFill 1Cooking Light - EasyCooking Light - FastCooking Light - So GoodCooking Light - How-ToCooking Light - Staff FaveCooking Light Badge - Wow!GroupClose IconEmailEmpty Star IconLike Cooking Light on FacebookFull Star IconShapePage 1 Copy 3Page 1 Copy 2Grid IconHalf Star IconFollow Cooking Light on InstagramList IconMenu IconPrintSearch IconSpeech BubbleFollow Cooking Light on SnapchatFollow Cooking Light on TwitterWatch Cooking Light on YouTubeplay-iconWatch Cooking Light on Youtube

Toasted Walnut and Pesto Pasta

Yield Makes 4 servings
Prep: 20 min., Cook: 23 min., Cool: 5 min.


  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 (16-oz.) package whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons PROMISE Buttery Spread, divided
  • 1/2 pound skinned and boned chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • Garnish: fresh parsley sprig

How to Make It

  1. Heat nuts in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, 3 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat, and let cool 5 minutes.

  2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.

  3. Meanwhile, process walnuts and garlic in a blender or food processor 10 seconds or until finely chopped. Add basil, parsley, and 2 tablespoons buttery spread; process 30 seconds or until blended.

  4. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon buttery spread in skillet over medium heat; add chicken, and cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove chicken from skillet.

  5. Add zucchini and bell pepper to skillet, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes or until tender. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to skillet, and cook 1 minute or until chicken is done. Toss hot penne with chicken mixture, pesto, and reserved pasta water. Garnish, if desired.