Fresh tortellini tossed with basil pesto, pan-seared chicken thighs, sauteed shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh baby spinach, and toasted walnuts.
Thaaaaat’s right – I went there.
I made this hunk of burning love over the weekend and I can’t even begin to tell you how easy and delicious it was! In thirty minutes I had dinner on the table, plus some serious leftovers. I mean, we ate this for days for lunch and dinner and midnight snacking and still want more.
And the best part? You can make this entire recipe in one pot!
- 2 shallots, diced
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 6 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 1/2 cups basil pesto, store bought or homemade (see below)
- 1/2 - 3/4 cups chopped walnuts
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 24 ounces refrigerated cheese tortellini
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- pinch of red pepper (optional)
- freshly grated parmesan (optional)
- 2/3 cup pine nuts
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 cups fresh basil, picked off stems and washed
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
- juice from 1 lemon
- salt to taste
- Boil water in a large pot and cook tortellini according to directions. Drain and set aside.
- Allow pot to cool for several minutes, then dry off with a towel. Heat pot over lower heat and add the walnuts. Let toast for several minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Bring 1 tbsp of olive oil to medium-low heat, then add shallots. Saute for several minutes, stirring continuously to prevent burning, then add sun-dried tomatoes and stir for 2-3 more minutes. Sprinkle a pinch of red pepper, if using. Add the fresh spinach and cook until it just begins to wilt, then remove everything from heat and set aside.
- Season both sides of the chicken thighs with kosher salt and fresh black pepper. Add 1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp unsalted butter and bring heat to medium. When pan is hot, place chicken thighs in the pan, and allow to cook undisturbed for several minutes before turning over, about 3-4 minutes on each side. (Make sure your chicken is cooked through - I also had smaller thighs). Remove from heat and allow to rest a few minutes. Chop into bite sized pieces.
- Combine everything well in the large pot. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve warm.
- In a food processor, blend pine nuts, garlic, and basil. Add olive oil and lemon juice until smooth. Add the parmesan and puree for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute. Season with salt to taste. Use immediately or store in air tight container and refrigerate.
- You can definitely make the pesto from scratch with some fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, a lemon, and parmesan cheese (see recipe), or you could do what I did and pick up refrigerated pesto from the deli. They're both delicious!