Whole30 Pesto Chicken Zucchini Noodles are a delicious, simple dinner. Paleo and gluten free, this easy dinner comes together in under 30 minutes!
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Click here to read my policy and more about affiliate links.
Juicy, sweet tomatoes, yummy zucchini, basil…. these are the things I live for! This Whole30 Pesto Chicken Zucchini Noodles recipe is the best way to use all of them up while making a cozy meal.
Before we get started… did you know I have a FREE 7 Day Whole30 Meal Plan? Click here for the details!
This Whole30 Pesto Chicken Zucchini Noodles recipe has only 10 simple ingredients including chicken, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, basil, and the real star of the show: Trader Joe’s Vegan Kale Cashew Pesto.
(No this isn’t sponsored by Trader Joe’s but if they would like to hit me up FEEL FREE.)
I think that this is one of the BEST Trader Joe’s products out there. Even if you’re not vegan, paleo, or doing a whole30 – this pesto is absolutely delicious and tastes super fresh.
It’s on my Best Whole 30 Trader Joe’s Shopping List, but really it should be on everyone’s shopping list. (And if you don’t have a TJ’s near you don’t worry – you can use this whole30/vegan pesto recipe as a substitute!)
When you cook up cherry tomatoes, with garlic, olive oil, fresh herbs and pesto.. It’s automatically going to be delicious.. but throw in some chicken and zucchini noodles and you’ve got the ULTIMATE dinner!
This meal is paleo, gluten free, dairy free, and can even be keto if you decrease the tomatoes in the dish (although that would just be sad cause they’re SO delicious).
In addition to being delicious, this dinner is ridiculously simple to make (only 7 real steps).
It is also made in one pan, which means less mess for you, and extra flavor because all the ingredients have a chance to hang out and meld together for maximum flavor.
Can I use pasta instead?
Sure, you can use pasta instead of zucchini noodles in this recipe. It will however, not be whole30.
For a paleo pasta I like Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi or Capello’s fettuccine and will sometimes even add them into this dish for extra volume/carbs.
For gluten free pasta I like Modern Table Meals. You can also do half past and half zucchini noodles. I would just cook the pasta while the chicken is cooking and toss in when you would toss in zucchini noodles.
Can I make this nut free?
Yes, you can make this dish nut free by using a nut free pesto. I like this nut free pesto recipe from Primal Palate.
Help! My zucchini noodles are always soggy!
I commonly get asked how to avoid watery zucchini noodles. I have two tips for you for how to avoid soggy zucchini noodles.
- REALLY squeeze the water out of them. I use a thick, absorbent (and clean!) dish towel and squeeze the water out of the noodles hard. The towel should be damp when done.
- Lay the zucchini noodles out on a paper towel lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt until ready to use. Typically I will squeeze them again and then add to whatever dish I’m making.
- If you are going to meal prep this dish, I recommend not adding in the zucchini noodles to the dish until you are ready to serve. You can place the chicken/veggie mixture into a container and place your raw zucchini noodles on top. When you’re ready to eat, microwave or heat over the stove to avoid mushy noodles.
Is safflower oil whole30?
You can read the full article here from the Whole30 team but here is the short answer: Corn oil, rice bran oil, soybean oil, and peanut oil are banned from a whole30.
It is encouraged to limit your use of the other oils like safflower, sunflower, canola, grapeseed, or sesame at home, while not specifically excluding them on the program.
There is a very tiny amount of safflower seed oil in this pesto (only used to roast the cashews in it) so you can enjoy this pesto while on your whole30. Of course, you can also make your own and use a great quality olive oil too! It’s up to you!
Other delicious Whole30 Dinner Recipes:
We have a whole category dedicated to whole30 recipes but here are some of our favorite Whole30 dinner recipes:
- Healthy Asian Turkey Stir Fry
- Whole30 Greek Chicken Zucchini Noodles
- Slow Cooker Chicken Stew
- Whole30 Lemon Rosemary Crockpot Whole Chicken
Whole30 Pesto Chicken Zucchini Noodles
- Heat one tbsp olive oil in pan. Sauté chicken until browned on all sides, about 20 minutes.
- While chicken is cooking, halve tomatoes, spiralize zucchini and chop garlic/herbs
- Once chicken is browned, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add an additional tablespoon of olive oil to the same pan. Heat olive oil, and add in 1 tbsp minced garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Stir in cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper and herbs to olive oil/garlic mixture. Sauté for 5 minutes or until tomatoes are soft
- Once tomatoes are softened, stir in pesto and return chicken to the pan.
- Using tongs, gently toss in raw zucchini noodles, coating evenly in tomato/pesto mixture. Saute for an additional 1-2 minutes over medium heat until zucchini starts to soften.
- Serve + enjoy.
- Optional if not whole30 - top with parmesan cheese!
- I commonly get asked how to avoid watery zucchini noodles. I have two tips for you for how to avoid soggy zucchini noodles. The first one is REALLY squeeze the water out of them. I use a thick, absorbent (and clean!) dish towel and squeeze the water out of the noodles hard. The towel should be damp when done.
- I then lay the zucchini noodles out on a paper towel lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt until I'm ready to use them. Typically I will squeeze them again and then add to whatever dish I'm making.
- If you are going to meal prep this dish, I recommend not adding in the zucchini noodles to the dish until you are ready to serve. You can place the chicken/veggie mixture into a container and place your raw zucchini noodles on top. When you're ready to eat, microwave or heat over the stove to avoid mushy noodles.