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Chicken Spiedini on Pesto Pasta

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4 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup shredded Havarti cheese
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 cups dried breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup melted butter
1 (16 ounce) package spaghetti
1 (16 ounce) package frozen peas
1 (9 ounce) container basil pesto
1/3 cup whipping cream
8 bacon slices, crisply cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Chicken Spiedini on Pesto Pasta

  • Serves 4
  • Medium

About This Recipe

I have taken some time off to start to get to know my camera. I have a nice DSLR Canon camera but have been using the automatic focus on it for years. I have been happy with the pictures I have taken, until about a month ago. For some reason, the pictures just seemed flat and boring.

So I dug out my Canon Rebel T3 For Dummies book and have been spending time reading it and experimenting with the camera. For those of you who are food bloggers who have made the leap from point-and-shoot or using auto settings to manual, you know the struggle!

I am still a beginner, of course, but I think pictures are getting better. It seems the good pictures I took in the past were more luck than anything else. There are a few I like:

Pesto Chicken in Puff Pastry

That’s Pesto Chicken in Puff Pastry.


Beef Cheese Slab Pie

Beef Cheese Slab Pie.


Best Turtle Cake

That’s Best Turtle Cake.

While I like those pictures, there is no composition, movement, or interest in them. That doesn’t have anything to do with the picture quality, but it’s something else I’m learning. I think I like having the freedom to choose the aperture, and shutter speed, and ISO. So we’ll see where this goes.

For now, make this recipe for Chicken Spiedini with Pesto Pasta. It’s a delicious twist on a classic chicken and spaghetti recipe, with tons of flavor and texture. Spiedini is usually made of chicken strips that are threaded onto skewers and grilled or broiled, but I like it make with big chunks of chicken that are marinated in herbs, stuffed with cheese, coated in bread crumbs, and baked until juicy and tender. And who doesn’t like pasta with cream, peas, and bacon? Enjoy.

Why this recipe works:

  • The breading on the chicken keeps it moist and juicy while it cooks, and it also helps hold the cheese in the pocket.
  • Pesto added to tender cooked spaghetti adds another layer of flavor to this special recipe.
  • It’s easier to bake the chicken than to fry it in a pan simply because the breading will stay on better. It’s also easier to make sure the chicken cooks through and cooks evenly for food safety reasons.



Cut the chicken into 2" pieces.


In a shallow bowl, combine the herbs, lemon juice, and olive oil. Add the chicken pieces, toss to coat, and set aside.


On a plate, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and melted butter and toss to combine.


Remove the chicken from the marinade (discard the marinade) and, using a sharp knife, cut a slit in the side of each chicken piece. Stuff the chicken with some of the shredded Havarti cheese. You can omit this step if you'd like.


Then add the chicken pieces to the bread mixture. Toss to coat, trying to press as much of the bread crumb mixture onto the chicken pieces as possible, concentrating on the slit where you stuffed the cheese.


Preheat the oven to 375°F and spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Now bring a large pot of salted water to a boil while the oven heats.


Thread the chicken pieces on wooden skewers. Leave a tiny bit of space between each piece of chicken. I put three or four on a 6" skewer. Put the chicken pieces into the prepared baking dish. Bake the chicken for 20 to 30 minutes or until a food thermometer registers 165°F and the chicken is browned.


When the chicken has about 11 minutes left in the oven, start cooking the pasta. This should take about 8 minutes. Put the frozen peas into a colander in the sink.


When the pasta is al dente, drain the pasta into the colander with the peas, return it to the pot, and add the pesto, cream, remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and bacon, and toss.


The chicken should be done now. Put some of the pasta mixture on a plate and top each plate with three to five of the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with more Parm if you'd like and serve immediately.



Linda is a home economist who has authored 48 books (47 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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