Pesto Chicken with Spinach & Wild Rice

by Erin

Simple ingredients doesn’t mean boring. This pesto chicken is a great weeknight meal and is delicious served over wild rice and fresh spinach.

Pesto Chicken with Spinach & Wild Rice 1

This weekend Bob and I escaped the Ohio cold and are allowed ourselves to be whisked away to the west coast to visit family, which included my nephews (evidence can be found on social media)! But before the excitement of our journey to warmer weather, we came to a startling realization. Despite our many travels to several places by plane, none have been together because we had not lived in the same city, let alone state, since high school. All of our travels together over the past year of living together have been conducted by car.

Pesto Chicken with Spinach & Wild Rice 2

This lead me to the realization that he had yet to experience the tradition I have when flying in a place, initiated by my dad when my brother and I were kids – helping the plane take off. Oh yes, we would run in place while seated in order to help the plane get up to speed for a safe take off. And my confession? I still do it to this day. While I may have toned it down a bit and now just looks like I have restless legs, I still continue this tradition because why not? It’s silly and fun and reminds me of my childhood. In fact I think my brother has already started teaching this to his son’s on their journeys via plane. Honestly, It’s a really smart idea for parents with younger children that may be afraid of flying.

Pesto Chicken with Spinach & Wild Rice 3

As for this chicken? It has absolutely nothing to do with this story. It’s just a great weeknight meal made with simple ingredients while still packing a lot of flavor. Homemade pesto wins every time.

Three years ago: Meyer Lemon Shortcakes with Meyer Lemon Curd

Four years ago: Spinach Artichoke Pasta

Five years ago: Stuffed Jalapeno Chicken Rolls


Serves 4


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 cups cooked wild rice

4 handfuls of spinach

1/2 cup pesto (I used homemade)


  1. Pour olive oil into a large frying pan and place over medium heat until the oil shimmers, about three to four minutes.
  2. While the oil heats up, season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  3. Carefully place the chicken breasts in the pan and let cook, without moving, for 5-7 minutes. Flip the chicken and let cook another 5-7 minutes until no longer pink and juices run clear, or until a meat thermometer place in the thickest part reads 160-165 degrees F.
  4. Remove the chicken to a plate, tent with foil, and let it rest for five minutes.
    Divide rice and spinach onto 4 plates. Place chicken on top and dollop with pesto. Enjoy immediately.

Source: Inspired by a Life Cafe menu item.


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Beata January 21, 2016 - 9:46 am

Love the simplicity of this dish and the fact that it doesn’t take long to make.

Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction January 21, 2016 - 9:30 am

Love meals that can be made with what’s already on hand! Glad you were able to get away for awhile! Hope you enjoyed your time!

sarah k @ the pajama chef January 18, 2016 - 2:00 pm

what a fun flying tradition! and a delicious meal :)


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