garlic chicken primavera with a side salad

Garlic Chicken Primavera (Gluten Free, Paleo, Whole 30, Keto)

(Last Updated On: September 1, 2020)
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Easy Garlic Chicken Primavera

Who doesn’t love a good Chicken Primavera? For those of you that don’t know Primavera is Italian for “served with fresh vegetables.” Usually zucchinini and other summer spring or summer veggies. Typically it refers to pasta, but we swapped that out and served these fresh veggies up with chicken and a side of cauliflower rice. Make this dish Whole 30, Paleo and Keto friendly. Packed with a few simple healthy nutritious ingredients. It’s cooked in one pot, which makes clean up a breeze. 

uncooked veggies primavera in a frying pan

All About Those Veggies

As the name implies this dish is loaded with fresh veggies! I used Summer squash, tomatoes, and asparagus. But you can get as creative as you want. Or maybe you just want to use up some veggies in your fridge. The possibilities are endless. Peppers, onion, mushrooms you can toss in your favorites or whatever you might have on hand. You can even use a bag of frozen veggies if that’s all you got. That’s the best part of this dish is that it’s incredibly flexible. On this blog I’m all about creating simple dishes that are packed with flavor and allow you to use whatever ingredients you have on hand. Cooking is all about creativity and changing the recipe to make it your own.

If you like me are always looking for new ways to add veggies to your meals, be sure to check out my recipes Flourless Zucchini Brownies, Veggie Loaded Taco Meat, Spaghetti Squash Buffalo Chicken Casserole and Whole 30 Stuffed Peppers. 

garlic chicken primavera plated with veggies

What Makes This Dish Keto, Paleo and Whole 30 Friendly?

I usually take a minute to explain what makes each recipe on this site fall into the dietary categories so my readers a better idea of what each diet is about. Keto is a diet focused on keeping the body in a state of ketosis. In this state, the body starts to burn fat for fuel. You do this by consuming under a certain number of carbs per day, typically 20G or less. Chicken breast have 0 carbs. Some people on Keto avoid veggies, but I just think that is plain unhealthy! Your body NEEDS plants, at least that’s how I feel. But for this dish we use low carb veggies like asparagus and summer squash. Yellow and Green summer squash have about 1 net carb per half a cup. Asparagus are one of lowest carb veggies coming in at under 2 net grams per a cup. Delish.com notes that Grape tomatoes have three grams per half cup, while cherry tomatoes have 6 grams per half cup. So I’d make sure you stick to the grape ones for this recipe. 

 

Both Whole 30 and Paleo diets focus on eating whole foods that are minimally processed, avoiding any inflammatory ingredients, like gluten, grains, dairy, and legumes. Since this dish is veggie, and all of them fall into the category of Paleo/Whole 30 approved. However, you do want to make sure you use a high quality, trusted brand of Chicken. Because part of the Whole 30/Paleo diet is making sure that your ingredients are focused on quality. Double check that your pesto has no funky stuff in it like preservatives, or sugar. You should always read labels, you never know what the they try in sneak in food these days! 

What Ingredients Do You Need?

  1. Olive Oil – Keeps chicken from sticking to the pan
  2. Chicken breast cubed into small bite size pieces
  3. Garlic – Can’t have Garlic Chicken without garlic 
  4. Pesto – To marinate the chicken
  5. Summer Squash
  6. Asparagus
  7. Tomatoes 
  8. Cauliflower rice (can use fresh or frozen)
cooked primavera veggies in a frying pan

How To Make It

  1. Marinate your chicken by tossing it in the pesto. Heat the olive oil and garlic in the pan. 
  2. Add chicken to the pan, cook for about 5 minutes. 
  3. Add the veggies, continue to let cook. 
  4. Serve over cauliflower rice. 

That Simple!!!

Helpful Equipment and Ingredients (Directly From Amazon)

What Are Some Good Sides?

I always include sides to serve with my main dish, however this dish is kind of like a meal and side in one. However Dave and I do a very simple side salad every night and that was perfect. 

  • A simple side salad. Almost every night with dinner we have a very simple of spring mix, salt pepper and a dressing of apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Simple, easy, low calories and helps keep you full. 
  • Cauliflower Rice (Fresh or frozen)
  • If not Paleo/Whole 30 Pasta or gluten free pasta instead of cauliflower rice is a perfect for this dish. 
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Tips, Recs, Subs

  • Make sure you salt and pepper your chicken. WELL. Don’t under season this dish, and don’t underestimate the power of a good amount of salt and pepper. 
  • You can use fresh garlic or chopped garlic. 
  • The longer you marinate your chicken in the pesto the better.
  • After your chicken cooks, let the veggies sit on top and don’t stir then close to the lid so the veggies steam a bit.
  • Make sure you cut into the biggest piece of chicken to make sure it’s done, or use your meat thermometer to make sure it’s 165 internal temp.  
  • You can change up the veggies and add or remove whater you like/don’t like. 
  • You can also use frozen veggies. 
  • If using Cauliflower Rice make sure the only ingredient is cauliflower. One more than one occasion Dave has put Cauliflower rice in our cart only for me to realize it was cheesy cauli rice mix. 
  • See my section above for side dishes to serve. 

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garlic chicken primavera with a side salad

Garlic Chicken Primavera

Danielle Musella
A simple veggie loaded chicken dinner. It's Whole 30, Paleo, Gluten Free, Keto.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, gluten free, Italian, keto, paleo, whole 30
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Skillet or non stick frying pan

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Tablespoons High Quality Pesto
  • 2 Chicken Breast (cut into small bite sized cubes)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium-Large Zucchini (sliced into rounds)
  • 1 Medium-Large Yellow Squash (sliced into rounds)
  • 1 Bunch Asparagus (cut into small 1" pieces with woody ends discarded)
  • 1/2 Pint Grape or Cherry Tomaotes See Above "What makes this dish Keto" for notes on tomatoes
  • 2 Cloves Garlic chopped or 1 generous tablespoon minced garlic
  • Cauliflower rice (1 frozen bag or you can make fresh) Optional**

Instructions
 

  • Cut your chicken into 1" bite sized pieces, and cut your veggies. Squash into 1" rounds, asparagus into 1" pieces with woody ends discarded and tomatoes cut in half. Then marinade chicken in pesto, coat well add salt and pepper.
  • Add olive oil and garlic to the pan on med-high heat. After a minute or two add chicken, and cook for 5 minutes, flipping half way through.
  • Add your veggies to the top of the chicken and do not stir, add salt and pepper. Cover the pan and let the veggies steam for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, stir well. and continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes until veggies have softened.
  • Cook cauliflower rice according to packet instructions. Serve over cauliflower rice. Enjoy

Notes

Danielle's Tips
  • Make sure you use a high quality whole 30/paleo approved pesto, like this one.
  • Add or remove any of the veggies you want. Get super creative with this dish, onion, mushrooms, snap peas. Whatever you need to use in your fridge. 
  • If you're feeling adventurous try adding fresh herbs or a squeeze of lemon at the end to brighten it up 🙂 
Keyword 30 minutes or less, chicken, keto, paleo, pesto, Vegetables, whole 30

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