Toasted Cashew Kale Pesto Penne with Blackened Chicken

I’m feeling so sleepy tonight.

I have no good reason, really. I’m going with summer lethargy. I did manage however to get my fridge cleaned out tonight. Not just cleaned out, but clean. It felt really good. It also made me realize why I felt we had no food in the house. Turns out, we’re pretty low.

Last night I had not realized this fact. I scratched my head swearing I had just gone food shopping. Looking back I’m pretty sure that was more like three weeks ago. Son of a bee sting. Thankfully we had some chicken, a garden with blooming veggies and dry pasta on hand.

It turns out Kale Pesto is my favorite. All is right with the universe.

Toasted Cashew Kale Pesto Penne with Blackened Chicken

  • 1 Bunch Kale
  • Feta Cheese (Plain or Tomato Basil) to taste
  • Cashews
  • Few cloves garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Penne
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts



  1. Wrap chicken breasts in saran wrap, one at a time, and pound for even thickness. No mallet? Use a rolling pin. Hit it gently, don’t roll it.
  2. Turn on your grill and heat it up. Put the chicken on sans spices and salt, the pesto will have enough. Grill on low so you slowly cook the chicken, no black outside and raw inside. Raw chicken = very very bad times. I don’t trust myself with the touch test, so I cook chicken to about 180. Most charts say 170, I always go 180 when I grill it or bake it.
  3. Once blackened take the chicken off the grill and cut up into bite size pieces.


  1. Wash kale and set aside to dry.
  2. Peel a couple cloves of garlic.
  3. Put a tiny bit of olive oil in a pan, about a dime size, and coat with a paper towel or cloth. Add handful of cashews and toast. Keep an eye while this is toasting – they go fast.
  4. Put the kale, garlic, feta and cashews in a food processor. Slowly drizzle in olive oil.A note about our Pesto. We don’t have a recipe to exact proportions. We mix and slowly add until it looks and tastes good to us. You should add enough olive oil for it to be smooth, without being oily. It will start processing really easy and will scoop out without either being super thick or dripping. Add olive oil super super slowly.
  5. Eat a whole bunch while you wait to put everything together. This is good.


  1. Cook according to directions. So simple.

Add chicken, pasta and pesto together in a bowl.

Om. Nom. Nom.

I hope you end up loving Kale Pesto as much as I do. Have fun experimenting with hard cheeses like goat, parm, etc. They really make quite a delicious mix.

On that note, I am heading to bed to a finally cool breeze blowing through!

Happy Lazy Delicious Dinners,


3 thoughts on “Toasted Cashew Kale Pesto Penne with Blackened Chicken

  1. Kale pesto is such a great idea!! Thanks for that, I’ve been wondering what to do with my current bunch. I’m going to try this…tomorrow.

    1. I hope you love it as much as I do! It’s a great way to use up Kale. We like to make big batches of pesto, and freeze them in smaller quantities so we can have fresh pesto all year long, especially though cold winters up here.

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