chicken pesto pasta: #GrilledEssentials

Hillshire Farm has come out with a brand new product, Grilled Essentials. They’re packs of 2 grilled chicken breasts that come in different flavors. I used to be a vegetarian so let’s just say I hate cooking raw meat. Sometimes I cook it for my family to eat, but I won’t eat any of it. Buying something like this that’s pre-cooked and ready to go? Totally awesome.

AND it saves so.much.time. Another huge plus for all you busy mamas. When I made this dinner, Steve thought I cooked and seasoned the chicken myself. Um, yea, honey, I spent HOURS in the kitchen today! You’re welcome! 😉

This recipe was so easy. First, I boiled a pot of water and cooked a package of fettuccine noodles according to the package. Then, I heated up the Grilled Essentials chicken in the microwave–60 seconds! You keep them in their plastic wraps on a microwave-safe plate:

When they were done, I let them sit for a minute to cool a little, opened the packages and cut them in slices for my pasta:

YUM! How goooood do those look? They smelled REALLY good. By the way, I bought the Italian flavor of these Grilled Essentials chicken breasts. I added them to my cooked pasta:

Now, the pesto. I loooove pesto and the best kind ever is the homemade kind. It’s pretty easy to make your own, but you need certain things: basil leaves, olive oil, parm cheese… and I didn’t have those things on hand AND I wanted to save time. So I totally cheated and bought a jar of pesto, shhh. I used about half the jar (3 oz?), threw in some sliced cherry tomatoes, tossed it all together anddd…

I paired it with a fresh harvest salad with almonds and cranberries and some cantaloupe and viola! One of the best dinners EVER! My husband raved about it and he even cleaned the kitchen after dinner. He was excited to pack up the leftovers for his lunch at work the next day. Ryan even liked it! He ate the chicken and tomatoes and every piece of pasta on his plate.

The Grilled Essentials are so new, they aren’t available at every Walmart yet and even though mine had them, they were really hard to find. I almost gave up, thinking they weren’t in stock. I looked in meat section, the frozen food area, all the way down the refirgerated section… I finally reached the milk and cheese at the end and was about to turn back. I had passed ALL meat, why would it be by the cheese?! But okay, I’ll check that ONE last freezer in the middle of the aisle…. and there they were! Weird spot for them, for sure. They were next to PICKLES and lunch meat.

There are SO many ways you could use these Grilled Essentials from Hillshire Farm. I don’t typically serve grilled chicken for lunch or snacks because it takes too much time, but these would make it possible. You could spice up a sandwich or a salad, use them cut up on a homemade pizza, or make a yummy wrap. Having a party to watch football on Sunday? Shred up the chicken to use in a cheesy chip dip–YUM! I will definitely be buying these again–and can’t wait to try the other flavors!

~This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions and cooking skills are my own 😉

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