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Pasta with Chicken, Balsamic, and Arugula

A complete meal pasta made in about 30 minutes start to finish. I use gluten-free spaghetti, you can use whatever pasta you prefer!

Course dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword easy dinner recipe, easy pasta recipe, gluten-free recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Linda Spiker


  • 1 yellow onion peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1-2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium chicken breasts cut in half (see photos)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces spaghetti I use gluten free
  • 1/3 cup chopped raw walnuts
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups baby arugula baby spinach and baby kale work too
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds optional


  1. Place a large pot filled with salted water on high heat, cover and bring to a boil (cook pasta to package instructions)

While waiting for water to boil prep everything else:

  1. Peel and slice onion, chop parsley, grate cheese, chop garlic and set aside
  2. When water is almost boiling, place a large pan on high heat, add olive oil
  3. When oil is hot add onions. Turn heat to medium heat, and stir occasionally for about  6 minutes (the key to caramelized onions is patience, keep the heat at medium and resist the temptation to cook them faster)

While onions cook, prep chicken:

  1. Cut the chicken breast in half so they remain the same length but are half as thick as they used to be (see photos)
  2. Salt and pepper both sides of chicken breasts
  3. When onions have been in the pan for 6 minutes, move them to the sides of pan, add a little more olive oil if necessary and add breasts to pan, cook first side 6 minutes, still frequently stirring onions, then turn chicken and cook six more minutes
  4. While second side of chicken cooks, add pasta to boiling water, stirring pasta frequently to prevent sticking
  5. When chicken has cooked for 6 minutes on the second side, remove from pan (do not turn off heat) and allow to 'rest' on a plate. To same pan add nuts, garlic, red pepper flakes, balsamic and 1/4 cup of pasta water, simmer and stir for one minute scraping any chicken bits from pan
  6. Add two large handfuls of baby arugula (about 3 cups) to pan and stir for a minute or two
  7. Strain pasta (do not rinse) and place in pan, tossing with herbs, nuts and arugula
  8. Season with sea salt and pepper, toss
  9. To plate: divide pasta onto four plates. Slice chicken breasts on the diagonal and place on top of pasta
  10. Sprinkle with parsley, parmesan and pomegranate seeds if using. Serve.