Funny enough, this recipe started with vegan pesto…but considering there is both chicken and cheese in this post title, I’m sure you can guess it is in no way a vegan meal. I bought this specific sauce because – vegan or not – I thought kale and cashews would make for an interesting pesto flavor.
I first blanched a package of zoodles in boiling water (under two minutes). I drained the water and added Trader Joe’s vegan kale, cashew & basil pesto straight to the pot, along with sliced roasted peppers, shredded rotisserie chicken (I had some leftover from the night before), and shredded pepper jack cheese. It’s not the prettiest, but it is tasty.
I love that everything can be added straight to the pot – you basically have nothing to clean. While I had no desire so make this vegan or even vegetarian, it would be very easy to swap out a couple ingredients accommodate those dietary restrictions without sacrificing flavor. Because there are lots of fun flavors going on in here – nutty bitterness in the sauce, sweetness from the peppers, and spiciness from the cheese.