Chicken/ Easy Gluten Free Meals/ Pasta

Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto

Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto is a delicious twist on traditional pesto, served with gluten free pasta, topped with First Fresh Chicken Croquettes.

Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto

This post is part of a series of sponsored recipes created with First Fresh Foods. All opinions and recipes are my own, enjoy!

Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto

I love pasta with pesto, but my husband is allergic to basil, so I haven’t had it in years. When First Fresh Foods sent me their brand new Habanero Chicken Croquettes, I was quickly in love with their flavor and ease. They are so good and that pepper flavor is just the perfect amount of spice. When I was trying to decide what would pair best with the cheesy, spicy flavor I first thought about Huancaina Sauce. It’s a classic Peruvian Sauce made with queso blanco and aji amarillo. It’s wonderful, but I wanted a bit more freshness.

That’s when I got the idea to make a Latin spin on pesto and it worked fabulous! The Cilantro and parsley, paired with the jalapeno and queso blanco is amazing! Fresh and a bit salty. The underlying spice of the jalapeno and the garlic is just perfect. I could honestly eat it with a spoon.

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Habanero Chicken Croquettes

If you have been following My Gluten Free Miami this summer, you know I have fallen in love with First Fresh Foods Chicken Sausage. It is so good, low in fat, lean protein and easy to read ingredients made in a celiac safe environment. They were the first sponsor I began to work with, just because I love the chicken sausage.

Now they are branching out into cheese stuffed chicken croquettes, and they are still gluten free! I was so excited. They are delicious. Still a great source of protein, and they are so simple. Just throw them in the oven and your good to go.

If you can’t find them in your local grocery store, you can use sliced chicken breast (or any other protein), but I strongly recommend you ask your grocer to carry First Fresh products. They are delicious.

Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto

The Recipe

The great thing about this recipe is it’s ease.

The Pesto

All you do is the throw all the ingredient in a food processor or nutri bullet. If you want it a bit spicier, leave the seeds in the jalapeno. Super simple, super yummy.

The Chicken

Obviously, I used First Fresh Chicken Croquettes. They pair so well, but if you don’t have access and your in a pinch, some sliced chicken breast would be ok….but once you try the croquettes, you will fall in love with them!

The Pasta

For this recipe I used Barilla gluten free pasta, you can use whatever is your favorite. I am also a big fan of Trader Joe’s quinoa/brown rice blend.Before draining the pasta, set aside a cup of the water to use when tossing the pasta with the pesto.

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If you love pesto, but are looking for something with a twist, check out this Avocado Pesto Zucchini Noodle Salad from Food, Faith, and Fitness. It will not disappoint!

Thank you to First Fresh Foods for sponsoring this past and making such incredible Celiac Safe Chicken Croquettes!

Happy Gluten Free Eating!

Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto

Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto
Rate this recipe
4 ratings

  • 1 Cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 Cup loosely packed parsley leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1-2 Jalapenos (remove seeds if desired)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso blanco
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (add more if needed)
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspon salt.
  • 12 ounces gluten free pasta
  • 4 First Fresh Foods Chicken Croquettes

  1. Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving one cup of the pasta water.
  2. Cook croquettes according to package direction.
  3. Blend all pesto ingredients in blender. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  4. Toss pesto and pasta, adding pasta water as needed to thin pesto.
  5. Top with crumbled queso blanco and chicken.

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52 Comments

  • Reply
    Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog
    August 16, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    This sounds really good! I don’t see jalapeno listed in the ingredients though, maybe I’m blind?

  • Reply
    Lauren
    August 15, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Love the cilantro spin!

  • Reply
    Megan
    August 13, 2016 at 12:08 am

    I love easy, store-bought food you can jazz up yourself. Congrats on so many sponsored posts lately! WOOT WOOT!

  • Reply
    Elle @ Only Taste Matters
    August 10, 2016 at 10:58 am

    This pesto sounds amazing! Brilliant!

    • Reply
      Amanda
      August 10, 2016 at 11:30 am

      Thanks! It is so good!

  • Reply
    Krysten
    August 9, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    I am drooling looking at this recipe.
    Jalapeños are one of my favorite things to cook with, this recipe is right up my ally.
    Fortunately, no one in my house is allergic to basil, so pesto is a regular occurrence.
    This might be now, too!

    • Reply
      Amanda
      August 10, 2016 at 11:36 am

      Hope you love it!

  • Reply
    Raia
    August 9, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    I’ve never tried making my own pesto before. This sounds and looks delicious!

    • Reply
      Amanda
      August 10, 2016 at 11:36 am

      It is so easy! You have to try it!

  • Reply
    Scott Groth
    August 9, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    These look so delicious! What a great idea!

  • Reply
    val
    August 9, 2016 at 10:22 am

    This looks amazing – I’ve never tried a pesto without basil!

    • Reply
      Amanda
      August 10, 2016 at 11:37 am

      It’s great!

  • Reply
    Kelly @ TastingPage
    August 8, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    I want that pesto on everything. Looks great!

    • Reply
      Amanda
      August 10, 2016 at 11:38 am

      I’m sure it would be good on anything!

  • Reply
    Lane & Holly @ With Two Spoons
    August 8, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Cilantro and jalapeno…I’m in love!

    • Reply
      Amanda
      August 10, 2016 at 11:38 am

      It’s the perfect combo!

  • Reply
    Stephanie Cox
    August 8, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    My husband loves cilantro and I’m also on the lookout for new ones to use it in recipes! You just gave me our next cilantro infused meal!

  • Reply
    Elise @TheFrugalFarmWife.com
    August 8, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Oh yum! Chicken, pasta, and pesto is always a winner in my book!

    • Reply
      Amanda
      August 10, 2016 at 11:39 am

      It’s a great combo!

  • Reply
    Chrystal @ Gluten-Free Palate
    August 8, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Ooh! I didn’t know they made Croquettes! And I love that you made a basil-less pesto!

    • Reply
      Amanda
      August 10, 2016 at 11:39 am

      They are brand new and so good!

  • Reply
    Nutrimom
    August 8, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Oh my gosh- what a great combo!! Thanks for sharing~

  • Reply
    Jenni Laplow
    August 8, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    I love jalapeno in my dinner dishes! I will definitely be trying this out, I pinned myself a reminder 🙂

    • Reply
      Amanda
      August 10, 2016 at 11:40 am

      Great! Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Gluten Free With Emily
    August 8, 2016 at 11:56 am

    I also make pesto out of other herbs besides basil- parsley, cilantro and parsley pestos are delicious!

    • Reply
      Amanda
      August 10, 2016 at 11:40 am

      I’ve had to learn to as well, fresh basil is not an option at my house!

  • Reply
    lisa | Garlic + Zest
    August 8, 2016 at 11:34 am

    That’s a terrific idea for an outside-the-box pesto! Brilliant and it sounds delicious!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    August 8, 2016 at 11:04 am

    I use pesto all of the time but I bet your rendition with the kick of jalapeño and refreshing cilantro is absolutely wonderful! Can’t wait to try this!!!

    • Reply
      Amanda
      August 10, 2016 at 11:35 am

      It’s so yummy, I take out the seeds so it isn’t to spicy for the baby, but if you like spice leave them in!

    • Reply
      Amanda
      August 10, 2016 at 11:41 am

      It’s fabulous!

  • Reply
    The Golden Girl Diary
    August 8, 2016 at 10:20 am

    My boyfriend loves cilantro and jalapeños..I love pasta and jalapeños..so obviously we have to try this recipe! This looks amazing!

    xo, Amanda | http://www.thegoldengirldiary.com

  • Reply
    Annemarie @ justalittlebitofbacon
    August 8, 2016 at 10:11 am

    That’s a nice way to use the chicken croquettes! It looks like a great, family friendly meal which would be perfect for weeknight.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    August 8, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Mmm intriguing! I am loving the flavours you’ve used for this. I bet there’s quick a nice kick to it!

    • Reply
      Amanda
      August 10, 2016 at 11:42 am

      I took out the seeds so it wasn’t to spicy, but you could leave them in for more of a kick!

  • Reply
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
    August 8, 2016 at 9:24 am

    What a fantastic twist on pesto. I am going to have to try this at the weekend.

    • Reply
      Amanda
      August 10, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Take a pic and tag me!

  • Reply
    Amber
    August 8, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Sounds yummy. Love pesto and love spicy.

    • Reply
      Amanda
      August 10, 2016 at 11:43 am

      It’s great!

  • Reply
    Luci
    August 8, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Oh man i LOVE coriander, I add it to seriously nearly every dinner at the moment (I’m about one bowl of oatmeal away from adding it to my breakfast as well!). Do you think I could try extra firm tofu instead of chicken though?

    • Reply
      Amanda
      August 10, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Of course! Top it with whatever you like 🙂

  • Reply
    Lauren
    August 8, 2016 at 9:15 am

    This sounds amazing! I love spicy food so I’d leave all the seeds in lol!

  • Reply
    Jacki
    August 8, 2016 at 8:54 am

    These look amazing! I LOVE fresh basil and pesto!

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    August 8, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Wonderful idea and a great way to use all our fresh summer herbs!

  • Reply
    Cricket Plunkett
    August 8, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Love Love Love this idea! Such a quick dinner, adding jalapeno, brilliant!

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