Pine Nut-Crusted Chicken with Spaghetti

This recipe is brought to you by Ragu.

A lot of different food bloggers I admire often talk about how their heritage inspires their homestyle recipes and their passion for cooking. They share these incredible stories of how their families would enjoy these opulent meals together every week, and I cannot for the life of me relate to their stories at all.

Growing up, my family struggled often. We were fortunate enough to have a roof above our heads, but I do not have any memories of my family cooking lavish meals inspired by our heritage. For our family, we cooked to survive. When our family was able to afford a roast or some ribs to cook out on the grill we would make a whole day of it because it was a special occasion. It was special to us because it wasn't another chicken dinner like we had had for the 100th day in a row. But now I find myself feeling so grateful that I had that experience as a child, since cooking unique and generous meals is something that my family can afford to do now.

In college, I remember having only a few items in my fridge at any given time and I was forced to become creative with preparing tasty meals that were actually packed with real nutrition (and not just the microwavable garbage so many of my college friends were force-feeding themselves when they couldn't afford to go out to eat). Finding a way to eat well without having access to a huge pantry was a challenge I took upon myself when I lived alone while I was studying at Arizona State. If I was unsure what to make with what I had in my pantry and refrigerator, I'd often run to my laptop and search "what can I cook with X ingredients." Time and time again, I found myself preparing meals with whatever I had at home (even if it wasn't necessarily the most obvious of combinations). 

It is because of these experiences that cooking has become more than food for me. It's become an outlet for my passion for making beautiful (and delicious) things! Today, I'm sharing a recipe inspired by my ability to cook on the fly--with whatever I have in my pantry! This dinner recipe features boneless chicken crusted with ground-up pine nuts and paired with traditional spaghetti tossed in homestyle pasta sauce.

Pine Nut-Crusted Chicken with Spaghetti
*makes 2 servings

  • 1 cup of pine nuts
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil (delicate olive oil preferred)
  • 1/3 pound of boneless chicken
  • 1/4 pound of dry spaghetti pasta (or if you measure like Adam, a "fistful of pasta")
  • 1 1/2 cups of Ragu Homestyle Thick & Hearty Traditional Sauce
  1. Wash, dry, and trim the excess fat from your boneless chicken.
  2. In a food processor, grind up your pine nuts until they resemble a paste-like texture.
  3. Pat the ground up pine nut into the chicken.
  4. Heat a large stovetop pan with olive oil inside to medium heat.
  5. Fry the pine-nut coated chicken in the pan until it's fully cooked, and the pine nut topping is golden brown.
  6. Boil, cook, and drain a pan of pasta on the stovetop.
  7. Serve your chicken on top of your pasta topped with Ragu Homestyle Thick & Hearty Traditional Sauce. Enjoy!
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  1. Oh man that looks so delicious!

  2. This pine nut business looks so delicious! I'm going to try your recipe tonight!

  3. I can totally relate as my family was the same! I didn't learn till after college and about to get married to take in the culture around me and learn to cook (who am I kidding, I am still majorly learning!) Spaghetti was a pretty consistent meal growing up because it was cheap.

    1. Glad to hear someone can relate to where I am coming from :-) Thanks for sharing, Lauren!


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