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    This easy 30-minute dinner is perfect for a quick and delicious weeknight meal. This chicken pesto pasta comes together quickly and easily with a few everyday ingredients for a hearty and filling dish that’s full of flavor.

    chicken pesto pasta skillet with cherry tomatoes

    When it comes to easy weeknight meals, pasta is always a winner. Simple, quick and easy, and comforting and filling.

    This chicken pesto pasta is nice and creamy, and the basil from the pesto adds a nice fresh flavor. The chicken breast adds some hearty protein for one delicious well-balanced meal.

    Be sure to check out my Italian Pasta Salad and Italian Sausage and Pepper Pasta.

    Why you will love this chicken pesto pasta recipe!

    • Easy to make: Made with everyday ingredients, this pesto pasta and chicken dish is simple to make and it’s ready to serve in 30 minutes.
    • A delicious family meal: This is a great recipe for the whole family. Kids and adults both adore this, so you don’t have to worry about cooking two separate meals. The recipe is easily halved and doubled too.
    • Natural ingredients: This is a great made from scratch recipe that’s low in salts and sugars, with no highly processed ingredients.
    pesto pasta and chicken in a skillet

    Ingredients for chicken and pesto pasta

    • Pasta: This recipe is great with short pastas like rotini, fusilli, or farfalle, but it will work well with any dried pasta you have to hand.
    • Lemon juice: Lemon juice adds a nice zing to this dish. Use fresh lemon juice rather than bottled for the best flavor.
    • Pesto: You can make up your own basil pesto quickly, or use your favorite store bought brand.
    • Heavy cream: This adds a nice thickness and creamy texture to the sauce.
    • Chicken: Use boneless and skinless chicken breasts for this recipe.
    • Seasonings: Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
    • Oil: For cooking teh chicken. I like to use olive oil, but vegetable or canola will both work well.
    • Onion and garlic: For flavor and some added veggies.
    • Parmesan: Stirred into the sauce to thicken it and add a great cheesy flavor. Use freshly grated rather than pre-grated for the best results.
    • Toppings: Pine nuts, fresh basil and cherry tomatoes.
    ingredients for chicken pesto pasta

    How to make chicken pesto pasta

    • Cook pasta according to the package instructions, stirring occasionally, until pasta is cooked to al-dente. Once cooked, drain well in a colander, and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
    • In a mixing bowl, whisk together lemon juice, basil pesto sauce and heavy cream until smooth. Set aside.
    • Rub the chicken with seasonings and olive oil. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
    • Add chicken and cook undisturbed for about 5 minutes, then flip and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes more, until cooked through, or internal temperature registers 165 F. Slice chicken and set aside.
    • Add chopped onions to the skillet and cook until soft and translucent, for the last 30 seconds add the minced garlic.
    • Turn off the heat and add the cooked pasta and sliced chicken to the skillet, and pour the pesto sauce. Toss to coat everything, add halved tomatoes on top, sprinkle Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and garnish with chopped fresh basil.
    process images of chicken and pesto pasta

    Can you make it with chicken thighs?

    I prefer to use chicken breasts for this dish, but you can make it with chicken thighs if you prefer, just be aware that they will take a few extra minutes to cook through. If you have cooked shredded chicken to use up, then that is easily tossed into the sauce. This pesto pasta can also easily be adapted for other proteins, salmon or shrimp would make excellent choices.

    Can you make it ahead of time?

    Like most pasta dishes, this pesto chicken pasta is best enjoyed as soon as you’ve made it, though leftovers will keep well in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. They can be reheated on the stovetop in a pan, with a couple of tablespoons of water to loosen it back up.

    chicken pasta with pesto and tomatoes in a skillet

    What do you serve it with?

    This chicken pesto pasta is a hearty and comforting meal all by itself, but you can easily add some veggie or salad sides, or, enjoy it with some garlic bread. Try it with:

    TIPS FROM NELI’S KITCHEN

    Recipe Notes and Tips

    • Season chicken breasts before cooking them. This really helps to add flavor to the dish.
    • Cook the pasta al dente and then run it under cold running water to stop the cooking process and rinse off the excess starch.
    • Use an instant read thermometer to check that the chicken is cooked through. It should register at 165F. When you slice the chicken, it should be an even white color throughout.
    pesto chicken pasta and tomatoes

    More Pasta Recipes

    If you enjoyed this creamy chicken pasta with pesto, I am sure you will love these other easy pasta recipes:

    Chicken Pesto Pasta

    This easy 30 minute dinner is perfect for a quick and delicious weeknight meal. This chicken pesto pasta comes together quickly and easily with a few everyday ingredients for a hearty and filling dish that's full of flavor.
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 30 minutes
    Servings 4 servings
    Calories 501kcal

    INGREDIENTS

    INSTRUCTIONS

    • Cook pasta according to the package instructions, stirring occasionally, until pasta is cooked to al-dente. Once cooked, drain well in a colander, and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
    • In a mixing bowl, whisk together lemon juice, basil pesto sauce and heavy cream until smooth. Set aside.
    • Rub the chicken with seasonings and olive oil. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
    • Add chicken and cook undisturbed for about 5 minutes, then flip and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes more, until cooked through, or internal temperature registers 165 F. Slice chicken and set aside.
    • Add chopped onions to the skillet and cook until soft and translucent, for the last 30 seconds add the minced garlic.
    • Turn off the heat and add the cooked pasta and sliced chicken to the skillet, and pour the pesto sauce. Toss to coat everything, add halved tomatoes on top, sprinkle Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and garnish with chopped fresh basil.
    • Serve and enjoy!

    TIPS & NOTES

    • Season chicken breasts before cooking them. This really helps to add flavor to the dish.
    • Cook the pasta al dente and then run it under cold running water to stop the cooking process and rinse off the excess starch.
    • Use an instant read thermometer to check that the chicken is cooked through. It should register at 165F. When you slice the chicken, it should be an even white color throughout.

    NUTRITION

    Calories: 501kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 469mg | Potassium: 527mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 871IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 215mg | Iron: 2mg
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine American
    Keyword chicken pasta with pesto, easy chicken pasta recipe, pasta with pesto and chicken
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