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Pesto Chicken Pasta
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Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

This delicious Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta is a great choice for a simple weeknight dinner.  The recipe uses basic everyday ingredients and is perfect for family meals.  You can use store-bought basil pesto or make your own.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword chicken pesto pasta
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 764kcal
Author Julia

Ingredients

Roasted Tomatoes

  • 10 oz cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced

Chicken Pesto Pasta

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 lb chicken breast (2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 8 oz pasta (bow-tie, penne, or fusilli)
  • ¼ cup basil pesto
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup pine nuts (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss cherry tomatoes, sliced in half, with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and minced garlic. Spread in a casserole dish. Roast for about 20 minutes while you prepare the pasta.
  • Prepare the chicken. This recipe uses 1.5 lb of chicken breasts which usually means 2 large chicken breasts. Make sure to use thinly sliced chicken breasts. Slice each chicken breast in half horizontally. Season them with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet until hot. Add chicken and cook for about 5 minutes per each side until it's cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate. Slice it thinly.
  • Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain.
  • Add cooked and drained pasta, basil pesto, and cream to the same skillet that you used to sear chicken. Stir gently and bring to simmer to coat pasta with sauce.
  • Top with sliced cooked chicken, roasted tomatoes and pine nuts (optional). Season with extra salt and pepper or add crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.

Notes

  • Adjust the amount of basil pesto.  This recipe uses ¼ cup of pesto.  Feel free to add extra tablespoons of pesto to your taste.
  • Add extra toppings. Lightly toasted pine nuts and freshly grated Parmesan cheese add extra flavor and texture.   
  • Use extra veggies.  If you want to add more vegetables, add sliced fresh tomatoes, sliced cooked asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, or mushrooms.
  • Add spiciness. Add red pepper flakes if you would like to make your pasta spicy.
  • Adjust seasonings. Even though the basil pesto tends to be salty, do taste the final dish before serving and season it with extra salt and pepper, if needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 764kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 511mg | Potassium: 997mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1212IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 3mg