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Pesto Chicken Pasta

by Christina Cherrier – Updated Aug 24, 2020
Pesto Chicken Pasta
© Eatwell101.com

Pesto Chicken Pasta – You’ll be delighted by this pesto chicken pasta recipe, packed full of Mediterranean flavors. Pesto coated chicken is seared in the pan then tossed with basil and fresh tomatoes in al dente pasta. A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese adds a sharp finish to this fresh and easy chicken dinner, ready in 30 minutes.

chicken pesto pasta recipePhoto credit: © Eatwell101.com

Ingredients list for the Pesto Chicken Pasta

Pesto Chicken Caprese PastaPhoto credit: © Eatwell101.com

Pesto Chicken Caprese Pasta recipePhoto credit: © Eatwell101.com

Directions  

1. To make the pesto chicken pasta: Coat chicken breasts with basil pesto and kosher salt and pepper, to taste. Heat a large skillet on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and grill chicken until fully cooked, about 5-10 minutes depending on thickness. Slice and set aside.

2. To the same skillet add minced garlic, a tablespoon pesto (optional), and crushed pepper flakes. Simmer just for a few minutes just to combine flavors. Moisten with reserved pasta water and add Parmesan. When cheese is melted, add in the cooked pasta and toss well. You can also drizzle on a bit of olive oil or add more pesto if you want.

3. Add in sliced chicken with diced tomatoes and allow to reheat for a couple of minutes. Top the chicken pesto pasta with fresh basil, grated parmesan, black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil if desired. Enjoy!

best chicken pastaPhoto credit: © Eatwell101.com

Tips for the chicken pasta recipe

This pesto chicken pasta recipe is just the kind of weeknight dinner that’s sure to become a new favorite. Here are a few tips to make the best pesto chicken pasta dish ever!

  • To prevent cooked tagliatelle pasta from sticking together, wait until the water is at a full, rapid boil before adding the pasta. Then stir the pasta as it cooks, aim for stirring every 2-3 minutes. Also, use a burner that is close in size to your cookware. This will help the pot heat evenly and cook the pasta evenly.
  • Use good quality parmesan, from a real block of parmesan that you grate yourself. Not the cheap white powdered stuff you can find in some grocery aisles!
  • Feel free to double the quantities for the sauce and adjust to your liking when tossing with pasta and chicken.

What other types of pasta can we use?

Use any pasta shape that holds the sauce well. Penne and rotini make excellent alternatives. To speed things up, you can also cook the chicken breasts and serve them over capellini pasta instead of tagliatelle as we used on the photos.

How and how long to keep the pesto chicken pasta leftovers?

If your family doesn’t lick the pan clean by the time dinner is over, this chicken pasta recipe reheats very well for lunch the next day! This pesto chicken pasta keeps very well in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. You can reheat on the stove or in the microwave, it’s up to you! Add a few drops of water when reheating to loosen the sauce and add additional grated parmesan and freshly diced tomatoes if you like.

Can we make the pasta recipe gluten-free?

You can make this pesto chicken pasta gluten-free! You can use gluten-free brown-rice pasta instead of regular pasta. Gluten-free quinoa pasta or lentil pasta will fit also fit nicely for this pesto chicken pasta recipe.

How to serve the pesto chicken pasta

As mentioned above, you can top the pesto chicken pasta with fresh parmesan and fresh basil. If you are serving this pesto chicken pasta at a dinner party, we encourage you to serve it in a large bowl with warm, crusty (garlic) bread and a bottle of red wine.

What other readers say about this pesto chicken pasta recipe

“Delicious!!! Quick and easy. Served it with a side salad. Husband loved it too! 👍🏻 Will be making again.” – Carina

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Chicken Pasta recipePhoto credit: © Eatwell101.com

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    Pesto Chicken Pasta - #chicken #recipe #eatwell101 - This pesto chicken pasta recipe makes a fresh and easy dinner, packed full of mediterranean flavors.
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