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Easy pesto pasta recipe

Easy pesto pasta recipe

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  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Chicken pasta
  • Chicken pesto pasta

This is a simple and very tasty summer chicken and pesto pasta dish. The Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts are a must!

5 people made this

IngredientsServes: 3

  • 250g farfalle or penne pasta
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 red pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 courgette, diced
  • 150g mushrooms, brushed clean and quartered
  • 2 heaped tablespoons pesto
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • handful of pine nuts
  • grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:10min ›Ready in:25min

  1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Drain.
  2. Heat olive oil in a wok or frying pan; add the garlic and stir briefly. Stir in cubed chicken breast until golden brown on all sides, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add red pepper, courgette and mushrooms; cook and stir until red pepper strips are slightly softened. Add two tablespoons of pesto (or more to taste). Season with some freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Heat a dry frying pan until hot; add pine nuts and allow to toast and turn golden in colour without burning.
  4. Add cooked pasta to the vegetables and chicken. Stir and cook to allow pasta to heat through. Add toasted pine nuts and sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)


Easy Pesto Pasta Recipe

Pesto Pasta is a delicious easy to make, main entrée loaded up with cheese, pine nuts, olive oil, and fabulous fresh basil flavor.

If you want a simple weeknight meal that’s flavorful and brings Italy right to your kitchen, then this is for you. No matter what time of year it is, this is always in season.

Pasta is a staple in our house, and we use it in a bunch of different ways. Whether it’s Puttanesca Sauce and Pappardelle, Lasagna Bolognese, or Fettucine Alfredo, it’s always on our menu.


Easy Chicken Pesto Pasta 15-Minute Dinner Recipe

This chicken pesto pasta is so easy to make and so delicious! Dinner on the table in 15 minutes &ndash yes, please!

I love easy dinners, and this chicken pesto pasta is one of my favorites in my &ldquolazy dinner&rdquo rotation. Just toss the cooked pasta with pesto and chopped cooked chicken, and your mouthwatering Italian pasta dinner is ready!

Yes, you just need 3 ingredients &ndash chicken, pesto and pasta! Doesn&rsquot get any easier than that :) Whether you use store-bought or homemade, it&rsquos totally completely up to you! If you are feeling gourmet, make pesto and cook chicken from scratch. If you are pressed for time, canned chicken and jarred pesto to the rescue!

You can even create a chicken pesto pasta dinner kit in your pantry. Just put together a box of pasta, two cans of chopped cooked chicken and a jar of pesto in a bag and label it &ldquochicken pesto pasta&rdquo :) This way you will know that no matter how lazy you are and how empty your refrigerator is, you still have supplies for a huge delicious dinner in your pantry!

All you&rsquoll need to do to get this chicken pesto pasta dinner on the table is boil a pot of water, cook the pasta, open the cans of chicken and pesto and mix everything together! Set a buzzer for 15 minutes, and your yummy pasta dinner will be on the table before the buzzer rings!

If you have a little more time on your hands, take this chicken pesto pasta to the whole new level by making fresh pesto. If you own a food processor, making pesto from scratch takes less than 5 minutes! Just blend together fresh basil, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts according to my food processor pesto recipe and enjoy delicious homemade pesto that&rsquos so full of flavor!

Whenever a recipe calls for cooked chicken, my go-to is Rotisserie chicken. I have the whole collection of recipes that use up leftover Rotisserie chicken :) With the store-bought Rotisserie chicken, you get fresh flavorful chicken without any work!

And if you want to cook chicken from scratch for this recipe, of course you can! Just chop the raw chicken breast or thigh meat and quickly pan-fry on a frying pan until cooked through. Or you can poach chicken breast for a more hands-off approach &ndash super easy!

How much pesto should you use for a pound of pasta? It depends on how much you like pesto and how good your pesto is :) The standard ratio is 3/4 cup pesto sauce per pound of pasta. If I&rsquove got a homemade pesto, I might use even more because I like it so much! If you are making pasta with store-bought pesto sauce, usually a jar of pesto is the right amount to sauce a pound of pasta.

If you like this easy chicken pesto pasta, you will also love these other easy recipes:

Baked Pesto Parmesan Chicken &ndash chicken breast is baked with the Parmesan pesto crust on top!

Easy Chicken Pasta Salad &ndash a pasta salad that is filling enough to be a main dish!

One Pot Pasta With Ground Beef &ndash so hearty and delicious, comes together in one pot in 20 minutes!

Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas &ndash if you&rsquove got a Rotisserie chicken, it&rsquos another great use of it, yum yum!


It sounds like a no brainer, but one of the big keys to a perfect pasta salad recipe is the noodles. Following the directions on the box is always a great idea, since different noodle types (i.e. penne, cavatappi, elbow macaroni) for a different lengths of time.

Make sure to bring your water to a roaring boil before adding the pasta. Salt the water. Cook the noodles based not the time on the box. Drain when they have just a little bit of a bite left to them.

Since this pesto pasta salad recipe is a cold pasta salad, you want to drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water to stop them from cooking.


    1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente drain, reserving 2 Tbsp. pasta cooking liquid.
    2. Meanwhile, toast 2 Tbsp. pine nuts in a small skillet over medium-low heat, shaking skillet back and forth, until lightly toasted, 2𔃁 minutes set aside.
    3. Blanch 5 cups basil in a small pot of boiling water 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon or spider, transfer to a large bowl filled with ice water.
    4. Purée garlic, oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and remaining 1/3 cup pine nuts in a blender until nuts are very finely chopped and mixture is creamy. Using your hands, lift basil from ice water, shaking off excess but not all water from leaves (a bit of water will aid emulsification). Add to blender and purée just to combine. Add 1 cup Parmesan purée just to combine.
    5. Transfer pesto to a medium bowl, then stir in reserved pasta cooking liquid. Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl or platter and toss with pesto. Top with Parmesan and reserved toasted pine nuts and garnish with basil.

    This Recipe is Featured In:


    5-Minute Easy Pesto Recipe for Busy Weeknight Dinners

    Looking for an easy, healthy pesto recipe for a busy weeknight dinner everyone will love? Make this 5-Minute Pesto Recipe, and, I promise, you’ll be hooked! Plus, get 5 more easy, healthy pesto recipes to try!

    So, tell me…What’s on repeat at your house for a quick and easy dinner EVERYONE loves?

    My list includes Spaghetti and Meat Sauce, Crunchy Lentil Tacos with Avocado Feta Guacamole, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches w/ Trader Joe’s Organic Cream of Tomato Sauce, this Farmer’s Market BLT & Chopped Avocado Pizza Salad, oh, and this SUPER easy pesto recipe with gluten free pasta we eat almost every week.

    Sometimes I make this easy pesto recipe with just basil, but other times, when I want to get in an extra dose of leafy greens the MIND Diet>, I throw in some spinach, kale, Swiss chard, or whatever greens I have in the fridge, and, nobody’s the wiser.

    It’s So Easy to Make This Quick & Easy Pesto Recipe…

    The other key ingredients in my easy pesto recipe, besides the green stuff, are extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, garlic low FODMAP diet plan>, Parmesan cheese , plus salt and pepper. And, that’s it!

    [click_to_tweet tweet=”Dinner is served! 5-Minute Quick & Easy Healthy Pesto to the rescue! #glutenfree #vegetarian” quote=”Dinner is served! 5-Minute Quick & Easy Healthy Pesto to the rescue! “]


    The short answer is yes. However, it really depends on the vegetables you use for this recipe. If you use broccoli, peas, and peppers, then the pasta can be placed in an airtight container and frozen for up to a month. When ready, add butter and garlic to a deep skillet. Add the frozen pasta and heat until warmed through, turning to coat. Stir with Parmesan cheese.

    If your primavera contains zucchini, yellow squash, or mushrooms, then I would avoid freezing this pasta as the vegetables would be too soft.

    For Pasta Recipes, Try:


    Homemade Pasta or Store-Bought?

    Store-bought pasta is always good in a pinch or when you are just too tired after all day (or week) to even contemplate making your own. You won’t lose any taste per say in your dish but it goes without saying that homemade pasta is going to be fresher, crunchier, and healthier in the long run.

    Store-bought pasta? Will be thicker and firmer even after boiling so if that’s the consistency (and texture) you are aiming for use a store-bought batch.

    However, if you don’t have the time or a batch of homemade pasta on hand – don’t sweat it! There is a reason that pasta is also sold in the grocery stores because it does work for any pasta dish you are thinking of making, including this one.


    Giada's Pasta Recipes

    Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

    Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

    Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

    Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

    Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

    Photo By: Renee Comet ©Renee Comet

    Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

    Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

    Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

    Linguine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives and Lemon

    Baked Manicotti with Sausage and Peas

    Rigatoni with Eggplant Puree

    Farmer's Pasta

    Every bite of Giada's easy Farmer's Pasta is cheesy and delicious, thanks to fontina, mozzarella, Parmesan and provolone cheeses.


    Creamy Pesto Pasta

    Posted By Savita

    My family loves Pesto Pasta! Other than taste, for me, Pesto Pasta means - worry-free-delicious-dinner! Really, pesto is a kind of sauce that can help you serve, a flavorful Italian dinner, using a few simple ingredients.

    For these reasons, I LOVE to keep a batch of Homemade Pesto in my refrigerator. Then, whenever we crave for Italian Pasta dinner, this one pre-step helps me serve dinner in just 20-25 minutes!

    Even though I love Traditional Basil Pesto. with time, my pesto recipes have evolved with my taste. I love going all-non-traditional and pretty much replace, all main ingredients of classic pesto, with whatever greens and nuts I have in-hand. This not just helps me utilize my fresh produce and keep it under-budget, but also helps avoid serving the SAME old monotonous Basil Pesto Pasta every-time.

    Today, I paired my fresh batch of Spicy Arugula Pesto (I shared this recipe a few weeks ago) with Linguine/Linguini pasta, caramelized onion, quintessential parmesan cheese, and some fresh sweet cherry tomatoes to cut-thru the richness!

    For your convenience, I have mentioned "Classic Basil Pesto" in recipe ingredients. However, you can really choose any pesto of your choice. I prefer homemade, but store-bought pesto sauce will also work fine.

    Please note, since pesto is the base for this creamy sauce, the flavor of pasta will change depending on kind of pesto used. Like, if you looking for a pronounced basil taste, then go for classic basil pesto or if you want a spicy sharp taste, then opt for something like Spicy Arugula Pesto (listed below).

    Here is the link to Pesto Recipes that I have shared so far:

    I know!! I'm still counting this list!

    Now, you know how much my family loves pesto! :)

    This Creamy Pesto Linguine pictures, I took while I shared Arugula Pesto, on blog. I decided to share these two recipes in separate posts since Arugula Pesto was vegan and this recipe does not like the "vegan" word :) I mean, heavy cream and nutty parmesan are two key components of any good creamy pesto sauce, almost irreplaceable for me.

    You know, Vishal is SO die-hard fan of this creamy pesto that if I'll attempt a vegan-version. I know, we will be eating-out that day. and next whole day, I will savor my "vegan creamy pesto pasta" leftovers! So, I have not taken these chances yet -)

    However, if you still insist, I can tell you, to make it vegan: replace cream with coconut milk and replace parmesan with nutritional yeast.