Chicken pesto pasta is creamy with parmesan, mozzarella and heavy cream. Fresh basil pesto coats this pasta and chicken for the perfect kick of flavor in every bite. This is a quick and easy recipe that everyone will love!
Pasta is always a winner with me. My kids love it, so I’ve tried about a thousand different pasta recipes over the years. This pesto pasta is one we come back to time and time again! It’s creamy, full of flavor and hearty. For other basil pesto recipes, try this Baked Pesto Chicken, Delicious Pesto Chicken Sandwich, and Pesto Caprese Sandwich.
Chicken pesto pasta
Don’t you just love a delicious and SIMPLE pasta recipe? I know I do! That’s probably why we eat this chicken pesto pasta so often. It just doesn’t age! The chicken is seasoned and then you make this amazing creamy pesto sauce that comes together so well. I prefer to make my own basil pesto, but there are some great options you can buy at the grocery store.
Another reason I love a good pasta recipe is that you don’t have to worry about making a lot of toppings! I like to prepare roasted root vegetables or better yet, delicious fried mushrooms to accompany pasta and voila. Of course, a salad like a Caprese salad or spinach salad will also go great! You have a well balanced, fresh and delicious meal. I think you will love this recipe as much as I do. Let’s cook!
These ingredients are so simple and come together to make delicious Chicken Pesto Pasta. I like to add two cheeses, but you can choose either. You can also change the type of meat you use, it’s delicious with turkey or even pork. You can find the measurements below in the recipe card
- Olive oil: It has the best flavor and makes a great base for sauce.
- Chicken breasts: You can use any part of the chicken you like, just cut the chicken into good sized pieces.
- Onion: You can add fresh onion, I like to add onion powder to keep it easy.
- Dried Italian Seasoning: It goes so well with pesto!
- Kosher salt: High quality salt matters.
- Butter: Sauté the garlic.
- Garlic: For a fresh flavor that pairs perfectly with basil.
- Chicken broth: To make the sauce. You can use the reserved pasta water instead.
- Heavy cream: Lots of cream makes the sauce so thick and creamy!
- Parmesan cheese: I love Parm with this sauce.
- Mozzarella cheese: Melts in the sauce!
- Basicilic pesto: You can use homemade or store bought.
- Penne with pasta: This is my favorite, you can choose any noodles you want.
- Salt and pepper: Season the chicken.
Chicken Pesto Pasta Recipe
The ingredient list might seem a bit long for this chicken pesto pasta recipe, but it’s super simple. You can also change the ingredients as needed. I love adding new things to this recipe all the time. You’ll find out exactly how your family likes it best. I share some of my tips for turning things around below.
- Brown chicken: Add olive oil to skillet over medium heat. Add the cut chicken, onion powder, Italian seasoning and salt to the skillet. Stir and cook until the chicken is browned on the outside and cooked through. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Cook the garlic: In the same skillet, add the butter and garlic. Melt the butter and sauté the garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Make the sauce: Add the chicken broth, heavy cream, Parmesan and mozzarella to the skillet. Whisk to combine and continue to stir and cook the sauce over medium-high heat. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken.
- Make pasta: While the sauce thickens, boil the pasta in a saucepan according to package directions until al dente. Drain and reserve.
- Put it all together: Once the sauce has thickened, add the cooked chicken, cooked pasta and pesto sauce to the skillet with the sauce. Stir to combine and cook until heated through.
- Season: Season with salt, pepper and additional red pepper flakes if desired.
- Garnish: Garnish with additional parmesan and enjoy!
Tips for Making Chicken Pesto Pasta
This chicken pesto pasta recipe is so simple, you might be tempted to switch things up. You should definitely do it! I love adding things to this recipe all the time, and sometimes I just take what I have out of the fridge and put things together.
- Type of Pasta: I prefer penne, but you can really use any type of pasta you have on hand or prefer. I made it with spaghetti noodles and elbows, and it was delicious both ways.
- Added ingredients: I am always adding new ingredients to this recipe! I especially like to add pine nuts and cherry tomatoes. I also used sausage instead of chicken, and with chicken. It was amazing!
- Thicken the sauce: If you want the sauce to be a little thicker, you can make a slurry of flour and water to add to the sauce. Mix 1 tablespoon of flour with 2 tablespoons of water until smooth. Add it when you add the rest of the sauce ingredients and cook until thickened.
Pasta makes great leftovers, especially this Chicken Pesto Pasta. It makes the perfect lunch the next day. You can even make it an extra for meal prep. Here’s how to store leftovers.
- In the refrigerator: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Add olive oil to skillet over medium heat. Add the cut chicken, onion powder, Italian seasoning and salt to the skillet. Stir and cook until the chicken is browned on the outside and cooked through. Remove from skillet and set aside.
In the same skillet, add the butter and garlic. Melt the butter and sauté the garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant.
Add the chicken broth, heavy cream, Parmesan and mozzarella to the skillet. Whisk to combine and continue to stir and cook the sauce over medium-high heat. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.
While the sauce thickens, boil the pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve.
Once the sauce has thickened, add the cooked chicken, cooked pasta and pesto sauce to the skillet with the sauce. Stir to combine and cook until heated through.
Season with salt, pepper and additional red pepper flakes if desired.
Garnish with additional Parmesan and enjoy!
calories709calories (35%)Carbohydrates35g (12%)Protein30g (60%)Fat50g (77%)Saturated fat22g (110%)Polyunsaturated fats2gMonounsaturated fat12gtrans fat0.2gCholesterol147mg (49%)Sodium1043mg (43%)Potassium467mg (13%)Fiber2g (8%)Sugar4g (4%)Vitamin A1817UI (36%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium268mg (27%)Iron1mg (6%)
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and is an estimate only. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and serving sizes per household.