This chicken pesto pasta recipe combines tender chicken breast with al dente cooked pasta and a creamy pesto sauce that's overflowing with flavor. Plus, this is hands down one of the easiest chicken pasta recipes you'll ever make from start to finish you can have it ready and on the table in under 20 minutes. Not to mention, it's so yummy even the pickiest of eaters will love it!
Table of Contents
Ingredients You'll Need
One of my absolute favorite things about this creamy chicken pesto pasta is that it's made almost entirely out of kitchen staples. As long as you have pesto and sun-dried tomatoes I can almost guarantee you'll have everything else you'll need to make it.
Anyway, here's everything you'll need:
- ½ lb. chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic paste
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- 6 oz. penne pasta
- ½ cup milk
- 2 oz. cream cheese
- 2 tablespoon basil pesto
- 3 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced or chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
Not too, too bad, right?!
By the way, you can use a lot of these same ingredients to make this copycat Olive Garden chicken pasta recipe, this shrimp pasta recipe, and even this marry me chicken recipe. So if you end up with some extras of them after making this one give one of those a shot sometime soon too.
How to Make Homemade Pesto
Now, just so you know, you can use store-bought pesto or homemade pesto for this recipe. If you want to make your own pesto, here are the ingredients you'll need:
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic
- ¼ cup fresh parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ¼ cup olive oil
To make pesto from scratch, simply blend all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth but still chunky. With that said, you may need to scrape down the side of the food processor halfway through.
How To Make Chicken Pesto Pasta
As I said before, this one pan chicken and pasta recipe is so, so easy to make! Just a few simple steps are all you need to follow to make it, and they should take you less than 20 minutes to complete.
All you have to do is cook the chicken, add the chicken broth cook the penne pasta, then finish everything off with the pesto sauce. That's pretty much all there is to it!
Anyway, let's not waste another second, let's make some pesto pasta!
Step 1: Cook The Chicken
Begin by heating your olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Then, season the chicken with salt and pepper, and add the chicken to the skillet. Cook the chicken for about 4 minutes - until golden brown - and then flip and cook on the other side for another 4 minutes.
Step 2: Add The Pasta
Next, add the garlic paste and sun-dried tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes.
Now, after we've cooked those, we're going to cook the pasta. To do this, add the chicken stock and penne pasta to the skillet. Then, cover it with a lid and cook until the pasta is al dente. You can refer to the package directions for specific cooking times.
Step 3: Make The Creamy Pesto sauce
So, now it's time to make the creamy pesto sauce.
First, wait until most of the stock has evaporated, then add the milk, cream cheese, and pesto. Then, give everything a stir and cook until the cream cheese has melted.
To finish up, add the grated parmesan cheese and give it one final stir.
Step 4: Serve The Chicken Pesto Pasta
Finally, serve this chicken pesto pasta warm. You can top it off with some grated parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes if you want to add some spice.
How To Store Chicken Pesto Pasta
This recipe for chicken pesto pasta will make about 2 servings. So, if you're planning on serving this for a big family dinner, you'll want to double - or triple - the recipe. And while this dish tastes great fresh, dare I say it makes for even better leftovers.
In fact, this is one of my favorite pasta recipes for meal prep. I make it on Sunday and have it for the week. And the best part is I don't have to spend my whole Sunday in the kitchen!
Anyway, to store your leftovers, just transfer them into an airtight container and they'll stay good for up to 4 days.
Alternatively, to store the leftovers for even longer you'll want to freeze them. The pesto chicken pasta will stay good for up to 3 months stored in there.
How To Reheat The Pasta
I recommend warming your pesto chicken pasta back up on the stovetop when you're ready to reheat it. So, to do that you'll just want to set a skillet over medium heat and add the chicken and pasta to it with a splash of broth. Then, just give it a mix every so often for about 5 minutes.
Alternatively, you can also reheat the pasta in your oven in an oven-safe dish. Just set your oven to 350°F and cook it for about 10 minutes or until it's thoroughly warmed up.
Do you need to heat the pesto before putting it on pasta?
You do not need to heat pesto before putting it on the pasta. You can add room-temperature pesto to cooked pasta and toss it in while the pasta is still warm. However, this recipe heats the pesto along with the rest of the ingredients, making for an extra creamy sauce.
How do you use pesto sauce for pasta?
My favorite way to use pesto sauce for pasta is by combining it with other complementary ingredients, just like in this recipe! You can also just cook pasta and anything else you want - like some veggies - and add the pesto sauce to it. Then, just give everything a mix, and dinner is served.
My Final Thoughts
Well, that is how to make chicken pesto pasta.
Just a few common kitchen ingredients, a little prep work, one pan, and 15-20 minutes are all that it takes to make this delicious dish. Honestly though, there's such a rich flavor to it, your family will think you spent all day making it!
As always, if you give this recipe a try, leave a comment below and tell me all about it!
More Pasta Recipes
Craving more easy pasta recipes? If you are, we have a ton on the blog I think you'll love!
Here are some of my favorites:
- Luca pasta
- Cream cheese pasta
- Pasta with peas
- Parmesan noodles
- Creamy salmon pasta
- Vegetable lasagna with white sauce
- Olive Garden chicken alfredo
- Cheesecake Factory four cheese pasta
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add chicken and season it with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken until golden (about 4 minutes per side).
- Add garlic paste and sun-dried tomatoes to the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add chicken stock and penne pasta. Cover with a lid and cook until the pasta is al dente.
- Once most of the stock is evaporated, add milk, cream cheese, and pesto. Cook until the cream cheese is melted.
- Add grated parmesan and give it a final stir.
- Serve the pasta warm.
Serving Size:1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 346Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 134mgSodium: 443mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 41g