Pesto Chicken Pasta

Cuisine: Italian

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2

This chicken pesto pasta recipe is a quick and comforting meal, guaranteed to beat any mid-week blues!

  • 1 pack pasta
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 2 chicken breasts cut into small pieces
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • ⅓ cup tomatoes cut into strips
  • ½ cup pesto sauce

For the pesto sauce:

  • ⅓ cup nuts
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup olive oil

Here’s a creamy pesto chicken pasta recipe for all you fans of sharp, nutty cheese.

  1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. 
  2. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked; drain.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for a few seconds.
  4. Stir in the chicken after the garlic has softened. 
  5. Cook until the chicken is golden brown and well done.
  6. Toss together the pasta, chicken, crushed pepper flakes, tomatoes, and pesto in a basin.

Pesto Sauce: 

  1. Toast the nuts for 5 minutes, until fragrant. Let them cool.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and slowly add the olive oil. Continue the process until the mixture is completely blended. Taste and make any necessary changes.
  3. Refrigerate the pesto for up to one week.

Chef Tip: If the pesto isn't creamy enough, you can add additional parmesan cheese. Fresh basil adds lovely, herby notes to the pesto, so make sure you only use fresh leaves. Don’t overdo the garlic, as it could ruin the pesto. It’s best to opt for pistachios for a classic pesto.

This flavorful chicken pesto pasta is a great weeknight meal. It's quick and easy to create, with fresh and nutty flavors. Let us know how you did in the comments below!

Quick Bites

Fun Fact

• Before the invention of machinery, workers would walk over large batches of pasta dough to knead it due to its toughness. It took a full day’s walking to knead one batch of pasta dough.

Historical Fact

• Pesto is derived from a Genoese verb “pesta’ which means “to pound” or “to crush”, in reference to the original method of preparation which was to crush or ground the ingredients in a marble mortar through a circular motion of the pestle.

• The history of pesto dates back to the Roman age. The ancient Romans used to eat a similar paste called moretum, which was made by crushing garlic, salt, cheese, herbs, olive oil, and vinegar together.

Nutrition Fact

• One serving of chicken pesto pasta contains 364 calories of which 96 is from fat. It contains 11g of fat, 54mg of cholesterol, 176mg of sodium, 299mg of potassium, 43g of carbohydrates, and 24g of protein.

• Carbohydrates present in pasta provide glucose which is a crucial fuel for your brain and muscles contributing to sustained energy. It is also low in sodium and free of cholesterol aiding in cardiac health.