This chicken pesto pasta is spaghetti tossed in pesto sauce with seasoned chicken, tomatoes and basil. An easy dinner option for a busy night!
Pasta is easy, inexpensive and kid friendly which means we eat it all the time at my house! This pesto chicken pasta is a family favorite that’s ready in 30 minutes or less.
My family loves pasta and we typically eat it once a week (or more!). I get tired of the plain old spaghetti in tomato sauce which is why I introduced this chicken pesto pasta to the kids, and it’s been a big hit! This pasta is super quick to make, and it’s really versatile too, there are so many options to change up the protein and veggies to keep things exciting.
How to make chicken pesto pasta
The first step in making this dish is to cook your chicken. I like to grill my chicken, either outdoors or inside using a grill pan. You can also saute your chicken, or even use sliced leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken.
While the chicken is cooking, I put the pasta up to boil. I use spaghetti, but other great choices are penne, linguine or rigatoni. Most pasta shapes will work great with this pesto pasta, so feel free to use what you have on hand!
The next step is to add the pesto sauce to the cooked pasta. I’m going to be honest and tell you I rarely make my own pesto unless I happen to have a lot of basil in the garden. That being said, the quality of store bought pesto sauce can vary. Steer clear from the shelf stable pesto, and instead check your refrigerator case for tubs of fresh made pesto. It costs a little more but is so worth it!
After everything is cooked, the final step is to assemble your dinner! I arrange my cooked chicken on top of the pasta, then sprinkle a generous amount of fresh diced tomatoes and parmesan cheese over the top.
This pasta with pesto sauce is actually a perfect meal as is, or you can add a side salad or loaf of bread to complete your dinner. You can use shrimp or even meatballs instead of the chicken, and sometimes instead of using tomatoes I cook up some zucchini and asparagus alongside the chicken and toss them into the pasta for an extra serving of veggies.
More delicious pasta recipes
- Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Pasta
- Caprese Pasta
- Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
- Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- Butternut Squash Pasta
Chicken Pesto Pasta
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or you can use pre-cooked chicken like rotisserie chicken, simply skip the chicken cooking steps below
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- 10 ounces spaghetti or any other pasta shape you like!
- 3/4 cup basil pesto look for it in the refrigerated section
- 3/4 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil can also use parsley
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt to taste. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
- While the pasta is boiling, cook the chicken. Season the chicken on both sides with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat and add the chicken to the pan.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through. Cook time may vary depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts.
- Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Add the pesto and toss to coat evenly.
- Cut the chicken into slices and arrange it on top of the pasta.
- In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, basil and salt to taste.
- Sprinkle the tomato mixture and parmesan cheese over the top of the chicken and pasta, then serve immediately.