This chicken pesto pasta recipe is a quick and easy meal, great for weekend date night or an easy weekday meal! A little bit naughty, and a little bit healthy, you’ll find it a breeze with some easy shortcuts to whip yourself up a meal in no time!
Ok, so apologies for my delay in posting. I did say I was going to post twice a week, and technically I didn’t actually say what days I’d be posting, but I was aiming to post this on Thursday before life and lack of sleep got in the way!
I’ve been working quite a bit lately, and don’t seem to get home until 3.30 or 4 most afternoons. By the time I’m home and relaxed a little bit, there is no decent light to take any photos, hence the delay!
I don’t know why but I have been super tired this week! I think it must have something to do with the lack of sunlight I’m seeing.
Hello is it spring yet?? Seriously over this friggin weather!
So the other night I got home, could not be effed making dinner and was trying to think of a quick, easy meal I could make that also had some form of vegetable in it!
Voila, this chicken pesto pasta recipe was born.
Now I’ve made a couple of pesto pasta recipes before, but I like this one because it’s just that touch lighter. Unlike my other recipe, this chicken pesto pasta doesn’t use cream, and also cuts out making your own pesto. While I prefer to make my own recipes from scratch, sometimes, JUST sometimes, I like to take a few shortcuts, especially if I’m in a hurry or not feeling up to the extra dishes!
I love making my own pesto, but if you’re short on time, this recipe is for you!
Originally I was going to put asparagus in place of the broccoli but realised that asparagus was about $4 a pound in the supermarket, and I just couldn’t justify buying it. I love asparagus, when it’s about $2.50 a pound or you have the option of buying half a bunch, instead of the whole, huge, heavy bunch!
Yeah, I’m a bit of a tight ass!
I must admit, I actually love the broccoli! It gives the pasta more of a crunch!
Notes For This Chicken Pesto Pasta Recipe
A couple of notes on this recipe – I didn’t include instructions on how to make the pasta because I firmly believe that all adults and teenagers should by now know how to cook pasta. If not, refer here for instructions!
Also, I didn’t include pasta cooking instructions because all kinds of pasta are different, even if they are the same types. One brand might take 2-4 minutes, and another might take 5-6. To be safe, follow the instructions on your pasta packet! BUT pro tip, make sure you salt your water and use a little olive oil if you’re cooking long pasta like spaghetti or fettuccine!
Secondly, it sounds a little bit stupid, but the pesto quantity is 1/4 of a cup, plus a tablespoon! I couldn’t quite figure out the quantities for the pesto because it really is based on taste. I didn’t use quite a 1/3, and I didn’t use quite a half.
If you’re looking for slightly more specific instructions, I’d say I probably used closer to a 1/3 of a cup, but go by taste!
Same goes for the pearl mozzarella and sundried tomato. I used about 1/2 a cup of each, but that is totally dependent on what you want to do! If you want to add more, go for it!
The measurement for the broccoli is equivalent to about 1 small head. But again, you can approximate.
Also, sorry for my somewhat vague measurements. I cook based on taste and feel. If I feel like adding more of something I do, rather than follow a super specific recipe. I use specific recipes and measurements for baking, but not so much for dinners!
Also, don’t forget to add salt and pepper. I was always one of those cooks who rarely added salt to my dishes and wondered why they were bland.
I’ve figured out, that if you’re food taste bland, try adding a bit more salt to it before tasting it again! It works wonders!
So hope you had a great weekend everybody!
Georgie x x
Chicken Pesto Pasta Recipe with Sundried Tomatoes
This chicken pesto pasta recipe with sundried tomato is the perfect quick and easy weeknight meal! Taking less than 30 minutes to make, this recipe is an easy weeknight favourite!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 brown/yellow onion finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 chicken breast diced into about 1-2cm/half an inch thick pieces
- 4.5 oz broccoli stems removed, cut into small florets
- 1/2 cup bocconcini/pearl mozzarella note 1
- 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
- 1/3 cup basil pesto
- 1 cup rotini cooked, note 2
- Cook pasta according to packet instructions.
- In a large fry pan or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium to high heat.
Add onion and garlic and fry off until lightly browned for about 3-5 minutes.
- Add chicken, and stir constantly for 5 minutes, until chicken is browned and nearly cooked through (note 3)
- Next, add the broccoli and stir 2-3 minutes.
Add the pesto and stir through to heat the broccoli and to finish cooking the chicken.
- When pasta is ready, drain and add to the chicken pesto mix, stirring through until pasta is coated in pesto.
- Finally, stir in the sundried tomatoes and bocconcini/pearl mozzarella until cheese has slightly melted.
- Serve warm
Note 1 - in Australia, bocconcini is easy to find, however, I do believe in American is can also be called pearl mozzarella which is basically the same thing.
Note 2 - I used rotini pasta, but you could also use fusilli or gemelli which are also good for light pesto sauces. See this article for more details on choosing the right pasta.
Note 3 - you want to avoid over cooking the chicken so that it's tough. I tend to just cook it through very lightly, at the start because by the time it is finished cooking it will be perfect and moist. Always check however to make sure chicken is fully cooked before serving.
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