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    Pesto Chicken Pasta

    If you need a quick weeknight dinner, here it is! My Pesto Chicken Pasta comes together in about 25 minutes, and is full of great flavors.

    So, here’s the scoop on my favorite easy and quick recipe. I start by sautéing some chicken until it’s nice and tender. Then, I add in some hearty pasta and those juicy cherry tomatoes. They bring such a delightful sweetness to the dish, especially when paired with the fragrant basil. It’s a combo that’s hard to beat!

    This Pesto Chicken Pasta is an easy and tasty dinner idea that comes together in about 25 minutes. Perfect weeknight dinner idea!

    You just can’t go wrong with a pasta dinner. Whether it’s something light such as Pasta Piselli or rich hearty like Pastalaya, pasta is always a hit.

    This one kind of falls in the middle. It’s not heavy like some creamy dishes, but it still has a touch of decadence.

    Ingredient Needed

    For a complete list, along with exact measurements, see the recipe card at the end of the post. Here are the main things I use to make pesto chicken pasta:

    Bowl of pesto sauce.
    • Basil Pesto Sauce – It’s the star flavor. I have a great homemade Pesto alla Genovese recipe, but you can use store-bought too.
    • Pasta – This forms the base. I prefer short shapes like bowties or penne, but spaghetti works too.
    • Chicken – I go for thighs because they’re tastier and juicier. Breasts are leaner, though. Your choice.
    • Crushed Red Pepper – I like it for a touch of heat, but you can skip it if you wish.
    • Parmesan Cheese – Freshly grated, please. You could also use other hard cheeses like asiago for a different flavor profile.
    • Cherry Tomatoes – Add sweetness and juiciness.
    • Pine Nuts – I always toast them quickly in a skillet for that extra burst of flavor.

    Pesto Chicken Pasta Recipe

    1. First, I boil the pasta in salted water until it’s just al dente. Then, I drain it and set it aside.

    2. While the pasta is cooking, I heat up some olive oil in my dutch oven over medium-high heat. I season the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper, then add it to the pan. I sauté it until it’s no longer pink, and then I toss in some garlic and cook it until the chicken starts to get nice and brown.

    3. Next, I add in the pesto sauce and crushed red pepper. I give it all a good mix and let it simmer for about 5 minutes to let the flavors meld together.

    4. Once that’s done, I stir in the cooked pasta, along with the cherry tomatoes and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

    5. To finish it off, I garnish it with some pine nuts and serve it up right away.

    This Pesto Chicken Pasta is an easy and tasty dinner idea that comes together in about 25 minutes. Perfect weeknight dinner idea!


    • Creamy Pesto Pasta: For a creamy twist, I like to add a splash of heavy cream at the end, turning this dish into a lusciously creamy pesto pasta.
    • Add More Veggies: I often toss in extra vegetables like mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, bell peppers, zucchini, or peas. They add nutrients and bulk to the dish, making it even more satisfying.
    • More Protein Variety: I sometimes throw in some shrimp or Italian sausage. They both complement the flavors beautifully and add a delicious twist to the dish.
    • Sun-Dried Tomato Addition: Mix in sun-dried tomatoes for a tangy, sweet flavor that pairs wonderfully with the pesto.
    • Make it a Bake: And if I’m feeling extra indulgent, I turn this into a bake by sprinkling cheese like mozzarella and parmesan on top after tossing everything together, then bake it until it’s bubbly and golden.

    Recipe Tips and Notes

    • Pasta Cooking: I always aim for al dente, following the instructions on the package. Al dente pasta, which is slightly firm to the bite, holds up better when mixed with the sauce and other ingredients.
    • Quality of Pesto: When it comes to pesto, quality matters. I try to get my hands on a high-quality store-bought version or whip up my own if I have the time. It’s a key player in this dish, so I want it to shine.
    • Tomatoes: I toss in the cherry tomatoes towards the end of the cooking process to keep them from getting too mushy. I love that slight burst of texture and flavor they add.
    • Cheese Quality: Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the best flavor. Those pre-grated versions just don’t melt as smoothly and often contain additives I prefer to avoid.
    This Pesto Chicken Pasta is an easy and tasty dinner idea that comes together in about 25 minutes. Perfect weeknight dinner idea!

    I think you’re going to love our pesto chicken pasta. Whether it’s a cozy family dinner or a special occasion, my Pesto Chicken Pasta promises to deliver comfort, taste, and satisfaction in every bite.

    Pin or bookmark this easy recipe so you always know where to find it. And be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up new recipes for you.

    For more easy weeknight dinners, check out our hand picked collection of Dinner Ideas for Tonight. Until next time…

    Pesto Chicken Pasta, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    Bowl of chicken pesto pasta atop the Gypsy Plate.

    More great pasta dishes to try:
    TikTok Spaghetti
    Espagueti Verde
    Chicken Pastina Soup
    Louisiana Chicken Pasta
    Orecchiette with Sausage
    Creamy Sausage Pasta
    Gigi Hadid Pasta

    Featured image for pesto chicken pasta recipe.

    Pesto Chicken Pasta

    Yield: 4 servings
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 25 minutes

    This Pesto Chicken Pasta is an easy and tasty dinner idea that comes together in about 25 minutes. Perfect weeknight dinner idea!


    • 8oz pasta (any short shape like bowties or penne)
    • 1 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite sized chunks
    • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
    • 1 cup basil pesto sauce
    • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
    • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
    • ¼ cup pine nuts
    • salt, to taste
    • pepper, to taste


    1. Boil pasta in salted water according to package to al dente. Drain and set aside.
    2. While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large skillet over medium high heat. Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper, then add to the pan and sauté until no longer pink. Add garlic and continue cooking until the chicken is starting to brown up.
    3. Add in pesto sauce and crushed red pepper. Mix well and simmer for 5 minutes.
    4. Stir in cooked pasta along with cherry tomatoes and parmesan cheese.
    5. Garnish with pine nuts and serve immediately.


    1. For freshest flavor, make our homemade Pesto Sauce.
    2. Leftovers: This chicken pesto pasta is great as leftovers for the next few days. Store it in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on stovetop over medium heat, with a splash of water or olive oil if it has dried out.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 4 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 685Total Fat 45gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 33gCholesterol 146mgSodium 755mgCarbohydrates 29gFiber 3gSugar 7gProtein 43g

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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