Pesto Parmesan Chicken and Pasta

Pesto Parmesan Chicken and Pasta – EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and every piece of tender chicken and pasta is coated in fresh pesto sauce and parmesan cheese!! Great for easy weeknight dinners, planned leftovers, or for parties because it feeds a crowd!!

Pesto Parmesan Chicken and Pasta - EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and every piece of tender chicken and pasta is coated in fresh pesto sauce and parmesan cheese!! Great for easy weeknight dinners, planned leftovers, or for parties because it feeds a crowd!!

Both pesto and parmesan cheese coat every bite of juicy chicken and al dente penne pasta in this easy recipe that’s ready in 20 minutes.

How To Make the Pesto Parmesan Chicken and Pasta

Boil the pasta and while that’s going, sauté chicken that’s seasoned with Italian seasoning and perfumed with a bit of garlic.

I used penne pasta but you could use rotini, ziti, small shells, or your favorite small-shaped pasta.

Transfer the cooked chicken into the drained pasta pot and add pesto, parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes, and serve it right up. So fast and and easy and it feeds a crowd.

It’s perfect for planned leftovers and you can freeze them, too. Or bring it to your next potluck or picnic, or serve it at a party you’re hosting. It’s a guaranteed family-favorite.

Pesto Parmesan Chicken and Pasta - EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and every piece of tender chicken and pasta is coated in fresh pesto sauce and parmesan cheese!! Great for easy weeknight dinners, planned leftovers, or for parties because it feeds a crowd!!

Homemade Vs. Prepared Pesto

I do think there is nothing better than homemade pesto because you just cannot beat the aroma and flavor of fresh basil, and it only takes five minutes to make. And in a dish where pesto is the star of the show, that’s another reason to make your own.

But if you don’t want to, you can use store bought prepared pesto. No shame.

Just note that prepared pesto tends to be pretty salty, like almost all prepared condiments, salsas, mustards, etc. which are loaded with sodium. You likely won’t need to add any extra salt to this dish whatsoever, especially since parmesan cheese is salty, too.

With both the pesto and the parmesan, add to taste. I gave the measurements I used and that my daughter adored, but you can always go lighter-handed at first, and add more either pesto or parmesan, to taste.

This is great comfort food but also has a spring and summery feel from the tomatoes and basil. The best of both worlds.

Pesto Parmesan Chicken and Pasta - EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and every piece of tender chicken and pasta is coated in fresh pesto sauce and parmesan cheese!! Great for easy weeknight dinners, planned leftovers, or for parties because it feeds a crowd!!

Favorite Chicken/Pasta Recipes:

  • Pesto Chicken Caprese Salad – Homemade pesto coats every bite of JUICY chicken, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella in this fun twist on caprese salad!! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and loaded with rich basil flavor!!
  • Chicken Orzo Salad – Juicy chicken tossed with orzo, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and a super flavorful lemon vinaigrette! Easy, healthy, ready in 30 minutes, and a perfect way to use your garden fresh veggies!
  • Skinny Italian Chicken Pasta Salad – EASY, ready in 30 minutes, feeds a crowd, and is on the SKINNY side!! Juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and the pasta are tossed in a light and tangy homemade Italian lemon vinaigrette!
  • BLT Pasta Salad – EASY, ready in 15 minutes, feeds a crowd, and PERFECT for potlucks and parties!! Creamy ranch dressing perfectly coats the pasta and BACON! Guaranteed family FAVORITE!!
  • Italian Chicken Pasta Salad – Easy, ready in 20 minutes, and healthy! Bursting with fresh flavors from juicy tomatoes, cucumber, basil, parmesan, and tender chicken tossed in a tangy lemon vinaigrette!!

Pesto Parmesan Chicken and Pasta - EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and every piece of tender chicken and pasta is coated in fresh pesto sauce and parmesan cheese!! Great for easy weeknight dinners, planned leftovers, or for parties because it feeds a crowd!!

Pesto Parmesan Chicken and Pasta

Pesto Parmesan Chicken and Pasta

Pesto Parmesan Chicken and Pasta – EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and every piece of tender chicken and pasta is coated in fresh pesto sauce and parmesan cheese!! Great for easy weeknight dinners, planned leftovers, or for parties because it feeds a crowd!!

Yield: serves 6
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces penne pasta, cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 to 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 to 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 3/4 to 1 cup (about 7 ounces) prepared pesto (use store bought or follow this scratch recipe)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, or to taste
  • kosher salt, as needed
  • freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • fresh basil, optional for garnishing

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions in a large pot; drain and set aside.
  2. While pasta cooks, to a large skillet add the olive oil, chicken, evenly season with Italian seasoning, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is done and cooked through; stir and flip frequently for even cooking.
  3. Add the garlic, stir to combine, and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  4. Add the chicken and all cooking juices to the pot with the drained pasta.
  5. Add 3/4 cup pesto, tomatoes, and stir to combine. If desired, add additional pesto to taste.
  6. Add the parmesan, stir to combine, and taste. As needed, add salt and pepper. If you are using prepared pesto, you may likely not need any additional salt since most is pretty salty.
  7. Optionally garnish with fresh basil and serve immediately. Recipe will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 805 Total Fat: 54g Saturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 38g Cholesterol: 109mg Sodium: 762mg Carbohydrates: 37g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 10g Protein: 45g

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