Pesto chicken pasta is a light 30-minute dinner that is so easy to put together. Crispy pan-seared chicken breast, creamy basil pesto sauce and cheesy fresh mozzarella to top it all off.
This easy pasta dish is the perfect Mediterranean style dish. With fresh black pepper, olive oil and chopped walnuts bring it all together.
Pesto Chicken Pasta
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- chicken breast- boneless, skinless
- pesto- you can use a jar of premade or you can make your own
- chicken stock cube- you can use water instead of stock if you prefer
- cream- single is just fine for this recipe and will save you some calories
- lemon- zest and juice
Step by step directions
Step 1 & 2
Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of baking parchment and use a rolling pin to gently pound them out to an even thickness all over. Season well with salt and pepper.
Step 3 & 4
- Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet and once the oil shimmers, place the chicken breast in the pan and sear on both sides for about 5 minutes, until the chicken is golden and cooked throughout. Place on a plate and set aside while you make the sauce.
- In the same non-stick skillet, heat the garlic until it's starting to turn golden.
Step 5 & 6
- Add in the pesto and stir well.
- Pour in the chicken stock and cream and bring to a simmer. Add in the cooked noodles and place the sliced chicken breast over top.
- Drizzle with some more olive oil, cracked black pepper and fresh mozzarella.
- Red pesto (sun-dried tomatoes) instead of the basil pesto.
- Turkey fillets instead of chicken- this will keep the pasta very lean and high in protein.
30 Minute Pesto Chicken Pasta
- 400 g (6 ⅓ cups) pasta, any type of noodle
- 2 (2) large chicken breasts, boneless skinless
- 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) olive oil
- 3 cloves (3 cloves) garlic, minced
- 80 g (2 ⅚ oz) basil pesto, works out to be ½ jar
- 100 ml (3 ⅜ floz) single cream
- 100 ml (3 ⅜ floz) vegetable stock made with a stock cube
- 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) walnuts, chopped
- 1 (1) ball mozzarella, torn
- 1 (1) bunch basil, chopped
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, drain and set aside.
- Place the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of non-stick grease proof paper and use a rolling pin to pound the chicken breasts until they are a thin and an even thickness all over. Season well with salt and pepper.
- In a nonstick frying pan, heat the olive oil. Once the oil shimmers place the chicken breast in the pan and fry on both sides until the chicken is cooked through and the juice runs clear. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside while you make the pesto sauce.
- Add the minced garlic to the pan and sauté until it’s fragrant and starts to brown slightly, about 3 minutes. Add in the pesto, and stir.
- Pour the cream and the vegetable stock into the pan, mix with the pesto and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta to the pan tossing to coat the noodles.
- Slice the chicken and serve over the noodles with torn mozzarella and extra black pepper.
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