The Best Chicken Pesto Pasta
chicken pesto pasta

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This chicken pesto pasta is filled with bright, flavorful, and fresh flavors! It takes less than 30 minutes to put together, too!

If you’re looking for an easy chicken pesto pasta recipe, you’ve found it!

This is one of my favorite pasta recipes and takes less than 30 minutes to put together. With fresh basil pesto and freshly grated parmesan cheese, you’ll find yourself going back for seconds (or thirds)!

Why you’ll love this chicken pesto pasta

It takes no time to put together. After a day of working, the last thing you want to do is stand over a hot stove for what feels like forever. This recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make and for the most part, is hands off!

It’s fresh and has a super creamy pesto sauce. The pesto sauce is honestly the star of the dish. It’s bright, flavorful, and fresh!

creamy chicken pesto pasta

Ingredients

For the homemade basil pesto, you’ll need:

  • Fresh basil
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Pine nuts
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Lemon juice

Everything else:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • Penne pasta
  • Italian seasoning
  • Butter
  • Chicken broth
  • Heavy cream
  • Fresh basil and extra parmesan for garnish
  • Optional: Feel free to serve this pesto pasta with some fresh bread!

While you can use store bought pesto, I highly recommend making fresh pesto for yourself!

How to make creamy chicken pesto pasta

There are quite a few steps in this recipe and I’ve found that breaking them down into different segments helps a bunch. This is the order I typically go in when making this chicken pesto pasta recipe!

Step 1: Make the homemade basil pesto

Add basil, olive oil, grated parmesan cheese, lemon juice, fresh minced garlic, and pine nuts to a food processor and blend until fully combined. Then, set to the side and focus on the next step.

Tip: Feel free to leave the basil pesto in the food processor for now. There’s no reason to add it to a bowl or dirty another dish!

Step 2: Make the pasta & cook the chicken

Cube your chicken breast and add it to a skillet over medium heat along with olive oil, freshly minced garlic and dried Italian seasoning. As the chicken cooks, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium high heat and cook the pasta according to package directions.

Brown the chicken on all sides and, once fully cooked, remove the chicken from the skillet. When the pasta is al dente, drain the pasta water and set the cooked pasta to the side for now, too.

Step 3: Make the creamy pesto sauce

In the same skillet used to cook the chicken, add the butter, chicken broth, and heavy cream. When this mixture begins to boil, add the homemade basil pesto and, if you’d like, additional parmesan cheese to the mix!

Once the creamy pesto sauce begins to thicken, add the pasta and chicken to the skillet. Stir well until fully combined and serve with additional basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese!

the best chicken pesto pasta

Looking for some awesome additions? Feel free to add some sun dried tomatoes or cherry tomatoes to your chicken pesto pasta!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question that wasn’t answered below? Be sure to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it!

What is pesto sauce made of?

Pesto sauce is typically made with:

  • Fresh basil
  • Olive oil
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Lemon juice
  • Fresh garlic
  • Pine nuts

In this recipe, the creamy pesto sauce has all of the above, as well as:

  • Heavy cream
  • Chicken broth

This sauce truly makes for the best pesto chicken pasta!

What’s the best pasta for chicken pesto pasta?

Typically, penne is used the most when it comes to making chicken pesto pasta!

However, any tube-shaped pasta would work. The sauce not only coats the outside of the pasta, but will get trapped inside the tube as well. This ensures that you get that delicious, creamy pesto sauce in every bite.

Can I use premade basil pesto sauce?

Of course you can!

If you don’t have fresh basil on hand, feel free to pick up a jar of creamy pesto from the grocery store!

Though, if you can, I highly recommend making your own pesto sauce!

Can you store this pesto chicken pasta?

You absolutely can!

Chicken pesto will last for up to 5 days if kept properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

serving pesto pasta

Looking for more delicious pasta recipes? Check these out:

Print

The Best Chicken Pesto Pasta

After a delicious, creamy chicken pesto pasta that takes less than 30 minutes to put together? You’ve found it! This is sure to become a weekly staple in your house.

  • Author: Kayla
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 Minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For the homemade basil pesto, you’ll need:

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  •  3 cloves freshly minced garlic
  • Juice from 1 lemon

Everything else:

  • 1 LB chicken breasts
  • 1 box penne pasta
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 TBSP Italian seasoning
  • Fresh basil and extra parmesan for garnish
  • Optional: Feel free to serve this pesto pasta with some fresh bread!

Instructions

Step 1: Make the homemade basil pesto

  1. Add basil, olive oil, grated parmesan cheese, lemon juice, fresh minced garlic, and pine nuts to a food processor and blend until fully combined.

Step 2: Make the pasta & cook the chicken

  1. Cube the chicken breast and add it to a skillet over medium heat along with olive oil, freshly minced garlic, and dried Italian seasoning.
  2. As the chicken cooks, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium high heat and cook the pasta according to package directions.
  3. Brown the chicken on all sides and once fully cooked, remove the chicken from the skillet. When the pasta is al dente, drain the pasta water and set the cooked pasta to the side for now, too.

Step 3: Make the creamy pesto sauce

  1. In the same skillet used to cook the chicken, add the butter, chicken broth, and heavy cream. When this mixture begins to boil, add the homemade basil pesto and, if you’d like, additional parmesan cheese to the mix!
  2. Once the creamy pesto sauce begins to thicken, add the pasta and chicken to the skillet. Stir well until fully combined and serve with additional basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese!

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

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Michelle
4 months ago

This looks delicious and I need to try this recipe out for myself!!!!

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