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This creamy, cheesy Chicken Pesto Pasta Recipe is a fast and delicious dinner! Made with homemade or store bought pesto, heavy cream, rotisserie chicken, pasta and topped with tomatoes.
If you love pesto, buckle your seat belts because I have a fabulous Chicken Pesto Pasta recipe that is to die for. It’s a fast dinner, especially on lazy summer nights or busy school nights that does not disappoint! Cook your pasta, drain, then heat up your sauce ingredients for about 5 minutes before tossing all together and serving. It seriously doesn’t get easier than this! Bonus points for using this amazing homemade pesto.
How to make Chicken Pesto Pasta
This recipe start to finish is about 15 minutes. If you don’t have any rotisserie chicken, feel free to brown some diced chicken breasts in a little olive oil OR just omit all together.
- Cook the pasta in a pot of salted water. Any short cut variety will do! I used rotini.
- Reserve about 1 cup of cooking liquid, drain pasta and set aside. Place hot pot back over medium heat.
- Whisk together pesto (homemade or store bought) with heavy cream to create a sauce.
- Toss pasta and shredded rotisserie chicken in sauce, using the cooking liquid as needed to thin out the sauce.
- Spoon into bowls and top with fresh tomatoes if desired.
How to make Pesto Pasta lower in fat
This recipe is pretty decadent and heavy with the tomatoes brightening and lightening it up, which is why I strongly suggest adding tomatoes into this finished Chicken Pesto Pasta as listed below.
If you’d like to cut your calories even further, don’t use the heavy cream but make a bechamel sauce instead using 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon flour and 1 cup milk. To this white sauce, whisk in the pesto.
Rotisserie Chicken Substitutes?
While I love the ease and simplicity of having this pre-made option in the fridge, NOT having rotisserie chicken on hand isn’t a deal breaker for making this recipe. Here are some other options:
- Cut and brown up a boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh
- Brown 1/4-1/2 pound ground chicken or turkey to add in
- Try grilling a small steak, slicing and serving on top with the tomatoes
- Or just omit all together and make this a vegetarian meal
Other Pesto Recipes you will love:
- Pesto Stuffed Shells
- Baked Pesto Chicken & Rice Casserole
- Creamy Pesto Alfredo Chicken Pasta
- Vegetarian Pesto Quesadillas
So, there you have it, folks! A delicious meal done in about 15 minutes that will please even the pickiest eaters! The creamy sauce with the basil and nutty flavors from the pesto, along with the cheese was out of this world delicious! And, because I already had the pesto made in the fridge, this whole meal was done in a snap.
Have a great day, friends!
Chicken Pesto Pasta Recipe
- 1 pound rotini or other short cut pasta
- 2/3 cup prepared pesto
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup reserved hot pasta water
- 1 cup shredded chicken
- salt & pepper to taste
- fresh tomatoes
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Pour in pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking liquid and drain pasta.
- Return hot pot to medium low heat. Whisk heavy cream together with pesto. Toss with pasta and chicken, using cooking liquid as needed to coat every noodle. Taste and add in salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve with fresh diced tomatoes (optional).