Wonder how to make chicken and pesto pasta at home?
It’s not hard – you can do it!
In this pesto with chicken dinner, a fragrant basil-garlic-oil puree enhances a succulent herbed chicken breast, to top your favorite pasta. Big flavor with a minimum of ingredients. Simple, yet soooo good.
This herbed chicken can also stand alone if you only have buttered pasta and a salad handy. (It’s a simpler version of the herbed chicken in Chicken, Sausage and Peppers)
There are no pine nuts in this recipe, due to food allergies in our family. So if you are a purist feel free to choose a more traditional recipe.
What goes with chicken and pesto?
If you wonder what to make with chicken and pesto, our family enjoys it with:
This works best with fresh basil. Luckily it grows in our herb garden in the summer.
Did you make this? Show me your #chickenpestopasta!
Simple Chicken and Pesto Pasta
A simple pesto with a fresh basil-garlic-oil blend, topped with sauteed herbed chicken breast. Big flavor with a minimum of ingredients and steps. Simple, yet scrumptious.
For the chicken: Slice through the thickness of each chicken breast half to form 4 thin filets.
Combine salt, sugar, garlic and cumin in a small bowl. Season both sides of each chicken piece with the salt mixture.
Heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat being careful to keep it below the smoking point. As soon as the oil is hot, place chicken pieces in single layer.
Squeeze lemon juice over chicken after 1 -2 minutes of cooking.
Cook the first side for 3-4 minutes medium-high heat until the chicken is browned and beginning to caramelize
Turn the chicken and lower the heat to medium. Cook 5 minutes more, and check the thinner pieces for doneness. Remove each piece as when a slice through the thickest part shows meat is juicy and no longer pink (165-degrees F, if using a thermometer).
Set chicken aside to cool to room temperature. Chop into bite sized pieces when cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile prepare the pesto.
For the pesto
For the pesto:
Combine the basil, garlic, salt and oil in a blender. Blend to a smooth consistency.
Grate the cheese and blend into the basil and oil puree.
Taste and adjust for flavor. I like a bold garlic flavor, and sometimes blend in another small clove of garlic.
For the pasta: Cook your favorite pasta of choice according to package directions
Serve your hot pasta and add a dollop of pesto, a spoonful of chicken and a sprinkle of grated cheese.
The pesto sauce in these photos is a deep green because I was testing a 4:1 ration of basil to oil.
It was delicious but may be too rich for most people.
So this recipe is adjusted for a 3:1 ratio of basil to oil.