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.
Servings Prep Time
6servings 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15minutes 10minutes
Servings Prep Time
6servings 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15minutes 10minutes
For the chicken
For the pesto sauce
  1. For the chicken: Slice through the thickness of each chicken breast half to form 4 thin filets.
  2. Combine salt, sugar, garlic and cumin in a small bowl. Season both sides of each chicken piece with the salt mixture.
  3. 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.
  4. Squeeze lemon juice over chicken after 1 -2 minutes of cooking.
  5. Cook the first side for 3-4 minutes medium-high heat until the chicken is browned and beginning to caramelize
  6. 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).
  7. 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
  1. For the pesto: Combine the basil, garlic, salt and oil in a blender. Blend to a smooth consistency.
  2. Grate the cheese and blend into the basil and oil puree.
  3. Taste and adjust for flavor. I like a bold garlic flavor, and sometimes blend in another small clove of garlic.
  1. For the pasta: Cook your favorite pasta of choice according to package directions
  2. Serve your hot pasta and add a dollop of pesto, a spoonful of chicken and a sprinkle of grated cheese.
Recipe Notes

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.