Aromatic and fresh, Pesto Chicken and Vegetables with Pasta will soon become another one of your favorite “go-to” recipes. Easy to prepare in under 25 minutes, this pesto chicken pasta recipe is extremely versatile. Switch out the vegetables to what’s in season. Use other hearty pasta that’s in your pantry. And, I provide three unique, scrumptious pesto recipes for you to choose from!
Pesto Chicken Pasta
I’ve been making Pesto Chicken with Pasta for years, ever since I was first introduced to the bold, vibrant flavors of pesto. Just four ingredients and you can have a delicious dinner – pesto, chicken, Parmesan cheese and pasta. Over the years, I’ve added in various other ingredients, depending on what I have on hand, and/or what I’m craving at the time.
Ingredients for Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Vegetables
This recipe starts with pre-cooked chicken. It’s delicious with poached, sautéed, roasted as well as grilled chicken. And, many different sizes and shapes of pasta will work – just make sure it’s hearty enough to hold the chunky chicken and vegetable pieces. I’ve made it with linguine, tagliatelle, pappardelle, and penne.
There are many other ingredients that you can add to the chicken and pesto. My favorite flavors to include are:
- sun-dried tomatoes, for depth and a taste of the Mediterranean,
- red and yellow bell peppers, which also add color,
- yellow onion,
- asparagus, and
- Parmesan cheese, of course!
What vegetables can I use?
Don’t feel limited to my list of ingredients for this dish – lots of other vegetables will work, including:
- Yellow Squash
- Red Onion
This is definitely one of those recipes you can make your own!
What kind of noodles can I use?
You’ll need to use pasta noodles that are hearty enough to hold the large chunks of chicken and vegetables in this sauce. I like to use linguine, tagliatelle or pappardelle. Short tube-shaped pastas like penne or rigatoni would also work.
What pesto should I use?
I have three wonderful, bright pesto recipes, all of which work well in this recipe:
Of course, if you’re short on time, use store bought! I would recommend purchasing refrigerated pesto and not the jarred stuff, as the latter has little flavor (in my humble opinion).
How to Make Pesto Chicken and Pasta with Veggies
Here are the 6 easy steps to making and serving this recipe:
- Prep water for pasta.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Prep vegetables.
Core, seed and slice bell peppers into thin strips and cut into 1-inch pieces. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces.
- Sauté vegetables.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil until hot and sauté peppers, onions and asparagus over medium-high heat until softened but still crisp, about 10 minutes.
- Mix vegetables with other sauce ingredients.
Transfer cooked vegetables to a large mixing bowl and add chicken and sun-dried tomatoes. Toss with 1/2 cup of the pesto and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook pasta; season.
Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente (per package instructions). Drain, return to the pot and toss with remaining pesto and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Plate and serve.
Mound cooked pasta on a large serving dish (or 4 individual serving plates) and top with chicken and vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (or more to taste). Serve immediately.
How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat Chicken Veggie Pasta
I always like to store my cooked pasta and corresponding sauces separately, so the pasta won’t get soggy. I think it’s also easier to reheat.
So, to store the cooked pasta, place it in a zip top baggie and refrigerate for up to 3 days. The sauce can also be placed in a zip top baggie or other sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Once chilled, the noodles and sauce can also be frozen for up to 1 month.
To reheat the pasta, drop into boiling water for 30 to 45 seconds if thawed or around 1 to 1 1/2 minutes if frozen. Reheat the sauce in the microwave if frozen or over medium heat in a saucepan if thawed.
Pesto Chicken Pasta Recipe FAQ
You never want to cook pesto, so always add it after the pasta is cooked.
If pesto is the only sauce ingredient – no chicken or vegetables – then I recommend using a more delicate pasta than recommended for this recipe. You’ll also want one that will grab onto the oil in the pesto. I would use angel hair or spaghetti.
As listed in this recipe, 3/4 cup of pesto with 1 pound of pasta (uncooked) is the perfect ratio.
I love chicken with pesto, as you can see in this recipe. However, it’s actually good on virtually all meat – steaks, pork, lamb. I even like it on fish!
What goes well with Pesto Pasta with Veggies?
The good news with this pasta is that it’s a complete dinner – protein, carb and a variety of vegetables all in one dish! If you like, serve it with our favorite rolls or Nama’s Cornbread on the side.
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More Favorites from A Well-Seasoned Kitchen
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper
- 1 thinly sliced yellow onion
- 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed
- 3 1/2 cups chopped, cooked chicken (can use poached, sautéed, grilled or roasted)
- 4 teaspoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil), drained
- 3/4 cup Pesto Genovese, Cilantro Pesto, or Spinach Basil Pesto, divided – see Note
- 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 pound linguine, tagliatelle or pappardelle
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
- In the mean time, core, seed and slice the bell peppers into thin strips and cut into 1-inch pieces. Cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until hot and sauté the peppers, onions and asparagus over medium-high heat until softened but still crisp, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer cooked vegetables to a large mixing bowl and add the chicken and sun-dried tomatoes. Toss with 1/2 cup of the pesto and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the water boils, cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente (per package instructions). Drain, return to the pot and toss with the remaining pesto and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Mound the cooked pasta on a large serving dish (or 4 individual serving plates) and top with the chicken and vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (or more to taste). Serve immediately.
Note on pesto: if you are short on time, use store bought. Just purchase the refrigerated kind if possible; the jarred stuff has little flavor (in my opinion).
- Category: main dish, pasta, poultry
- Method: sautéing
- Cuisine: Quick and easy
Keywords: pesto, pasta, fresh ingredients