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Chicken Pesto Pasta Recipe

  • Author: Shawn Williams
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian


Chicken pesto pasta is my go-to pasta dish made with fresh homemade basil pesto and melted mozzarella cheese.


  • 1 pound linguine or spaghetti
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced
  • 1 8-ounce ball of fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup basil pesto
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Extra chopped basil as garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Homemade basil pesto

  • 3 loosely packed cups of basil leaves, about 2.5 ounces
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


For the pesto

  1. Combine all pesto ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor or blender. Blend/pulse until mixed and smooth. See notes below on alt methods.
  2. With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until combined. Pesto should not be too soupy or fine. Set aside. Can be made a day in advance and stored in the fridge in a tightly sealed container. Cover with plastic wrap seated directly on top of the surface to prevent browning/air exposure.

For the pesto pasta

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Add a big pinch of salt and cook pasta al dente. Once the pasta is done, strain well and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Slice the chicken into bite-sized strips, season liberally with salt and pepper, and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 3 additional minutes.
  4. Turn the heat off and add the strained pasta. Stir in one cup of pesto and toss until fully coated. Add more oil as needed if the pesto is too thick. Top with fresh mozzarella and bake for 5 minutes or until cheese has fully melted. Serve immediately.


If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a standard blender or single-serve blender instead. Just don’t blend the ingredients too aggressively or it will turn into a creamy paste. If using a single-serve blender, combine all ingredients together and pulse until smooth. Shaking the containing in between blends will help to mix the ingredients if they get “stuck.”


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 842
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Sodium: 524mg
  • Fat: 52g
  • Saturated Fat: 14.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 44.1g
  • Fiber: 0.9g
  • Protein: 43.8g
  • Cholesterol: 176mg

Keywords: Pesto chicken pasta, baked pasta