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Skillet Chicken Pesto Pasta

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posted: 03/01/20

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Skillet Chicken Pesto Pasta is only six ingredients and is done in 25 minutes! The perfect easy weeknight meal the whole family will love.

overhead photo of a skillet with a red handle holding an easy skillet chicken pesto pasta recipe, garnished with fresh Parmesan and fresh basil

In our life, fast dinners are an absolute must. We have so many nights when we are trying to just throw together dinner the best we can in the midsts of sports, homework, and other activities.

This Skillet Chicken Pesto Pasta – based off of my Pesto Pasta Salad – is the perfect go to dinner for busy nights. It comes together in less than 30 minutes and is so easy to make.

Also, if you are working on teaching your kids how to cook, this is a perfect dinner to start with because it is so easy. Teaching my kids to cook has been such an incredible joy in my life. They love it!

WHAT IS IN CHICKEN PESTO PASTA

You only need a few simple ingredients for this easy skillet meal.

  • Cavatappi Pasta
  • Olive Oil
  • Chicken
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Pesto Sauce
two small plates stacked with chicken pesto pasta on it, cavatapi noodles, small tomatoes, fresh basil, and small mozzarella pearls

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN PESTO PASTA

This is one of those great recipes that after you make once you will be able to make it in your sleep.

  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, cook the chicken in a skillet.
  3. Toss in the tomatoes, and cook until they are soften, just two minutes.
  4. Stir in the noodles, the pesto sauce, and the mozzarella pearls.

PASTA TO USE

I love using cavatappi in this recipe because it holds the pesto so well. But you can feel free to use any noodle that your family loves.

The most important thing is that you bring the water you are cooking it in to a raging boil before adding the dry noodles. Add kosher salt to the water once it comes to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the length of time on the box.

GLUTEN FREE

This is a great recipe to make for gluten free guests. The only thing bringing gluten to this party is the pasta. And there are so many great gluten free pastas on the market, that it is an easy swap.

My suggestion to you is if you are new to cooking gluten free pasta, make sure to read the directions on the package closely so you get the best results.

pulled back overhead view of a red handled skillet with cavatapi noodles, pesto sauce, tomatoes, and small mozzarella pearls on a cutting board with a cloth napkin

STORING LEFT OVERS

While I definitely recommend making this right before eating – it’s such a fast one, no need to make it ahead – my kids do love the left overs.

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. We reheated in covered bowls in the microwave at half power, stirring half way through.

OTHER GREAT 30 MINUTE MEALS

I’d love to hear from you if you make this pesto pasta recipe! Leave me a comment and let me know!

two small plates stacked with chicken pesto pasta on it
two small plates stacked with chicken pesto pasta on it
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Skillet Chicken Pesto Pasta

Serves: 6 servings
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 6 minutes
Cook: 19 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
This Skillet Chicken Pesto Pasta is only six ingredients and is done in 25 minutes! The perfect easy weeknight meal the whole family will love.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces dry cavatappi pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 8 ounces jarred pesto sauce (or homemade)
  • 8 ounces mozzarella pearls drained
  • parmesan cheese optional

Instructions

  • Boil water to cook the pasta. Add a teaspoon of kosher salt before adding the dry noodles. Cook according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced chicken breasts and cook until they are cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the pasta back to the skillet. Stir in the pesto, and remove from the heat. Stir in the mozzarella pearls.
  • Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve.
Calories: 574kcal (29%) Carbohydrates: 34g (11%) Protein: 38g (76%) Fat: 33g (51%) Saturated Fat: 5g (31%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 63mg (21%) Sodium: 423mg (18%) Potassium: 322mg (9%) Fiber: 2g (8%) Sugar: 4g (4%) Vitamin A: 17IU Vitamin C: 26mg (32%) Calcium: 25mg (3%) Iron: 7mg (39%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
two small plates stacked with chicken pesto pasta on it

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Skillet Chicken Pesto Pasta

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Tammy says

    This sounds so yummy!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope you love it, Tammy!

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