Close up of pesto chicken pasta in a skillet

Pesto Chicken Pasta

This amazing Pesto Chicken Pasta dish comes together in just 30 minutes which makes it perfect for weeknight dinner. A simple recipe for kale pesto is included but you can also use store-bought pesto to make this meal even quicker. Make it gluten free with Chickapea pasta!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 556 kcal
Author Leelalicious


Simple vegan pesto: (or use 3/4 cup storebought pesto)

  • 1-1/2 cup (350ml) greens (kale, spinach, Swiss chard) torn, hard stems removed
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) herbs (parsley, cilantro, basil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.2ml) sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 large lime juiced
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) oil olive or avocado
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) raw almonds

Chicken Pesto Pasta

For serving: chopped parsley, parmesan


Make Pesto:

  1. Place greens (hard stems removed), herbs, salt, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor. Turn on and slowly pour in oil while machine is running.

  2. Add almonds and pulse until coarsely chopped. Set pesto aside.

Chicken Pesto Pasta

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the Chickapea penne until al dente. Reserve about ½ cup (125ml) of the pasta water, then drain the pasta.

  2. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat then drizzle with a tablespoon of oil. Season the chicken breasts with salt, then place in the hot skillet.

  3. Turn heat to medium. Cook the chicken breasts for about 6-10 minutes per side. Once flipped season with black pepper.

  4. The chicken breasts are done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F/75°C. Set them aside on a cutting board to rest for a 5 minutes before slicing.

  5. Add the drained pasta to the same skillet on low heat. Pour in some of the reserved pasta water as well as ¾ cup (180ml) of the pesto. Toss gentle to combine until all the penne is nicely coated in pesto.

  6. Top with sliced chicken, more pesto, diced tomato, parsley and parmesan. Serve hot or cold as pesto chicken pasta salad.

Nutrition Facts
Pesto Chicken Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 556 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Cholesterol 82mg27%
Sodium 509mg21%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 9.2g37%
Sugar 3.7g4%
Protein 43g86%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.