Who doesn’t love pasta?
It is a top tier comfort food that gives off the feel of dining in a fancy Italian restaurant.
Chicken pesto for once is a deliciously creamy pasta dish with tender chicken meat and a smooth parmesan sauce.
Whether you want to serve it for your family, guests, a dinner with a special someone special, or even just a treat for yourself; this pasta recipe is a lifesaver for sure.
What is Pesto sauce?
You might ask. Well, it is an impossibly easy Italian sauce with ingredients such as Parmesan cheese, garlic, and basil, and pine nuts.
It is not a tomato based sauce for sure; it is more on the creamy side. So if you’re not a big fan of the traditional tomato sauce, Pesto will be a great replacement to use not only with pasta but also with pizza and other Italian dishes.
HOW TO MAKE PESTO CHICKEN PASTA?
You can use either a store-bought pesto sauce or make one yourself.
For this recipe, you’ll obviously need some pasta and chicken meat.
You’ll also need virgin olive oil, heavy cream, and of course the pesto sauce.
Let’s start with the pesto:
Take 3 cloves of garlic, with 1/3 cup of pine nuts. Throw them in the food processor and blend.
Add in the basil and pulse again a few times, and pour in half a cup of olive oil gradually.
Now it’s time to pour in the cheese, some salt, and pepper, and your pesto is ready.
Now for the chicken and Pasta:
Heat olive oil in a sauté pan on medium fire, add in garlic and onions and stir until they turn brown. This might take 2 to 3 minutes
Add in the boneless chicken thigh meat with a sprinkle of flower, salt, and pepper. Stir for 1 minute until the meat is cooked and coated.
Throw in the pesto mix and the heavy cream. Gradually pour in the chicken broth. Stir everything until it starts boiling, and then add the pasta.
Cover with a lid and it all cook for about 8 to 12 minutes on low heat, until the pasta becomes tender. Remove it from the fire and add in the Parmesan.
Stir everything until the cheese melts and every piece becomes coated. That’s it, now your creamy pesto is ready to serve.
HOW HEALTHY IS PESTO?
Creamier sauces include more fats and dairy products than regular tomato-based sauces.
However, pesto is exceptionally healthier because the fast included are coming from healthy ingredients such as pine nuts and olive oils.
WHAT TYPE OF PASTA TO USE?
Basically, any type will do.
You can definitely use long spaghetti strands with such a creamy oily sauce. Angel hair pasta is also another option you can go with.
The short and thin shape of angel hair allows it to be drowned in the creaminess and richness of the sauce. Butterfly and ziti pasta will do too.
However, the best choice is the penne. Its short tube-like shape makes it easy to store amounts of the creamy sauce inside, which creates an explosion of cheesy deliciousness in your mouth with every bite.
CAN PESTO BE STORED FOR A LONG PERIOD?
To answer that, the storing period can vary from a week to several months depending on which method you use.
If you only want to store if for a week, use an air-tight container with a layer of olive oil on top to keep it from losing its green color. Place it in the fridge and all is good.
If you want to store it for a longer period, put it in the freezer for up to three months. The best way to freeze basil pesto is by using ice cube trays.
Instead of defrosting a whole container and wasting too much, pesto ice cubes will make it easy to use measurable amounts depending on your needs.
Fill in the tray with pesto and freeze it. Get the cubes out of the tray and place them in a zip lock bag.
Throw it back in the freezer until needed again.
This Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta is a no-muss, flavorful recipe that uses pantry staples and easy to find ingredients. Perfect for busy weeknights!
- 1 pound of diced boneless skinless chicken thigh
- 8 ounces pasta
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small diced onion
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
- basil for garnish
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
Throw 3 cloves of garlic, with 1/3 cup of pine nuts them in the food processor and blend.
Add in the basil and pour in half a cup of olive oil gradually.
Pour in the cheese, some salt, and pepper.
Heat olive oil on medium fire, add in garlic and onions and stir until they turn brown
Add in the chicken thigh meat with a sprinkle of flower, salt, and pepper. Stir for 1 minute.
Throw in the pesto mix and the heavy cream.
Gradually pour in the chicken broth. Stir everything until it starts boiling, and then add the pasta.
Cover and let it cook for 8 to 12 minutes on low heat.
Remove it from the fire and add in the Parmesan.
Serve with a garnish of basil.
Shrimp is a great replacement for chicken and goes perfectly with pesto.
You can incorporate vegetables in this recipe for more nutritious value. Broccoli and mushrooms are great companions to pesto pasta.
You’ll just need to cook then in the pan with the chicken or chimps in some olive oil before you add in the pesto mix.
Chicken needs 6 to 7 minutes to cook, shrimp needs 3 minutes.
Any type of creamy pasta should be served immediately to avoid it drying out.
The Tools You Need to Make a Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta: