If you’re searching for the best grilled chicken pesto pasta recipe that’s healthy and full of flavor, look no further! This is sure to be a hit with the entire family.
Pesto Chicken Pasta
This week, we were so busy! So, I was trying to come up with a healthy easy recipe to serve in between all our activities.
I had some homemade pesto in the fridge and some cherry tomatoes so I decided to create this simple meal, Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta!
It was a crowd favorite in our home and it was a definite favorite for me, because it was so easy to make! I always have all the ingredients on hand and this grilled chicken pesto pasta can easily be served cold as a grilled chicken pesto pasta salad if people have to eat a bit later (or for leftovers the next day!
Pesto Chicken Pasta Recipe
Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta
Prep Time- 20 minutes (10 minutes noodles, 10 for rest of prep)
Cook Time- 5 minutes (grilling chicken)
Total Time- 25 minutes
Ingredients for Grilled Pesto Chicken Pasta
2 chicken breasts
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound farfalle pasta
½ cup prepared pesto
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
½ fresh basil sliced
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
How to Make Easy Pesto Chicken Pasta
The first thing you want to do to make this easy pesto chicken pasta is start by preheating your grill.
You want your grill heated to medium heat before placing the chicken on the grill. You might prefer using a grill pan to cook the chicken over direct medium-high heat.
While the grill is warming up brush the chicken with olive oil on both sides then season with salt and pepper. Just that easy! Now your chicken is ready to be placed on the grill.
You will want to cook the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear. Also, don’t forget that the internal temperature of chicken thoroughly cooked is 165 degrees.
Once your chicken is 165 degrees and is running clear liquids you can remove from grill and place on a dish to cool.
While your chicken is cooking, grab a large pot, fill it with salted water and bring the water to a boil and prepare pasta just as the box directs.
After the pasta has cooked, grab your colander and drain the pasta, but do not rinse your pasta. I let my pasta sit for a few minutes to make sure it has time to drain as much excess water as possible.
Now pour your pasta into a large mixing bowl and toss your pasta together with pesto, tomatoes, fresh basil, and Parmesan cheese.
You can either use pre-made pesto or try this amazing homemade pesto sauce.
Slice the chicken into thin strips and place on top of the pasta with additional parmesan cheese and basil, if desired.
For the juiciest and flavorful chicken be sure to let it completely cool before slicing.
Tips and Tricks for Pesto Chicken Pasta
Best serving temperature for Pesto Chicken Pasta
I love Pesto Chicken Pasta served as a cold pasta. I promise you will too. If you want to serve it cold you’ll have to time it just right. You will need about 2 hours to allow the dish to cool down before placing it in the fridge.
However, if you are in a hurry and don’t have time to let it cool serving it warm is just as tasty!
What is the best pasta for pesto sauce?
Any type of pasta works great in pesto sauce, but I like to use short and compact noodles like farfalle, penne or rigatoni. Shorter noodles allow the pesto to coat the noodles evenly and are much easier to eat!
Is Pesto Sauce healthy?
Yes! In fact, our nut-free pesto sauce recipe is made of just basil leaves, garlic cloves, parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper! It is a great, healthy way to add a ton of flavor to your dish!
Should Pesto be heated?
You should never heat your pesto! The heat from the noodles will warm the pesto sauce enough without you having to place it over direct heat.
Direct heat can destroy the aroma as the basil is cooked and can also cause the cheese to clump.
It’s best just to spoon your pesto sauce onto your warm pasta and serve from there!
Why is My Homemade Pesto Bitter?
If your homemade pesto sauce is bitter? Olive oil is most likely the culprit. Occasionally, the process of emulsifying the olive oil in a food processor will cause it to retain a bitter taste.
If this is happening to you, try mixing in the olive oil by hand after the rest of the ingredients are blended together.
How do you Thin out Pesto?
Is your pesto sauce too thick? If needed, simply add a tablespoon at a time of water until the sauce reaches the consistency you are after!
What Side Dishes go With Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta?
I love serving my grilled chicken pesto pasta with a rustic loaf of bread and usually a caesar salad.
How to store Grilled Chicken with Pesto Pasta Leftovers
This grilled chicken with pesto pasta can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
I don’t recommend freezing grilled chicken pesto pasta, but the pesto can definitely be frozen on its own and brought to room temperature before adding it to fresh noodles.
To reheat, simply place the pesto pasta in a microwave-safe dish and heat until the desired temperature.
Share with us in the comments how your Pesto Chicken Pasta turned out! And tag us on Instagram with a picture of your recipe! We would love to see it!
For More Pesto Dishes Check Out These!
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ pepper
- 1 pound farfalle pasta
- ½ cup prepared pesto
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup fresh basil sliced
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Prepare grill or grill pan to cook chicken over direct medium-high heat.
- While the grill is getting set, brush the chicken with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper.
- Grill the chicken for about 5 minutes per side, or until juices run clear and the internal temperature is 165 degrees. Remove from grill, and allow it to cool.
- Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water and prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain well.
- Toss the pasta together with pesto, tomatoes, basil and Parmesan cheese.
- Slice the chicken into thin strips and place on top of the pasta with additional parmesan cheese and basil, if desired.
- This pasta can be served warm or cooled and is delicious either way.
- Allow chicken to cool completely before slicing to seal in juices and keep the flavor.
- If serving cold, this pasta dish will need about 2+ hours. If warm, you can serve right away.
- You can try other pasta shapes if you do not care for farfalle.
- If you like extra saucy pesto pasta, you can increase the sauce amount to 1 cup.
Don’t forget to save this Easy Pesto Chicken Pasta on Pinterest so you can find it next time you are looking for a quick and easy meal your family will love!
Michele is a Family Life Educator with her degree in marriage and family studies. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!