This creamy chicken pesto pasta recipe has tender pan-fried chicken with a delicious sun-dried tomato and spinach pesto sauce. It comes together in about 30 minutes!
This recipe was originally published on June 28, 2018. I've updated the post with new photos and an improved recipe.
How to make chicken pesto pasta
Start by cutting the chicken in half lengthwise (so you've got 4 thinner pieces) and searing it in a skillet for 5-6 minutes/side or until it's golden and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and then add some flour to the skillet (this'll help thicken the sauce faster). Whisk in the liquids (cream, chicken broth, pesto, and lemon juice) and sun-dried tomatoes, and then cook the sauce until it reduces a bit. Add in the spinach and let it wilt. Toss with cooked pasta and then top with the cooked chicken. (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
Recipe notes & tips:
- I recommend making pesto at home if you can (here's my homemade pesto recipe) because the flavors will be bolder, brighter, and fresher than if you buy the kind in the jar, but with that said, DeLallo's pesto is my favorite out of the jarred kinds I've tried. Sounds obvious, but for this recipe it really makes a difference what kind of pesto you use, so be sure that you actually like the brand.
- If you don't like sun-dried tomatoes, feel free to leave them out or add a handful of cherry/grape tomatoes if you wish.
- It's easy to overcook chicken, so I recommend getting an instant read meat thermometer so your chicken is perfectly cooked every time (chicken is safe to eat at 165F).
Other delicious chicken pastas to try:
- Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta Recipe
- Creamy Chicken Spinach Pasta
- Sun-dried Tomato Chicken Pasta
Will you make this easy chicken pesto pasta? Questions about this recipe? Let me know in the comments below.
Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta
- 8 ounces uncooked pasta
- 2 chicken breasts cut into half lengthwise
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 3/4 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 1/4 cup pesto
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice or more to taste
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
- Freshly grated parmesan for serving (optional)
- Boil a large, salted pot of water for the pasta. Cook al dente according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, cut the chicken lengthwise so you've got 4 thinner pieces. Season them with the garlic powder and salt & pepper.
- Heat the oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes/side or until it's cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate. Let it rest for a few minutes and then slice it into bite-size pieces.
- Sprinkle the flour into the skillet and cook for about 1 minute (there should still be some butter/oil in there, but if the pan is dry, add 1 tablespoon butter first).
- Add in the chicken broth, cream, pesto, lemon juice, and sun-dried tomatoes to the pan. Scrape up any brown bits from the bottom. Let it gently simmer for a few minutes until it's thickened up a bit.
- Stir in the spinach and let it wilt. Add in the drained pasta (add some of the hot pasta water prior to draining it if the sauce appears a bit thick) and toss.
- Season with extra salt & pepper if needed, and serve with the sliced chicken on top and extra parmesan cheese if desired.
- Some brands of pesto have more lemon juice than others, so I recommend tasting and adjusting the lemon juice as needed.
- I use sun-dried tomatoes that are packed in oil and drain the oil before adding them to the sauce.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.