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chicken pesto pasta in a white bowl
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Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

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!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword chicken pesto pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 640kcal

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.
  • If you're looking for the original version of the recipe that was published in 2018, you can view the PDF here.
  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 640kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 458mg | Potassium: 921mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2556IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 2mg