Chicken Pesto Pasta with Broccoli

Explore our tasty Chicken Pesto Pasta recipe. It’s a mix of yummy pesto, bowtie pasta, juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh broccoli, and lots of parmesan cheese, all ready in just 30 minutes for a delightful dinner.

A plate with Chicken Pesto Pasta with Broccoli garnished with parsley and cheese, placed on a table.

When it comes to comfort food, pasta is always the first thing that comes to mind. Pasta has a special way of wrapping you in warmth and flavor. It’s hearty, simple to prepare, and a go-to choice for a satisfying dinner.

Our pesto chicken and broccoli dinner is a flavorful twist on the classic creamy chicken and broccoli pasta. This dish packs in garlic, Parmesan, vibrant pesto, tender chicken, and, of course, delicious broccoli. It’s comfort food at its finest, ready to satisfy your cravings. Now, if you’re craving a twist, explore the equally delightful world of our Chicken Pesto Pizza.

Why We Love This Recipe

  • The chicken pesto pasta recipe offers a satisfying texture of pasta blending together in flavorful harmony.
  • It’s the perfect go-to option for busy days, as it’s a stress-free choice for a delicious meal that comes together in just 30 minutes, making it quick and easy.
  • This dish tends to be a crowd-pleaser, making it a hit with family and friends of all ages, as it’s a family-friendly meal and appeals to both kids and adults alike.
  • It provides that warm and comforting feeling we associate with home-cooked meals, making it a favorite comfort food for many.

Recipe Ingredients

Basil pesto, bow tie pasta, chicken, and various other ingredients are arranged on the table.
  • Chicken breasts: Chicken makes the pasta hearty and filling, giving you a boost of protein.
  • Pesto sauce: Pesto is the star, making the pasta flavorful and exciting. It’s rich and herby which makes the dish pop with taste.
  • Pasta: Pasta is the comforting part, chewy and filling. It holds all the flavors together.
  • Broccoli: Broccoli adds a fresh crunch. It makes the pasta colorful and more nutritious, giving a burst of green goodness.
  • Parmesan cheese: Parmesan adds a special touch, making the pasta cheesy and extra tasty. It brings all the flavors together perfectly.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations

  • Vegetarian Twist: Replace chicken with sautéed mushrooms for a hearty, meatless version. The earthy flavor of mushrooms complements the pesto and broccoli beautifully.
  • Pasta Variation: Swap bow tie pasta for penne or opt for a hearty short pasta like rigatoni. Both choices enhance the dish’s texture and ability to absorb the delightful pesto sauce.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free pasta to make the dish suitable for those with gluten sensitivities or dietary restrictions, while keeping all the other ingredients the same.
  • Cheese Alternatives: Explore different cheeses like mozzarella cheese, Pecorino Romano, or Gouda to diversify textures and flavors.
  • Vegan Alternative: For a vegan version, substitute the chicken with pan-seared tofu or tempeh, and use a dairy-free basil pesto. Ensure the pasta is vegan-friendly, and you’ll have a delicious plant-based alternative to enjoy.

How to Make Chicken Pesto Pasta

Step #1: Boil a large pot of water and cook pasta according to package instructions. Add the broccoli into the pasta pot for 1 minute before turning off the heat.

Step #2: While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.

Pasta cooking on a large pan over medium-high heat.

Step #3: Add the chicken to the pan with salt and pepper to taste. Let the chicken cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until it is lightly browned.

Chicken in the pan being cooked for 3-5 minutes until it reaches a light browning.

Step #4: Next, add the tomatoes, garlic, and Italian seasoning to the chicken pan. Then, cook for 2-3 minutes until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (about 73.9 degrees Celsius).

Lightly browned chicken in a pan, added with tomatoes.

Step #5: Drain the pasta and broccoli and return them to the pot.

Pot with bow pasta and broccoli.

Step #6: Add the chicken and tomatoes to the pot.

A pot filled with bow pasta, broccoli, cooked chicken and tomatoes.


Step #7: Add the pesto and parmesan cheese and combine. Garnish with parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve and enjoy!

A pot brimming with bow pasta, broccoli, cooked chicken, and tomatoes, garnished with Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Expert Tips

  • Fresher Pesto: While store-bought pesto is convenient, consider making your own with fresh basil. The difference in taste is remarkable and worth the extra effort.
  • Marinating the Chicken: Marinate chicken in olive oil, garlic, and Italian seasoning for enhanced flavor. Let it sit for a minimum of 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Cooking the Broccoli: Avoid overcooking broccoli. Ensure it’s tender but crisp, maintaining its vibrant color and nutritional value.
  • Utilizing the Pasta Water: Save some pasta water before draining. It helps adjust sauce consistency, ensuring a smoother, well-bound mixture with the pasta and ingredients.
A plate of chicken pesto pasta with broccoli.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an interesting fact about pesto?

Pesto originates from the Italian “pestare,” meaning to pound or crush. It was traditionally made by grinding ingredients with a mortar and pestle, giving it a distinctive, rustic texture and flavor.

Can I use a different type of pasta?

Pesto complements linguine, spaghetti, fettuccine, and penne. If you’re a pasta enthusiast, consider exploring our other pasta recipes like our White Bean Pasta with Rosemary Pesto for more delicious options!

What is the difference between pesto and creamy pesto?

Creamy pesto incorporates heavy cream for a smoother, richer sauce. On the other hand, traditional pesto ingredients are fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil.

Can I make this recipe vegetarian?

Absolutely! You can make this meal without chicken to make it vegetarian. To maintain a balance of flavors and nutrients, substitute chicken with extra veggies, cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, or tofu for added protein.

What is best paired with pesto pasta?

Pesto pasta pairs well with a green salad, roasted vegetables, or garlic bread for a complete meal. If you have a passion for bread like I do, don’t miss out on trying our Honey and Herb bread recipe.

Storage Info

For storage, keep your chicken pesto pasta with broccoli in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It’s safe to store for up to 3-4 days. For reheating, transfer the portion you want to enjoy to a microwave-safe container and heat it in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until it’s heated to your liking. This method will help maintain the dish’s flavor and texture.

Did you try this recipe? Leave a ⭐️ rating below and share it on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest!

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Broccoli Recipe

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Broccoli Recipe

Explore our tasty Chicken Pesto Pasta recipe. It's a mix of yummy pesto, bowtie pasta, juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh broccoli, and lots of parmesan cheese, all ready in just 30 minutes for a delightful dinner.
4.3 from 54 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 150kcal
Author: Linda
Print Recipe

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless - skinless chicken breasts, bite-sized pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic - minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 12 oz. bow tie pasta - farfalle pasta
  • 2 cups broccoli florets - bite-sized
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup basil pesto - you can use any, but the pesto found in the refrigerated section is fresher, just make sure the date is good
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new and favorite recipes from us!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Instructions

  • Boil a large pot of water and cook pasta according to package instructions. Add the broccoli into the pasta pot for 1 minute before turning off the heat.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken to the pan with salt and pepper to taste. Let the chicken cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until it is lightly browned.
  • Next, add the tomatoes, garlic, and Italian seasoning to the chicken pan. Then, cook for 2-3 minutes until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (about 73.9 degrees Celsius).
  • Drain the pasta and broccoli and return them to the pot.
  • Add the chicken and tomatoes to the pot.
  • Add the pesto and parmesan cheese and combine. Garnish with parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve and enjoy!

VIDEO

NOTES

Storage Info:
For storage, keep your chicken pesto pasta with broccoli in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It’s safe to store for up to 3 days. For reheating, transfer the portion you want to enjoy to a microwave-safe container and heat it in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until it’s heated to your liking. This method will help maintain the dish’s flavor and texture.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 150kcal | Protein: 25g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 424mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

Want more inspiration?

More Recipes You'll Love

About the Author

Linda

Hi, I'm Linda! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel adventures from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. Be adventurous and try a new recipe and travel somewhere you have never been before.  Bon Appétit! Bon Voyage!  

Join the Conversation

Rate and Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please click on the Stars below to share your Rating of this Recipe




Comments: