Pesto pasta with grilled chicken is a versatile and delicious dish that can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner. The combination of the nutty and aromatic pesto sauce with the tender and juicy chicken is simply irresistible. This recipe is easy to make and can be customized to your liking by adding your favorite vegetables or herbs.
I remember the first time I had pesto pasta with grilled chicken. It was at a cozy Italian restaurant in my hometown, and I was blown away by the flavors and textures. Since then, I have been experimenting with different pesto recipes and ways to cook the chicken. This recipe is my go-to for a quick and satisfying meal.
- 1 pound of pasta (penne, fusilli, or spaghetti)
- 2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
- 2 cups of fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup of pine nuts
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, or sautéed mushrooms for serving.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and brush them with olive oil.
- Grill the chicken for 6-8 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then slice it into bite-size pieces.
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the pesto sauce. In a food processor or blender, combine the basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
- Drain the pasta and reserve some of the cooking water.
- In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the pesto sauce and some of the reserved cooking water to loosen the sauce.
- Add the grilled chicken to the bowl and toss to combine.
- Serve hot with cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, or sautéed mushrooms if desired.
Pesto pasta with grilled chicken is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal. It's also a great dish to bring to potlucks or parties since it can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature. Pair it with a fresh green salad and a glass of white wine for a complete and satisfying meal.