Easy Chicken Pesto Pasta

six ingredient chicken pesto pasta 1_small

Sometimes on the weekend Jeff will grill extra chicken breasts and leave it to me to “find something creative to do with them” during the week.


I get tired of chicken breasts. They’re not my favorite, but Jeff is *so* healthy that he prefers them for dinner every night. Do you wonder how Jeff (chicken breast) ever met and married me (butter and chocolate)? Me too.

The hard thing about “finding something creative” is that our kids have activities every night of the week right now, so we don’t get home til after 7 and everyone is STARVING. Hardly the time to be creative.

Last week I whipped this up in the afternoon before we left, taking some inspiration from a side dish from Gimme Some Oven. I added chicken to make it a main dish (I love a one-bowl meal!!) and swapped out the mozzarella for parmesan since my kids prefer it. It came together in about 15 minutes — super fast and super easy. I chilled it while we were at baseball and we walked in the door at 7:15pm and inhaled this stuff. All of us.

I use the protein-enriched Barilla pasta (yellow box) to add extra protein to the meal. We think it tastes best chilled, after the flavors have time to get happy together. It will keep in your fridge for a few days and makes the best leftovers.

Six ingredients? Fifteen minutes? Yes you can.

Easy Chicken Pesto Pasta

Easy Chicken Pesto Pasta


1 pound penne pasta

1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and roughly chopped

1 (6-ounce) jar basil pesto

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

3 cups fresh arugula

2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and drizzle with a little olive oil so pasta doesn't stick. Let cool slightly (so it doesn't melt the parmesan and make it all clumpy).

In a large serving bowl, toss pasta with the remaining ingredients until combined. Refrigerate for at least an hour, then serve.

Serves 8.

Adapted from gimmesomeoven.


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