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One-Pot Chicken Pesto Pasta

When my garden basil goes nuts, I make pesto and keep it frozen in small containers for the right opportunity, like this saucy one-pot chicken pesto pasta recipe. —Kimberly Fenwick, Hobart, Indiana
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup uncooked gemelli or spiral pasta
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup prepared pesto

Directions

  • Toss chicken with seasoning blend. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown evenly; remove from pan.
  • In same pan, combine broth and lemon juice; bring to a boil, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Stir in pasta; return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 10 minutes.
  • Add broccoli; cook, covered, 5 minutes. Return chicken to pan; cook, covered, until pasta is tender and chicken is no longer pink, 2-3 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Add peas; heat through. Stir in pesto.

One-Pot Chicken Pesto Pasta Tips

Can I use a homemade pesto?

Making your own fresh pesto is an easy thing to do especially if you have an abundance of fresh basil. Just follow our step-by-step guide on how to make pesto. You'll find you end up with a brighter, fresher tasting pasta.

Can I use something other than chicken thighs?

While chicken thighs are a flavorful meat, you can easily substitute chicken breasts or pork chops instead. If you’re a seafood lover, try adding large shell-on shrimp but skip the browning step. Just add them the last 5 minutes of cooking.

What else can I add to this chicken pesto pasta recipe?

Try adding other veggies! You’ll want to pick vegetables that have a similar texture to raw broccoli so the cooking time will stay the same. Some good options are cauliflower, thinly sliced carrots or Brussel sprouts. Onion lovers can add pearl onions or coarsely chopped white or yellow onions.

Can pesto chicken pasta be reheated?

Surprisingly, we’ve found the microwave reheats pasta really well. Spoon out a single portion into a microwave-safe bowl, cover loosely and microwave at medium power until heated through, about 2-3 minutes. If you need to heat all the leftover pasta at once, place it in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until heated through. You may need to add a little water if the pasta is too dry. (Check out these other reheating tips!)

Research contributed by James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor, Culinary
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 404 calories, 18g fat (4g saturated fat), 76mg cholesterol, 646mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 4g fiber), 30g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch, 2 fat.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

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Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • Ellen
    Aug 15, 2020

    I made this tonight, even making my own fresh pesto from my homegrown basil this morning. The only change I made was using chicken breasts, to reduce the fat. I probably should have added the chicken last, because it was dry and tasteless from being overcooked. Overall, the flavor was pretty bland, even with my adding onion and garlic per other reviewer's suggestion. It may have been cooked in one pot, but I used about a dozen other implements - cutting board, knife, kitchen scale, bowl for pre-cooked chicken, bowl for broccoli, bowl for peas, plus measuring cups and spoons. I'm a pretty experienced cook but it took me several hours to make with all the weighing, measuring, and chopping, plus lots of clean up. Probably not a keep for us. Sorry.

  • Paula
    Aug 8, 2020

    Made this tonight. Loved it! I added sautéed onions and garlic and then at the end I added 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/4 c Parmesan cheese. I did not cook the broccoli as long as suggested so it would remain firm. Delicious!!

  • SharonScanlan
    Aug 5, 2020

    No comment left

  • tennis-twin
    Sep 26, 2019

    It was OK - nothing special. I agree with other reviewers that it needed something else. Even though I added some garlic powder, it still needs more flavor. Probably won't make it again.

  • dlynsmith9
    Jul 4, 2019

    This was a very easy and delicious recipe. I did not have broccoli or peas, so I used asparagus and zucchini. My husband said that he would eat it again.

  • LPHJKitchen
    Apr 26, 2018

    This dish was one of my personal favorites. I love pesto and this was a simple way to use it. It was a light and filling dish that had a quick prep time. Great for weeknights or a nice weekend meal!

  • GeeRea
    Oct 16, 2016

    I used 1/2 lb shrimp and broth made from cooking the shrimp shells, 5 oz mini bowtie pasta, 1/2 sweet red pepper, juice from 1 lemon, 1/3 c. homemade pesto, plus salt and pepper w parmesan on top. No broccoli. I believe 1/2 cup of peas would be sufficient for 3 servings

  • jstowellsupermom
    Jun 29, 2016

    Great meal!! Easy to make & delicious!

  • shannondobos
    May 25, 2016

    I was pleasantly surprised at this dish. It truly was so easy, and I feel like the lemon juice gave the pesto an extra kick. You really could taste it. This would be a fun one to change up the pesto variety with. I'm also usually quite skeptical about anything "one pot", as I find the liquid or cook time is inevitably off. Not in this case though! It really was exactly what I was looking for - a quick, tasty supper that everyone liked.

  • DianeC23
    Apr 26, 2016

    The basil pesto made this dish smell wonderful, but the taste wasn't one we liked. We ate it, but won't be making it again. I think the sauce needs something besides just pesto -- something to mix with it.