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Creamy chicken and mushroom pasta with basil pesto

 In Chicken, Dinner/Supper, Pasta, Recipes

Simple creamy chicken and mushroom pasta with bright, tasty basil pesto is a perfect, easy weeknight dinner. Leave out the chicken for a vegetarian feast.

Chicken & mushroom pasta with basil pesto

These last two weeks have been absolutely manic and I couldn’t believe that my last post was exactly two weeks ago. I feel like I’ve been neglecting this little blog baby of mine and I am working very hard at rectifying the situation. But you know, life happens. The kids went back to school from their Easter break, I had to prepare for a talk I was giving about blogging and food styling at the very first Food Styling course presented by Zahra Media Group at the SA Chef’s Association and in between that still had to finish various shoots and articles for clients. When I looked at my schedule yesterday, I was delighted to see that I didn’t have ANYTHING happening this week. Not a single meeting, appointment or deadline and that means an entire week dedicated to creating, styling and photographing food for Simply Delicious. YIPEEE!

Chicken & mushroom pasta with basil pesto Chicken & mushroom pasta with basil pesto

Last week when I was in the middle of all the chaos, I wanted something quick and easy for dinner but something that still delivered a serious punch of flavour. I had a few chicken breasts in the fridge and a punnet of mushrooms that were close to their expiry date and decided to whip up a simple chicken and mushroom pasta. This is the kind of food you eat out of a bowl, on the couch while you just give yourself a few minutes to regroup and chill.

Chicken & mushroom pasta with basil pesto

Chicken and mushroom is such a classic combination but I wanted to amp up the flavour and decided to turn my sad-looking basil plant into a few jars of bright green pesto. ¬†The pesto added a lovely pop of flavour to the creamy pasta and turned this average, weeknight chicken and mushroom pasta into something a little special. I love food like this. Simple, homey and whipped together in a matter of minutes with minimal effort. Especially on weeknights when you just couldn’t be bothered. I’d love to know what you cook on nights like this and what your go-to lazy recipes are so let me know in the comments below!

Chicken & mushroom pasta with basil pesto

Creamy chicken and mushroom pasta with basil pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Simple creamy chicken and mushroom pasta with bright, tasty basil pesto is a perfect, easy weeknight dinner. Leave out the chicken for a vegetarian feast.
Recipe type: Pasta, Dinner, Chicken
Serves: 4
for the pasta
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 250g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
  • 250ml cream
  • juice and zest of ½ lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 500g linguini, cooked
for the pesto
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 100g pine nuts, toasted and cooled
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (depending on taste)
  • 50g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ cup-3/4 olive oil (depending on the consistency you're after)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. To make the pesto, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until all the ingredients are finely chopped but take care not to blend too much as the pesto will form a paste.
  2. Heat a large pan over high heat then add a splash of oil.
  3. Fry the chicken until golden brown then remove from the pan and add the mushrooms.
  4. Allow the mushrooms to fry until golden brown.
  5. Add the garlic and thyme and add the chicken back to the pan.
  6. Allow to saute for 2 minutes then pour in the cream, lemon juice and lemon zest. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes then season to taste and toss with the pasta.
  7. Serve with the pesto.

More easy pasta recipes you will love:

Easy garlic butter mushroom spaghetti

Garlic butter mushroom spaghetti

Spaghetti with anchovies, lemon and chilli

Spaghetti with anchovies and chillies

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Alida Ryder
Being a general food freak has proven to be quite helpful in this career I've found myself in. Author of two cookbooks, photographer, food stylist. Mom to twins. Ex make-up and hair artist obsessed with beautiful clothes and spaces. I love a good G&T and I've been known to spend too much money on shoes.
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Showing 2 comments
  • Reply

    Let me just say that the wait for this post was worth every minute!! The recipe looks amazing and the photography captures the dish so well, I swear I can smell it. I’ve already pinned the photo and will be making this recipe very soon. We eat so much chicken I swear we have feathers. I chicken recipe is always welcome. Grazie per la ricetta!

  • Michele Bruwer

    Sign me up please

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