Garlic butter chicken pesto pasta

This garlic butter chicken pesto pasta recipe with juicy chicken bites cooked with paprika, lemon and garlic is a delicious, easy dinner idea.

Garlic butter chicken pesto pasta in bowl

Ingredients

The beauty of this pasta dish is that it needs minimal effort and delivers huge on flavor. The garlic butter chicken bites are seared in a hot pan before adding butter, garlic, paprika and lemon and served with the pasta that has been tossed in the chicken’s juices and fresh basil pesto. To make creamy pesto sauce, add a half cup of heavy cream. You could add vegetables like baby spinach, zucchini, red peppers, cherry tomatoes or asparagus too.

For the garlic butter chicken

  • Chicken. I used boneless skinless chicken breast but chicken thighs can be used too.
  • Olive oil. 
  • Lemon juice. 
  • Garlic powder. 
  • Smoked paprika. Other seasonings like Italian seasoning, onion powder, red pepper flakes, etc. can also be added.
  • Salt and black pepper. 
  • Butter. 
  • Fresh garlic cloves.

For the pesto pasta

  • Pasta. I used spaghetti but penne pasta, linguine or rigatoni will all work.
  • Fresh basil pesto. 
  • Parmesan cheese, to serve.
Garlic butter chicken bites in pan.

How to make chicken pesto pasta

  1. Cook the chicken: Chop chicken into bite-size pieces then place in a medium bowl. Drizzle over olive oil and season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, garlic powder and paprika. Mix to combine. Heat a large skillet or pan over medium-high heat then add the chicken and cook in batched to avoid overcrowding the pan, until the chicken is golden brown on all sides and cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil then add the pasta. Cook for 8-10 minutes until al dente. Reserve a cup of the pasta water then drain.
  3. Combine: Stir the basil pesto into the remaining garlic butter you cooked the chicken in then add the pasta and chicken to the basil pesto sauce. Add a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water and toss to combine. Serve with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Can I make this ahead?

This pesto chicken pasta recipe is definitely best served immediately but leftovers can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To reheat, transfer to a large pan set over medium heat, add a few tablespoons of chicken broth and simmer until the chicken is hot throughout. I wouldn’t recommend freezing the pasta and sauce but you can marinate the chicken and transfer to a freezer bag then freeze for up to 3 months before thawing and cooking as instructed.

Garlic butter chicken pesto pasta

Chicken pasta recipes

  1. Creamy BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad
  2. Easy Cajun chicken pasta
  3. Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta Primavera
Garlic butter chicken pesto pasta

Garlic butter chicken pesto pasta

This garlic butter chicken pesto pasta with juicy chicken bites cooked with paprika, lemon and garlic is a delicious, easy dinner recipe.
4.80 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken pesto pasta, pesto chicken pasta, pesto pasta
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Calories: 461kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 500 g (1lb) chicken breasts I used boneless skinless chicken breast but chicken thighs can be used too.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 500 g (1lb) pasta I used spaghetti but penne pasta, linguine or rigatoni will all work.
  • ½ cup fresh basil pesto
  • Parmesan cheese to taste

Instructions

  • Chop chicken into bite-size pieces then place in a medium bowl.
  • Drizzle over olive oil and season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, garlic powder and paprika. Mix to combine.
  • Heat a large skillet or pan over medium-high heat then add the chicken and cook in batched to avoid overcrowding the pan, until the chicken is golden brown on all sides and cooked through.
  • Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil then add the pasta.
  • Cook for 8-10 minutes until al dente. Reserve a cup of the pasta water then drain.
  • Stir the basil pesto into the remaining garlic butter you cooked the chicken in then add the pasta and chicken.
  • Add a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water and toss to combine.
  • Serve with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Nutrition

Calories: 461kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 597mg | Potassium: 340mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 441IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 2mg

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