You'll fall in love with this Creamy Pesto Pasta that's super easy to make. Combining the aromatic flavors of basil pesto, tender rotisserie chicken and al dente pasta. Perfect for busy weeknight meals, dinner done in 30 minutes!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Time-Saving - using store bought rotisserie chicken significantly cuts down the preparation time, you'll be eating dinner in 30 minutes
- Versatile - customize this recipe by adding vegetables like roasted bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, or sautéed mushrooms for added texture and taste
- Family-Friendly - it's a tasty crowd-pleaser, enjoyed by both adults and children alike
- Leftover Magic - easily reheated for a delicious lunch or dinner the next day
- Pasta - penne, linguine or fusilli
- Rotisserie Chicken - chopped or shredded
- Basil Pesto - store bought but Homemade Pesto is easy to make
- Whipping Cream - the creamy base that binds ingredients together
- Chicken Stock - adds flavor and balances out the cream
- Grated Parmesan - for garnish and flavor
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
How to Make Creamy Pesto Pasta
- Cook Pasta - bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside. Optional: Reserve a cup of pasta water to make chicken stock.
- Prep the Chicken - remove the skin from the rotisserie chicken and shred or chop the meat into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- Sauté - in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and rotisserie chicken pieces and cook for 2-3 minutes until heated through.
- Make Chicken Stock - if using chicken bouillon cube, mix with 1 cup of reserved pasta water.
- Make Sauce - reduce heat to low. Pour in whipping cream and chicken stock, stir until combined. Mix through Basil Pesto.
- Add Pasta - gently toss the cooked pasta in the skillet with the creamy pesto sauce.
- Serve - garnish with fresh basil, and serve immediately.
- Cheesy Garlic Pull Apart Bread - complements the flavors of the pasta and is perfect for mopping up any extra sauce.
- Fresh Salad - pair with a simple salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light vinaigrette dressing.
- Roasted Tomatoes - elevate your pasta with the burst of sweetness from roasted cherry tomatoes - oven roasted or air fryer instructions.
- Vegetables - perfect for added color, flavor, and nutrition. Garlic Asparagus, Grilled Zucchini, Parmesan Roasted Broccoli, or Garlic Butter Green Beans are excellent accompaniments to the creamy pesto pasta.
- Lemon Wedges - serve with a few lemon wedges on the side. Squeezing a little lemon juice over the creamy pasta adds balance with a hint of acidity and lemony freshness.
- Tomato Bruschetta - a fresh burst of flavor served alongside your Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta.
Recipe Tips and FAQs
- Thicker Sauce - let the heavy cream simmer for a few minutes to reduce slightly before adding the pesto, or add cheese into mixture.
- Extra Veggies - feel free to add additional vegetables such as sautéed mushrooms, green peas, roasted bell peppers, or toss through spinach for extra texture and flavor.
- Adjust flavors - add more or less basil pesto to your preference. For a creamier pasta, mix through cream cheese.
- Use Chicken Breast - substitute rotisserie chicken with 2 sliced chicken breasts. Sauté until cooked and browned before adding into pesto sauce.
- Pesto Pasta Bake - place the Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta in a casserole dish, topped with mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Bake until heated through and cheese has a golden crust.
Can I Make My Own Basil Pesto?
Absolutely! Making homemade basil pesto is simple and allows you to adjust the flavors to your liking. Blend together fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt, and pepper until smooth.
Can I Use a Different Type of Pasta?
Certainly! Feel free to use your favorite pasta shape or whatever you have on hand. Just adjust the cooking time according to the package instructions. Here are some pasta suggestions:
- Bowtie Pasta
- Potato Gnocchi
- Seashell Pasta
Storage and Reheating
- Fridge - allow to cool and place in an airtight container. Refrigerate and enjoy within 3 days.
- Freezer - creamy pasta doesn't freeze well, resulting in changes to texture when defrosted. Can freeze in airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost in fridge before reheating.
- Microwave Reheating - place in microwave safe dish and add a splash of milk to help re-hydrate the pasta. Heat on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Stir and heat in 30 second increments until heated through.
- Stovetop Reheating - add pesto pasta and a splash of milk into a saucepan for moisture. Heat on medium heat for about 5 minutes until warmed through.
Budget Tips for Pesto Pasta
- Homemade Roast Chicken - it's easy to make your own homemade roast chicken, or use leftover roast chicken for this recipe.
- Costco Canned Chicken - another time saver, substitute roast chicken with the large cans of canned Costco chicken.
- Leftover Turkey - a delicious way to use up leftover turkey from the holidays or enjoy year round!
- Chicken Boullion Powder - an economical way to elevate flavors by using chicken stock powder instead of store bought bouillon.
- Skip the Boullion - simply add the reserved pasta water to ensure the pesto pasta sauce isn't too thick.
- Homemade Pesto - I've already said it, but it's super easy to make, economical and a great way to use up all the basil you have growing in the garden!
Easy Dinner Recipes You'll Love
- Instant Pot Hamburger Helper
- Grilled Red Snapper with Mango Salsa
- One Pot Cheeseburger Gnocchi
- Easy Sheet Pan Gnocchi
- Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken
- Chicken Stroganoff
- Instant Pot Greek Lamb Roast
- Thai Sweet Chili Chicken Drumsticks
Creamy Pesto Pasta with rotisserie chicken is a time saving, flavorful, and satisfying meal that will impress your taste buds. With its versatility and ease of preparation, this recipe is sure to become a go-to favorite. So, grab a rotisserie chicken, some basil pesto, and get cooking for dinner tonight. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 16 0z (500g) Pasta Penne, Linguine or Fusilli
- 2 cups Rotisserie Chicken cut or shredded
- ½ cup Basil Pesto
- 1 cup Whipping Cream (heavy cream)
- 1 cup Chicken Stock or Boullion
- ⅓ cup Grated Parmesan
- Olive Oil for frying
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- Basil for garnish
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside. Optional: Reserve a cup of pasta water to make chicken stock.
- Remove the skin from the rotisserie chicken and shred or chop the meat into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and rotisserie chicken pieces and cook for 2-3 minutes until heated through.
- If using chicken bouillon cube, make chicken stock by mixing 1 cup of reserved pasta water with bouillon cube. Set aside.
- Reduce heat to low. Pour in whipping cream and chicken stock, stir until combined. Mix through Basil Pesto.
- Gently toss the cooked pasta in the skillet with the creamy pesto sauce.
- Garnish with fresh basil, and serve immediately with sides of your choice.
©PetersFoodAdventures.com *originally posted July 2016, updated May 2023