Chicken Pesto Spaghetti
This Chicken Pesto Spaghetti comes together quickly and is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. Eat it plain or top it with chicken and cherry tomatoes for a more substantial meal.
Last week, I posted a homemade and affordable Basil Walnut Pesto recipe. This flavorful green sauce is very versatile and can be easily adapted to many dishes. So, what can you make with it? First of all, I will start with the classic combination, pesto pasta.
You can make pesto pasta with any pasta your heart desires. In this case, my favorite pasta is spaghetti. Just toss the pesto into the cooked pasta for a quick meal until the spaghetti is smothered with the sauce. Mine is topped with juicy chicken tights and plump cherry tomatoes for a balanced diet. Do not forget to sprinkle some Parmesan cheese for extra goodness.
This Chicken Pesto Spaghetti will be ready in 30 minutes or less. It could not be easier to make and you can prep the pesto in advance. This means that the recipe is ideal for family dinner or if you are too busy to whip up something. More importantly, I believe that everybody will love this classic Chicken Pesto Spaghetti.
Some Pesto Pasta Tips
1. Add some pasta water
The pasta releases some of its starch as it cooks. Do not drain all of the pasta cooking water and take out way more than you think you need. Pasta water is a great addition to the sauce. The salty and starchy water not only adds flavor but also helps glue the pasta and sauce together. It will also help thicken the sauce and create the creamy texture you are looking for.
2. Do not overcook the pesto
Fresher pesto has the best flavor and heating it in particularly prolonged exposure to high heat is a big no-no. Overcooked pesto can cause it to become brown in color and have a bitter taste. Therefore, add pesto at the end to absorb the heat from the cooked pasta.
3. Cook as much as you need
As explained from point 2 above, you should prevent the pesto from heat. I do not recommend reheating leftover pesto pasta. Just cook pesto pasta as much as you need. If you need more, it does not take long to make it again from scratch.
Chicken Pesto Spaghetti
This Chicken Pesto Spaghetti could be prepped in advance and comes together quickly. The classic recipe is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.
- 2 servings dried spaghetti (200 gr)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 200 gr boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite sizes
- 200 gr cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup basil walnut pesto
- 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese to serve
Cook the dried spaghetti in salted water and cook until al dente according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
In a big pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the chicken and cook until it is fully cooked. Add the cherry tomatoes and drained pasta. Turn off the heat. Add the pesto and reserved pasta water. Stir until well combined.
Divide the pasta into serving plates and top it with parmesan. Serve immediately.