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Delish Pesto Pasta with Chicken Marsala

My easy, go-to chicken and pasta recipe is ready and on the table in about a half an hour. It's a fabulous option for those busy weeknights. — Lorraine Stevenski, Land O' Lakes, Florida
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 4 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 envelope creamy pesto sauce mix
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley


  • Cook pasta according to package directions. In a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken; cook and stir until no longer pink; remove from the pan. Repeat with remaining oil and chicken; remove from the pan.
  • Add garlic and lemon zest to the same pan; cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add wine and lemon juice, stirring to loosen browned bits from the pan. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the cheese, milk and sauce mix. Add chicken; cook until sauce is slightly thickened.
  • Drain pasta; add to chicken mixture and toss to combine.
  • Sprinkle with herbs.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/4 cups: 539 calories, 14g fat (4g saturated fat), 98mg cholesterol, 622mg sodium, 49g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 2g fiber), 43g protein.

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  • climbergirl
    Aug 26, 2014

    This has become one of my favorite dishes! The sauce has an amazing flavor. Lately, I've been making the sauce and pouring it over quinoa, which is also excellent.

  • nancyphudson
    Feb 11, 2013

    I've made this a number of times. It is a quick easy meal to get on the table after work and one that my family enjoys. I buy the Knorr's packet when they go on sale and all the other ingredients I usually have on hand so it's always easy to put together in a pinch. I do not include the fresh basil.

  • rockstaralice
    Jan 11, 2013

    My husband and sons loved this dinner. I used muscato wine instead from belle bolle. For some reason it will not let me click anything other than three stars but I would give it 5 :)

    Oct 19, 2012

    No comment left

  • rockstaralice
    Sep 27, 2012

    slightly chalky due to the packaged pesto. Gonna try again with real pesto :D All in all my sons really liked it.

  • 4Sunseeker
    Sep 21, 2012

    No comment left

  • duxselden
    Sep 2, 2012

    I forgot to say that instead of the last 4 ingredients, I used Bertoni pesto, ready-made and just a bit of milk and a bunch of Parmesan to add some extra punch.

  • duxselden
    Sep 2, 2012

    All 6 of us loved this, even our pickiest boy!

  • howeavenue
    Aug 18, 2012

    I'm not sure what went wrong but this just turned out so-so. Everyone ate it but no one said to make it again! Maybe it was the packet of pesto that I used. It was Knorr. The texture of the sauce wasn't appealing and the flavor just wasn't good. I love pesto and was so excited to try it but this was disappointing.

  • workinmomTX
    Aug 12, 2012

    I liked it but it was a little on the bland side. I used freshly grated parmesan, maybe needed a little more salt. I will try it again. One of my sons liked it the other didn't.