One-Pot Chicken Pesto Pasta

Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 30 min.


4 servings

Updated: Jul. 26, 2023
When my garden basil goes nuts, I make pesto and keep it frozen in small containers for the right opportunity, like this saucy one-pot chicken pesto pasta recipe. —Kimberly Fenwick, Hobart, Indiana


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup uncooked gemelli or spiral pasta
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup prepared pesto


  1. Toss chicken with seasoning blend. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown evenly; remove from pan.
  2. In same pan, combine broth and lemon juice; bring to a boil, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Stir in pasta; return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 10 minutes.
  3. Add broccoli; cook, covered, 5 minutes. Return chicken to pan; cook, covered, until pasta is tender and chicken is no longer pink, 2-3 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Add peas; heat through. Stir in pesto.
Chicken Pesto Pasta Tips

Can you use homemade pesto in chicken pesto pasta?

Making your own fresh pesto is an easy thing to do especially if you have an abundance of fresh basil. Just follow our step-by-step guide on how to make pesto. You'll find you end up with a brighter, fresher tasting pasta.

Can you use other cuts of chicken to make chicken pesto pasta?

While chicken thighs are a flavorful meat, you can easily substitute chicken breasts or pork chops instead. If you’re a seafood lover, try adding large shell-on shrimp but skip the browning step. Just add them the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Can you use other types of pasta?

Gemelli is not the only pasta shape you can use in chicken pesto pasta. Other short noodles such as campanelle, rotini, gomiti, orecchiette and casarecce would work just as well. Just avoid long noodles like spaghetti and fettuccine. Since the recipe calls for several mix-ins such as cut-up chicken, broccoli and peas, the dish will be easier to eat if the size of the noodles matches the size of the mix-ins.

What else can you add to chicken pesto pasta?

Try adding other veggies! You’ll want to pick vegetables that have a similar texture to raw broccoli so the cooking time will stay the same. Some good options are cauliflower, thinly sliced carrots or Brussels sprouts. Onion lovers can add pearl onions or coarsely chopped white or yellow onions.

Can chicken pesto pasta be reheated?

Surprisingly, we’ve found the microwave reheats pasta really well. Spoon out a single portion into a microwave-safe bowl, cover loosely and microwave at medium power until heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes. If you need to heat all the leftover pasta at once, place it in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until heated through. You may need to add a little water if the pasta is too dry. (Check out these other reheating tips!)

How long will leftover chicken pesto pasta last?

Leftover chicken pesto pasta will keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator—if it lasts for that long!

James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor, Culinary, and Lauren Pahmeier, Taste of Home Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 404 calories, 18g fat (4g saturated fat), 76mg cholesterol, 646mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 4g fiber), 30g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch, 2 fat.