Chicken With Tomato Pesto

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Chicken With Tomato Pesto for dinner, who would have guessed? I’m always trying to experiment in the kitchen because you never know when you’ll get stuck with what’s in the freezer and it seems like anything can be made into something good.

Today, I’m sharing with you a delicious Chicken With Tomato Pesto. This chicken dish is served over noodles, but it could also be served with rice for a heartier meal.

Creamy pesto chicken with roasted tomatoes

  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:15 mins
    • Cook:25 mins
  • Easy
  • Serves 4

A fast and filling, all-in-one chicken dish

HighlightNutrientUnit
kcal545
fat33g
saturates10g
carbs22g
sugars3g
fibre1g
protein40g
low insalt0.82g

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tbsp Homemade pesto (see the recipe in tip section below)
  • 85g mascarpone
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g breadcrumb, preferably from day-old bread
  • 175g baby tomatoes, on the vine
  • handful pine nuts
  • handful basil leaves

Method

  • STEP 1Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Use a small sharp knife to make a slit along the side of each chicken breast to form a pocket. Mix together the pesto and mascarpone, then carefully spoon a quarter of the mixture into each chicken breast and smooth over the opening to seal.
  • STEP 2Brush a little oil, about 1 tsp, all over each chicken breast and season well. Tip the breadcrumbs onto a large plate and season. Place each breast on the plate and press all over with the breadcrumbs. Place in a lightly oiled shallow baking dish along with the tomatoes (kept together on the vine in a couple of bunches). Drizzle over the remaining oil.
  • STEP 3Cook in the oven for 20-25 mins until the chicken starts to turn golden and is cooked through. Scatter over the pine nuts and cook for 2 mins more. Sprinkle with basil leaves and serve with new potatoes or crusty bread.

One-Pan Chicken with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce

You might have a secret desire to be Suzy homemaker. Or to be known as the Martha Stewart of your neighborhood. Or strive to be just like whoever that overachiever is on Pinterest who makes, creates and cooks every. single. thing. from scratch.

One Pan Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Creamy Chicken #recipe on foodiecrush.com

I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to let those dreams die.

It’s okay to take a short cut here and there.

You don’t have to do it all, every. single. time. Especially when it comes to weeknights in the kitchen when all you’re craving is some simple, easy comfort food.

There are the times when only fresh will do. That’s when I make homemade pesto. And then there are times when certain measures must be taken to maintain sanity in the household. That’s when I’m more than happy to use a flip of the wrist and dig into a jar of pesto straight from my pantry.

I love a good, herbaceous basil pesto, but I do like to change things up and my man just gave me good reason to do so stat.

After way too many to count years together, the other day my husband announced that he simply isn’t a fan of sun-dried tomatoes. What? How could he have hidden this from me all these years? I can only imagine the reason he made the statement is due to the fact he was eating a garden ripe tomato.

DeLallo’s Simply Pesto Sun-Dried Tomato with Olive is the perfect antidote and peace keeper in the kitchen. It’s a mix of sun-dried tomatoes and olives in a smooth and somewhat spicy bite that totally jives with my husband’s tastebuds. And with a dose of half and half, it makes a killer creamy sauce for a one-pan chicken dinner.

One Pan Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Creamy Chicken #recipe on foodiecrush.com

One Pan Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Creamy Chicken #recipe on foodiecrush.com

About the recipe:

Whether it’s chicken, meat or pasta, for some reason I always think I need to add garlic and onion to a sauce. No need here thanks to the wonderworld of DeLallo’s Simply Pesto. It has plenty of flavor for the whole dish. I did add a pinch or two of kosher salt to bring out the flavors just a bit more.

I added slices of baby bella mushrooms and fresh spinach to up the vegetable ante and work in a few more healthy gold stars in our diet. If you don’t have them on hand, no big deal. The dish would be just as creamy and delicious. Or, consider adding in red bell pepper or zucchini instead.

I gave this creamy dish just a bit more creamy flavor with a sprinkling of tangy goat cheese. Salty parmesan or asiago would be fine substitutions.

After mixing the half and half and the pesto together , don’t be alarmed if it looks to be separating. The sauce will come together as it cooks down and also as it cools upon serving.

I added the cooked fusilli pasta to pan to coat the pasta, but if you prefer, serve the plain pasta on the side of the plate and top with the chicken breast and sauce.

One Pan Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Creamy Chicken #recipe on foodiecrush.com

One Pan Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Creamy Chicken #recipe on foodiecrush.com

One-Pan Chicken with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried fusilli pasta
  • 3-4 skinless boneless chicken breasts (1 3/4 to 2 pounds)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 baby bella or cremini mushrooms cleaned, stemmed and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/3 cup half and half
  • 1 jar DeLallo Simply Pesto Sun-Dried Tomato with Olive 6.35 ounces
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese 1-2 ounces
  • Italian flat leaf parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring once or twice then transfer to a bowl.
  • Meanwhile, season chicken with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the chicken. Cook for about 12-15 minutes or until no longer pink (165 degrees F), turning once. Remove the chicken from the skillet and transfer to a plate.
  • Add the half and half to the skillet and whisk in the DeLallo Simply Pesto Sun-Dried Tomato with Olive. Season with kosher salt to taste and cook for 2 to 3 minutes then return the mushrooms and chicken to the sauce and mix to coat. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until sauce has reduced slightly. Mix in the spinach. If desired add the cooked pasta to the pan and stir to coat or serve the chicken and sauce over the plain pasta. Garnish with crumbles of goat cheese and parsley.

SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO PASTA

SUN DRIED TOMATO PESTO PASTA IS QUICK, EASY AND EXPLODING WITH FLAVOR!

This Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta is one of my favorite pastas in the world and guaranteed to become a new family favorite!   It’s a quick and easy pulsing of ingredients to create the sensational sun-dried tomato pesto sauce and then you saute it with veggies (optional) and stir in some chicken broth and heavy cream to create CREAMY sun-dried tomato pesto pasta that is lick-the plate delicious. I’ve include ways to customize the sun-dried tomato pesto pasta with different proteins and veggies so it can be different every time – because trust me, you are going to want to make this sun-dried tomato pesto ALL the time!

SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO PASTA

I love sun-dried tomato pesto pasta.   It was over a big bowl of this pasta at a favorite Italian restaurant that Patrick told his parents we were getting married.

Patrick and I hadn’t been dating long, but we both knew we were meant for each other.  I had been told that when you meet the right person, you just “know.”  Many suitors before Patrick I asked myself,”do I know???”  And then Patrick came along, and I just knew.  We both knew we wanted to spend forever together before we even held hands.  (You can read more about our Love Story here.)

Since we hadn’t been dating long, I hadn’t had the chance to meet his parents until all four of us were clustered around bowls of sun-dried tomato pesto pasta, fettuccine, spaghetti bolognese, and lasagna.  As we were chatting, Patrick, asked his dad, “Can you pass the salt?” then under his breath with a muffled  cough announced “and we’re getting married.” (He thought it would be funny to tell them this way).  Both parents’ eyes grew wide as Patrick affirmed we were engaged followed by a flood of their happy tears.

Over 13 years and many  bowls of sun-dried tomato pesto pasta later, we are still meant for each other – we are better together.  Kind of like fettuccine and Alfredo, spaghetti and bolognese, and this Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pasta, Parmesan Chicken and YOU!    A cheesy tie in?  Yes, literally.  Thank you Parmesan.

SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO PASTA RECIPE

This Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pasta reminds me of the tastes of Italy we giddily celebrated over that night.  Its dimensions of flavor will transport your whole household to the finest Italian restaurant (at a fraction of the cost I might add).  

This Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pasta boasts layered flavors of sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, fresh basil, fresh parsley, garlic, shallots and spices with the crunch of sauteed bell peppers and squash, fire roasted tomatoes and smooth al dente pasta all bathed in a luscious creamy sauce.  

The ingredient list is long for this sauce, but I promise it comes together very quickly and is so worth it.  Most of the ingredients are added to the food processor and processed a couple times-seriously takes less than a couple minutes.  Please don’t shy away from this awesomeness.

SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO SAUCE INGREDIENTS

The star of this Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta is obviously the pesto sauce. It is tangy, bright, fresh, garlicky and absolutely heavenly. I love it so much, I’ve already used versions of it in my Greek Pasta Salad and my Shrimp Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta. You will need:

  • sun-dried tomatoes: use sun-dried tomatoes in a jar packed in oil, not water.
  • basil leaves: please don’t substitute dried.
  • parsley: fresh please!
  • garlic cloves: use more or less to taste.
  • shallot: one medium shallot will do the trick.
  • pine nuts: you may substitute with 3 tablespoons almonds if that’s all you have on hand.
  • tomato paste: when only using a small amount of tomato paste like in this sun-dried tomato pesto pasta recipe, you can freeze the rest of the can by the tablespoon. Simply drop tomato paste by the tablespoon onto parchment paper so they are not touching and freeze on a baking sheet until solid. Cut around the tomato paste, wrap up and add the tablespoons to a freezer safe bag so you can use them one at a time.
  • flour: all purpose or gluten free flour work great. Flour isn’t typically found in sun-dried tomato pesto, but we are adding it to help thicken the creamy sauce.
  • seasonings: salt, red pepper flakes, oregano and pepper.

WHAT SUN-DRIED TOMATOES SHOULD I BUY?

Sun-Dried Tomatoes are usually located near the olives or pickles at your grocery store.  Purchase sun-dried tomatoes in a jar and not the dried ones that come in a package.  The oil keeps them bold and moist and we are going to be using the oil they are packed instead of regular olive oil for extra sun-dried tomato oomph throughout the recipe.

CAN I ADD CHICKEN TO SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO PASTA?

Absolutely! You can either consume this pasta as is (and you won’t be able to resist eating at least some of the pasta as it is), or you can add sauteed chicken or go to extra lengths of deliciousness and add chicken coated in spiced floured, browned and finished in the oven, broiled until crispy then piled high with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  Basically amazing. I’ve included instructions in the recipe.

MORE CHICKEN OPTIONS:

  • chicken thighs. Due to their higher fat content, chicken thighs are inherently juicer than chicken breasts and harder to overcook. Simply season with salt and pepper, and cook in olive oil for approximately 3-5 minutes per side until cooked thorough.
  • chopped chicken breasts. Chop up chicken breasts and season with some salt and pepper.  Heat one tablespoon oil over medium high heat, add chicken and cook chicken just until cooked through.  Remove to a plate then stir into pasta once done.
  • Use rotisserie chicken. Stir shredded rotisserie chicken directly into pasta once done.

CAN I ADD OTHER PROTEIN TO SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO PASTA?

This Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta is a blank canvas to add any protein you wish! In addition to chicken, it is delicious with:

  • shrimp
  • salmon
  • ground beef
  • ground turkey
  • ground chicken
  • sausage
  • ham

CAN I ADD OTHER VEGGIES TO SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO PASTA?

I’ve added bell peppers and squash to this Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta, but you can use whatever veggies you want! Just be aware of cooking times. For example, carrots will need to be added first thing with the pesto because they take longer to cook and spinach should be added at the very end of cooking once the pasta is all combined. Here are some veggie ideas:

  • carrots
  • artichokes
  • celery
  • mushrooms
  • peas
  • zucchini
  • spinach
  • kale
  • eggplant
side view of sun-dried tomato pesto pasta recipe

OTHER SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO PASTA VARIATIONS

  • Skip the protein.  You can instantly turn this into a meatless Monday dinner or a side dish by omitting the protein.
  • Make it cheesy.  As written, the pasta is more creamy than cheesy, but you can certainly make it cheesier by adding mozzarella either directly into the sauce or melting it on top of the pasta.
  • Add panko topping.  There are two ways to add panko:  1) sprinkle panko over the top of your pasta and spray lightly with cooking spray and broil; 2) for the CRUNCHIEST panko topping, I recommend toasting it in a skillet first – life changing.  To do this, melt 2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet. Add 3/4 cup panko and stir and cook unto panko becomes golden brown. Evenly sprinkle over pasta.
  • Make gluten-free.  To make this Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta gluten free, simply replace the flour with gluten free flour.

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO PASTA

This Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta is pretty straightforward, but here are a few helpful tips and tricks to help you achieve perfect pasta every time:

  • You can use a different pasta but I suggest something with curves or ridges so the sauce wills stick to it. Stop pasta from cooking one you remove it from the stove by rinsing in cool water.
  • If you’re not using the cooked pasta right away, toss it with a little olive oil.  This will prevent it from sticking together.
  • You can substitute the shallot with ¼ yellow onion.
  • Purchase sun-dried tomatoes packed in OIL not dry packaged ones.
  • Use more or less sun-dried tomatoes depending on desired taste.
  • You may substitute the sun-dried tomato oil called for for olive oil.
  • You can substitute the fire roasted tomatoes for diced tomatoes.
  • Only use freshly grated Parmesan as packaged, pre-shredded cheeses do not melt very well.
  • Reserve ½ cup of pasta water so you can use it to thin sun-dried tomato pesto sauce if desired.

HOW LONG IS SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO GOOD FOR?

You can make the Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto ahead of time and store it an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.

CAN I MAKE SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO PASTA IN ADVANCE?

If you would like to make this Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta in advance, I recommend keeping the pasta and the sauce separate. This will prevent the pasta from soaking up too much of the sauce.

  • To store, transfer pesto sauce to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.  Take care the container is glass or ceramic as the sauce can stain plastic containers.  
  • To store the pasta, toss it with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking together.  Store in a freezer size plastic bag or airtight container in the refrigerator.

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