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Finished pasta in dish tossed in pesto and topped with sliced chicken, basil, and lemon.
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5 from 156 votes

Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Pesto pasta topped with smoky grilled chicken a squeeze of lemon and fresh basil. This pesto pasta is easy to make and bursting with so much flavor!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 465kcal
Author Yumna Jawad


  • 1 pound spaghetti pasta
  • ½ cup pesto
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 6- ounces boneless skinless chicken breast
  • ½ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Fresh basil for garnish


  • Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water and drain.
  • Return drained pasta to the same pot over low heat and add the pesto, Parmesan cheese and butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add in reserved pasta water gradually until the sauce is glossy.
  • Preheat a grill pan to medium high heat. Add the olive oil. Season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika and transfer to the heated skillet. Cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes, then slice into strips and add on top of the pesto pasta.
  • Add the lemon juice on top and garnish with fresh basil. Serve immediately.



Storage: If you have extra pesto sauce, store it in a jar or airtight container in the fridge for one week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. To prevent oxidizing in the fridge, you can pour olive oil on top or wrap with a plastic wrap directly touching the surface. Store leftover pasta with chicken in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


Calories: 465kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 573mg | Potassium: 293mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 631IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 1mg