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Finished dish of pasta with pesto sauce and sliced grilled chicken on a round plate. Sitting on a gray napkin on a gray background
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5 from 3 votes

Pasta with Pesto Sauce and Grilled Chicken

Skip the store-bought pesto sauce and try your next pasta with pesto sauce! This recipe only needs 6 easy ingredients and a few minutes in a food processor. The best part is it's totally customizable so you can change up the greens, change up the nuts and leave out the Parmesan. I love serving it with grilled chicken!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 477kcal
Author Yumna Jawad


For the Spinach Pesto Linguine

  • 12 oz. linguine or pasta of choice
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 1/4 cup roasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan plus more for serving
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fresh peas optional
  • Fresh basil for garnish

For the Chicken

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 6 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 14 tsp mustard powder
  • Salt/pepper to taste


  • Cook the linguine according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, place the spinach, basil, almonds, Parmesan cheese and garlic. Pulse until combined and thoroughly blended.
  • With the processor still on, slowly pour the olive oil and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Add the pesto to the linguine, and add some of the reserved pasta cooking water if the pasta seems dry and add fresh peas (if desired)
  • To prepare the chicken, heat the olive oil in a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with paprika, thyme, mustard powder, salt and pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes per side, or until chicken is fully cooked.
  • Thinly slice the chicken and serve on top of the pasta along with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil, if desired.


  • Appliances: I use the Kitchen Aid food processor, and it does the job well! I prefer using a food processor over a blender for pesto though.
  • Substitutes: There are easy substitutes you can make with this recipe! As mentioned above, you can change the greens, change the nuts and skip the Parmesan cheese. You can also use any pasta you’d like like and pair it how you’d like it.
  • Storage: Store the pesto sauce 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.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 477kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 427mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 935IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 2.1mg