This Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta is the easiest pasta dish and perfect for an easy weeknight dinner. All you need are a couple ingredients and can even make it simpler by using a couple pre-made options that I will recommend below. Right now, it’s the perfect time to add all the summer zucchini and squash into your meals because it’s in season! I pick up one every time I go to the store because it’s super versatile! This pesto pasta makes a bunch and it’s even better for leftovers!
I’m all about easy meals and this Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta is definitely one of them! Plus, pesto is one of my favorite sauces! It’s light and delicious paired with pesto and veggies. I love making it on my own so I know what’s going in it, but there are many ways to make this even simpler by buying store bought pesto. You can also use pre-cooked grilled chicken breast here too!
I love pasta dishes in the summer and they make for a meal that everyone will love! I always aim to add protein, carbs and fat in my pasta dishes to keep them satisfying. A great way to do this is by adding in the chickpea based pasta (with carbs and protein) or adding protein like chicken breast. The fat source for this pasta will come in the homemade pesto sauce. This makes for a super balanced meal.
What you need to make Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta:
- Box of pasta: I used chickpea pasta (this one!) but any pasta would work here. (8oz)
- Pesto: I’ve made my own in this recipe but you can also simplify it and use your favorite store bought one
- Yellow Squash
- Grilled chicken
- Grated Parmesan Cheese (can also omit here)
- Avocado Oil spray
What you need to make your own pesto:
- Fresh basil
- Pine nuts
- Olive oil
- Salt, pepper
How to make Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta:
- Prepare pasta according to package. Set aside.
- Prepare grilled chicken or use prepared grilled chicken strips for something even simpler!
- Prepare pesto sauce by combining ingredients in a blender or use a store bought pesto for an easier alternative.
- Saute zucchini and squash with sea salt, pepper and garlic powder. Keep an eye on these so they still remain firm.
- Add the pasta, grilled chicken and pesto to the pan to mix together and heat up. Mix in grated parmesan cheese.
How to store your leftover pesto pasta:
This pasta makes a bunch, but the good thing is it tastes great as leftovers! If you end up having leftovers, I like to store it in these containers. This would be great to take with you because you can enjoy it either hot or cold!
- Only lightly sauté the zucchini and squash! You still want it to remain somewhat firm in the pasta. These veggies don’t take long to sauté so be sure to keep an eye on them.
- Make sure to keep the pasta to 8oz! That way it fully coats with the pesto that you make. If you decide to use a store-bought pesto sauce, then you can adjust how much you use.
What I used to make this pasta:
If you love this Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta, you may also love these recipes on One Balanced Life:
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Can I use any pasta?
Yes! I love using the chickpea pasta but you can use whatever you prefer in this recipe. I recommend sticking to an 8oz box.
Can I use store bought pesto?
Yes! I love the Trader Joes Vegan Pesto or their regular pesto sauce. A lot of times store bought pesto sauces can have weird ingredients, so you may want to check for that before deciding on which one you want!
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- 8oz pasta
- 1 1/4 cup chopped zucchini
- 1 1/4 cup chopped yellow squash
- .8 lb chicken breast, cut in half
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 3 tbsp grated parmesan
- for the basil pesto:
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt, pepper (+ more to taste)
- 2 tbsp water
- Cook box of pasta according to package. Drain and set aside
- Make pesto by combining all ingredients into the food processor to blend. Set aside.
- Saute on medium heat zucchini and squash with a little avocado oil spray, sea salt and garlic powder. *Be sure to only lightly saute so the veggies don’t get mushy*
- Prepare grilled chicken by cooking on hot grill or grill pan with avocado oil. Season with sea salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook throughly.
- In large bowl, combine pasta, sauted veggies, chopped grilled chicken and pesto. Mix to combine.
- Add grated parmesan to mix.
- Top with red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
Open to use prepared grilled chicken strips.
If using store bought pesto, add 1/2 cup pesto or enough to desired coating.
until next time…