Quick and easy one pot chicken pesto pasta loaded with fresh spinach and tomatoes is a hearty and wholesome meal that everyone will enjoy! This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.#OnePanPronto #CollectiveBias
Are you looking for a tasty one pot wonder dinner that’s ready in 30 minutes or less? I’ve got just what you’re looking for my friend! I know how crazy it can be getting back into a groove with school starting up, or just a crazy long day after work. You want a hearty wholesome meal, but it needs to be quick and effortless. I’m constantly looking for those simple meal solutions so I can have dinner ready for my family, so we have more time relaxing together.
Pasta is one of the easiest ways to create a meal that everyone is going to enjoy. I’ve got a super shortcut that is going to save you time without compromising on taste. This one pot chicken pesto pasta recipe that is loaded with fresh spinach and tomatoes. It’s going to be a new favorite on your dinner rotation. Are you ready to learn my speedy weeknight meal prep secret?
I promised to share my secret pasta shortcut, and it’s using Barilla Pronto pasta! I used it for the first time for my chicken cacciatore pasta recipe. I’ve been OBSESSED ever since! Why is it so awesome? All you need is one pan to make the pasta with no more burns from draining after cooking. Yes! I always felt like it took forever to get the water to boil, then you had all of that wasted liquid. Not only do you save time on the stove, this pasta actually uses 60% less energy and less water. That’s pretty neat!
I used rotini pasta for this chicken pesto recipe. All you need to add is just enough water for the pasta to absorb and become tender. It took 10 minutes, and it was ready, magical! To make meal prep even easier, I added Barilla traditional pesto for a luscious herb sauce.
It all starts with some lean sauteed chicken breast! I add just a touch of spices to season the chicken. All you need is salt, pepper, and paprika. This is a great protein source to add to the pesto pasta. Once the chicken is done cooking, you’re ready to add in the rotini pasta noodles to cook in the same pan. The less dish washing, the better! My husband Jason would agree.
Check out those spiral noodles! I was so impressed how well the pasta held it’s shape after cooking, just the right amount of al dente texture. Those curly rings on the pasta are perfect for trapping maximum amount of pesto sauce into each noodle.
Let’s talk about that creamy pesto sauce! It’s a blend of authentic Italian ingredients like basil, spinach, garlic and Pecorino Romano cheese. One jar is perfect for a light pesto flavor, but if you like a more bold taste, I like to add two jars.
With tomato season in full swing, I had to take advantage of adding some fresh baby tomatoes. The yellow tomatoes were a special gift from my sister-in-law Svetlana’s garden. She brought them all the way from the San Francisco Bay Area to share with us. They were delicious and bursting with flavor, an excellent addition to the pesto pasta! I also added baby spinach, sliced black olives and lightly toasted pine nuts to complete this satisfying meal.
Pull up a chair and grab a bowl! You’ll want to fill it up with as much of this gorgeous chicken pesto pasta as possible! It’s a family friendly meal that everyone will enjoy and so easy to help you get back into your routine. If you’re looking for more recipe inspiration, give this Barilla cheesy one pan mac and cheese a try, I know my son James would love this version! What are your favorite pasta and sauce combinations?
What’s the best way to match pasta shape with sauce?
A good basic guideline is that the sauce drives the pasta shape. For hearty and thicker sauces like meat or creamy alfredo sauce, tubes like penne, rigatoni or flat noodles like pappardelle work great. Typically the wider the noodle, the heavier the sauce. If you’ve ever noticed ridges or lines on pasta, those help to grab on to the sauce for maximum coverage. Long noodles like spaghetti or fettuccine are ideal for tomato or olive oil based sauce for a nice even coat. Angel hair is perfect for delicate lemon based sauces. Shapes like rotini, farfalle and elbow grab onto vegetable sauces like pesto and cheesy sauces nicely because the coarser sauce gets trapped in the crevices and inside the noodle. Don’t be afraid to play around to find your perfect pairings!
One Pot Chicken Pesto Pasta with Tomatoes
- 1 pound chicken breast, pounded to even thickness (about ¾-inch thick)
- kosher salt, as needed for seasoning
- black pepper, freshly ground, as needed for seasoning
- paprika, as needed for seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 ounces rotini pasta, (1 box), Barilla Pronto
- 6.3 ounces pesto Sauce, (1 jar), Barilla Pesto
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 cup baby tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 cup black pitted olives, sliced in half
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- Parmesan cheese, grated, for garnish
- Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and paprika. Heat a large 12-inch skillet with high sides over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and allow to heat up. Carefully add the chicken breast and allow to cook for 6 minutes. Flip to the other side, reduce heat to medium and cook another 5 to 6 minutes, or until no longer pink and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. Transfer to a clean plate to allow to rest and cool slightly. Once slightly cooled, chop the chicken into ½ inch cubes.
- To the same pot add uncooked rotini pasta and 3 cups or water to the pan. If needed you can rinse out the pot before adding the noodles. Turn heat up to high. Set the timer to 10 minutes and cook on high, occasionally stirring, until most of the water is absorbed and pasta is tender. Time may vary depending on the stove. Turn off heat.
- Stir in pesto sauce until combined. Add spinach and stir until slightly wilted. Add in tomatoes and olives. Add chopped chicken to the top of the pasta.
- Toast pine nuts in a small pan over medium heat for about 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add to the top of the pesto pasta. Top with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!