Penne with Chicken and Pesto Recipe -
Penne with Chicken and Pesto Recipe
  • READY IN 30 mins

Penne with Chicken and Pesto

Recipe by  

"I sometimes substitute chicken broth for half the heavy cream called for in the recipe to reduce calories. I also use additional Parmesan."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    10 mins

    30 mins


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken and garlic until chicken is almost cooked. Reduce heat and stir in salt, pepper, cream, pesto and Parmesan cheese. Cook until chicken is no longer pink inside. Stir in cooked pasta.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Apr 29, 2005

Very very good! Fast and easy too! First off, I NEVER use chicken breasts because I feel they are too dry, and lack flavor. I ALWAYS substitute boneless skinless chicken thighs in all recipes that call for chicken. I trim off most excess fat from the thighs. I used fat free half and half for the heavy cream and then just thickened the sauce with a LITTLE cornstarch. Also, I prepared extra sauce to pour over the pasta when served. I think the sauce is best made THE NIGHT BEFORE so the flavors can blend through(it's also easier that way if you're potlucking at work as we often do). Keep the sauce and pasta separate until serving or the pasta soaks up too much of the sauce. I agree with many about bumping up the Pesto. I make my own Pesto so it packs plenty of flavor punch. Fast, easy and not fussy to make. A hit with the crowd.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Mar 07, 2007

Very quick and easy to make but just an okay recipe for us. There are way too much noodles for the amount of sauce. Recommend doubling the sauce or cut down on the pasta. Thanks

Apr 15, 2004

The best pasta dish I have ever had! I love pesto so I added a couple extra tablespoons of that and I used 1 cup of half and half and 1/4 cup chicken stock to cut some calories.

Dec 01, 2004

I absolutely loved this recipe. It turned out perfect. I did not make any changes.

Aug 09, 2008

Since I served this as a side dish with stuffed chicken, I omitted the chicken in this recipe. Wowie--I was blown away by this! I always make my own pesto, as I did this time, but this was the first time I've ever mixed it with cream and I was SO impressed that I probably will always make my pasta with pesto like this from now on. I also liked the fact that the recipe calls for a subtle amount of pesto and it was just right. Too often I've experienced such a ton of pesto in dishes (restaurants, actually) that it is literally sickening. Not this time--and I think after this dish my husband has actually made friends with pesto!

Oct 07, 2008

Yum. I used chicken broth instead of cream. Tasty and easy.

Oct 03, 2003

This is pretty good. I didn't have heavy cream or penne pasta so I used half & half and rotini pasta instead. Also, I added 1/2 tsp of chicken bullion granules when added the pesto. Next time I make this, I will try adding some fresh, sliced mushrooms and possibly some chopped red/green bell peppers for color. Thanks Mary.

Dec 16, 2003

Very good and super easy to make! I used Knorr Pesto Mix and made a pesto sauce before boiling the pasta and it came out just fine. The sauce is rich and tasty and this was so easy to make! I think next time I may marinate the chicken in garlic powder for a few hours before cooking. Thanks Mary for posting this!


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  • Calories
  • 497 kcal
  • 25%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 42.6 g
  • 14%
  • Cholesterol
  • 97 mg
  • 32%
  • Fat
  • 26.1 g
  • 40%
  • Fiber
  • 2.1 g
  • 9%
  • Protein
  • 24 g
  • 48%
  • Sodium
  • 164 mg
  • 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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