With Fall just around the corner, I have found myself craving more warm, savory dishes for dinner! This probably isn’t the best thing for my waistline, but I just love spending time in the kitchen during the cooler months. This Creamy Chicken Pesto Recipe is one of my all time favorites and I got so many questions about it a couple of weeks ago, when I shared it on my Instagram Story, so I wanted to it share it with you!
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If you didn’t already know, growing up my family owned a restaurant. From may late childhood, throughout my teens, I spent most of my time at our family restaurant. There are so many things I learned from those years, including but not limited to, my love for Chicken Pesto. It wasn’t until the age of 16, or so, that my mom finally convinced me to try out that green pasta that I could barely stomach the thought of! Little did I know, I was about to try out one of my absolute favorite dishes. Since those restaurant days, I haven’t had chicken pesto. I was really craving it a few weeks ago and did my best to recreate our restaurant recipe. I think I landed this recipe spot on, thankfully.
There are so many variations of chicken pesto out there. However, my favorite way to enjoy chicken pesto is with a creamy sauce, served over angel hair pasta or spaghetti. Over course, you can recreate this recipe without all of the creamy goodness or serve it up without pasta. But, for me, this recipe is the perfect way to enjoy chicken pesto!
I have found that I get the best fresh pesto from Whole Foods. Unfortunately, when I made this for the shoot, I used pesto from a jar and it just wasn’t as beautiful. The taste is definitely just a good, if you use pesto from a jar. But I would highly recommend purchasing freshly made pesto, as it will give your dish a vibrant green color!
Creamy Chicken Pesto Recipe
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
spaghetti or angel hair
2 cup whipping milk
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup parmesan
2 ounces cream cheese
6-7 chicken tenders- I usually use one package of organic chicken tenders, which vary between 6-7 pieces)
1/2 cup pesto + extra for serving- Add as much pesto as you want!
In a large pan or dutch oven, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Pat, clean chicken tenders dry and season generously with Kosher salt and pepper. Add the the tenders to the pan and cook until brown on each side, about 8 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan. Set aside.
Add whipping milk, butter and cream cheese to the pan and heat. Stir frequently until all ingredients have combined completely. Use your spoon to scrape some of the remaining chicken drippings, off of the bottom of the pan. This will add a richer flavor.
Bring the sauce to a low simmer while continuing to stir frequently. When the sauce begins to thicken a bit, add in parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Add in pesto, until fully combined. You should have a pretty, green sauce now!
Add the chicken tenders back to the pot with the sauce. Continue to simmer until sauce has thickened well. Usually about 20 minutes, or so.
Meanwhile, boil noodles until al dente. When done, return the noodles to the pot and top with Creamy Chicken Pesto Sauce! Serve in your pot or transfer to your favorite platter.
Garnish with pesto or olive drizzle or fresh basil leaves!
This recipe is so easy and if you love pesto, you will love this Creamy Chicken Pesto recipe! It’s the perfect recipe to transition into fall with. Not only is it warm and comforting, but it still has a bright dash of summer greens! I hope that you will love this recipe as much as I do. Be sure to send me any pictures, if you try it out. You can shop all of my my kitchen essentials here and everything pictures below. See more of my recipes here.
Photography by Tiffany Sigmon