Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

with Chicken

follow

Weeknight cooking may seem daunting at times when trying to juggle feeding your family, appointments and activities.  It doesn’t have to be complicated, some of the best dishes are quick and simply. Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Chicken is a fantastic combination of garlic, sun-dried tomato pesto and cream.   This gloriously creamy pasta dish is a perfect family meal yet delicious enough for company. 

I enjoy boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe but you can easily use boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead if that is your preference.  Shrimp is also a fantastic combination as well. Or skip the protein all together for a great meatless meal option. Using store bought sun-dried tomato pesto helps to make this recipe quick and easy.  There are plenty of brands out there to choose from and I cannot say that one is better than the other is, so find one you like and keep it at the ready.  You’ll want this gorgeous dish on repeat!!

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

Print

Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Cook Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces fettuccine
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs 3-4 depending on size
  • as needed salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomato pesto
  • as needed freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions in well-salted water. Drain well, reserving a cup of pasta water.
  • While the pasta is cooking, season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and cook until browned on both sides and cooked through. About 5-6 minutes per side.
  • Remove the chicken to a clean dish and cover it with aluminum foil to keep it warm.
  • To the same skillet add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes over low heat.
  • Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up the browned bits left in the pan and allow the wine to reduce slightly.
  • Add chicken broth, stir and reduce for 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in heavy cream and reduce for 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Add sun-dried tomato pesto and stir over low heat until combined. Remove from heat.
  • Slice cooked chicken into strips.
  • Add chicken and pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and a generous splash of pasta water. Toss to combine well over low heat.
  • Serve immediately with extra Parmesan cheese if desired.

Cheesy Pesto BLT

Cheesy Pesto BLT

Cheesy Pesto BLT sandwich cut and stacked on a small wooden tray.

follow

Cheesy Pesto BLT is grilled cheese and BLT sandwiches married together with vibrant pesto.  It’s the indulgent, adult sandwich for the kid in all of us.

I was recently asked by a friend and co-worker what he and his work crew could cook up with limited kitchen gear. Available was a frying pan, electric grill press and a toaster oven.  One of my first thoughts was a  grilled cheese sandwich.  But on second thought, who wants just a grilled cheese, other than a 5-year-old of course?  

I sent him a recipe for a pesto grilled cheese because I knew the combo would be amazing and it got me thinking that it could be the start of something great. I knew I wanted to add some kind of meat, and plenty of chewy bacon was the answer for a heartier sandwich. And how can you not have bacon without fresh tomato slices and cool, crisp lettuce? They bring balance to the melty cheese and salty bacon which are wonderfully paired with the pesto.  So remember, grilled cheese doesn’t have to be “JUST” a grilled cheese. 

Ingredients for Cheesy Pesto BLT arranged on a small wooden tray draped with a white kitchen towel.

Truthfully, the kid in me loves that simple and traditional grilled cheese made with processed cheese slices, but I also love pesto and BLT’s, so it only made sense to put them all together into one delicious sandwich.  So don’t just think grilled cheese when graving crispy fried bread and oozy cheese.  Think Cheesy Pesto BLT!!

Cheesy Pesto BLT
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    2 people 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    10 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    2 people 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    10 minutes
    Cheesy Pesto BLT
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      2 people 15 minutes
      Cook Time
      10 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      2 people 15 minutes
      Cook Time
      10 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Heat a non-stick stick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat until hot.
      2. Butter the outside of each bread slice.
      3. Place the bread buttered side down in skillet and layer provolone evenly over two slices. Adjust heat to medium-low.
      4. Spread 1 tbsp of pesto evenly over the cheese and top with 3 slices of bacon each.
      5. Cook on medium-low to medium until bottoms are golden and cheese is melty. (I find medium-low best to melt cheese while not overcooking the bread)
      6. Remove grilled bread from pan and top the cheese side slices with tomato slices. Season tomatoes with freshly ground sea salt and pepper to taste. Top with lettuce and remaining grilled bread.
      7. Cut as desired and serve immediately.
      Recipe Notes

      - You can use fresh or purchased pesto in this recipe.  I do recommend using fresh if possible like my Classic Pesto

      -Prep time is based on using pre-made pesto and pre-cooked bacon.

      Product Favourites!

      Affiliate Disclosure

      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
      Shrimp and Pesto Pasta

      Shrimp and Pesto Pasta

      Recently I treated myself with a 3 piece pasta attachment set for my Kitchenaid stand mixer, and I’m wondering why it took me so long. Let’s start by saying I have the tendency to be on the frugal side and there always seemed to be something more important to spend a couple hundred bucks on. I did give some consideration to the less expensive counter top hand roller for a fraction of the price, but I’m also on the fussy side. I wanted what I wanted, so this little item on my wish list sat on the back burner. But now I have it, and I’m thrilled to share with you Shrimp and Pesto Pasta.

      Of course you can make pasta by hand, and that’s a blog post in itself, but the convenience and ease of the roller and cutters is undeniably great! It makes having fresh pasta simple and easy. One of the first dishes to get pumped out of my new set is a simple and delicious Shrimp and Pesto Pasta. Certainly not a unique combination, but worthy of being a regular on your weeknight plate because of how quick it comes together once the pasta has been rolled.

      Once you get the feel for making fresh pasta, you can experiment with different flavours, flours and shapes. It’s so much fun to be creative and even better when you get to savour the results.

      Recipe source for Shrimp and Pesto Pasta:  Compelled To Cook

      Shrimp and Pesto Pasta
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        2 people 15 minutes
        Cook Time
        10-20 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        2 people 15 minutes
        Cook Time
        10-20 minutes
        Shrimp and Pesto Pasta
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          2 people 15 minutes
          Cook Time
          10-20 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          2 people 15 minutes
          Cook Time
          10-20 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          1. Season 3 litres of water with 1 1/2 tbsps of kosher salt and bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup of cooking liquid. If using fresh pasta, cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup of cooking liquid.
          2. Dab shrimp dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. In a medium sauté pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shrimp and garlic and cook for approximately 2 minutes per side until shrimp curl and turn opaque. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.
          3. Add pesto and 2-3 tbsp of pasta cooking liquid to the same skillet over low heat just to warm, stirring once or twice. Add cooked pasta and toss to coat. Toss in shrimp to warm and combine. Serve immediately, garnishing with parmesan cheese.
          Recipe Notes

          Fresh pesto and pasta is best, however store bought may be used if desired.  You'll find recipes below for fresh Classic Pesto and fresh fettuccini pasta.

          Classic Pesto

          Fresh Fettuccini

           

          Classic Pesto

          Classic Pesto

          Well, I guess Classic Pesto is just that, a classic. It’s hard to mess with because it’s great just as it is. Simple everyday ingredients that become a vibrant, garlicky and herbaceous sauce with just a few pulses in the food processor.  While its historic use is to be tossed with pasta, you just can’t overlook all the other great ways to use it.  How about drizzled over scallops, spread onto hot cheese bread or grilled sandwiches, swirled into mashed potatoes or soup, used as pizza sauce and… I think you get the idea. There are plenty of ways that will have you scraping at the jar for every last drop.

          I’d have to say this post isn’t about revamping a recipe or creating something new, it’s more of a reminder of how good a classic really is.  In this case the Classic Pesto is easy, delicious and versatile. Only a handful of ingredients, a few minutes of time and a food processor or mortar and pestle is all that’s required.  So although the sauce is not new, one needs to ask what’s a new way to enjoy it? Make up a batch and be creative, I’d love to know what you come up with.  Enjoy!

          Recipe adapted slightly from: Wayne Gisslen Professional Cooking, seventh edition.

          Classic Pesto
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            1 cup 15 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            1 cup 15 minutes
            Classic Pesto
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              1 cup 15 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              1 cup 15 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: cup
              Instructions
              1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and puree until blended but still has some texture, about 20-30 seconds. Use immediately or store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.
              Recipe Notes

              Romano is a little stronger and saltier than parmesan and a nice addition, however you can use all parmesan if desired.

              You can also use a blender or mortar and pestle if desired.

              Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes

              Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes

              I’ve never met a bowl of mashed potatoes I didn’t like and Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes are proof that not all mashed potatoes need to be smothered in gravy.  These zesty and herbaceous potatoes need nothing more than a side of your favourite roasted meat.

              A simple recipe that brings life to an everyday side dish and the pesto can be made ahead of time and simply swirled in at the last minute.  Like so many people I am prone to making the same things time and time again. Mashed potatoes are a good example of this behaviour.  Boil, mash, add butter, a little milk, salt and pepper.  The same thing over and over and at times it’s out of convenience, or time pressures and sometimes because my brain needs a rest from thinking of food (who am I kidding, it never stops thinking of food).  Whatever your reason, let this recipe pull you out of that rut for a brightened up bowl of everyones favourite side.

              I love this Pesto Swirl Mashed Potato recipe because the basil pesto gives mashed potatoes a fresh and bright makeover.  The toasted pine nuts add a little crunchy texture that tells your palette it’s not eating just any mashed potatoes.  Enjoy!

              Recipe Source:  Compelled To Cook

               

              Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes are bright and zesty swirly with basil pesto and topped with toasted pine nuts.
              Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes
              Print Recipe
              Herbaceous and bright basil pesto swirled into creamy mashed potatoes and topped with toasted pine nuts.
                Servings
                8 servings
                Servings
                8 servings
                Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes are bright and zesty swirly with basil pesto and topped with toasted pine nuts.
                Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes
                Print Recipe
                Herbaceous and bright basil pesto swirled into creamy mashed potatoes and topped with toasted pine nuts.
                  Servings
                  8 servings
                  Servings
                  8 servings
                  Ingredients
                  Basil Pesto
                  Mashed Potatoes
                  Servings: servings
                  Instructions
                  Basil Pesto
                  1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Spread 1/4 cup of pine nuts evenly onto small baking tray, bake for approximately 10-12 minutes until golden. Set aside and allow to cool. In a food processor bowl combine basil, 1/4 cup of untoasted pine nuts, cheese, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Pulse until the mixture is broken down and finely chopped. With processor running, gradually add oil and process until smooth, approximately 10 seconds. Set aside. Makes about a 1/2 cup.
                  Mashed Potatoes
                  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add potatoes and cook until very tender. Drain potatoes and return pot to low heat and allow any residual moisture to evaporate, 1-2 minutes. Mash potatoes or press through a ricer. Add butter, and mash just to combine. Mash in salt, pepper and enough milk to make creamy. Top potatoes with 3/4 of the pesto and fold into potatoes with a flat rubber spatula. Drizzle remaining pesto on top and garnish with toasted pine nuts. Serve immediately.
                  Recipe Notes

                  The basil pesto can easily be prepared while the potatoes are cooking.