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Chicken Pesto Pasta with Asparagus

  • 15 m
  • 30 m
Pam Lolley
“This healthy chicken pesto pasta is easy to make thanks to convenience ingredients like rotisserie chicken and store-bought pesto. The addition of fresh asparagus—which is cooked in the same pot as the pasta—brightens up the look and the flavors of this family-friendly and easy one-pot dinner. Fresh basil, if you have it on hand, is a nice finishing touch.”


    • 8 ounces whole-wheat penne
    • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
    • 1 (7 ounce) container refrigerated basil pesto
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
    • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about ¼ cup)
    • Small fresh basil leaves for garnish


  • 1 Cook pasta in a large pot according to package directions. Add asparagus to the pot during the final 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain, reserving ½ cup cooking water.
  • 2 Return the pasta mixture to the pot; stir in chicken, pesto, salt and pepper. Stir in the reserved cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach desired consistency. Transfer the mixture to a serving dish; sprinkle with Parmesan and garnish with basil, if desired. Serve immediately.
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