Chicken Pesto Pasta is the easiest, creamy, one pot pasta ever! Penne and chicken are coated with a mouthwatering garlic pesto cream sauce for an unforgettable dinner!

chicken pesto pasta


What is Chicken Pesto Pasta?

Chicken pesto pasta is a super fast, 30 minute, one pan dinner!  Think tender pasta, juicy chicken, pesto cream sauce, and cheese!  It’s a rich and delicious dream come true. Following up on my Easy Homemade Pesto Recipe with a pesto pasta that you absolutely need in your life! Take a peek at that post first if you want to learn how to make homemade pesto sauce. You can of course use store bought pesto too, any brand is fine! My creamy chicken pesto pasta comes together in 30 minutes, uses one pan, and is super easy to adjust to your own taste!  For us this is really a meal in. in one pan, but we do like to compliment it with a big green salad, or a side of Roasted Green Beans too!  You can also leave the cherry tomatoes out of this if you aren’t a fan, but we think they add nice flavor to the dish!  Just a quick note to say that we originally posted this recipe in April of 2018!  We like to update recipes occasionally to make sure all of the new faces around here see them, and this one can’t me missed!

photo collage how to make chicken pesto pasta


How to Make Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta:

  1. For this recipe, you can either use a skillet that is 12 inches or larger with a lid, or you can use a deep, heavy, pot like a dutch oven.  You will dice up your chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and cook them with a bit of olive oil and seasonings just until the chicken is lightly browned on all sides.
  2. Next, you add your cherry tomatoes.  Note that the tomatoes can be left out of this recipe if you don’t like them or don’t have any on hand.  Then the broth goes in along with your penne.  At this point, you can cover your skillet with a lid and allow the pasta to simmer for 12-15 minutes until tender. Or, you can leave the lid off of the pasta and simmer for about 10 minutes while stirring every minute or so.  If necessary, more chicken broth can be added.  The key is to make sure that the noodles are almost completely covered in broth and simmered gently.
  3. Once your pasta is finished cooking, you will add your pesto, cream cheese to make this CREAMY pesto pasta, and parmesan for an awesome kick of flavor!
  4. If you would like to have pesto pasta that isn’t creamy, you can simply leave the cream cheese out without making any other changes!  This pasta reheats well and you can store in the fridge for up to 3 days.  I don’t recommend freezing this pasta after adding the cream cheese and parmesan.

plate of chicken pesto pasta




5 from 10 votes

Creamy Pesto Pasta

Chicken Pesto Pasta is the easiest, creamy, one pot pasta ever! Penne and chicken are coated with a mouthwatering garlic pesto cream sauce for an unforgettable dinner!
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 20 minutes
Servings 6



  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken, salt and pepper to taste, italian seasoning, and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes until chicken is browned.
  • Add the penne, broth, and tomatoes to the skillet and simmer stirring frequently until pasta is tender and liquid is absorbed. 
  • Remove pan from heat and stir in the cream cheese, pesto, and parmesan.


Serving: 1Cup, Calories: 322kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 691mg, Potassium: 248mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 780IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 136mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Like this? Rate & review this recipe below!

Hey! Nice to meet you! I'm Nichole!

Welcome to The Salty Marshmallow! I'm a mom, animal lover, photographer, & kitchen mess-maker. Here you will find the result of my decades-long passion for chasing the best flavors in the kitchen, all meant to be cooked by regular people with busy lives just like you and me.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This dish has a fantastic flavor I just want to keep eating and eating and eating. Absolutely delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    i just made this yall & it was sooo goood. i added spinach along with the tomatoes & wow it was very creamy & flavorful. one of my new favorite dishes.

  3. 5 stars
    This is a keeper! Very, very good and easy to prepare. My cherry tomatoes did sort of (almost) disappear from cooking too long, so next time I think I will add them later after the pasta is almost done. The family went nuts with praise. This is simple enough to fix on a weeknight and also impressive enough to serve to guests. LOVED!