Chicken and Tomato Pasta Pesto

If you have ever met my husband and I, you would know that we are kind of an odd couple – he’s tall, I’m short, he served in the military while I served in the Peace Corps. This extended into food – I was the foodie and cook and he was the one that really didn’t care so long as his stomach stopped growling.

One evening, not long after we got married, I was working late and asked him if he could fix dinner – chicken with pesto pasta. He was a little nervous, but had watched me cook it before and said “Sure thing! But I’m not taking responsibility on how it comes out”. I told him I’m sure it would be great. I gave him directions over the phone and by the time I got home, dinner was cooked and looked wonderful. He was beaming with how well he did and I was so excited for him.

Today, my husband knows his way around the kitchen really well and even likes to help me fix dinner! We go back and forth though if it was this dish or me putting blind faith in him that boosted his cooking confidence (I say the meal!).


  • Salt
  • 1 lb rotini pasta
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups of pesto


  1. In a large pot, put in enough water to fully cover all the pasta.
  2. Add in salt so that the water tastes like the ocean.
  3. Bring the water to a boil and boil the pasta for 10-12 minutes or until the pasta is al dente (soft but not soggy).
  4. Meanwhile, season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Grill them until done – about 10 minutes.
  5. When pasta is done cooking, drain and place pasta back in the large pot or a bowl.
  6. Add pesto and thoroughly coat the pasta.
  7. When chicken is done, cube chicken into bite sized pieces.
  8. Add chicken and tomato halves to the pasta and mix throughout the pasta.
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14 responses

  1. That pasta dish looks wonderful! I’ve been trying to eat healthier as of late by avoiding fast food, fried food etc…and I’ve been eating a lot of chicken, particularly the breast and avoiding dark meat. Do you have any idea approximately how many calories there are per serving? I’m guessing around 500?

    1. Honestly? Not too sure. I would say this dish could probably serve 5-6 people depending on how hungry everyone is. If you’re concerned about calorie counts, I would recommend probably adding a little less pesto (all the calories are from there because of the nuts, cheese, and oil) and using whole wheat pasta. I’d also increase the number of veggies – I love adding bell peppers or summer squash to this dish! More veggies means you’ll have less pasta but still a fully tummy since you’ve replaced low calorie veggies for the pasta.

      Surprisingly, the Cheese Grits and Shrimp recipe is very good for you. Substitute 2% cheese for regular cheese and it’ll cut down on calories. It’s a great dieting dish because you don’t feel like you’re eating diet food. When I was doing Weight Watchers, this dish was really low points for the quantity you could have :)

    1. Please do! And let me know what you think :)

  2. I love pesto! ALL types! I know you shared the Cilantro Pesto recipe… Might you share the other ones you make, too?

    1. I’ll be making a parsley infused one soon – bought a bunch for a dish that only needed a tablespoon or so :)

  3. I love anything with pesto in it, but I’ll bet this would be especially good if my husband could make it! :)

    1. Hahaha – getting the treat of someone else cooking for you is always great!

  4. Gosh, this sounds wonderful! Time to whip up a batch of pesto :)

    1. Yay! Hope you like it! It’s a great time of year for this too!

  5. Rotini and radiatori are so good with sauces… but I’m stuck on rigotoni because I like that peas fit in them; is that weird? :-)

    1. Not at all! I like the same thing ;)

  6. Love everything in this dish. Thanks for sharing it! Yummy:)

    1. Absolutely! I hope you try it out and let me know what you think :)

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