For years I have been buying pre-made pesto at the grocery store. But sadly, the tiny (and expensive) tubs would never last long in my house. I can seriously put pesto on ANYTHING! Pasta, pizza, sandwiches, vegetables, chicken, fish…the possibilities are endless! The smooth, creamy texture of blended basil with olive oil, cheese and pine nuts is incredibly delicious and addicting. I can’t get enough! Not only does it add a burst of freshness to any dish, but it is a much healthier topping to apply than alfredo or another cream based sauce.
I decided when making this Chicken Pepper Pasta, I would make a batch of homemade pesto instead of opting for the pricey jar at the store. Fresh homemade pesto is so simple to make! Just a few ingredients and you have a delicious classic Italian sauce in less than 5 minutes. I often make a large batch and freeze small individual containers for future use. I love being able to pop one out of the freezer whenever I need it. It’s convenient, cheap, and much tastier than store bought.
In order to create the homemade pesto start by combining 3 1/2 cups of fresh basil, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup of pine nuts and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese in a food processor (or small blender). Mix the ingredients until you have a smooth consistency. This should create about 1 – 1 1/2 cups of pesto, but you will only need 1/2 cup of pesto for this pasta recipe.
Now that you have created the homemade pesto you are ready to start preparing your meal. Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is warming up, bring water to a boil in a large pot and cook approximately 12 oz. of linguine or spaghetti pasta according to the package directions. This will depend on the type of pasta you use and whether it is gluten free or not. As the pasta is cooking, slice 1/2 red and green bell pepper into thin strips. At this time your oven should be hot and ready to go. You will place the sliced peppers along with one large chicken breast on a baking sheet. The only thing I top the chicken with is salt/pepper. You can add as little or as much salt/pepper as you like. Place the peppers and chicken in the oven and cook for approximately 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and peppers become tender.
Once the chicken & peppers are finished cooking, remove them from oven and slice the chicken into strips. Add sliced chicken and peppers to your cooked pasta and stir in 1/2 cup of the homemade pesto sauce.
This Chicken Pepper Pasta with Homemade Pesto is flavorful, fresh and delicious! It’s the perfect weeknight meal that will satisfy every member of your family.
- 1 chicken breast
- 12 oz. linguine or spaghetti pasta (I use gluten free linguine)
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/2 green bell pepper
- 3 1/2 cups basil
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- Homemade Pesto:
- In a food processor (or small blender) combine basil, olive oil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.
- Mix the ingredients until you have a smooth consistency. This should create about 1 - 1 1/2 cups of pesto. You will only need 1/2 cup of pesto for this recipe.
- Chicken Pepper Pasta:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook according to the pasta package directions. Will depend on the type of pasta you use and whether it is gluten free or not.
- While pasta is cooking, slice the red and green bell peppers into thin strips.
- Place the peppers and chicken breast on a baking sheet. Top chicken with desired amount of salt/pepper. Cook in oven for approximately 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and peppers become tender.
- Once the chicken & peppers are finished cooking remove them from oven and slice the chicken into strips.
- Add sliced chicken and peppers to your cooked pasta.
- Stir in 1/2 cup of the homemade pesto sauce.