Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake combines all the comforting flavors of a baked pasta dish with flavorful pesto, pan seared chicken, and browned Mozzarella cheese. A delicious weeknight family dinner!
2 and 1/2 cups dry rigatoni pasta
1 and 1/2 cups light cream
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 medium sized chicken breast, butterflied and tenderized thin
1/2 cup jarred pesto, drained of excess oil
1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
8oz bag of shredded Mozzarella cheese
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to season the chicken
1. Bring a salted pot of water to boil. Cook the rigatoni according to box directions.
2. While the pasta is cooking, butterfly your chicken breast and tenderize it thin. Season both sides generously with garlic powder and salt, then a bit of pepper.
3. In a medium pan, heat the olive or avocado oil over medium heat. Cook the chicken breast for 4-5 minutes per side depending on their thickness. Internal temperature should be 165 degrees. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the pan and place on a plate and allow to cool for about 2 minutes, then shred and slice into small pieces.
4. Carefully wipe the pan clean of any excess oil, then pour in the cream and heat over medium to medium low heat. Add in the pesto, Parmesan, and the salt and simmer for about 5-7 minutes until thickened. Add in the cooked pasta and shredded chicken and stir so everything is coated in the pesto sauce.
5. Add the chicken pesto pasta to a medium sized casserole dish and smooth into an even layer. Cover with as much Mozzarella cheese as you want. Place the casserole dish under the broiler and broil for about 5 minutes until the Mozzarella is bubbly browned.
Serve and savor!
Keywords: chicken pesto pasta bake