Pesto chicken pasta with goat cheese (not to mention parm as well)… don’t you just love the sound of that?!
An important note to start you off– make sure you save that starchy water when draining your pasta. Despite there being no cream in this recipe, the combo of pesto, parm, goat cheese and starchy pasta water creates this amazingly rich sauce. Add in the onion, tomato and chicken and you’ve got yourself an extremely delicious meal that will fill you right up!
Like most kinds of pasta I make, this one will definitely keep well for leftovers and even freezes quite well up to a month.
My favourite aspect of the dish has to be the combo of the tomatoes, pesto and goat cheese. They taste beautifully altogether. In terms of alterations, this dish would still be delicious without the chicken if you prefer to go meatless.
Don’t forget to garnish generously with more goat cheese at the end. This will make the presentation of the dish pop. As a real chef once told me – “we eat with our eyes as much as our mouths”.
Equipment and Tools I Use for this Recipe
Pesto Chicken Pasta with Goat Cheese
- 200 grams dry pasta your choice!
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 small chicken breasts cut into bite-sized cubes
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ red onion sliced
- 250 grams cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
- ¼ cup pesto
- 100 grams goat cheese crumbled, plus more for serving
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain, reserving a ½ cup of the starchy pasta water.
- In a large skillet or pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet and stir occasionally until it is cooked through (7-10 mins). Set cooked chicken aside on a plate.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the same skillet. Add red onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes or until it is fragrant. Be careful not to let it burn.
- Add the tomatoes and cook until they are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Pour in the ½ cup of starchy pasta water, add the parmesan cheese and stir until the cheese has melted.
- Remove skillet from heat and add the pesto. Stir to combine. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add cooked chicken and cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to coat the noodles. Sprinkle the goat cheese over the pasta and carefully stir to incorporate. You still want some clumps of cheese in the sauce so be very gentle!
- Serve immediately with more goat cheese and fresh basil (optional).