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Spaghetti with pesto and mozzarella in a bowl.
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5 from 2 votes

Chicken Pesto Pasta

Chicken pesto pasta is creamy, cheesy, and tastes like summer! Roasted cherry or grape tomatoes get tossed with pesto sauce, mascarpone, rotisserie chicken, and bocconcini (little mozzarella balls!) for a quick weeknight pasta dish that is packed with flavor!
Prep15 mins
Cook10 mins
Roasting tomatoes35 mins
Total1 hr
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: homemade pesto, pesto chicken, pesto sauce
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 469kcal
Author: Ari Laing

Equipment

Colander

Ingredients

  • ½ pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup rotisserie chicken pulled or shredded
  • ½ cup arugula pesto or basil pesto, plus more for servin
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese room temperature
  • 1 lemon zested
  • ½ cup bocconcini or fresh mozzarella torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • ½ tsp flaky sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F. Place tomatoes cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil and kosher salt. Cook for 30-35 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through cook time, until blistered and juicy.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions for al dente, about 7 minutes. Before draining reserve about 1 cup pasta cooking liquid in a measuring cup. Drain pasta.
  • Toss pasta with 2 Tbsp unsalted butter or 2 Tbsp olive oil to ensure it doesn't stick. Transfer to a large mixing bowl or back into the pot it was cooking in.
  • Add cooked tomatoes, rotisserie chicken, pesto, mascarpone cheese, lemon zest, and ½ cup reserved cooking water, then toss to combine. Mascarpone should be completely melted. If you want more of a sauce, add more pasta water, about 2 Tbsp at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
  • Add bocconcini or ripped mozzarella and fresh arugula, then toss once more. Sprinkled with flaky sea salt and lots of freshly cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • To reheat chicken pesto pasta: place pasta in a large sauce pan. Add a generous splash of water (a few tablespoons), then reheat over medium-low until simmering. Add more water as needed, tossing the pasta as needed, until fully heated through, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Alternatively, you can heat pasta with a few tablespoons of water in a microwave for 2-3 minutes on high.

Nutrition

Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 556mg | Potassium: 215mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 844IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 1mg
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