This grilled chicken, pesto and sun-dried tomato pasta is not only packed with flavor, it’s quite easy to make.
While it may sound delicious, grilled chicken, pesto and sun-dried tomato pasta also sounds like a lot of work. You’d be wrong with that assumption. It’s really an easy dish to make. Actually, it’s one of the easiest in my recipe bag of tricks.
The hardest part of this recipe is grilling up some chicken breasts. But, that’s only if you don’t have any leftover chicken laying around. Ahh…leftover chicken. Who doesn’t love a great recipe that uses leftovers as a main ingredient? I know I do. You know those grocery store rotisserie chickens that we all seem to grab when we’re stuck for dinner ideas or pressed for time? This dish is where the rest of mine go. Chop up the chicken and toss it with the pasta. Add a small salad and some warm bread and we’re dining!
On the other hand, a beautifully grilled and sliced chicken breast on top of a bed of the pesto and sun-dried tomato pasta is perfect for pleasing guests without much effort.
The magic of the ingredients is that they’re store-bought. Yep, ready-made pesto and sun-dried tomatoes. If you can make pasta, season and grill chicken breasts, you’re almost sitting down at the dining room table. That’s how easy it is. Now, if you happen to have a great recipe for homemade pesto, more flavor-power to you. For the rest of us, the stuff from the store will work just fine.
Give this recipe a try. You just might find yourself buying a whole lot more grocery store rotisserie chickens.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or equal amount of diced chicken
- 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
- 1/4 cup Italian seasoning, or use this Italian Meat Rub
- 2-1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta
- 1 cup store-bought or homemade basil pesto
- 2/3 cup store-bought sun-dried tomatoes, chopped or julienned
- 4 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- salt and pepper, per taste
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
- fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)
- Trim chicken breasts of any fat. Place in a resealable freezer bag or baking dish. Pour Italian dressing over the chicken. Seal bag or cover baking dish and place in refrigerator. Marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to four hours, turning a couple of times.
- Remove chicken breasts from marinade and lightly dust with Italian seasoning.
- Prepare a grill for direct cooking and preheat with a medium-high heat. Grill chicken breasts for 8 to 12 minutes, turning once or twice. Cook until no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear. For perfect results, cook until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165 °F (75 °C).
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and return to pot.
- In a mixing bowl, add pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and the garlic and onion powders. Blend well. Season per taste with salt and pepper. Toss into pasta and mix until evenly distributed.
- Slice each chicken breast and place on individual beds of pasta.
- Top with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and garnish with chopped parsley.
If using leftover chicken, heat per your preferred method and toss with the pesto and pasta.