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Pesto Chicken Skillet

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This Pesto Chicken Skillet with creamy garlic pasta is made in just minutes, perfect for leftover Rotisserie chicken, and can be served with your choice of vegetables in a skillet.

Creamy Pesto Chicken Skillet with Rotisserie Chicken and vegetables.

Pesto Chicken Skillet Recipe

Of all one-pan dinners, this might be our favorite one.

I like it with the red bell peppers and mushrooms, while my boys always want it vegetable-free.

Any kind of vegetables can be added to this pasta skillet meal – asparagus, any color of bell pepper, diced tomatoes, onions, jalapenos – whatever your heart desires. 

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Either way, it cooks up so perfectly time after time.

We prefer angel hair pasta in this one-pan dinner since it cooks really quickly.

However, small shell pasta is also good since each one of those little shells holds in a scoop of sauce! 

This is a great recipe for using leftover rotisserie chicken.

Or, cook chicken breasts or chicken thighs at home for this dish. 

Who knew that plain old half-and-half could make such a creamy pasta sauce simply by simmering and reducing it until it thickens?

Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Skillet Recipe Ingredients

  • Cooked chopped or shredded rotisserie chicken (or similar)
  • Angel hair pasta, broken into thirds, may substitute any type of pasta
  • Jarred basil pesto, usually found in the pasta aisle
  • Chicken stock
  • Half and half, may substitute fat-free half and half
  • ½ cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  • Seasoning: granulated garlic or garlic powder, unsalted butter
  • Sliced or chopped vegetables, I used button mushrooms and a red pepper, optional
Leftover Rotisserie Chicken recipe with pesto and pasta.

How to make pesto chicken skillet

Cook the garlic powder and bell pepper in a large skillet for 3-4 minutes.

Then, stir in the sliced mushrooms and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, bringing it to a boil.

Stir in the pasta and reduce the heat to low.

Let the pasta simmer, covered, until tender, 10-12 minutes.

Adjust your simmering time to your noodle cooking times. Check your posts package for more details.

Stir in the Rotisserie chicken (or any cooked chicken), half-and-half, and pesto, simmering again until the sauce thickens and is reduced.

Top with parmesan and serve at once.

Using Fat-Free Half and Half

If you opt to use fat-free half-and-half in a sauce, you may have to add just a bit of a cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce.

 A cornstarch slurry is made using equal parts of water and cornstarch.

For this recipe, I suggest combining 1 Tbs. water with 1 Tbs. cornstarch, stirring until smooth.

Add the slurry, a little at a time, to the sauce until it thickens to the desired consistency.

Cream sauces will also thicken further as they cool. 

Reheating Pesto Chicken Skillet

If needed, add just a bit of milk or half-and-half when reheating since pasta always tends to absorb sauces and dressings like crazy as it sits. 

This pasta reheats well.

More Favorite Recipes to Try

I’m always into one-skillet meals and there are several here on my website. And guess what? Most of them are rich and creamy, just like this one….soon to be family favorites at your house, too.

Creamy Tortellini Pasta Skillet (made with just 6 ingredients) is a very popular meal around this household, as well as Fiesta Ground Beef and Noodle Skillet….I’m always looking for good ground meals!

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken

This Pesto Chicken Skillet with creamy garlic pasta is made in just minutes, perfect for leftover Rotisserie chicken, and can be served with your choice of vegetables in a skillet.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 454kcal

Ingredients

  • 1-2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 sweet red pepper, optional seeds and membranes removed, diced
  • 8 oz. sliced button mushrooms, optional
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 8 oz. angel hair pasta, broken into thirds may substitute any type of pasta
  • 2 cups cooked chopped or shredded chicken
  • 2 cups half and half, may substitute fat-free half and half
  • 2-3 Tbs. jarred basil pesto, usually found in the pasta aisle
  • ½ cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • In a large skillet over medium heat melt the butter; add the garlic powder and bell pepper, cooking 3-4 minutes, then stir in the mushrooms, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • To the same skillet, add the chicken broth; bring to a boil. Add the pasta, reducing the heat to low; cover the skillet and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed and pasta is nicely tender.
    Stir in the chicken half-and-half, and pesto, simmering again until the sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper; garnish with parmesan cheese and serve at once.
    **Note: the sauce will also thicken as it cools.

Notes

 
  • If you opt to use fat-free half-and-half in a sauce, know ahead of time that you may have to add just a bit of a cornstarch slurry for thickening the sauce.
  • A cornstarch slurry is made using equal parts of water and cornstarch. For this recipe, I suggest combining 1 Tbs. water with 1 Tbs. cornstarch, stirring until smooth. Add the slurry, a little at a time, to the sauce until it thickens to the desired consistency.
  • Cream sauces will also thicken further as they cool.
  • Any kind of vegetables can be added to this pasta skillet meal – asparagus, any color of bell pepper, diced tomatoes, onions, jalapenos – whatever your heart desires.
  • We prefer angel hair pasta in this one-pan dinner since it cooks really quickly. However, small shell pasta is also good since each one of those little shells holds in a scoop of sauce!
  • This pasta reheats well. If needed, add just a bit of milk or half-and-half when reheating since pasta always tends to absorb sauces and dressings like crazy as it sits.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 454kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 419mg | Potassium: 617mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1151IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 207mg | Iron: 2mg
Angel hair pasta in a cream sauce with shredded chicken.
One-pan angel hair pasta in a pesto cream sauce.

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2 Comments

    1. Hi Kellie –
      I think your family will love how creamy and rich this meal is. And, almost even better, it’s fast and easy to make on busy weeknights!
      Let’s Keep Cookin’,
      Chef Alli

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