This avocado pesto chicken pasta is a quick weeknight meal with a lighter and creamy sauce. A great way to use leftover chicken!

Creamy Avocado Pesto Chicken Pasta

Additional Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 -5 servings
Creamy avocado pesto chicken pasta. It's a lightened up version of traditional basil pesto and is done in about 45 minutes (including time to bake the chicken).

Ingredients

For the Chicken:

  • 4-5 chicken breast tenders
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • Spices for chicken

For the Pasta:

  • 1 lb penne pasta or desired pasta
  • 1 tbsp salt

For the Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 packed cups of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts I used a mixture of both
  • 2 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice about 1 lemon
  • 1 avocado
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

To make the chicken:

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Brush chicken generously with olive oil and season with desired spices. I sprinkled salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried basil, and cayenne pepper over top.
  • Place chicken equally-spaced on greased baking sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is completely white throughout and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
  • Cut chicken into small pieces and set aside.

To make the pasta:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt.
  • Add penne and cook for 11 minutes, or until your preferred doneness.
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare sauce.
  • Add basil leaves, garlic, and nuts to a food processor and pulse so the basil and nuts are well broken up.
  • Add olive oil, lemon juice, avocado flesh, and salt and pepper and process until sauce is creamy.
  • Once the pasta is done, drain cooked penne with a colander and return pasta to the pot.
  • Add sauce, Parmesan cheese, and chicken and stir so that everything is combined.
  • Serve while warm.

Notes

This is a great recipe to use leftover chicken in!
Total time for this recipe includes preparing the chicken beforehand, and then cooking the pasta and making the sauce at the same time. It'll likely be quicker if you bake the chicken while the pasta/pesto sauce is happening.
Nutrition Facts
Creamy Avocado Pesto Chicken Pasta
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 612 Calories from Fat 324
% Daily Value*
Fat 36g55%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Polyunsaturated Fat 27g
Cholesterol 44mg15%
Sodium 2280mg99%
Carbohydrates 51g17%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 24g48%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.