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You know those nights that you don’t want to spend all night in the kitchen, but want to feel like a chef? Yeah, this creamy pesto chicken pasta is perfect for exactly for those nights.
Ready in 30 minutes, so you can get back on your couch and Netflix. Or is that just me?
And I know, I know, it’s January, so you don’t need to be eating pasta, but since this recipe is pesto based, and it can easily be made low carb or keto friendly by substituting the spaghetti for any veggie based noodles, like spaghetti squash or zucchini!
I added some mushrooms to make it heartier, and some blistered tomatoes to add a bit of a freshness to the dish. Together they all blend together to make a a bowl of comfort, perfect for a night of binging TV.
For the pesto, you can make your own (which is easier than you think) or you can use store bought pesto sauce. If you choose to make your own, I’ve used this recipe from Food Network before, and it was delicious!
If you try the recipe, let me know below in the comments how it goes!
Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta
- Spaghetti – 1/3 of the packet for 2-3 people, or 300 grams
- 1/2 lb of chicken breasts (approx. 2 chicken breasts) cubed
- 1/2 cup pesto for sauce + 1/4 cup pesto for chicken
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1-2 cloves chopped garlic (to taste)
- Red chilli flakes
- 1 cup or 75 grams fresh mushrooms
- 1 cup grape tomatoes (around 20-25)
- Cook the spaghetti pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Cube the chicken breasts and mix in 1/4 cup of pesto to coat the chicken
- Heat the skillet or pan. You won’t need any oil as the pesto is an oil based sauce.
- Over medium heat, cook the cubed chicken until it’s cooked through, no longer pink, around 4-8 minutes per side
- Remove from pan
Chocolate cupcakes with Oreo Swiss Meringue ButtercreamThese moist chocolate cupcakes are topped with a decadent Oreo Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Top them with more Oreos and sprinkles for a fun treat!Servings: 12 cupcakes
- 1/4 cup canola oil 60 mL
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar 150 g
- 1/3 cup chocolate 2 oz or 40 g
- 1/3 cup sour cream 80 g
- 1 egg large
- 1 cup all purpose flour 120 g
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder 25 g
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 tsp instant coffee
Oreo Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 180 grams egg whites about 6 large egg whites
- 360 grams granulated sugar
- 454 g unsalted butter 4 sticks
- 12-16 oreo cookies plus more for decorating
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- In a large bowl, mix together, the oil, white sugar, and melted chocolate. Add in the egg and beat for a couple of minutes. Next, add in the sour cream and mix until incorporated.
- Sift in the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder.
- Line cupcake tin with cupcake liners (about 12-14).
- Bake at 350ºF for 15-18 minutes. Cupcakes are done when toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Cool cupcakes in cupcake tin for about 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Oreo Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Separate the cream of 16 oreo cookies.
- Crush the cookies only in a food processor (or by adding the cookies to a ziploc bag and crushing with a rolling pin).
- Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined. Place the bowl over a hot water bath on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is hot and no longer grainy to the touch or until it reaches a temperature of 165 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Place the bowl on your stand mixer and whisk on medium-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch (approx. 5-10mins).
- Switch to a paddle attachment. Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth. Add vanilla, and oreo cream and continue to whip until smooth.
- Add in crushed cookie crumbs (sift them in if desired - see notes).
- Fill large piping bag fitted with desired tip with Oreo Buttercream.
Filling and Assembly
- Frosting can be piped using a large tip like a Wilton 1M tip or 2D tip. Alternatively, you can use a spoon or offset spatula to spread frosting onto the cupcakes
- Decorate with sprinkles and additional Oreo cookies.
Veggies and Sauce:
- In the same skillet as the chicken, cook mushrooms with the garlic, until tender and browned (around 5 minutes)
- Move the garlic to one side of the pan (or remove it, if it’s a small pan) and add the tomatoes.
- Let them cook until the tomatoes have blistered. You’ll know they’re close to being done once they start to explode.
- Remove the veggies from the pan.
- Turn down the heat to low, and add 1 tablespoon of butter.
- Once the butter is almost melted, add 1 tablespoon of flour, and mix until it forms a paste. Cook the flour for 2-3 minutes.
- Slowly, in one cup of milk to the mix, and constantly stir with a whisk or wooden spoon.
- Stir constantly until the sauce is smooth, and is thickened – about 4-5 minutes.
Put it together:
- Turn off the heat and add in 1/2 cup of pesto. Mix the sauce.
- Add the chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms and spaghetti to the pan.
- Toss the spaghetti together with sauce, chicken and veggies to combine.