Chicken Pesto Bake

  • 40 mins
  • 23 ingredients


  • Tube Shaped Pasta 1 lb
  • Olive Oil
  • Uncooked Diced Chicken 2 Cups
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Onion, Diced 1
  • Mushrooms, Sliced 8 oz
  • Garlic, Minced 3 Cloves
  • Fresh Spinach, Stems Removed 10 oz
  • Flour 1 Cup
  • Butter 3 Tbsp
  • Milk 3-1/2 Cups
  • Parmesan Cheese, Grated 1 Cup
  • Jack Cheese, Shredded 1 Cup
  • Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded 1/2 Cup
  • --- Pesto ---
  • Unsalted Butter 6 Tbsp
  • Olive Oil 1 Cup
  • Garlic, Minced 3 Cloves
  • Parmesan Cheese, Grated 4 Tbsp
  • Salt 1 tsp
  • Basil 2 Cups
  • Pine Nuts 3/4 Cups

Chicken-Pesto-Pasta-BakePesto Directions:

  1. In a food processor, add butter, olive oil and garlic. Process until combined. Then add parmesan cheese and salt and process some more. Then add the basil and pine nuts and process again, but not too much. It’s nice to have bits of nuts and basil, not a puree. Add a little more salt if necessary and top with fresh grated parmesan cheese if you adding it to pasta.
  2. If it looks a little pale and you want more basil go ahead and add more. If you want less butter, use less. This recipe is very adaptable to your own personal preferences.

Main Dish Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain. Return to pan and toss with a bit of olive oil to keep pasta from sticking together.
  3. In large skillet, heat a little olive oil to coat bottom of pan. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper and add chicken and sauté until browned and cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
  4. Add onions, mushrooms and garlic to pan (add a little more olive oil if needed). Saute until onions and mushrooms are tender being careful not to burn the garlic.
  5. Add spinach and toss to combine. Cook until wilted. Add chicken back to pan and stir to combine. Add chicken mixture to pasta and toss to combine.
  6. In saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until melted. Add flour. Whisk and continue to cook. about a minute. Slowly add milk, while continuing to whisk. Cook until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups cheese and pesto.
  7. Add sauce to pasta/chicken mixture and toss well to combine.
  8. If you want extra cheesiness, layer half of pasta mixture in greased casserole dish. Sprinkle ¼ c. shredded mozzarella cheese over top. Add remaining pasta/chicken mixture. Top with remaining mozzarella. I also added a little more parmesan on top.
  9. Bake until heated through and lightly golden on top, about 20-25 minutes.


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