This delicious chicken and broccoli pesto pasta dish is lightened up a bit from your usual pesto and can be thrown together in NO time, making it perfect for busy weeknights. Better yet? It can easily be enjoyed by the whole family!
We’re big carb fans over here. Always have been, always will be. We both grew up with pasta being a big part of our family dinners, and it’s something that I’m sure you guys are no strangers to seeing on my weekly meal plans over here, too.
Thankfully, it’s also something that is (almost) always a sure bet with Lucas, too, so it’s something that we tend to keep in the rotation regularly.
But recently, I tried putting together a new recipe to jazz up our pasta, and luckily it turned out to be a hit!
This recipe? Super awesome. And super easy, too. The pesto sauce comes together incredibly quick, and is lightened up a bit from the usual oil-based pesto with a creamy base of oil mixed with cottage cheese.
And to keep things even easier? I simply heated up a bag of frozen broccoli and used a few marinated and cooked chicken breasts that we had cooked up the day before to accompany the pasta. Throw it all together, and you’re good to go.
And if your kiddos are anything like our Lucas, it also makes it easy to keep everything separated…since we’ve come to realize that Lucas isn’t a huge fan of his foods being mixed.
Any other toddler parents relate?
Well either way, this chicken and broccoli pesto pasta is perfect for busy weeknights, because you can easily have your pesto prepped and your broccoli ready all while your pasta cooks up. I really think you’ll enjoy!
Light and Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Pesto Pasta
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
- 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese divided
- ~2 cups dry pasta penne, rotini, etc.
- 1 12oz bag frozen broccoli, cooked according to package
- 2-3 cooked chicken breasts cooked however you like!
- For the pesto, place the basil in a food processor. Add 2 teaspoons of oil, walnuts, garlic, salt, and pepper, and pulse. Add cottage cheese and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and process until smooth. Set aside.
- Cook the pasta and broccoli according to the package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving 2 tablespoons of cooking water. Return pasta to the pot, pour the pesto sauce over the pasta and stir gently to combine. Add the cooked broccoli and reserved pasta water and toss again to coat.
- Divide the pasta among 3-4 bowls, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and top with cooked chicken. Enjoy!
Question for Today: What are some of your favorite quick, go-to dinner recipes for during the week?