Pesto Chicken Pasta with Zucchini & Mushrooms

Pesto Chicken Pasta

with Zucchini & Mushrooms

25 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

This easy pasta—which stars a hearty trio of chicken and roasted mushrooms and zucchini—gets an irresistibly rich boost of flavor from cream and fontina cheese, plus herbaceous basil pesto stirred in just before serving.
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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    830 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
Pesto Chicken Pasta with Zucchini & Mushrooms
Title
  • 18 oz Chopped Chicken Breast
  • ¾ lb Cavatappi Pasta
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 4 oz Mushrooms
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 4 oz Shredded Fontina Cheese
  • ⅓ cup Basil Pesto
  • ¼ cup Cream
  • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Halve the zucchini lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Halve, peel, and small dice the onion

Roast the vegetables
2 Roast the vegetables

Place the mushroom pieces and zucchini pieces on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer. Roast 13 to 15 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven. 

Cook the pasta
3 Cook the pasta

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot. 

Cook the chicken
4 Cook the chicken

Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the chopped garlic, diced onion, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Turn off the heat.

Finish the pasta & serve your dish
5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked chicken, roasted vegetables, fontina, cream, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined. Turn off the heat. Add the pesto; stir until combined and the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the parmesan. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

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Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Halve the zucchini lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Halve, peel, and small dice the onion

2 Roast the vegetables

Place the mushroom pieces and zucchini pieces on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer. Roast 13 to 15 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven. 

Roast the vegetables
Cook the pasta
3 Cook the pasta

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot. 

4 Cook the chicken

Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the chopped garlic, diced onion, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Turn off the heat.

Cook the chicken
Finish the pasta & serve your dish
5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked chicken, roasted vegetables, fontina, cream, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined. Turn off the heat. Add the pesto; stir until combined and the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the parmesan. Enjoy!

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