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
      790 Cals (est.)
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    fresh
    ingredients
    Pesto Chicken Pasta with Zucchini & Mushrooms
    Title
    • 18 oz Chopped Chicken Breast
    • ¾ lb Cavatappi Or Lumaca Rigata Pasta
    • 1 Zucchini
    • 4 oz Mushrooms
    • 2 cloves Garlic
    • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
    • 4 oz Shredded Fontina Cheese
    • ⅓ cup Basil Pesto
    • 1 Shallot
    • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
    • ¼ cup Cream
    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. Peel and thinly slice the shallot

    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. If you received Cavatappi, cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). If you received Lumaca Rigata, cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 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 a drizzle 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, sliced shallot, 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

    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. Peel and thinly slice the shallot

    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. If you received Cavatappi, cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). If you received Lumaca Rigata, cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 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 a drizzle 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, sliced shallot, 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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