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Jan 17
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Chicken Pesto Parmesan Pasta Skillet

Chicken Pesto Parmesan Pasta Skillet

I know it’s winter, but something about the new year makes me crave bright, fresh Spring flavors like the ones in this Chicken Pesto Parmesan Pasta Skillet. Don’t you just love basil, lemon and Parmesan together? Especially with garlic and toasted pine nuts and even more so over chicken, pasta and fresh green vegetables? I know I do. This pasta skillet comes together and using cooked chicken, it all comes together in one pot! I love one-pot meals. Especially when a hearty, filling serving is just 335 calories or 9 Weight Watchers SmartPoints!

Chicken Pesto Parmesan Pasta Skillet

This meal made me feel like I was eating in a restaurant and I couldn’t believe it was light. There’s a pesto cheese sauce! Trust me, you’re going to love this one. It’s also a great way to use up leftover chicken since it uses pre-cooked breasts. If you don’t happen to have cooked chicken on hand you can grill some, throw in in the slow cooker, bake it or just buy a cooked rotisserie breast. Whatever is easiest for you!

Chicken Pesto Parmesan Pasta Skillet

Looking for more lightened up pasta options? Check out the pasta section of my recipe index for favorites like Beef Stroganoff, Beefy American GoulashSlow Cooker Kickin’ Chicken PastaBeef and Sausage ManicottiPumpkin Alfredo Tortellini SkilletSpinach and Artichoke Lasagna Roll UpsChicken Cordon Bleu Pasta BakeTomato Soup Mac & CheeseSpaghetti PieSausage Tortellini SkilletBuffalo Chicken Lasagna Roll UpsChicken Parmesan Stuffed ShellsSpicy Sausage Pasta and many more!

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Chicken Pesto Parmesan Pasta Skillet

Yield: 6 (1 1/4 cup) servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • ¾ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 8 oz uncooked bowtie pasta (I used Barilla Farfalle)
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 8 oz cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced or chopped into bite size pieces
  • 4 oz finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Place the pine nuts in a large saute pan or deep skillet and bring over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until pine nuts start to look golden/toasted. Remove the pine nuts from heat.
  2. Combine 2 tablespoons of the toasted pine nuts (reserve one for topping) with the basil, garlic and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and grind it until a pesto paste forms and everything is finely minced and combined. Set aside.
  3. Place the dry pasta in the same large saute pan or deep skillet from step one and pour in the water and milk. Stir in the salt and top with the broccoli, zucchini and peas. Turn the heat on to medium and stay by the stove, stirring occasionally and watching closely for the contents to begin to simmer. *Pan should remain uncovered. Make sure you don’t wander away, you do not want the contents to boil and spill over or for the milk to get overheated and separate* When you see the liquid start to simmer, reduce the heat to low.
  4. Cook the mixture on low, stirring every couple minutes, for 13-16 minutes until the liquid is mostly absorbed (pasta and veggies will be cooked). Add the cooked chicken pieces and the pesto from step two and stir in until well combined. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in almost all of the shredded Parmesan (I like to reserve a tiny pile for topping). Cover the pan with a lid for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted and then stir until well combined and cheesy. Top each serving with a sprinkle of the reserved Parmesan and ½ teaspoon of the reserved pine nuts.

Weight Watchers SmartPoints:
9 per (1 ¼ cup) serving (SPs calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)

Weight Watchers Points Plus:
9 per (1 ¼ cup) serving (PP calculated using a WW PointsPlus calculator and the nutrition info below)

Nutrition Information per (1 ¼ cup) serving:
335 calories, 37 g carbs, 3 g sugars, 10 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 27 g protein, 3 g fiber (from myfitnesspal.com)

an Emily Bites Original

   
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14 Responses to “Chicken Pesto Parmesan Pasta Skillet”

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    1
    Peggy — January 17, 2017 @ 11:11 am

    OK, this sounds and looks amazing, but I have one incredibly stupid question. How will I know when it has begun to simmer? Thanks!

    • Emily Bites replied: — January 30th, 2017 @ 12:01 pm

      Not stupid! Simmering is the state a liquid will reach before boiling. The liquid will show some movement and will begin to bubble (but not reach constant rapid bubbles like boiling). I hope that helps!

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    2
    Jennifer — January 18, 2017 @ 2:13 pm

    This looks really good. I don’t have much time to cook, and try not to buy ingredients that I won’t use too often, like pine nuts. If I were to use commercially prepared pesto, how much do you think I would use? And also, do you think the points would change?
    Thanks so much, Emily!

    • Emily Bites replied: — January 30th, 2017 @ 11:53 am

      The points would definitely change dramatically as commercially prepared pesto is generally very high in fat. I definitely recommend buying the pine nuts (they come in small amounts when I buy them anyway) but you can substitute another nut if you prefer.

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    3
    Amy Casteel — January 24, 2017 @ 7:54 pm

    I just wanted to tell you that I made this tonight and it was amazing! Totally felt indulgent but wasn’t! Thanks for helping a girl out on her Weight Watcher journey!

    • Emily Bites replied: — January 30th, 2017 @ 11:38 am

      I’m so happy to hear you loved it! <3

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    4
    Nancy Peruyero — January 25, 2017 @ 6:26 pm

    Just made this for dinner tonight. It’s delicious and so easy and quick to make!

    • Emily Bites replied: — January 30th, 2017 @ 11:15 am

      I’m so glad you loved it Nancy!

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    5
    Jenni — January 27, 2017 @ 1:36 pm

    Made this for dinner earlier this week and it was DELISH! I’ve been eating the leftovers for lunch and I’m still loving it! Thanks for the great recipes! Makes following WW much easier! 🙂

    • Emily Bites replied: — January 30th, 2017 @ 11:08 am

      I’m so thrilled you love it! 🙂

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    6
    Malia Baber — January 30, 2017 @ 9:56 am

    I made this for dinner this weekend since I had to work 3 days in a row. It was so good and so easy! One of my favorites I’ve tried from your website so far.

    • Emily Bites replied: — January 30th, 2017 @ 11:03 am

      I’m so happy you loved it! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

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    7
    Birdlady — February 16, 2017 @ 2:16 pm

    I thought this looked really good because I like this kind of thing. First night was OK but wasn’t crazy about it but when I warmed it up the next day a flavor (?) came out that I didn’t like and I couldn’t eat anymore but my friend loved it and so I gave the rest to her and so it is just me. I love all the recipes you come up with.

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    Mary — September 17, 2017 @ 7:43 pm

    Wonderful and easy. I think you could substitute asparagus for the broccoli for variety. My husband loved it, too.

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