Time for an Italian inspired recipe! This Chicken Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta is a delicious dinner idea and takes little time to put together! Blend the sun-dried tomato pesto sauce in a food processor, cook the pasta, bake the balsamic chicken and dinner is ready!
I love easy dinner recipes, and this is definitely one of them! The sauce doesn’t need to be made over the stove. All you need is a food processor to bring it all together.
You can use whatever chicken marinade you prefer, but I love a simple olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and balsamic vinegar marinade. Common pantry staples that I usually have on hand make this easy to whip up in a jiffy!
Cooking Tip: Use thinly sliced chicken breast if you want to save even more time. It’ll cook quickly since it’s not as thick as normal chicken breasts.
But my favorite part of this recipe is the sauce! It’s so flavorful and ridiculously easy to make. Let’s start there!
Ingredients for the Tomato Pesto Sauce
Below are the ingredients for the pasta and sauce (not the chicken, we’ll get into that later!)
Pasta! Of course pasta is super important here! I like using rigatoni pasta, because it’s larger in diameter and has those grooves to help lock in the tasty sauce. It’s amazing how many different types of pasta exist! If you want to build up your pasta knowledge check out this article by Epicurious that provides a visual guide on all the different pastas and their common uses. In this recipe, rigatoni or penne work best to catch the sun-dried tomatoes.
Another important ingredient? The sauce! In a food processor, blend the pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic – done! Super simple and yummy. I blend the mixture until the sun-dried tomatoes are chopped well and not too large.
Most of these ingredients I got from Aldi, which is budget friendly and has a decent variety. If you’re on a tight budget, I couldn’t recommend Aldi’s enough! I got the pasta, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and chicken breast from Aldi for a good deal and solid quality.
Doesn’t that sauce look delicious!? Once the texture starts to get smooth with just a few sun-dried tomato hunks, you’ll know it’s ready to go!
Making the Oven Baked Balsamic Chicken
This is one of my favorite ways to cook chicken. Simple and full of flavor! All you need is olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
I let the chicken sit in the marinade for a bit before transferring it to the pan for baking. In this recipe, I used thinly sliced chicken breast, and it cooked quickly! Since it’s already thinly sliced, it’s easy to cut up into bite size pieces after cooking too.
Putting the Pasta Dish Together
Start with putting the marinade together and let the chicken marinate for a few hours to absorb the flavors. When ready to get the dish going, heat the oven up to 425 degrees.
Next, cook that pasta! As the pasta cooks, get the tomato pesto pasta sauce going! Once the pasta is done cooking, drain it and let it cool. Add in the sun-dried tomato pesto sauce to the cooled pasta and stir well to evenly coat!
Top the pasta with the baked chicken, fresh Parmesan cheese, and garnish with basil if desired.
I gotta say I was going to add Parmesan cheese to the sun-dried tomato pesto sauce, but I decided not to. When I was in Italy, I was amazed by the minimal amount of cheese that was used on saucy dishes, but it makes sense! The star in this dish is the sauce – not the cheese, but it enhances the flavor for sure!
So give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! Since we can’t go to Italy now, hopefully, this recipe will transport your taste buds instead 🙂
Chicken Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta
- 16 ounces rigatoni or penne pasta
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
- 1/2 cup pesto
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 pounds thinly sliced chicken breast
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Parmesan cheese
- basil leaves for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
- In bowl or gallon sized bag, mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add the chicken breasts and allow to marinade in the refrigerator until ready to bake in the oven.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached.
Tomato Pesto Pasta
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- In a food processor, blend the sun-dried tomatoes, pesto and clove of garlic until smooth.
- Mix the sauce into the pasta well.
- Add in the cooked chicken and top with Parmesan cheese and basil
If you ever make a recipe, tag me on Instagram @monicanedeff.rdn I love seeing your creations and sharing them with the community! Please comment and give this recipe a star rating if you’ve made it as it greatly helps support this blog and my small biz, thank you!