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pesto pasta-03

Pesto Pasta with Crispy Parmesan Chicken

Pasta is the best dinner idea especially when it involves pesto and crispy parmesan chicken! This pesto pasta is insanely creamy, super vibrant and fresh, and the crispy chicken takes it to a whole another level. Even the pickiest of eaters will go back for seconds.

The Pesto

The star of this recipe is of course the pesto. I love to make mine from scratch. It only takes five minutes and it tastes way better than the store-bought ones. There’s a recipe up on the blog for it here if you’d like to whip it up before hand.

Of course, if you couldn’t be bothered to make the pesto, just buy your favorite from the store. I love the refrigerated one sold at Costco. Just try to buy the freshest one you can find. The refrigerated ones are better than the on the shelves ones in my opinion.

Making the Crispy Chicken

The crispy parmesan chicken is absolute perfection and I’ve been making it for years to go with pasta! It’s so simple to make and comes together in less than half an hour. We’ll be using 2 large chicken breasts that have been cut in half to make 4 thinner pieces. Then the chicken is breaded in two steps:

Here are the ingredients for the wet batter:

  • egg
  • Italian seasoning
  • parmesan
  • black pepper and salt

Just whisk it all together in a small bowl.

Here are the ingredients for the dry batter:

  • plain breadcrumbs
  • panko breadcrumbs
  • grated parmesan
  • Italian seasoning
  • oregano
  • dried parsley
  • black pepper and salt

Whisk all of those ingredients together in a deep bowl/plate.

First dip the chicken in the wet and let any excess drip off. Then transfer to the dry and use your other clean hand to coat it fully in the breadcrumb mixture. Shake off any excess and repeat with the rest. Allow it to rest for ten minutes and in the meantime heat up your oil.

Once the oil is hot, fry two pieces at a times (in two batches) so not to overcrowd the chicken. Fry on each side until golden brown on both sides. Make sure the oil is not too hot, otherwise the breading will burn before the chicken is cooked on the inside.

If you find your chicken is not cooked after frying, just pop it on a wire rack and bake in the oven until cooked through.

The Creamy Pesto Sauce

Personally, you can’t go wrong with a creamy sauce so let’s make a delicious pesto version.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • unsalted butter
  • garlic
  • pesto
  • heavy cream
  • parmesan
  • cream cheese
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt and black pepper

Start out by sautéing the garlic in a little bit of butter. Then add in the pesto and heavy cream and mix together. Bring to a simmer and once it’s bubbling, add cream cheese, parmesan. Combine together until fully incorporated and the cheese is melted in and then add red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper to taste.

Cook your pasta to desired doneness, then toss it into the sauce, add the chicken on top, and it’s ready to enjoy!

Other Pasta Recipes to Try

If you tried this recipe and loved it, drop by down below and let me know how you liked it with a rating and comment! Feel free to also leave a question there about this recipe and I’ll get right back to it.

To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on Instagram! I’m also now on Pinterest pinning away so stop by and see what’s up.

Pesto Pasta with Crispy Parmesan Chicken

Pasta is the best dinner idea especially when it involves pesto and crispy parmesan chicken! This pesto pasta is insanely creamy, super vibrant and fresh, and the crispy chicken takes it to a whole another level. Even the pickiest of eaters will go back for seconds.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

CREAMY PESTO SAUCE

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons garlic finely minced
  • 3/4 cup pesto
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup parmesan more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

OTHER

  • 16 ounces pasta shape of choice
  • 2 chicken breasts halved
  • oil for frying

WET BATTER

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

DRY BATTER

  • 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
 

CRISPY CHICKEN

  • Prepare the wet batter. Whisk together the egg with Italian seasoning, grated parmesan, black pepper, and salt in a small bowl.
  • In a deep bowl, combine plain breadcrumbs, panko breadcrumbs, grated parmesan, Italian seasoning, oregano, dried parsley, salt, and black pepper.
  • First dip the chicken in the wet batter using one hand and let any excess drip off. Transfer to the dry batter. Then use the other clean hand to coat it well in the breadcrumbs and transfer to a plate. Repeat with the rest and allow them to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Heat vegetable oil for frying. You don't need that much oil. We will be shallow frying.
  • Once the oil is hot, fry the chicken on each side until beautifully golden and cooked through in the center. Fry in batches so the pan is not crowded. Transfer to a wire rack to let any excess oil drip off and that's it.

MAKE THE CREAMY PESTO SAUCE

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and garlic. Saute for a minute or two.
  • Add the pesto and heavy cream. Mix together and bring to a simmer. Once bubbling, add cream cheese and lots of parmesan. Mix it together very well so the cheese is completely incorporated.
  • Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.

THE PASTA

  • Boil pasta according to package directions in salted water. Drain when cooked and toss in the sauce. Chop the chicken and add on top. Enjoy warm!
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