Pesto Pasta with Grilled Chicken

Pesto Pasta with Grilled Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: serves 4

Pesto Pasta with Grilled Chicken


2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

1 Tablespoon Olive oil

Kosher salt


1 pound pasta, whatever you like will work, but maybe trying a new shape is in order?

1/3 - 1/2 cup basil pesto (though it would be wonderful with cilantro pesto too)

1 teaspoon (or more) red pepper flakes

Shredded Parmesan


  1. Bring large pot of water to a boil.
  2. One at a time, place chicken breasts in a large zippered bag, add about a tablespoon of olive oil and seal (the oil will keep the chicken from tearing).
  3. Whack with something heavy, like a bottle until evenly flat - about 1/2 inch thick.
  4. Remove from bag and season well with Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper.
  5. Heat grill or grill pan, add a little more oil to chicken and cook over medium high heat until done, about 3 minutes a side.
  6. While the chicken cooks, add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions.
  7. Drain pasta (saving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water) and return to pot with the pesto and a little of the pasta water - mix well to coat and adding more pesto or water depending on how you like it - keep warm.
  8. Remove chicken from grill and slice into strips.
  9. Plate the pasta, top with chicken and sprinkle with Parmesan.
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 Sam the Cooking Guy

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Sam Zien

is host of the TV show Sam the Cooking Guy, author of 3 cookbooks and a frequent guest in the Today Show kitchen. He’s also and proud of his “big in taste but small in effort” cooking style — “food that anyone can make,” he likes to say.

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