Pesto Chicken Pasta

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This pesto chicken pasta is a fresh summer dinner made with cherry tomatoes, pesto, mozzarella and tender chicken. It’s an easy 30-minute dinner.


  • 6 ounces penne or other short pasta
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound (1/2″-thick) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 10 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup pesto (see note)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella pearls (see note)
  • 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the penne and cook it according to package directions (approximately 10 to 12 minutes)..
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil over medium-heat high in a large skillet. Place the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook them on one side for five minutes. Turn them and cook them for another 3 to four minutes or until cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  3. In the same skillet, cook the tomatoes over medium heat until they are softened and have released some of their juices. Adjust the heat to medium-low until the pasta has finished cooking.
  4. Transfer the cooked penne to the skillet with the tomatoes and stir to coat them in the juices released by the tomatoes. 
  5. Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add them to the skillet with the tomatoes and penne. Add the pesto and until the pasta and chicken are evenly coated. Add the mozzarella pearls and stir again. Garnish with the grated Parmesan cheese and serve.


  • You can use store-bought pesto or make a batch of my quick and easy pesto that makes just enough for this recipe.
  • Mozzarella pearls are small bite-sized balls of fresh mozzarella. If you can’t find them, you can cut a regular ball of mozzarella into bite-sized pieces.