Pesto is a wonderful Italian oil and herb sauce that dates back as far as the Roman Age.

Basil, one of the main ingredients in pesto and a powerfully aromatic herb, gives this dish its lovely green colour, along with the pine nuts, garlic and cheeses adding a wonderful texture and zesty taste.

Pesto, chicken and pasta marry so well together, with the addition of the tomato’s giving this dish a wonderful pop of cherry tomato sweetness.

And if you’re after comfort food, leftovers are easily frozen and heated in the microwave for a small lunch another day.

What you will need:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 chicken breasts or chicken tenderloins

500g penne pasta

500g cherry tomato’s cut into halve

2 handfuls of sundried tomato’s

190g jar of basil pesto

250ml thickened cream

60g parmesan cheese, shaved to serve

fresh basil

Salt and pepper

Large pot


Measuring jug

Large bowl to mix the ingredients

NOTE – you can buy pure cream or thickened cream.  Alternatively you can use 50g unsalted butter with 100ml milk.  Or for a thicker consistency, use 100g of unsalted butter with 100ml of milk.


  1. Place water on the stove top with splash of oil and sprinkle of salt and boil. Once bubbling  then place the pasta into the water.  I cook pasta for 11mins on medium to high.
  1. Thinly slice the chicken and remove all the fat. Further chop into stir fry size pieces and place aside in a bowl.
  1. Once the pasta is cooked, place into a strainer and drain, with hot running water to remove the starch.
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.   Cook the chicken for 5 minutes each side or until cooked through and season to taste.  Transfer to a plate.  Cover with foil or a plate to keep warm.

  1. While chicken is cooking, cut the cherry tomato’s into half and slice the sun dried tomato’s into small pieces.
  1. Now the chicken has been removed from the hot pan, add in all the tomato’s and pan fry for 2-4 mins, tossing often.
  1. Pour in the thickened cream over the cooked tomato’s and mix through, then add in the complete jar of pesto and chicken, thoroughly mixing all ingredients.
  1. Slowly add in the pasta and check the consistency of the sauce as you may not utilise all the pasta.