How To Cook: Chicken Pesto Pasta

by How To Mommy on 01.24.12

Tonight I was craving pasta and had low fat pesto and ricotta, but none of the recipes I was finding were quite fitting what I wanted.

I did find a casserole dish from All Recipes that was close, but with jarred alfredo and tons of cheese, I was pretty sure the calorie count was not going to work.

I ended up modifying the recipe and cut the calories by 32% and the fat by almost 60%!  The recipe ended up a big success.  My husband, Little Miss R and Baby O all loved it!

Here’s how to make it:

Chicken Pesto Pasta

Serves: 4-6 (nutrition based on 4 generous servings)      Calories: 520
Fat: 20 grams     Carbs: 48 grams     Protein: 39 grams


  • 6 oz. (dry) Ronzoni Smart Taste Penne Pasta
  • 2-3 small Chicken Breast, Boneless, Skinless (about 8 oz.)
  • 3/4 cup Skim Milk
  • 1 1/2 cup Reduced Fat Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Buitoni Reduced Fat Pesto with Basil
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can Diced Tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups fresh Baby Spinach
  • 2 1/2 oz. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 slice Whole Wheat Bread, toasted
  • 2 tsp. Italian Seasoning

How To Make It:

  1. Boil, bake or grill your chicken breasts and cube.  Put to the side.
  2. Boil water and cook pasta to package directions for 10 minutes, until al dente.
  3. Preheat oven to 350° and spray a small casserole dish (about half the size of a 9×13)
  4. In a mini-food processor, combine wheat bread and italian seasoning to make homemade breadcrumbs.  Combine with mozzarella cheese.
  5. In a large bowl, combine milk, ricotta, pesto, tomatoes, spinach and chicken.  Mix thoroughly.  Add cooked pasta.
  6. Place pasta mixture in greased casserole dish and top with cheese and breadcrumb mixture.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbly.

Right before it went into the oven.

It was pretty dang tasty and definitely didn’t need that alfredo!  And anything that my sometimes picky girls gobble up without protest has to be good, right?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 melissa January 24, 2012 at 7:29 PM

YUM!!! I love checking your blog out for everything but I LOVE your recipes that you provide. Thank you:)


2 How To Mommy January 24, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Thank you so much! I really appreciate it. 🙂


3 Elizabeth @Our Life January 24, 2012 at 9:52 PM

This definitely sounds like a winner! I can’t wait to try it!


4 whiskybaker February 2, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Okay looks awesome and I think I might be able to do it too! Although is it weird to want to omit the pesto? (it’s just not one of my favourites.)


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