Quick and easy chicken pesto pasta with crumbled sausage, sauteed mushrooms, fresh sweet peas, and spicy basil pesto, garnished with pistachios and Italian cheese blend.
Easy Dinner Option
It's a long, hectic day, and you are tired but hungry! Let's solve one with a quick, easy-to-make spicy pesto chicken pasta dish. In just 30 minutes, this one-pot meal is ready and will definitely leave you satisfied with this warm, cheesy pasta. A combination of fresh ingredients of sweet peas, basil, and pistachios makes each bit interesting for sure. For this easy recipe, you can make the pesto or use store-bought, but the fact that you made dinner quickly is all that matters. Enjoy!
If you are still looking for pasta recipes, try the:
- Jalapeño Pesto and Argentinian Shrimp Pasta
- Plant-Based: Italian Sausage with Spicy Creamy Lentil Pasta
- Loaded Cheesy Ground Turkey Red Lentil Pasta
- Loaded Lemon Pepper Chicken Pasta recipes.
And if you want to make fresh pesto from scratch, use the Homemade Easy Spicy Basil Pesto recipe.
You can make the spicy basil pesto or buy already-made basil pesto. Then, make the pasta, heat the pine nuts, and set them aside. Saute the onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Then add and fry the crumbled Italian chicken sausage. When cooked, finish with sweet peas. Place up and garnish with pistachios and grated Italian cheese blend.
See the recipe card for quantities.
I used Trader Joe's Organic Mafalda Corta Pasta to develop this recipe.
Heat the pistachios to awaken their flavor by releasing their oils.
The mushrooms will be covered to steam and then brown in less time.
The casing is removed to cook down the chicken sausage quickly.
Fresh sweet peas take as little as three minutes to cook.
Remove from the heat to toss in the warm pasta and pesto.
Busy Folks - Become a better home cook with tips to help you cook more efficiently on Cook's Notebook tab.
- Toasted Garlic Bread
- Light Salad with Vinaigrette
- Macaroni Pasta - Any short type of pasta like farfalle, fusilli, or penne pasta, since the other ingredients are also small to the point you practically can eat it with a spoon. For Vegan, most dried pasta does not contain eggs but always double-check. For a healthier choice, use whole wheat pasta. For gluten-free, use lentil pasta.
- Pistachios - Omit or replace with toasted pine nuts, walnuts, slivered almonds, or sunflower seeds.
- Cremini Mushrooms - White button, fresh shitake or porcini thinly sliced, and morels.
- Italian Chicken Sauce - Plant-based (vegan option), beef, or pork; just make sure to drain the excess oil when cooking.
- Sweet Peas - Sliced asparagus.
- Italian Cheese Blend - Nutritional Yeast (vegan option), or grated/shredded parmesan cheese.
- Spicy Pesto - Add ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes to every ¼ cup of store-bought pesto, or use spicy Italian sausage. Or, like my Jalapeño Pesto and Argentinian Shrimp Pasta, use jalapeno peppers. You can also easily make the Quick Spicy Basil Pesto by throwing everything in a food processor for homemade pesto.
Change the recipe's heat level to your liking and learn more about the Scoville Scale and Chili Pairings.
Other Ingredients that will pair well with this recipe -
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Red Bell Peppers
- Sun-dried Tomatoes
- Baby Spinach
- Zucchini or Summer Squash
- Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta - Add creamy goat cheese, cream cheese, or heavy cream for a creamy sauce.
- Spicy Tomato Basil - Add the tomato sauce and simmer before adding the peas.
- Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta Bake - As mentioned above, make the Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta. Put it in a baking dish. Sprinkle on shredded mozzarella cheese and put back in the oven at 400 degrees until the cheese is slightly golden brown.
- Medium Pasta Pot - Used to help effortlessly drain the water from the pasta when it's done. I developed this recipe using the highly-rated multifunctional AVACRAFT Stainless Steel Saucepan with Glass Strainer Lid. That way, I don't need a colander. The second best will be the Cuisinart Contour Stainless 6-Quart Pasta Pot that comes in three pieces (i.e., pot, strainer, and lid).
- Medium Saute Pan with Lid - Used to make the pasta and the lid to steam the mushrooms and sweet peas. When developing this recipe several times, I've always used the All-Clad D3 3-Ply Stainless Steel and Nonstick Surface Fry Pan. I've trusted these American-made, long-lasting cookware for years. And with it, I used the Universal Silicone Glass Lid for Pots, Pans, and Skillets. It's inexpensive and saves me space in the kitchen.
Kitchen Must Haves - Find other tools I use here.
- Refrigerator - To store in the fridge, place the pasta in a shallow 2-inch container to cool down quickly. Then, store in an airtight container. The meal will last up to three days.
- Freezer - I do not recommend freezing.
Cooking Pasta - Make sure to use a large pot of lightly salted water to flavor the pasta and to give it enough space to not reduce the water temperature when boiling to cook at the instructed time for al dente pasta.
Frequently Asked Questions
Basil pesto is typically made with fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, grated parmesan cheese, and extra virgin oil.
Looking for other pasta recipes like this? Try these:
Looking for other poultry recipes like this? Try these:
- Cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat to prevent foodborne illness from contaminated uncooked meats.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods; this can breed bacteria.
- Never leave cooking food unattended to prevent burns and fires.
- Use oils with a high smoke point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
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