If you’re looking for a delicious and easy weeknight dinner, pesto chicken is the perfect meal.
The combination of tender chicken with creamy pesto sauce is irresistible.
But what type of pasta should you use?
There are so many different types of pasta to choose from that it can be overwhelming.
To make things easier, here are six types of pasta that work best when paired with pesto chicken.
From penne to farfalle and fusilli to rigatoni, each one brings its own unique flavor and texture to the dish.
Read on to find out which type is right for your next meal!
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What is Pesto Chicken?
Pesto chicken is a dish that combines the flavors of pesto and chicken.
Pesto is an Italian sauce made from fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and salt.
It has a bright green color and a creamy texture.
The flavor of pesto is herby with notes of garlic and nuttiness from the pine nuts.
Pesto chicken typically involves marinating or coating chicken in pesto before cooking it.
This can be done by brushing it on top of grilled or roasted chicken breasts or thighs, stirring it into pasta dishes with cooked shredded chicken breast pieces, or using it as part of a marinade for baked or fried cutlets.
The result is juicy flavorful pieces of poultry that are infused with the delicious flavors of pesto.
Pesto also adds moisture to the meat which helps keep it tender during cooking.
Pesto Chicken pairs well with many side dishes such as roasted vegetables like zucchini and bell peppers; potatoes; grains like quinoa; salads; pastas; sandwiches; wraps; tacos; pizzas; soups and stews – just about anything you can think up!
The 6 Best Types of Pasta for Pesto Chicken
Pesto chicken is a delicious and easy meal to make, but it’s important to choose the right type of pasta for the dish.
Here are six types of pasta that work particularly well in pesto chicken dishes:
Fettuccine is a type of pasta that originated in Italy.
It is made from flat, thick strands of egg-based dough and has a wide variety of uses.
The most common use for fettuccine is in dishes like Alfredo or carbonara, but it can also be used as the base for other dishes such as pesto chicken.
Taste: Fettuccine has a mild flavor and texture that pairs well with many different sauces and ingredients.
Its texture holds up to heavier sauces like Alfredo or carbonara, while its mild flavor allows it to take on the flavors of whatever sauce you choose to pair it with.
When paired with pesto chicken, the creamy sauce complements the nutty flavor of the pesto and brings out the savory notes in both ingredients.
Rigatoni is a type of pasta that is tubular in shape and has ridges along the outside.
It’s slightly larger than penne, with a diameter of about 1/2 inch (1.3 cm).
The ridges help sauces cling to the pasta, making it an ideal choice for dishes like pesto chicken.
Rigatoni can be used in many different recipes, from classic Italian dishes like Bolognese to more creative concoctions like macaroni and cheese or even breakfast casseroles.
It pairs well with cream-based sauces as well as tomato-based ones, so you can use it in almost any dish you’d normally make with other types of pasta.
When cooking rigatoni, keep in mind that it takes longer to cook than other types of pasta due to its size and thickness.
Be sure to check the package instructions for exact cooking times and add a few minutes if needed.
Penne is a type of pasta that is shaped like a tube with ridges on the outside.
It is one of the most popular types of pasta, and it comes in many different sizes and shapes.
Penne can be made from durum wheat, semolina flour, or whole-wheat flour.
The name “penne” comes from the Italian word for “quill” or “feather” because of its shape.
Penne pairs well with pesto chicken because it has ridges that help to hold onto sauces and other ingredients better than other types of pasta.
The ridges also provide more surface area for the sauce to cling to, making every bite flavorful and delicious.
Additionally, penne’s firm texture stands up well to heavier sauces like pesto without becoming mushy or overcooked.
4. Farfalle (Bow-Tie)
Farfalle is a type of pasta that is shaped like bow ties or butterflies.
It is also known as “bow-tie” or “butterfly” pasta and comes in various sizes, from small to large.
The name farfalle comes from the Italian word for butterfly, which is fitting since it looks like two wings joined together.
Farfalle pairs well with pesto chicken because its shape holds onto the sauce nicely and adds texture to the dish.
The ridges on the pasta help to trap any chunks of chicken, vegetables, or herbs in each bite.
Plus, farfalle cooks quickly so you can have dinner ready in no time!
Taste: Farfalle has a mild flavor that allows other ingredients to shine through without overpowering them. Its texture is slightly chewy but still tender enough to enjoy with pesto chicken and other sauces.
Orecchiette is a type of pasta that originated in the Puglia region of Italy.
The name comes from the Italian word for “little ear” due to its shape, which resembles a small ear.
It is traditionally made with durum wheat flour and water, but some recipes call for adding eggs or semolina flour as well.
Orecchiette is best known for its use in traditional dishes like orecchiette con cime di rapa (orecchiette with turnip greens) and orecchiette alle cime di rape e salsiccia (orecchiette with turnip greens and sausage).
But it can also be used in other recipes such as pesto chicken.
Pesto chicken with orecchiette is a simple yet flavorful dish that combines cooked chicken breasts, pesto sauce, and orecchiette pasta all tossed together in one skillet.
Taste: Orecchiette has a slightly chewy texture when cooked al dente, making it perfect for absorbing sauces like pesto. The combination of the nutty flavor of the pesto sauce and the earthy taste of the orecchiette creates an incredibly delicious dish that will have your family asking for seconds!
Rotini is a type of pasta that is shaped like a corkscrew and has ridges on the outside.
It’s made from durum wheat semolina flour, which gives it its unique shape and texture.
The name comes from the Italian word for “twisted,” as each piece of rotini looks like it has been twisted around itself.
Rotini is an excellent choice for pesto chicken because its shape helps to hold onto the sauce better than other types of pasta.
It also pairs well with vegetables, so you can add some roasted or sautéed veggies to your dish to make it even more flavorful and nutritious.
Plus, rotini cooks quickly—in about 8 minutes—so you can have dinner on the table in no time!
In conclusion, pasta is the perfect accompaniment for pesto chicken, and there are many different types of pasta that can be used to bring out the flavor of the dish.
The best types of pasta for pesto chicken are fettuccine, rigatoni, penne, farfalle (bow-tie), orecchiette, and rotini. All of these types of pasta have a unique shape and texture that will complement the pesto and chicken perfectly.
Using one of these types of pasta with your pesto chicken will ensure that you have a delicious and satisfying meal every time.
The 6 Best Types of Pasta for Pesto Chicken
- Pick your favorite kind of pasta from this list to use in your recipe.
- Prepare the rest of your meal, and enjoy in no time!
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.