Spring is nearly in full swing, but we’ll still have a few chilly days here and there. When I want something that tastes fresh and bright, but is still warm and hearty, I reach for my mom’s favorite pasta recipe. This pesto chicken pasta is deliciously herby, with a creamy and tangy bite from the crumbled feta cheese clinging to the penne pasta. It comes together in just 30 minutes and can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the chicken for more pasta lovers to enjoy.
1 16 oz package penne pasta
1 lb. chicken breast (optional)
2 bell peppers (yellow, orange or red)
1 yellow onion
2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
4 T of your favorite pesto (I used Amore® brand)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 package of feta (6 to 8 oz)
Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook your pasta according to the instructions on the package. Make sure to set a timer so you don’t overcook the pasta while you work on other tasks. When your pasta is finished, strain it, add it back into your pot, and set it aside.
While your pasta is cooking, you can prepare some of your ingredients.
Chop the ends off of your bell pepper and remove seeds and pith, then slice it into strips. Set aside.
Cut your onion into slices and set aside with your bell peppers.
Crumble your feta into a small bowl, if you’re using a block, and set it aside.
Next, cut your chicken into bite-sized strips or however you prefer.
In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and your cut chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and stir occasionally to help it cook evenly.
Once the chicken is cooked about halfway, add your peppers and onions. Sauté for another 8 or so minutes until the bell peppers are tender and the onions are translucent.
Add your garlic to the pan and cook an additional 2-3 minutes until it becomes fragrant.
Transfer everything into the pot with the pasta and add your remaining olive oil, pesto, and crumbled feta. Stir everything until well combined.
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve right away. Enjoy!