Chicken And Tortellini Pesto Skillet Recipe | Under 30 Minutes

Chicken And Tortellini Pesto Skillet Recipe | Under 30 Minutes

Chicken acts as the primary protein source in the Chicken and Tortellini Pesto Skillet. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are commonly used due to their lean nature and quick cooking time. Sauté the chicken pieces until golden brown to ensure they add a savory depth to the dish. The chicken’s mild flavor pairs well with the robust taste of pesto, providing a well-rounded culinary experience.

Choosing the Right Tortellini

Selecting high-quality tortellini is vital for this skillet dish. Cheese tortellini, which typically contains a blend of ricotta, Parmesan, and mozzarella, offers a creamy, rich contrast to the herbaceous pesto. Fresh tortellini cooks in about 3-5 minutes, ideal for fast preparation. Look for tortellini in the refrigerated section of your grocery store to ensure you get a fresh product with the best texture and flavor.

Types of Pesto for Optimal Flavor

Pesto is the flavor cornerstone of the Chicken and Tortellini Pesto Skillet. Traditional basil pesto, made from basil leaves, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, and olive oil, provides a classic, aromatic dimension. For varied flavor profiles, consider using sun-dried tomato pesto or arugula pesto. Each type brings a unique twist, enhancing the overall depth of the dish and offering versatile options to suit different palates.

Step-by-Step Cooking Guide

Preparing the Chicken

Start by cutting boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Use a sharp knife for precision. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally until the chicken is golden brown and fully cooked. Ensure internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C), verified with a meat thermometer.

Cooking the Tortellini

While the chicken cooks, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add high-quality cheese tortellini. Cook according to package instructions, usually 3-5 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. When cooked, the tortellini will float to the top. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tortellini to a plate. Reserve some pasta water.

Mixing in the Pesto

Once the chicken is cooked, reduce heat to low and add cooked tortellini to the skillet. Pour in 1/2 cup of pesto, choosing from basil, sun-dried tomatoes, or arugula. Stir gently to coat the chicken and tortellini evenly. If the mixture seems dry, add reserved pasta water one tablespoon at a time to reach the desired consistency. Heat for an additional 2-3 minutes, allowing flavors to meld together.

This Chicken and Tortellini Pesto Skillet offers a quick, delectable meal perfect for any night of the week.

Nutritional Information

Caloric Breakdown

A serving of Chicken and Tortellini Pesto Skillet typically contains about 450 calories. This includes approximately 150 calories from the chicken, 200 calories from the cheese tortellini, and 100 calories from the pesto sauce. Keep portion sizes consistent to maintain this caloric balance.

Health Benefits

Chicken and Tortellini Pesto Skillet offers several health benefits. The chicken provides high-quality protein, which supports muscle growth and repair. Cheese tortellini delivers calcium and essential nutrients, supporting bone health. Pesto sauce, often made with basil, nuts, and olive oil, offers healthy fats and antioxidants, which contribute to heart health and reduce inflammation. Combining these ingredients creates a meal that’s both nourishing and flavorful.

Serving and Presentation Tips

Ideal Side Dishes

Include fresh, vibrant side dishes to create a balanced meal. A simple arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette adds a zesty, refreshing contrast. Roasted vegetables like asparagus or bell peppers provide additional texture and nutrients. For a hearty complement, garlic bread offers a satisfying crunch.

Tips for Plating

Focus on aesthetics to elevate this dish. Use a large white or neutral-colored plate to make the vibrant colors of the Chicken and Tortellini Pesto Skillet pop. Arrange the tortellini in a scattered yet intentional pattern, with chicken pieces evenly distributed. Drizzle extra pesto over the dish for added color and flavor. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan and a sprinkle of pine nuts for a touch of elegance.


The Chicken and Tortellini Pesto Skillet is a culinary delight that combines convenience with rich flavors. This one-pan meal not only saves you time but also offers a balanced nutritional profile. With its high-quality protein, essential nutrients, and healthy fats, it’s a dish that satisfies both your taste buds and your health goals.

Pairing it with a simple arugula salad or roasted vegetables elevates the meal, making it perfect for any occasion. Remember to present it beautifully with a drizzle of extra pesto and a sprinkle of Parmesan and pine nuts to impress your guests. Enjoy the ease and elegance of this delicious dish!

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