Chicken and Pasta in Creamy Pesto Sauce

The ultimate in creamy, cheesy goodness! Look at that spectacular meal! Sleek strands of linguine and golden brown chicken in the most sublime, silky, pesto-cream sauce. You need a handful of ingredients (mostly pantry staples) and less than 30 minutes and you're sitting down to this.

"Oh my God, this is good." That's the first thing I heard when my boys tried this. Let's be clear, my boys try something different every night. And every night my goal is to hear "Oh my God, this is good." So when it happens, I feel the need to scream it from the rooftops! That's why I'm telling y'all now. It's THAT good.

And it's THAT easy. As the linguine cooks, the chicken cooks. Then, a quick cream sauce comes together in the same pan you used to sear the chicken. That means, all those delightful brown chicken bits from the bottom of the pan are incorporated into the velvety sauce. And about that easy sauce: it's simply butter, flour, milk, and pesto. But flavor explodes like you used 15 ingredients!

Chicken and Pasta in Creamy Pesto Sauce 

8 ounces linguine, or any pasta of choice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1/4 cup basil pesto (I prefer the refrigerated variety)
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Fresh basil leaves for serving
Chopped green onions for serving, optional
Crushed red pepper flakes for serving, optional

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides, stirring frequently. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Return the skillet to the stovetop, over medium heat. Add the butter to the skillet. When the butter is bubbly, whisk in the flour until smooth. Whish in the milk and pesto and incorporate the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the linguine and toss to coat. Add the parmesan cheese and toss to combine. Top with basil, green onions and red pepper flakes (if using) and serve with extra parmesan cheese on the side.
Serves 4