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Chicken Fettuccine with Pesto Cream Sauce


Use our Basil Pesto to whip up this crowd-pleasing creamy pasta dish.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, September 2005


  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound fettuccine
  • 4 cubes (1/2 cup) frozen Basil Pesto
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


  1. Place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap. With a meat mallet or heavy skillet, pound chicken to an even 3/4-inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet; cook the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Slice each piece across the grain into 4 or 5 strips; cover to keep warm.

  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water. Drain pasta and return to pot.

  4. In a small saucepan, heat pesto over low until liquefied. Stir in cream; heat until warm. Toss pasta with reserved cooking water and half the sauce. Divide among shallow bowls; top with chicken. Drizzle with remaining sauce.

Reviews Add a comment

  • shalusharma16
    14 JUN, 2017
    Wow! Loved the dish. Made a few changes. Added generous fresh chopped garlic, salt, along with other Italian herbs. Added mushrooms to the pesto. Doubled the sauce. In the end added cherry tomatoes and cooked for a minute. Topped with fresh basil leaves. I'm in love with this recipe. Making it again.
  • leslie.odom
    20 FEB, 2017
    My Italian inspired Valentine's Day dinner turned out superb. I loved how easy, fast and delicious it was to prepare. I am no cook but I felt like a true Italian chef. I purchased heart shape pasta from Italy and then I used a dry pesto, Purdue Chicken packets already pre seasoned with and italian seasonings and it turned out very flavorful.
  • kvnsgrl
    30 DEC, 2013
    My husband thought the sauce needed a little more flavor, but I did enjoy it.
  • TN Faye
    10 JUN, 2013
    This is great! My pesto was in a jar from Stonewall Kitchen - I didn't have cream so used milk with a tiny bit of added butter (1/2 tablespoon) and added about a scant tablespoon of flour to thicken more. Salt, pepper and perfect! So simple and about 20 minutes to finish.
  • Eat Only If Its Oh So Good
    16 APR, 2013
    Very very good. I sautéed fresh garlic along with the chicken, added basting oil and butter and caramelized the chicken. I also doubled the cream sauce as it was a little too dry. This recipe is full of flavor and displays beautifully in front of friends and family. You'll look like a superstar chef with this one.
  • Sabina Stroescu
    29 SEP, 2012
    i didn't make it yet, but I can tell you what it laks : parmesan !
  • James Wilson
    17 SEP, 2012
    After reading the other reviews I added extra salt and pepper, some garlic, 1/2 chopped red chili and a 1/4 cup of chicken stock instead of the reserved pasta water. AMAZING!
  • pkparker
    18 JUN, 2012
    OK have to say - A M A Z I N G - with one exception. Yes, rather bland. But it's the pesto cream sauce. I seasoned the chicken GENEROUSLY. We had to add a bit of salt - and we NEVER add salt to anything - to the pasta/chicken mix once it was served. Once you can get past that little problem this is THE most tasteful dish. SO good! Just remember to season a bit more than usual ...
  • lindalove
    19 JUN, 2011
    This recipe has a short ingredient list but turns out a restaurant-worthy dish. Don't use jarred pesto like I did. Homemade pesto can lend a fresh brightness that jarred could never do.
  • RobynTF
    26 FEB, 2011
    Although it was pretty easy to make, my boyfriend and I thought it was a bit bland. We have to admit, we did use store bought pesto (but a good brand) and we used "fresh fettuccine". But besides that we followed the recipe and it was just a bit plain. We agreed that maybe the chicken should be cooked with garlic or some flavor. I usually don't add salt to much, but we both though this needed it among other things. There was just something missing. But I love pesto so would try again