This pasta recipe is creamy, earthy, herby, and packed with flavor from chicken pan drippings. It doesn't have an exorbitant amount of ingredients, is simple to make, and is a crowd-pleaser (mushroom haters be damned!). This pasta recipe will serve 6 generous bowls of noodz in about 40 minutes.
This light cream sauce is allllllmost made from scratch; I'm a sucker for premade pesto. I used to make this pasta without the pesto, and it's was still good. But a bitch loves basil, so here we are. Pro-tip: try to find pesto brands that are made with 100% olive oil. They're much tastier than the ones made with sunflower oil.
Mushrooms cooking in olive oil and chickeny drippings... mmm....
1 lb pasta (Really, whatever you have on hand as long as it's not too small. I used linguine, but spaghetti, farfalle, penne, etc will work fine)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup jarred pesto sauce
8 oz. (1 small package) cremini or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parsley, chopped for garnishing
Grated parmesan for garnishing
Cook the pasta according to box directions, about a minute shy of al dente and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, season the chicken thighs whole with salt and pepper. In a large saucepan, sauté the chicken in olive oil over medium high heat for 4 minutes per side until the inside temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Don't overcrowd the pan. You may have to sauté in batches. Set aside the chicken.
In the same saucepan, add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan drippings and lower the heat to medium. Add the mushrooms and thyme and sauté for about 3 minutes until they're soft and tender. Stir to release the fond (browned and carmelized goodness) stuck to the pan.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in the heavy whipping cream and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 3 minutes.
Add in the pasta and pesto. Toss and coat evenly for 2 minutes. Turn the heat off.
Chop the chicken to your desired size/shape and serve it over the noodles.
Garnish with parsley and parmesan. Fresh chiffonade basil would be a nice touch, too.
Mushroom pesto chicken pasta is best when served immediately but will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
*Honesty time: that's cilantro in the first picture. I did not have parsley. The things a girl will do for a lil' color balance, amirite? Do not try this at home. Removing the cilantro wasn't fun.