January 23, 2022

Recipe of the week

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Creamy Pesto Pasta With Chicken & Broccoli

By Beth M

Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 20 minutes Total Time 25 minutes

Budget Bites From Yummly

Ingredients  Servings 4

  • 8 ounces bow tie pasta ($0.63)
  • 8 ounces frozen broccoli florets ($1.15)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil ($0.16)
  • 3/4 pound chicken breast (** $1.50)
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto ($1.00)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (** $0.07)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese ($0.50)

I’m all about the quick skillet meals this week because, let’s face it, when you’re in the home stretch towards Thanksgiving, you don’t really want to cook anything… but you still gotta eat.

This quick skillet combines the vibrant flavors of basil pesto with tangy cream cheese to make a rich sauce that smothers the pasta, chicken, and broccoli. The pesto provides all the garlic and herbal flavor needed, so there’s no need to even dice an onion, mince garlic, or measure out herbs and spices—it’s already in the sauce! The whole dish cooks very quickly so you can have this one on the dinner table in about 30 minutes.

If you’re not into cream cheese, you can make this dish simply by substituting the chicken broth and cream cheese with a little half an half (1/2 cup or so). Just pour the half and half right into the skillet with the pesto and whisk until smooth. The sauce will be a little thinner, but it will have a distinctly creamy (and not so tangy) flavor. You may want to add an extra pinch of salt to make up for the chicken broth.

This can also easily be made vegetarian. Use a little extra broccoli, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth, and you’re good to go!

Prep Time 5 minutes  Cook Time 20 minutes  Total Time 25 minutes


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Once it reaches a full boil, add the pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (7-10 minutes). Once the pasta is tender, add the frozen broccoli florets to the water with the pasta and continue to cook for 60 seconds. Drain the pasta and broccoli in a colander.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, thinly slice the chicken breast. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the sliced chicken, and sauté until it is no longer pink (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add the pesto and chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine and allow it to come up to a simmer. Add the cream cheese in chunks and whisk it into the hot liquid until a smooth sauce forms.
  4. Add the cooked and drained pasta and broccoli to the skillet and stir to coat it in the cream sauce.


** I buy my chicken breasts in value packs when they are on sale and freeze them for later use. The chicken broth is made from Better Than Bouillon brand soup base, which is less expensive than canned or boxed broths.

For more on this story go to: https://www.budgetbytes.com/creamy-pesto-pasta-chicken-broccoli/?utm_campaign=yummly&utm_medium=yummly&utm_source=yummly

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