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Pesto Tortellini with Chicken, Spinach, and Tomatoes

30 minute meal, check! Pesto Tortellini with Chicken, Spinach, and Tomatoes is a simple, fresh choice for any busy weeknight.

It’s been one of those crazy weeks, you guys, so let’s just do a super easy 30 minute dinner recipe today using refrigerated tortellini and prepared pesto. Without further ado, in this week’s Sunday Scratchups recipe from scratch around grocery sales and affordable ingredients we have… A simple Pesto Tortellini with Chicken, Spinach, and Tomatoes.

I picked up my tortellini, spinach, and chicken at ALDI, making this an easy and fairly affordable weeknight dinner idea that only uses a pound of chicken, half a bag of spinach, and half of one of the little jars of prepared pesto. (Note: I actually found half price chicken tenders on clearance this week, but it’s fine to use regular boneless skinless chicken breast since you’re chopping it into pieces anyway.)

This pesto tortellini with chicken, spinach, and tomatoes recipe is super flavorful, especially considering how few ingredients you're actually using here!

I actually prefer making pesto from scratch, but since the fresh basil is long gone from my cold Chicago November garden and I was not good about freezing any this year, jarred is an acceptable alternative. So, I usually just pick up one of the little jars at ALDI — but was right over by Trader Joe’s yesterday so decided to try theirs instead. Survey says: A bit more expensive, but fairly comparable in flavor!

Pesto Tortellini with Chicken, Spinach, and Tomatoes

Ingredients

– for the tortellini

9 oz refrigerated three cheese tortellini

– for the chicken

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast or tenders
Sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

– for the veggies

Olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
2 cups grape tomatoes
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp basil
4 oz fresh spinach
1/3 cup prepared basil pesto

Directions

Cook tortellini according to package directions, drain, and return it to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces, season with sea salt & pepper, and brown 3-4 minutes per side over medium-high heat or until cooked through.

Remove chicken from the skillet and dump it into the pot with the tortellini. Reduce heat to medium under the same skillet you used for the chicken, add a little more olive oil, and saute the garlic very briefly. Add the grape tomatoes and season them with crushed red pepper and basil, then continue to saute tomatoes over medium heat for about eight minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the browned bits off the bottom, until tomatoes are just beginning to wrinkle and burst.

Add the cooked tortellini and chicken into the skillet with the tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in pesto to coat, then gently stir in spinach. Continue stir gently and occasionally over medium-low heat until spinach is nicely wilted into the pasta, then serve.

Sometimes, you just need easy

Pesto tortellini with chicken, spinach, & tomatoes is an easy weeknight dinner

This pesto tortellini recipe is super flavorful, especially considering how few ingredients you’re actually using here. We enjoyed ours with a baguette and garden salad and, boom: Dinner is served! Both boys were fans, and this entire skillet-full of pesto tortellini disappeared in no time flat.

Yeah, you’re taking a little dinner shortcut by using the prepared tortellini and pesto — but, you’re also getting your protein and fresh veggies in at the same time, so: Pesto tortellini with chicken, spinach, and tomatoes for the win. That’s what real food meets real life is all about. Yum!

Pesto Tortellini with Chicken, Spinach, and Tomatoes, printable recipe

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5 from 6 votes

Pesto Tortellini with Chicken, Spinach, and Tomatoes

This pesto tortellini recipe is super flavorful, especially considering how few ingredients you’re actually using here.
Course dinner
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

– for the tortellini

  • 9 oz refrigerated three cheese tortellini

– for the chicken

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast or tenders
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

– for the veggies

  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 4 oz fresh spinach
  • 1/3 cup prepared basil pesto

Instructions

  • Cook tortellini according to package directions, drain, and return it to the pot.
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces, season with sea salt & pepper, and brown 3-4 minutes per side over medium-high heat or until cooked through.
  • Remove chicken from the skillet and dump it into the pot with the tortellini. Reduce heat to medium under the same skillet you used for the chicken, add a little more olive oil, and saute the garlic very briefly. Add the grape tomatoes and season them with crushed red pepper and basil, then continue to saute tomatoes over medium heat for about eight minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the browned bits off the bottom, until tomatoes are just beginning to wrinkle and burst.
  • Add the cooked tortellini and chicken into the skillet with the tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in pesto to coat, then gently stir in spinach. Continue stir gently and occasionally over medium-low heat until spinach is nicely wilted into the pasta, then serve.

Notes

I actually found half price chicken tenders on clearance this week, but it’s fine to use regular boneless skinless chicken breast since you’re chopping it into pieces anyway.

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Recipe Rating




Elisa

Tuesday 26th of January 2021

Any estimates on calories for one serving? :)

rachel

Tuesday 26th of January 2021

Sorry, no. Some people use sites like myfitnesspal, though.

Lisa

Sunday 5th of July 2020

Love it! We use it to meal prep lunches for the work week! It's also a great dinner that our kids ages 1, 1, and 3 all love!

Gina

Thursday 18th of June 2020

My family loved this! After a day of swimming and laying out in 80° weather (Wisconsin) I wanted to cook something filling but “light” for us. I’m so glad that I stumbled upon this recipe! 2 of my picky-eaters (main foods: macaroni, pizza rolls & chicken tenders) ate this up and wanted seconds! This will be a summer time staple in our house from now on! Thanks for sharing :)

Meg

Saturday 4th of January 2020

This was so good! Loving your recipes. I ended up cooking the chicken ahead of time in a slow cooker.

Rebecca Hart

Monday 25th of November 2019

This is so easy and healthy! I didn't measure much. Just threw it all together. I did add some Chicken Bone Broth to the mix - about 2 tablespoons worth - just to give some added flavor and so that the tomatoes and garlic didn't stick to the pan. I give this one two thumbs up!

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