Olde Square Inn


March 28, 2024

Chicken Pesto with Capellini – Quick, Easy & Delicious Spring Recipe

Sliced chicken with pesto sauce, tomatoes and spinach on a red plate.

You know how sometimes it’s a beautiful spring afternoon,

and you have friends over and you’re talking over a couple of glasses of wine and having a good time and before you know it it’s early evening and now time for dinner

and everyone’s starving?!

And you don’t want to order pizza, because you just had that last night, and you really don’t want to leave the group and wish you could have a dinner making party and move the shindig inside?

Yeah, me, too – and I have the perfect solution: Chicken Pesto with Capellini!

It’s easy enough to do by yourself, actually, but has enough simple components so you can assign jobs to the group like a second-grade teacher on a Monday. Someone can cook the pasta, another cut the chicken, someone else to slice the tomatoes, juice the lemon, break the walnuts! EVERYONE can feel important!

This dish come together very easily, even all by yourself.

The nice thing is you can use more or less of any ingredient and not ruin the meal. You can use any kind of pasta you’d like as well.  I prefer capellini because it’s a little bit lighter, though I’ve used linguine as well with great results.

It’s a fabulous spring dish, perfect when you’d like to be outside rather than spending all evening in the kitchen.


Chicken Pesto with Capellini

Serves 6


  • 1 ½ # of chicken breasts cut into strips
  • 2 – 3 T olive oil
  • ½ - ¾ c. basil pesto
  • ½ pt. cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 3 c. fresh spinach
  • 3 T lemon juice (about 1 lg. lemon)
  • 1 lb. capellini
  • ½ c. pine nuts or broken walnuts


  1. Make capellini according to package directions, adding salt. Cooke and drain, but do not rinse.
  2. While noodles are cooking, pour olive oil into a large skillet on medium-high heat. When the pan sizzles when a drop of water hits it, it’s ready to go.
  3. Brown chicken pieces in two batches, removing first batch to a plate before adding the second. (This helps ensure chicken sears rather than steams.) After browning, chicken will continue to cook in the following steps.
  4. When second batch is browned, put the previously seared chicken back in the pan. Pour pesto over chicken and reduce heat to medium. Stir to cover chicken.
  5. Add tomatoes and spinach and stir lightly.
  6. Drizzle with lemon juice. Cover and turn on low to finish cooking chicken, about 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
  7. Top with desired amount of capellini and nuts. Stir gently to combine.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve with warm garlic bread or crusty rolls.

Pour another glass of wine, sit back, and enjoy a beautiful evening with a great meal! Sliced chicken with pesto sauce, tomatoes and spinach on a red plate.

127 E Main St, Mount Joy, PA 17552, United States | P: (717) 653-4525nancy@oldesquareinn.com

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