Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Pesto Pasta is perfect for summer! Simple ingredients, but tons of flavor thanks to grilling and the pesto lemon sauce. Serve it warm or cold for a delicious and healthy weeknight dinner!
A pasta recipe that’s perfect for summer! This Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Pesto Pasta turned out even better than I thought it would. The best part, other than it’s easy to make and doesn’t use too many ingredients, is it can be served warm or cold.
Grilling the chicken and asparagus for this pasta adds a ton of flavor. Grilling asparagus is my favorite way to prepare it. This Lemon Parmesan Grilled Asparagus is one of my favorite side dishes to make when we need a vegetable on our dinner plates. The grill gives the asparagus a hint of smoky flavor and it only takes about 3-5 minutes to cook.
In my opinion, grilling asparagus is the easiest method for cooking it. If you’ve never tried grilling it, here’s how you do it.
How to Grill Asparagus
- Heat the grill to high. Mine is usually around 425°-450° when I add the asparagus.
- Cut the woody ends off of the asparagus then lay them out in a single layer on a foil lined sheet pan.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Toss them around until they are all coated.
- Place the asparagus horizontally on the grill grates, cover with the lid and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Use tongs to roll or flip them over once they have nice grill marks, then cook another 1-3 minutes depending on the size. The asparagus should be tender, but not mushy.
On top of it being easy to grill asparagus, there’s also very little to clean. Especially if you line your baking sheet with foil.
The grilled chicken is also quite simple. All it needs is salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. The reason the asparagus and chicken don’t need much added flavoring is because of the pesto that will become the sauce for the pasta. I used one of my favorite store bought pesto, but feel free to use homemade.
Along with the pesto, there is also fresh lemon juice and shredded Pecorino Romano cheese. Pecorino Romano is a sheeps milk cheese. It’s similar to Parmesan cheeses, but has a sharper and saltier flavor. It’s also less expensive than Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, which is always what I recommend buying when you need parmesan cheese in a recipe.
This Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Pesto Pasta is delicious when eaten warm for dinner. However, you can also serve it cold like you would a pasta salad. It would be a wonderful addition to a barbecue or picnic. Want to make it vegetarian? Skip the chicken and add more grilled asparagus or cannellini beans. If you’re gluten-free try using a chickpea pasta such as Banza, that’s what I used. Enjoy!
More Summer Pasta Recipes
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 pound asparagus, woody ends cut off
- Olive oil, kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 12 ounces rotini pasta, gluten free if needed
- 1/3 cup pesto
- 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
- 3 tablespoons shredded Pecorino Romano or parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- Fresh chopped basil and more Pecorino Romano for garnish
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and put into a large serving bowl.
- While the pasta cooks, preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
- Season the chicken with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. On a baking sheet lined with foil lay the asparagus out in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat.
- Grill the chicken for approximately 4-6 minutes then flip over and grill another 4-6 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160°-165° F. Let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting it.
- While the chicken cooks place the prepared asparagus onto the grill grates horizontally. Grill for 2 minutes then roll or flip them over with tongs and grill another 1-2 minutes. Cut into approximately 2 inch pieces.
- Add the chopped chicken and asparagus to the bowl with the pasta. Add in the pesto, lemon juice and shredded romano or parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and toss everything together until coated. Taste for seasoning. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and chopped fresh basil if desired. Serve warm or cold.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 404Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 229mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 31g