easy pesto pasta

I’ve shared a few quarantine meal ideas here and here, but at this point in the game… if it takes more than 30 minutes or can’t be done in a crockpot, I’m not interested.

This pasta dish is incredibly easy, full of flavor and has a two pot cleanup.  Just my style.

Something I’ve started doing is cooking chicken breasts in a crockpot, shredding and keeping in the fridge.  You can use it for anything throughout the week – quesadillas, pasta, sandwiches, etc.

Easy Crockpot Shredded Chicken

1 cup chicken broth (I was out so I actually used 1 cup water and 1TB olive oil)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

4 chicken breasts

Cook on high for 3 hours.  Remove, shred and you’re done.

quarantine dinner idea

Pesto Pasta Ingredients:

1 lb. rigatoni or pasta of your choice

1/2 small onion

2 TB olive oil

1/4 cup pesto – you can always add more!

salt & pepper to taste

sprinkle of parmesan

Optional: chopped fresh basil, pine nuts

Optional: grilled or shredded chicken, grilled or sautéed shrimp


Cook pasta al dente.  In a nonstick skillet or pan, saute onions in olive oil at medium-low until translucent (a few minutes).  Add pesto, let simmer while pasta cooks.

Once drained, combine pasta and onion + pesto combo.  Mix in some parmesan cheese, s&p to taste and top with basil.

Garlic Bread Ingredients:

baguette, dinner roll, whatever you have!

garlic – I used 2 cloves for 1/2 loaf, you could use 4 for a full loaf

butter – I used 1.5 TB for 1/2 loaf, you could also use olive oil 

fresh parsley – I used 2 TB for 1/2 loaf

sprinkle of salt

sprinkle of parmesan


Mix butter, salt, chopped garlic and parsley together.  Apply to bread and sprinkle with parmesan.  Stick in the oven or toaster oven at 425 for around 5 minutes.

garlic bread recipe

That’s it!  I usually keep some spaghetti noodles and rigatoni in the pantry because when I’m in a pinch, this is a quick and easy dinner that can be on the table in 20-30 minutes.  Another great part about a beginner’s herb garden – you can quickly elevate any meal with some of your fresh herbs.  I almost always have a jar or container of pesto because we use it on pizza and pastas all the time – so easy!

If you have any quick quarantine meals, I’d love to hear!  Thanks so much for reading and you can find more recipes in the “food + drink” category of CBL.  XO –

12 Comments|See Comments

12 thoughts on “Easiest Pesto Pasta with Garlic Parmesan Bread

  1. If you’ve never done this, it sounds a little crazy…….BUT give it a try. To quickly shred cooked chicken breasts, put them in the bowl of your Kitchen Aid mixer with the paddle attachment. I usually cut the breasts in halves or thirds depending on how I want it to “look”. Ex: for chicken salad I will do thirds. I probably do 4 pieces at the time. Once you try it you will determine what works for you. I promise you’ll never shred chicken by hand again.

    1. I’ve heard people say this before! I don’t keep my kitchenaid on the counter, so it always seems like an ordeal to get it out, BUT I’ve heard people say this is a game changer. Need to try!

  2. I “drag” mine out to do it and freeze it in 1c packages for later. I thought using for chicken salad would be terrible but used it in a pinch and couldn’t tell the difference. Will be using the crockpot next time.

    1. That is good to know! I love it when I think ahead enough to make chicken salad… think I need to add that to this week’s grocery list –

  3. That garlic parmesan bread is making my mouth water! I love recipes like this that are made of things you probably already have on hand; really helpful when trying to be more conscious about how often I’m going shopping

    1. I am so glad to hear that – I feel the SAME way. Like… I don’t mind a long ingredient list if half of it is spices and garlic, or things I already have!

  4. GAH that looks soooooo good! Gonna have to make!While we are in quarantine I have been making all 3 meals everyday at home and need all the ideas i can get! Thanks xo

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