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Chicken Pasta with Asparagus Pesto

Fusilli bucati are long corkscrews of pasta, very fun to wind around your fork, thickly coated with a creamy sauce and studded with chunks of chicken and tender spring asparagus.

Servings 4
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint or basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts or shelled pistachio nuts
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • Fresh lime or lemon juice to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 14 ounces Just Bare Skinless Chicken Breast Tenders, cut into thirds
  • Coarse salt and crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • 12 ounces uncooked fusilli pasta
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen baby peas
  • Additional Parmesan or pecorino cheese to grate at table

Nutrition Facts

Servings 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 760 Calories from Fat 32
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Trans Fat 0g 30%
Total Carbohydrate 82g 30%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 46g
Calcium 23%Iron 33%
Vitamin C 34%Vitamin A 19%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:


  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Place asparagus on a parchment-lined baking pan; roast 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Cut into 2-inch pieces, reserving tips to toss with pasta.
  2. Place rest of asparagus stems, mint, and oil in food processor or blender. Begin processing, adding garlic and nuts as mixture becomes smoother. Quickly pulse in 1/2 cup cheese and lime juice until mixture is thick and smooth. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and red pepper flakes; sauté about 6 minutes or until no longer pink in center. Cook to internal temp of 165°F. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, adding peas during the last 3 minutes of cooking.
  4. Drain pasta and peas; pour into large serving bowl. Add chicken, asparagus tips, and pesto to taste. Gently toss until ingredients are coated. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.


Shorter fusilli pasta or rotini may be substituted for the long noodles.

Nutritional values may change if you choose to substitute another chicken product or any other ingredients. If substituting frozen chicken for this recipe, thaw before cooking.