Make-Ahead Chicken and Veggie Pesto Pasta Bowls

Make-Ahead Chicken and Veggie Pesto Pasta Bowls (Meal Prep Option)

From-scratch pesto is combined with pasta, chicken, and roasted veggies for a make-ahead pasta bowl-style meal. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Chicken and Veggie Pesto Pasta Bowls
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 871 kcal
Author Kristin Marr

Ingredients

Chicken:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts sliced into 1” pieces, about 2 breasts
  • ½ lemon juiced, about 1 tablespoon of juice
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Pesto:

  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • ½ tsp salt to taste
  • pinch black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Roasted Veggies:

  • 1 small eggplant chopped into 1” cubes (1 ¾ cups) --such as a Japanese eggplant
  • 1 medium zucchini chopped into 1” cubes (2 cups)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2-3 TB extra virgin olive oil enough to lightly coat the veggies
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Pasta:

  • 12 ounce fusilli pasta such as: Jovial brown rice fusilli, or pasta of choice

Equipment:

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
  2. Combine the chicken marinade ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper) in a bag or shallow container. Place the sliced chicken in the marinade, and then place the bag or container in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

  3. Preheat the oven to 425F. Spread the veggies on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until soft and cooked through.

  4. Place all the pesto ingredients, except the oil, in a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are crumbly. Slowly add the oil while pulsing the food processor. 

  5. Lightly grease a large skillet (or the same pot used to cook the pasta) with oil. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet. Saute the chicken until brown and cooked through, or about 7-10 minutes. 

To Assemble:

  1. In meal prep containers, divide the ingredients: pasta mixed with a spoonful of pesto (about 1 tablespoon, more or less depending on preference). Evenly divide the chicken and veggies amongst the containers. 

Recipe Notes

The make-ahead meals will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days, if your chicken is fresh. This recipe is also a great dinner meal. You don’t have to prep this meal as a make-ahead lunch. Simply follow the instructions and serve mixed together like a big pasta salad. If you want to make this meal vegetarian-friendly, or just want a lighter lunch, skip the chicken. 

Stove-Top Method for Veggies: If you'd like to avoid using the oven, sauté the veggies in a deep skillet or dutch oven, in olive oil, until soft and cooked through. 

Seasonal Veggies: Change up the veggies in this meal by using any seasonal veggies that roast or cook well. You could even use raw veggies (like chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, and radishes) for more of a raw pasta salad. 

Time Saving Tip: If you want to save time, use a store-bought pesto. Look for a pesto with recognizable, real food ingredients.