15-Minute Pesto Pasta Toss

Short on time? I threw together this super quick meal for my family a few weeks ago and everyone loved it so much that we’ve eaten it about 3 more times since! I feel almost guilty calling it a recipe because, uh, it feels like cheating. It’s that quick and easy!


1 Pkg Knorr Pesto Sauce
1/4 Cup EVOO
1 box whole wheat noodles of your choice (I like penne and rotini)
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash
1 bunch of asparagus, cut with woody stems discarded
1 C sliced mushrooms (if you like them)
1 small head broccoli, not chopped, just cut into florets
1 rotisserie chicken, pulled
spices to taste such as oregano, salt, pepper and garlic powder

1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box/how  much you’ll need for your meal.

2. Follow the directions on the Knorr pack for the pesto, which should say something about adding it to some water with the EVOO in a small saucepan. If you want to have a little more thickness to your sauce, (this is a Giada trick) use the water from the pasta you cooked up for the sauce. It makes it extra nice. 😀 Be sure to whisk it well.

3. Slice/prepare your veggies as you like them. In a medium-lg saute pan, toss 1 tsp/small splash of EVOO and let it warm up a few minutes. Toss the veggies in the pan once the oil is warm. Season with spices such as salt and pepper, oregano and fresh garlic or garlic powder. The veggies should only cook for 5-7 minutes. You want them to be bright in color and slightly tender, not mushy or remotely brown. They should keep a little crispness to them.

4. While things are cooking, remove the skin from the rotisserie chicken and discard. Pull the meat off in large sections ensuring there are no bones hiding in there. If you are squeamish about touching meat, I can’t help ya. It’s best to use your fingers. As you pull the meat you can either place it in a bowl or toss it in with your veggies if the meat needs to be warmed up.

5. Once everything is complete you can serve it multiple ways: you can make a “build it yourself” pasta bar, keeping everything separate or you can just dump it all into a large platter and toss it together.

This is a light and savory dish that’s perfect for spring and seriously, who can beat a yummy spring dinner in 15 minutes?

P.S. My 5 year old son liked this dish and ate it! He wasn’t a fan of the mushrooms, but liked everything else. I didn’t mark it kid friendly, but I think it just depends on your kid. Don’t be afraid to offer this to them. It’s yummy!


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