4 Must-try Side Dish Recipes For Your Next Chicken Pesto Pasta

chicken pesto pasta side dish

Chicken pesto pasta is a good idea for dinner meals.

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But what to serve with chicken pesto pasta to make your meal more hearty and nutritious?

The following side dish recipes will be sure to please your family’s taste buds and complement the pasta.

Let’s check it out!

What is chicken pesto pasta?

First, let’s learn what chicken pesto pasta is.

Chicken pesto pasta is a dish that originated in Genoa, Italy.

This dish, as the name implies, contains three main components: chicken, pasta, and pesto sauce, which is typically made of basil leaves, olive oil, shredded cheese, garlic, and pine nuts crushed together.

The pasta is simply boiled until it is cooked, chicken (usually slices of the skinless boneless chicken breast) is pan-seared to get a nice golden crust and juicy, cooked meat, and then everything is mixed with the green pesto sauce. 

The recipe often calls for sun-dried tomatoes too.

This dish is a perfect way to use up leftover ingredients in your kitchen.

What to consider when choosing a chicken pesto pasta’s side dish?

When it comes to deciding on the perfect side dish to serve with your chicken pesto pasta, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.

Do you want something that’s going to add some color and brightness to your meal, or do you want something richer and more filling?

Here are some tips that can help:

Chicken pesto pasta is great to serve with vegetables rather than a grain-based side dish

Since chicken pesto pasta is a dish that contains both proteins from meat and carbs from pasta, it can work as a complete meal without any side dish.

Therefore, you should serve it with vegetables instead of a grain-based dish because you might be too full if eating chicken pesto pasta with these starchy sides like rice or bread.

Go for something classic with an Italian style

Chicken pesto pasta is a favorite Italian dish, so it goes well with another Italian accompaniment.

With this classic combination, you can easily bring the Italian flavor to your kitchen without needing to travel to this country and try their food.

4 best side dishes to serve with chicken pesto pasta

Here we provide the four best side dishes that you must try the next time on the side of your chicken pesto pasta:

1.     White beans

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If black beans are a common choice in Mexican cuisine, white kidney beans are typically eaten in North and South America.

White beans have a tender texture if cooked for hours, and they have a nutty, mildly sweet, and earthy flavor.

White beans are also a rich source of detoxifying, molybdenum, fiber, protein, and many other nutrients that benefit our health in different ways.

Especially, white beans work perfectly on the side of your chicken pesto pasta, as well as soups, stews, or chilis.

2.     Chickpea salad

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For those who prefer salads, but still want it to keep you full, chickpea salad is the way to go.

Chickpeas are a type of legume, so they have a starchy texture that can fill your empty stomach and keep it full for hours, which you cannot achieve with a green or fruit salad.

A chicken salad recipe in a Mediterranean style is just what the whole family will love.

The combination of a variety of ingredients like chickpeas, olives, cucumber, red onion, bell pepper, corn kernels, and feta, with a vinaigrette dressing creates an appealing, nutritious, and delicious side dish to accompany your chicken pesto pasta.

3.     Green salad

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A green salad is never a bad choice when it comes to pairing a meat-based or rich dish.

Green salads are made of different kinds of veggies, typically fresh and uncooked leafy greens like spinach, lettuce, onion, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, or bean sprouts.

A green salad can come with a tangy taste from a citrus dressing, or a creamy taste from mayonnaise.

No matter what the flavor profile is, a green salad is always refreshing and crunchy, making it perfect to accompany a meat dish.

4.     Steamed broccoli

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Steamed broccoli is a simple side dish but it works amazingly on the side of your chicken pesto pasta.

Steaming helps keep the vibrant green color as well as the natural sweetness of broccoli, making it look and taste better than the boiling recipe.

You can also roast your broccoli, but the texture can be a little bit drier.

The bottom line

Which side dish recipe is better?

It is up to you to decide.

However, in general, chicken pesto pasta is delicious with whatever among our four aforementioned side dishes.

Just cook with your passion and dedication and your meal will be sure to please the whole family!