This Whole Wheat Summer Pesto Meal Prep Pasta is the perfect one pot meal for batch cooking during a busy workweek! Perfect for lunch or dinner, you'll love this pasta!
Ingredients in pesto pasta
This recipe comes together super easily in one pot and with a short ingredient list.
Here's what you need:
- chicken breasts
- whole wheat rotini
- zucchini and/or yellow squash
- plum tomatoes
- red onion
There are a number of sub-ins you can make. Here's what's possible to swap out or in:
Chicken – You can leave the chicken out altogether or use boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
Pasta – Any larger shape of pasta (eg penne or fusili) will work, whether that's whole wheat or regular pasta. You could also use some smaller pasta shapes such as macaroni or long pasta such as spaghetti. Whatever you have on hand will work!
Pesto – I use store bought jarred pesto (such as Classico brand) to keep things easy, but you can make your own pesto at home using 2 cups fresh basil leaves, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 2 cloves garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend it all up in a food processor or mini blender and you're good to go!
Zucchini – Zucchini or yellow summer squash work great in this recipe. You can use either 2 zucchini, 2 summer squash or 1 of each. Alternatively, you can use another veggie like broccoli or mushrooms.
Tomatoes – I find these add to the flavour of the pesto and make it reminiscent of bruschetta. I do suggest using fresh tomatoes as canned won't be the same. If you don't have fresh, leave the tomatoes out altogether and use a different veggie.
Spinach – Any type of chopped greens will work, including kale.
How to make meal prep pasta
It's SO easy to make this pasta and you only have to dirty one pot. Here are the instructions:
- Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and drain pasta, then set aside in a strainer.
- Add remaining tbsp of olive oil to pot, then return to heat and add chicken, cooking for 5 minutes until browned. Add tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, red onion and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes until veggies have softened.
- Add pesto, pasta waster and pasta back to pot, stirring well to coat and cooking for another 2 minutes or so. Stir in chopped spinach and remove from heat, then serve and enjoy!
What goes well with pesto pasta?
Here are some easy sides I suggest, although I will warn you that this pasta is pretty filling on its own!
- Garlic bread
- Side salad
- Caprese salad
- Olives, cheese and crackers
- Roasted or steamed vegetables
Storing and reheating
For meal prep purposes, I recommend storing this pasta in individual servings in glass containers. When ready to reheat, sprinkle some water overtop so the pasta doesn't dry out then microwave for 2 minutes or so. You can also reheat in a pot on the stove. The leftovers will last up to 5 days in the fridge.
Freezing this pasta
You can also freeze this pasta up to 3 months. Freeze in individual servings in glass bowls, then sprinkle some water overtop and reheat from frozen for 6-7 minutes in the microwave, stirring once or twice part way through.
More easy pasta recipes
Tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this pasta into leftovers
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months
Whole Wheat Summer Pesto Meal Prep Pasta
- 1 lb chicken breasts, diced
- 1 lb whole wheat rotini
- 1/2 cup jarred pesto
- 1 zucchini
- 1 yellow squash or use 2 zucchini instead
- 4 plum tomatoes, diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2 cups spinach, chopped
- Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and drain pasta, then set aside in a strainer. Return pasta pot to stove over med-high heat.
- Add remaining tbsp of olive oil to pot, then add chicken and cook for 5 minutes until browned. Add tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, red onion and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes until veggies have softened.
- Add pesto, pasta waster and pasta back to pot, stirring well to coat and cooking for another 2 minutes or so. Stir in chopped spinach and remove from heat. Serve and enjoy!