Quick Creamy Pesto

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 -4.5 cups

Ingredients

  • Ingredients for Sauce Only:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 & ¾ cups prepared pesto sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional for garnish)
  • Additional salt and pepper
  • Ingredients if you would like to add chicken , bacon, shrimp, and tomatoes:
  • 8 slices of bacon (optional)
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 & ¾ cups prepared pesto sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • One pound of large shrimp (peeled, cleaned, dried) (optional)
  • ½ pint grape tomatoes (cut in half) (optional)
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional for garnish)
  • Additional salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Instructions To Make Just the Creamy Pesto Sauce:
  2. Add about a 2 teaspoons of olive oil to a medium or large pan.
  3. Once the olive oil has heated, add the chopped garlic and cook the garlic for a few seconds. Then, add the pesto, heavy cream, ¼ teaspoon of garlic salt, ¼ teaspoon of black pepper, and crushed red pepper to the frying pan.
  4. Cook this sauce on medium heat for about five to ten minutes. Salt the pesto sauce to taste.
  5. Serve the pesto sauce over cooked pasta.
  6. Instructions if you would like to add chicken, shrimp, and tomatoes:
  7. Season each side of the chicken breasts with the additional salt and pepper, set the chicken breast aside.
  8. Cook the bacon in a large frying pan. Once the bacon is cooked, place the bacon on a plate covered with paper towel to drain the grease off the bacon. After the bacon is drained, crumble the bacon.
  9. Remove the bacon grease from the frying pan and set aside, making sure to leave about one tablespoon of bacon grease in the frying pan. Add the seasoned chicken breast to the frying pan and cook the chicken breast on medium high heat until the chicken breasts are done. (Note: while cooking the chicken breast, add the additional reserved bacon grease as needed to cook the chicken breasts.) Set the cooked chicken breast aside until ready to use.
  10. Wipe out the pan after cooking the chicken breasts, and add about a teaspoon of the reserved bacon grease to the pan and heat the grease on medium heat.
  11. Once the grease has heated, add the chopped garlic and cook the garlic for a few seconds. Then, add the pesto, heavy cream, ¼ teaspoon of garlic salt, ¼ teaspoon of black pepper, and crushed red pepper to the frying pan.
  12. Cook this sauce on medium heat for about five to ten minutes. Salt the pesto sauce to taste. Add the shrimp to the pesto sauce and cook the shrimp for about three minutes or until the shrimp are fully cooked.
  13. Slice the chicken breast while the shrimp are cooking.
  14. Remove pan from heat source. At this point you can stir the diced tomatoes into the pesto sauce.
  15. Serve the pesto sauce over cooked pasta.
  16. Top the sauce with the sliced chicken breast, crumbled bacon, and optional Parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes

Healthy Tip:
Use baking spray or olive oil in place of the bacon grease to brown the chicken.

Tasty Tip:
If I mix the pasta and sauce together before serving, I like to double this sauce to have additional garnish sauce.