Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Broccoli

This cozy pasta dish comes together in less than 30 minutes! You need this on your dinner table tonight! Recipe on

This cozy pasta dish comes together in less than 30 minutes! You need this on your dinner table tonight! Recipe on

Recently, I’ve been having a major hair stylist dilemma and I don’t know what to do so maybe YOU can help me! Basically, my current hair stylist is amazing and I love her and we’re actually good friends (I think that’s also part of the problem in this equation). She recently went on an entrepreneurial endeavor and opened up her very own salon! Yay! The problem, you see, is that the past three times I saw her, she ran 30-40 minutes behind but since my appointment is at a certain time, I showed up at my booked appointment time but I wasn’t seen until 30-40 minutes later. It’s very frustrating because I basically can’t make plans the rest of the night (say, dinner with friends) because getting my hair done is a 2.5 hour time suck + travel time (it takes me about 35 minutes to drive there). I get that being late is beyond her control sometimes (clients can be running late, something not going right in the cut/hair color, etc) but when it happens three times in a row, it’s making me wonder if it’s her that isn’t picking up the pace or keeping things on time.

Ok part two of this story: there’s this brand new salon that opened up near me and it’s right next to my Pure Barre studio. Pure Barre & this salon are 30 seconds from my house. No joke. I went to this studio on Friday and I was in and out in 50 minutes. The style/haircut were very similar, I honestly couldn’t tell a difference. My problem is…I don’t know if I should break up with my friend or suck it up and keep going to her. It’s really hard because I want to support her new business but I don’t really have much to gain because 1. travel time, 2. it’s $10 more expensive for a cut, and 3. wait time. I guess in a sense, I’m torn because I know what it takes to run a small business and it sucks to not get support, but on the flip side, it’s hard for me to justify doing all that travel when I can just shimmy on down to this new hair salon and be in and out in 50 minutes flat. Ahhh what would you do?

Maybe I should stop being friends with people who give me service so I can make a clean break if need be, haha

This cozy pasta dish comes together in less than 30 minutes! You need this on your dinner table tonight! Recipe on


This cozy pasta dish comes together in less than 30 minutes! You need this on your dinner table tonight! Recipe on

Hair dilemmas aside, I’m dying to tell you about this pasta dish! I went on a huge basil pesto kick several weeks ago because I literally had basil up to my eyeballs and what do you do when life gives you basil? Make pesto! And make this basil pesto chicken pasta with sundried tomatoes and broccoli. Whew, what a mouthful.

I had a box of unused orecchiette in the pantry so I decided to use them in this dish because I love that the little ‘ears’ catch all the pesto and yummy goodness. This dish will literally take you like less than 30 minutes to make so no excuses! Go grab some pesto (just replace the arugula with basil) and get this on your dinner table tonight!

This cozy pasta dish comes together in less than 30 minutes! You need this on your dinner table tonight! Recipe on


Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Broccoli
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins

This cozy pasta dish comes together in less than 30 minutes! 

Servings: 2
Calories: 508 kcal
  • 2 cups dried orecchiette pasta
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes in olive oil, julienned
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (if you're sensitive to spice you might want to start out with 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 chicken breast, cubed
  • 4 tablespoons basil pesto*, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 cup broccoli, blanched
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to the directions on the box. Once done, drain well and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add sundried tomatoes, garlic slices, onion, and crushed red pepper flakes. Sauté until fragrant and onions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the cubed chicken breast to the skillet and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the basil pesto to the skillet and turn heat down to medium-low. The basil pesto might be a bit thick so you can thin it out by adding 1 tablespoon of water to the skillet, if needed.
  5. Add the broccoli and cooked pasta to the skillet. Toss until everything is coated in the pesto and the ingredients are all evenly distributed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

You can use this homemade pesto recipe. Just sub out the arugula for basil!

Nutrition Facts
Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Broccoli
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 508 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 25%
Total Carbohydrates 66g 22%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 2g
Protein 27g 54%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. 



Posted on September 08, 2014

dinner for two by julie wampler



Perfect for: singles & couples, newlyweds, empty-nesters, college students, YOU!


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  1. 09/08/2014 at 7:34 am

    You know how I feel about pesto so why is this dish not literally in front of me right now to devour? ;)

  2. 09/08/2014 at 8:19 am

    Perfect weeknight dinner!! Great flavors!

  3. Janice
    09/08/2014 at 8:39 am

    1. Recipe looks like something I’m going to have to try.

    2. I usually don’t comment on these things, but I am a very high maintenance hair person (I go religiously every 4 wks) and I’m very close to my stylist as well. My stylist is moving to Toronto this month, so I had to find a new stylist. My criteria was clear, I want someone with reasonable prices, close, who does great hair (I asked someone with great hair who she went to), and will get me in and out on time. So, if I were you, I would just tell your friend/stylist straight up that it’s just better for you to go to the place closer to home. If she’s cool, she will understand and it won’t be awkward (because you aren’t ‘cheating’, if you see her out and about and ever decide to go back to her!) :)

    • Julie
      09/08/2014 at 8:54 am

      Good advice – thanks Janice! Honesty is always the best!

  4. 09/08/2014 at 8:43 am

    Totally in love with these flavors! perfect dinner for tonight!

  5. 09/08/2014 at 8:53 am

    Great pasta dish!

  6. 09/08/2014 at 9:36 am

    I am a believer that time is money, and that time sitting around would make me switch. :) Especially since the other salon is so close.

    And this is probably why I love this dish so much – super fast, and I can tell that my family would love it!!!

  7. 09/08/2014 at 9:40 am

    Mmmm mmm mmmm … this is a yes-yes-yes in my books, on all fronts. Comforting, easy to make, pesto … definitely a must make asap!

  8. 09/08/2014 at 9:56 am

    Finding a good stylist is SO HARD. Maybe give her some time to get things in order then try again? (PS. Now that we’ve moved I’m seriously considering driving an hour to my old stylist in Madison. Finding a good one is ridiculously traumatic, lol)

  9. 09/08/2014 at 10:11 am

    You already know the answer on the hair stylist :) you gotta cut that pro relationship (no pun intended!) AT the end of the day it is a service you pay for- not a favor from her- you should get what you pay for. Oh- and this pasta looks delicious!

  10. 09/08/2014 at 10:11 am

    I love this pasta dish!! I have the same trouble with finding a stylist I love. I’m always jumping from salon to salon. Where in D.C. are you?

    • Julie
      09/08/2014 at 11:17 am

      I’m in Fairfax, VA actually. I work in DC near the White House!

      • 09/08/2014 at 2:18 pm

        I grew up in Fairfax but I live in Capitol Hill now. We should get together sometime and talk about maintaining blogs with D.C. jobs!!

  11. 09/08/2014 at 10:28 am

    This pasta dish looks fantastic. In fact, I know it’s the kind of thing my family would love.

    As for the stylist issue, I would be honest with her. Let her know that your days are busy and the drive is becoming an issue. You might be doing a favor by bringing up the timeliness of the appointment too because I’ll bet you’re not the only client who is frustrated.

  12. Christeen
    09/08/2014 at 10:58 am

    I think the hairstylist dilemma is hard. Maybe talk to her about the situation. And this pasta, wow! I was going to be doing a search this morning for this type of dish. It looks similar to a dish my husband and I had at ESPN zone Saturday night which he raved on about. So, search over, pinned and printed. Thank you!

    • Julie
      09/08/2014 at 11:20 am

      Oh wow, that was fast! I’m glad you found this recipe so quickly and are going to make it soon! Enjoy :)

  13. 09/08/2014 at 10:59 am

    This pasta looks delicious. Orecchiette is my absolute favorite pasta. I had to break up with a hair stylist a couple years ago – it was awkward but for the best. Good Luck!

  14. 09/08/2014 at 11:27 am

    I broke up with a hair dresser for the same reason. It was off for a while. I love this recipe! I just planned tonights dinner.

  15. Mary
    09/08/2014 at 11:28 am

    Regarding your hairstylist, I would go to the new one who is closer to your home as a regular. But when your travels take you near your other stylist, still use her occasionally! What do you think?

    • Julie
      09/08/2014 at 12:04 pm

      That makes sense! Good call, Mary! Thanks :)

  16. 09/08/2014 at 11:49 am

    Re: the hair stylist, if she’s a good friend, I would give her one more shot and if she runs late again, having you wait for 30-40 minutes, I would just talk to her. . these days, time is everything. And hello?! this pasta. . love pesto in anything. Pinned and looks delicious!

    • Julie
      09/08/2014 at 12:06 pm

      Yeah, I made an appointment with her in early October so I’ll see how that goes and take it from there ’cause then I can say I tried and it just isn’t working for me. It seriously is so far! Lol

  17. 09/08/2014 at 12:04 pm

    Love this pasta Julie & the pictures are great too!

  18. Stephanie Hanson
    09/08/2014 at 3:28 pm

    1. This recipe looks amazing
    2. It’s YOUR money, YOUR time, and most important (in my opinion) YOUR hair. I was in the beauty business for years and if I wasn’t meeting my clients needs, then I wasn’t doing my job. One of these needs is to have predictable appointment times so that you can plan your life around these sorts of things. That’s not to say that your current stylist doesn’t care – but it sounds like her priorities are different now as a business owner, which is totally ok. But being 30-40 minutes late multiple times is definitely not ok. I had to fire customers because they were late…I am sure she would fire you if the roles were reversed. Just my guess :-) I would say that your time is just as valuable and you really have to do what’s best for you. If you are as good of friends as you say, then your friendship will remain! Good luck!

    • Julie
      09/08/2014 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks, Stephanie! Such great advice especially coming from someone in the beauty business!

  19. 09/08/2014 at 4:00 pm

    Pesto, chicken and pasta, this has to be a winner!

  20. 09/08/2014 at 4:12 pm

    i have not put in that situation but i would put your concern straight up and hope that she would understand. it is very thoughtful of you to help her but at the same time, your time is equally valuable. and this pasta, absolutely love it.

  21. 09/08/2014 at 4:32 pm

    I so want this for dinner tonight, love the sundried tomatoes and pesto!

  22. 09/08/2014 at 4:37 pm

    I’d give your friend one more chance and if things haven’t changed, I’d tell her about it (oh so nicely :)) and then go to the closer stylist. It sounds like way too much of a hassle to go out there when you can get the same cut/style 30 seconds from home!

    Also I, too, am up to my eyeballs in basil so pesto + this pasta = happening.

  23. 09/08/2014 at 4:39 pm

    Oh this is a tough one. Since she is your friend, I would be honest. Tell her that it’s becoming difficult for you to get your hair cut with her due to the driving distinct and long wait time. Then give her one more chance. And if nothing changes, then I guess you move on. Breaking up is hard to do! And love this pasta, BTW! Looks so comforting!

    • Julie
      09/08/2014 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks, Liz! Breaking up is hard! Haha

  24. 09/09/2014 at 8:14 am

    I adore pesto! This dish is going onto our weekly menu! Pinned!

  25. Jill
    09/09/2014 at 6:18 pm

    You better hope she doesn’t read your blog. She might already know!

    Pasta looks yum!

  26. 09/09/2014 at 9:33 pm

    It took me a while to find a good hair stylist, she has continued to go up in price but I know the quality that she does so I’m not switching. I would recommend talking to her about the timing thing so that she is aware of it. Its beneficial for her business in general, and since your a friend and a business owner you CAN tell her that. :)

    As far as this dish.. I’m in love. Pesto makes my heart throb so I’m so making this.. can’t wait. Amazing pics too girl!

  27. Yana Yak
    09/11/2014 at 3:14 pm

    Regarding your hair stylist, you’ve done your part and patiently waited 3 times. It’s obvious it’s a hassle and keeps you from making other plans. I would go to the closer location and if there’s times you don’t have plans, I would go to your friend’s salon just to still support her but still make it easier on yourself. Good luck!

  28. 09/13/2014 at 10:53 pm

    What is it with us girls and our hair…I’m sure no guys have this problem! haha. I remember growing up my friend’s mom cut my hair and I was terrified she would find out the first time I went somewhere else! I think stress eating this pasta sounds like a great plan in the mean time though while you make your decision :)

  29. Erin
    10/21/2014 at 9:59 am

    Just discovered you on Pinterest and can’t wait to try this recipe tonight! And, as a hairdresser, I must comment on your dilemma. I say be honest with her. We loose clients from time to time. It happens. And it sounds to me like she’s too busy and overwhelmed to cry for too long over it anyway. If I was doing that to a friend and she brought it to my attention I would be really embarrassed and wouldn’t hold it against her for wanting to simplify her life and schedule by going somewhere closer. Be clear that it’s nothing personal and you want to maintain your friendship. Maybe make plans to do something social out side of the salon. It’s better than you feeling frustrated and resentful…that will definitely ruin your relationship! Hope it works out!

    • Julie
      10/22/2014 at 7:44 am

      So glad you found me, Erin! Hope you enjoy this recipe! As for the hairdresser thing, it worked out :) she understood!

  30. Meghan
    11/24/2014 at 3:34 pm

    Do you put the sun dried tomatoes or drain them?

    • Julie
      11/25/2014 at 8:13 am

      I drained them a little. Like shook off the excess oil.

  31. Collette
    01/04/2015 at 3:44 pm

    Thank you for sharing this! I made this recipe two nights ago and it was a success! I did not have sun dried tomatoes on hand so I left that out, but it was still sooo good. Even all four of my children aged 2 through 17 licked their plates clean. I added the chicken last, since my 13 year old is a vegetarian – I took hers out before adding the meat. She thought it was supper filling without the chicken too. Thank you, this will be in my rotation from now on!

    • Julie
      01/04/2015 at 6:21 pm

      I’m so happy to hear everyone enjoyed this!!

  32. Christie
    01/29/2015 at 12:08 pm

    We tried this last night. I used homemade pesto, chicken and broccoli just as you described. I also added Parmesan and a it of lemon juice at the end for Extra flavor. It was yummy! Next time I would remove sundried tomatoes and onions from pan, then cook chicken, then add veggies back in. As directed the tomatoes garlic and onion had a burnt flavor because they were over cooked while the chicken cooked through. But I think the recipe is a keeper. So many great flavors! Thank you!

    • Julie
      01/30/2015 at 8:04 am

      So glad you enjoyed this!!

  33. Nicole
    09/15/2015 at 9:57 am

    I made this for dinner last night. I’m constantly looking for pasta dishes without cream or cheese. This was delicious and definitely a keeper! I can’t wait to make it again.

  34. 01/04/2016 at 4:24 pm

    Hi Julie (?)! I love your blog, just stumbled on this recipe…I gotta say the rest of your blog looks amazing! I’m also trying to be a successful food blogger- you give me inspiration! thanks! also, I’m a college student, so this recipe is awesome for a quick and easy dinner. :) Keep at it ~

    • Julie
      01/05/2016 at 7:07 am

      Aw thank you so much, Elaine! What a sweet comment. <3

  35. Bonny
    07/04/2016 at 9:55 pm

    I made this dish tonight for dinner. WOW was it gooooood!! I make pesto with cilantro…Mexican flavours. So it was a little twist on the recipe but yummy

    07/30/2016 at 6:36 pm


  37. Lori
    11/25/2017 at 9:52 am

    Any tips to keep the orecchiette from sticking together?

    • Julie
      11/27/2017 at 8:42 am

      Add a little bit of oil into the pasta water :)

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