Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free}

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Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free}

A quick and simple creamy chicken pesto pasta recipe with a coconut milk based sauce and extra flavor from toasted almonds, fried garlic chips and fresh herbs. Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free too.

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What have your afternoons and evenings been looking like lately?

Mine have been all about the World Cup. Here in Croatia the games don’t start until 6pm and go until 2am so my evenings have been soccer filled.

I’m not much of a sports fan and don’t regularly watch any sports, but when it comes to a world level, with countries playing eachother, then I start to tune in.

It’s just more interesting this way, if you ask me. It’s especially fun to watch the games in the countries that the teams are playing from. We were just in Bosnia and Herzegovina when they played their first world cup match ever and it was a night I’ll never forget.

You could just feel the excitement and the anxiety in the air. I had taken a war tour of the city of Mostar earlier that day and the guide, Zika, also owns a bar in the city center and invited me to watch the game there that night. It was a small group, him and 10 of his closest buddies and D and I. We all watched the game on the edge of our seats passionately rooting for the small country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Unfortunately they lost 2-1 to Argentina, but they played well, gave it their all, and the fans were still in a celebratory mood.

With shots of the local alcohol and dancing to the blasting music by the end of the night it seemed like we were all friends. This was even further confirmed when one of the guys took of his jersey and handed it to us. We took a few photos in the jersey and tried to give it back to him, but he simply refused.  A truly touching moment I will never forget.

And now let’s talk pasta! I’ve been wanting to create a dairy-free creamy pasta sauce and coconut milk has proved to be a great base.


This creamy chicken pesto pasta recipe is made with shredded rotisserie chicken, almonds, fried garlic, onions, pesto, coconut milk and fresh herbs.

Perfection is all I need to say.

The silky smooth velvety herbally sauce gets just the right amount of crunch from the toasted almonds and pan fried garlic chips.

Have you had garlic chips before? You’ve got to. They are down right incredible. Like miniature sized chips but with a hint of garlic.

I kid you not — I try to add these to just about everything (couscous, pasta, salads, you name it). And they don’t need to be deep fried. Just a shallow fry in some olive oil, which then get’s infused with the garlicky scent and is reused for cooking all the other incredible.

Brilliant right?

To make this creamy chicken pesto pasta recipe completely vegan just use veggies in place of the chicken – I think some thinly sliced zucchini would be fabulous as well.


So if you’re looking for a creamy dairy free pasta sauce coconut milk is the way to go. Don’t skimp on the toasted almonds and fried garlic chips either — they all go together perfectly.

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 3
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, dry toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (use thinly sliced zucchini for vegan version)
  • ¼ cup vegan pesto
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 8 ounces gluten free pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • fresh basil, slivered for garnish
  1. Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat and add the thinly sliced garlic. Cook until just starting to brown and remove from pan. Drain on paper towels.
  2. To the same pan with the oil add onion and minced garlic and cook for a few minutes until onion is translucent.
  3. Add shredded chicken and cook for a few minutes until lightly browned.
  4. Add pesto, wine, and coconut milk. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Serve sauce with pasta, topped with toasted almonds, fried garlic and fresh basil.

For another vegan and gluten free pasta recipe be sure to check out my Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo with Caramelized Squash and Red Onions  – you simply won’t believe that cauliflower can be the base of a creamy, healthy and delicious pasta sauce!


This post has been shared on: Melt in Your Mouth Mondays, Inspiration Monday, Mix It Up Monday,  Natural Living Mondays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Talented Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday,Share Your Stuff Tuesday, Tickle My Tastebuds Tuesday , Hot Fun in the Summertime, Real Food Wednesdays, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Wednesday Round Up, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Wellness Wednesdays , Full Plate Thursdays, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Gluten Free Friday, Get Him Fed Fridays,

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  1. Padaek says

    This creamy coconut pesto pasta really does look perfect! Love the added garlic chips and almond on top too. Looking forward to trying this soon. Thank you.

    • Vicky says

      Thanks so much! I’m obsessed with garlic chips and think they go well with just about any savory dish : ) Enjoy!!

  2. karen says

    YUP…this looks tasty and perfect…going to try this. Thanks for sharing. Stopping by from Share You rStuff Tuesdays.

  3. Linda Warren says

    This meal looks fantastic! Love the pesto with the basil and spinach in it and I adore coconut milk so this looks like a winner to me. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing on Tasty Tuesdays.

  4. Lori Hart says

    Love a good chicken pasta. I found you over at the The Wednesday Round-Up link party. I host Tickle My Tastebuds Tuesday and would love it if you linked up this recipe. I’m sure our party goers would love it as much as I do. Here is the link Have a wonderful day!!

  5. Linda says

    Vicky, this looks so delicious. Thanks for sharing it at Gluten-Free Wednesdays. Please include a link back so we can share your recipe even more!

  6. Miz Helen says

    Happy Saturday Vicky!
    We would just love your creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta dish, it looks delicious! Hope you have a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  7. Angi @ SchneiderPeeps says

    oh, my, this sounds delicious. You had me at pesto but then I was completely sold when I read about the garlic chips. I’m putting this on my menu this week. Thanks for sharing at Simple Lives Thursday!

  8. Christine says

    I was in Peru in 2004 when they were in the World Cup…I still remember men hoarding around television stores watching games…it was crazy in an exhilarating way. Here, I just don’t have the energy-in China the games are at 12 and 4 AM…apparently there have been a few people sent to the hospital for exhaustion.

    • Vicky says

      Must have been exciting to be there! It’s too bad the games are on so late for you — luckily we are now in Europe so even the latest games started at midnight which is definitely better than 4am : //

  9. Ovid says

    Your recipes are some of the most creative blends of “HEALTH” and “flavor”, which rarely mix together without being boring,

    I am generally insulin sensitive, and most your recipes are generally stress free, i will be cooking them in the next few weeks, thanks for sharing

    and i must say, your face is beautiful in many ways than one, have a great week

  10. MommaJ says

    I’m about to make this and am a bit confused…is it garlic or ginger that I add after I make the “garlic chips”??? (see directions, which are creating confusion). Tonight I will be adding a LOT of garlic to the recipe, so I guess we’ll find out if it is too garlicky…then I’ll know it was garlic for the chips and ginger for the next ingredient….THANKS.

    • Vicky says

      So Sorry for the confusion! Instead of minced ginger in the directions it is supposed to say minced garlic (there is no ginger in this recipe). There are two ways the garlic is added both minced and sliced. The thinly sliced 4 cloves turn into garlic “chips” whereas the minced garlic is just added to the recipe as usual. So sorry again for the typo – I have fixed it now.

  11. Jess says

    Completely unrelated to your recipe, but I was in Mostar on that same night. I was there with the fireworks and the flags sporting my Bosnian flag. Small world. I went to Croatia and 14 other countries as well. Cheers to a fellow traveler and foodie!

    • Vicky says

      Small world indeed! It was definitely an exciting time to be in Bosnia and Dave and I overall had a wonderful time visiting the country! Happy travels : )

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