Chicken Cavatappi With Chef John’s Almond-Arugula Pesto (With Optional Radishes)

Try Chicken Cavatappi with Chef John’s Almond-Arugula Pesto. It’s easy to make with simple ingredients and a vibrant flavor. Pin this recipe for a quick and tasty meal!

Hello, fellow food enthusiasts! Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure with this tantalizing recipe for Chicken Cavatappi with Chef John’s Almond-Arugula Pesto.

With its vibrant flavors and textures, this dish will delight your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

So, let’s gather our ingredients and start cooking together!

Ready Time

35 mins


7 servings


  • 1 cup fresh arugula spinach
  • 2/3 cup raw almonds
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 12 ounces cavatappi
  • 3 cups fresh sugar snap pea pods, halved on the bias
  • 2 1/4 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 3/16 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup radishes, halved and thinly sliced
  • lemon wedges, for serving


Begin by blanching the arugula for about 30 seconds, then transfer it to ice water to preserve its vibrancy. Drain and squeeze out any excess moisture to prepare it for the pesto.

In a blender or food processor, combine the blanched arugula, raw almonds, olive oil, garlic, and half of the salt.

Pulse until a coarse puree forms, occasionally scraping down the sides to ensure an even texture. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.

Once boiling, add the cavatappi pasta and cook according to the package directions, typically around 9-11 minutes.

During the last two minutes of cooking, add the sugar snap pea pods. Once the pasta and pea pods are cooked, drain them and return them to the saucepan.

Add the prepared pesto and the shredded chicken to the saucepan and toss to combine.

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Season with the remaining salt and black pepper to taste. Transfer the pasta mixture to a serving dish and top with thinly sliced radishes for an extra layer of texture and flavor.

Serve with lemon wedges on the side, which can be squeezed over the pasta for a burst of freshness.

Enjoy this delicious and flavorful Chicken Cavatappi with Chef John’s Almond-Arugula Pesto!

Nutrional Value

  • Calories: 460
  • Fat: 24g (of which 3g is saturated fat)
  • Carbohydrates: 48g
  • Protein: 29g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Sodium: 650mg
Chicken Cavatappi with Chef John's Almond-Arugula Pesto
Chicken Cavatappi with Pesto

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