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overhead photo of a bowl of pasta with a glass of red wine and dishes of Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and pumpkin seeds

Cilantro Lime Pesto Chicken Pasta with Squash

  • Author: Allison
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


This cilantro lime pesto chicken pasta with butternut squash is the perfect autumn pasta dish. Zesty homemade cilantro pepita pesto and roasted butternut squash are tossed with pasta and served alongside chili lime roasted chicken in this delicious and wholesome dinner. 



Chili Lime Chicken

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 lbs (680 grams) boneless skinless chicken breasts

Roasted Butternut Squash

  • 4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (1-inch cubes)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cilantro Lime Pesto and Pasta

  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 2 cups cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded, if desired, and finely chopped 
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound pasta (rotini, fusilli, spaghetti, linguine)


  1. First, marinate the chicken. In a large bowl or container with a lid, combine the olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, honey, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine. Add the chicken breasts and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

  2. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Place the cubed squash on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange in an even layer and roast for 30 minutes, or until tender. 

  3. Meanwhile, place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers at 165 degrees F. 

  4. Next, make the pesto. In a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade, process the pepitas into a meal. Add the cilantro, chopped jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, oil, parmesan, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth. If it seems too thick, add a couple of tablespoons of water to help it along. Transfer into an airtight container. 

  5. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Drain and return to the pot. Toss with all of the pesto and squash. Serve alongside chicken and arugula. 

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Course

Keywords: cilantro lime pesto chicken pasta with squash recipe