Pesto Chicken in the Varoma

This is a favourite recipe of mine and one I make regularly. This is the same Celery Pesto as I used on the Lamb Roast with a Celery Pesto Crust. The Pesto is so versatile, I love it on crusty bread, added to philly cheese for a dip and it’s even tasty spooned on boiled eggs that have been cut in half or on salads!

Domestic Diva - Pesto Chicken in the Varoma


You can make this recipe with or without the cream. The photos here are without, and I have made it three times recently hoping to get a photo of it with cream and have forgotten to add it at the end each time, and didn’t realise until we had devoured it all,  lol!  I decided not to wait to make it again, I just had to share it anyway… It becomes a beautiful creamy thick sauce with the cream added, so if you tolerate dairy, I highly recommend trying it.

I love a meal where I don’t have to stand and stir. Cooking chicken in the Varoma is perfect, lovely juicy chicken.This recipe is so quick, easy and suitable for the RPAH elimation / failsafe diet.  You can either serve the Pesto Chicken on top of the pasta or stir it through the pasta to completely coat it in the pesto before dishing. Add home made garlic bread or herb and garlic pizza for a great accompaniment. 

Celery Pesto Chicken Pasta

Celery Pesto:
120g cashews
300g celery stalks
30g celery leaves
3 cloves garlic
5g (a good pinch) Rock salt
1 tablespoon oil

Place all ingredients in the Thermomix bowl and chop on speed 7 for 5 seconds, stir with spatula to push the leaves down and chop for another 5 seconds.

Celery Pesto

Pesto Chicken

250g celery pesto
1kg diced chicken
500g water
Salt to season
100g cream   *optional

Stir pesto through the diced chicken and marinate for at least 1/2 hour.
Place 500g water into Thermomix bowl. Spray varoma bowl lightly with spray oil. Place marinated chicken into the Varoma bowl making sure not to cover all the holes so the steam can come through. Cook at Varoma temperature for 20 minutes speed 3.
Cook your chosen pasta according to the instruction on the packet. I used Tagliatelle pasta and cooked it in boiling water for 10 minutes.
Stir chicken. make sure you keep a few holes open for the steam to come through and cook for another 10 minutes at Varoma speed 3.
Transfer Chicken to Thermoserver or a large bowl. Add cream and stir through chicken, season with salt to taste.
Serve Pesto Chicken with pasta.

Notes: *If you can not tolerate dairy, omit the cream.
If you desire add some vegetables cut into small pieces onto the top Varoma tray for the last 10 -15 minutes and stir through to combine in the Thermoserver or serve them on the side.

Celery Pesto Chicken





  1. This looks fantastic, Rona! Great to see you’ve used the leaves in the recipe too – they seem to go to waste a lot of the time. Look forward to trying it.

  2. LOVE the celery pesto Rona! Caught your update on instagram which prompted me to take a look at what you’ve been cooking recently – we’re GF,DF,Soy-F as well these days so don’t pop by as often anymore but so glad I did! Would you believe I had exactly 300g celery, 3 cloves of garlic & about 150g cashews & not much else? (Farmer’s market is tomorrow}. So I defrosted the deli chicken, boiled some GF pasta, whizzed up this pesto & we’re good to go! Many thanks for another yummy & delicious meal! xo

  3. This looks amazing! Having it for dinner tonight!

  4. you have been a lifesaver thank you so much!!
    I’ve just whipped a batch of your celery pesto just wondering how long it will last and sill question could it be frozen?? Thank you so much x

    • Hi Michelle, the celery pesto should last in the fridge for a 3-4 days. It does freeze well.
      Huge apologies for not replying sooner, a heap of comments somehow ended up in my spam folder 🙁

  5. Anneliese says

    Hi, is there any way we can substitute the cashews? (my son is allergic to cashews) and this recipe sounds delicious!!!

    • Hi Anneliese, I have not tried it without the cashews, but maybe it could work with swede or chickpeas? Please let me know how you go if you try either. 🙂

  6. Very yummy and light.

Speak Your Mind